“Five Nights at Freddy’s” isn’t Matthew Lillard’s first family-focused project. In 2002, he starred in the iconic role of Shaggy in the live-action film adaptation of the classic cartoon series “Scooby Doo.”
Like he found out with his Scooby Doo movies, Lillard discovered that “Five Nights at Freddy’s” has an enormous worldwide fan base. As such, he was determined not to disappoint audiences with his interpretation of William Afton. “The hard part about playing this part is the pressure I put on myself to honor the fans, to deliver a great performance in an iconic role,” Lillard told THR. “There are millions of kids worldwide, and people that started playing as kids and are now adults, that have an expectation that this film will deliver on a really great level. So, being this iconic bad guy, the amount of pressure I put on myself to not suck is pretty extraordinary. That’s the hardest part.”
Lillard also told THR that being featured in a movie as big as “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is humbling since the actor thought his glory days were likely behind him after being in a couple of successful film franchises. Apart from his Scooby Doo live-action and animated work, Lillard has also starred in the Scream series, and his involvement in “Five Nights at Freddy’s” appears to be a blessing in disguise.
“I’m still doing all kinds of fun stuff, and I’m really excited about the things I’m doing,” Lillard told THR. “To get this opportunity out of the blue to have another franchise that could make a real impact on my career is humbling and exciting, and my kids are thrilled.”