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Interview: Hugh McCrae Jr. of the workplace mystery/horror 'Human Resources'

Image courtesy of DeskPop Entertainment

By Josh Taylor

In Human Resources, Sam Coleman is an anxious man just looking for a job but what he finds at Brooke’s Hardware store is more than the usual retail gig. Before the film starts streaming on demand we sat down with the lead actor of the film, Hugh McCrae Jr., to discuss his role and his connection to his character. Years in the making, the film is finally seeing a wide release and when we asked McCrae Jr. about it he stated, “I’m really excited. That’s how I feel about it. It was a long journey getting to this point with the Covid-19 thing and not knowing if this would fizzle out in post-production. A lot of stuff ends up that way and the filmmakers were so determined. I am so glad I got to work with them and they stuck with it.’

Image courtesy of DeskPop Entertainment

Human Resources was created by a group of young filmmakers including, at the time, 19-year-old director Braden Swope. What seems like a hard sell actually worked in the favor of McCrae. “They are some of the most talented, hardworking people I’ve worked with. Braden and everyone involved had so many roadblocks at so many points. They could have just given up and moved on to the next project.” Working through hardships like Covid as well as how to make a horror film on a small budget. The film’s crew were almost all volunteers and they actually shot the film at a real hardware store during operating hours. On the matter, McCrae joked, “People would walk into frame and ask if we were making a movie as if they couldn’t see the camera right there. Anthony Candell who plays the store manager Gene Knibbs in the movie actually helped someone find something mid-scene once. It was one of the funniest things to happen.”

Image courtesy of DeskPop Entertainment

Following up on the hardware store conversation, McCrae stated that if he ever did work at a hardware store he’d want to work with all of the power tools, but in the film, he’s the one that has to take down a few braindead customers. When we asked what it was like to stay in character while running and chopping away at people he said, “It takes a lot of focus. It takes patience. Patience from the actors, the director, and everyone. Sometimes you slip and fall or someone else does. One time I fell and hit my head on a shovel loud. I’m not sure how that didn’t make the cut.” The hazards of a hardware store are everywhere, including the stock room where we both agreed things can be a little creepy. Things do get creepy in Human Resources too with Sam Coleman having to get a little bloody and heroic in order to survive. In parting, McCrae Jr. compared himself to his character. “You can’t be like Sam. If you are and you are anxious and nervous, you have to work through it and be fearless. I want people to watch and realize that you have to show some heart.”

Human Resources is now available to stream on-demand.


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