Russell Geoffrey Banks: Inside Who’s Watching Oliver


At 1428 Elm, we were fortunate enough to chat with Russell Geoffrey Banks the star of the indie horror hit, Who’s Watching Oliver. Find out how he channeled his role and if he feels the movie went too far.

“We all go a little mad sometimes.” – Norman Bates

The Gent Behind the Glasses

Russell Geoffrey Banks is a name that you need to remember. The actor in the terrifying and compelling indie horror hit, Who’s Watching Oliver is poised to be a break-out star.

After doing a series of odd jobs and various gigs in England, he decided to go to Asia to hone his craft. While there he was a stand-in on various films. Not being able to afford acting classes at the time, he learned from professionals on the job.

“You never forget when people were nice to you when you’re at the bottom.” Some of the individuals that he received career advice from sounds like a list of who’s who in Hollywood. From Michael Clark Duncan to Bradley Cooper to John Cusack, “just standing next to them and watching them act and studying their processes helped me so much.”

Related Story: Who's Watching Oliver - 1428 Elm Film Review

In his latest picture, he definitely proves that he was an apt pupil.

The Interview

Becoming Oliver

1428 Elm: What was your inspiration for the script? Was it difficult to write because Oliver is a challenging character?

Russell Geoffrey Banks: Originally, I knew I wanted to do a serial killer film when I approached Richie Moore and Raimund Huber (producers and writing partners). At first, I wanted to make it in the style of  Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer starring Michael Rooker.

Huber had the idea to make Oliver more the character we see with his look and style and how he is. Then the three of us wrote and sculpted him the best we could. But yeah, Oliver was extremely challenging.

1428 Elm: Choosing to play Oliver as an autistic serial killer with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder was a bold move.

RGB: I tried to really get into his skin with his thought patterns and body movements. It was hard to go to the dark places I needed to get to and it certainly affected me mentally. Once we stopped shooting, it was hard to get rid of his anxiety, if that makes sense.

Exploring the Dark Places

1428 Elm: When you were filming did you ever think maybe this scene is going too far? Did you leave anything on the cutting room floor, so to speak, that you wish that you would have kept?

RGB: For sure! We questioned were we going too far in the script but we needed those hard to view scenes to tell Oliver’s background. Oliver was a really tough story to tell.  On set it wasn’t a fun process like other movies I’ve been involved in.

This production was heavy and draining for everyone involved. Yes, there was so much cut from the movie! Jesse Maddox and Raimund Huber did a great job of editing this film. I am not sure how the scenes that we deleted would have worked in terms of advancing the storyline.

Thanks to Russell Geoffrey Banks for spending time with us! Gravitas Ventures is releasing Who’s Watching Oliver on July 3 in the United States and Canada.

Next: Who’s Watching Oliver film review – Mama likes to watch!

Is Who’s Watching Oliver on your summer must see horror film list? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.