Zack Ward Of ‘A Christmas Story’ Believes His Face Gets Him The Bully Roles
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Zack Ward’s first role was in 1983 A Christmas Story, and he has since made a name for himself on our television screens. He fits so well into the villain bully role of A Christmas Story that casting agents sought him out to depict that.
Ward went on to act in productions like Z Nation, American Horror Story, All of Us, and a lot more after A Christmas Story paved the way for him. Aside from playing the villain, and outside of acting, Ward has played director, screenwriter, and producer for other movies, including his fantasy family movie Patsy Lee & The Keepers of the 5 Kingdoms, which we are anticipating.
Zack Ward, a typecast bully, says he has “a punchable face”
Ward revealed how he couldn’t avoid playing the bully, stating that he thinks he has a “very punchable face” when asked why filmmakers prefer him to play such roles. “And so I looked like I was up to no good or like an evil elf,” he stated. “Also playing bad guys is a lot of fun. So I think that’s why I got those roles all the time. But I really enjoyed them. So I was always grateful for the job.”
Scut Farkus, his character in A Christmas Story, eventually got what was coming to his punchable face, to which Ward said, “I think it’s actually Scut Farkus’s fault. Because being the iconic red-haired bully, everybody kind of identifies that as an archetype. And the reality is, I have very slanty eyes, and in my youth, I had very high cheekbones.”
Ward Wasn’t Meant To Play The Main Bully At First
Ward, who was 13 years old at the time, had auditioned for the Grover Dill dialog. Grover Dill was the sidekick bully in the show, not the main one. “We went through wardrobe and got our wardrobe on for the first time. I met Yano Anaya, who plays Grover Dill for the first time, and then we were taken out to meet director Bob Clark. And I had never met him because I auditioned on tape,” Ward recalled.
“We meet Clark and they go, here’s your Grover Dill. Here’s your Scut Farkus. And he sees that I’m like a foot taller than him and he says, ‘Cool, you get his lines, he gets yours.’ And then I became the lead bully.”
Director Clark Created A ‘Bullies Versus Everyone’ Among The Cast
Ward and Anaya spent a lot of time together on set because Clark kept them apart from the rest of the cast, intending to create a healthy divide between both categories on set. “I had a great time,” Ward reminisced. “Yano and I hung out all the time. Bob Clark wanted us to spend our time together, so we would create a bond and sort of stay away from the other kids so that they wouldn’t know us as well and be a little intimidated. And I think that worked out really well. I have a ton of memories from filming that movie and obviously not only because I did it, but because I’ve talked about it for the last 40 years.”
Many decades later, the cast members will be back together for A Christmas Story Christmas, streaming on HBO Max this November.
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