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Former Madden Cover Boy Peyton Hillis Stars in New Werewolf Movie and He May Be the Greatest Actor of Our Generation

Matt Sullivan. Getty Images.

Move over Denzel. Sit down Will Smith. Leonardo DiCaprio? You can fuck right off. Peyton Hillis is hitting the silver screen like he used to hit the B gap that one year when he was pretty good in the NFL and someone needs to get the damn Oscar voting committee on the line ASAP!

 That’s right Peyton Hillis is the leading man in a new horror flick called The Hunting.

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Never mind the fact that he only says four words in the trailer. Hillis is freaking yoked and I can tell by that dramatic gasp at the 1:01 mark that this year’s best performance by an actor in a leading role is already locked up. And this time he won’t even need the rabid Browns fan base to vote him there like they did when he made the cover of Madden 2012.

In The Hunting, Hillis plays a conservative small town detective who suffers from PTSD due to his time in the marines. He teams up with a wildlife expert to investigate a series of mysterious animal attacks and one can only assume he is none-to-happy to put up with her tree-hugging hippie methods. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I’m guessing he’s a shoot first, ask questions later kind of guy and she would swerve into oncoming traffic and cause a twelve-car pileup before hitting a squirrel. They are forced to find a way to work together and in doing so realize they really aren’t so different…but with werewolves.

Hillis strikes me as a method actor who should now be mentioned alongside Daniel Day-Lewis, Marlon Brando, Angelina Jolie, and Christian Bale. Look at the way he absolutely loses himself in the role of a buff white dude with a shaved head. I mean you would think this is way he walks around every day. Masterful work.

The film itself was shot in Mantua, a small village about 40 miles outside of Cleveland, and has some really gorgeous cinematography. It joins a long list of movies filmed in the area recently. The Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Spiderman 3, The Fate of the Furious, and now The Hunting. Not only were all these blockbusters shot here but Jake Paul and Logan Paul are from here as well. Cleveland is basically Hollywood East at this point.

I’m a sucker for a good metaphor and in all seriousness this one has doozy. In an interview with Crain's Cleveland Business, one of the film's writers explained the reasoning behind the werewolf. 

One of the movie's writers, Terry Ryan, is a former Marine, and he drew from his experiences in shaping the story.

"The werewolf is actually symbolic for when soldiers come back with PTSD," Hamer said. "My co-writer was always talking about his friends that they always said they had 'beast who came back with them.' So that is really where it came from. We don't use traditional werewolf rules. It's very symbolic in our story."

As someone who has watched close friends come back from war and struggle with PTSD, this definitely hits home. In fact, the metaphor is so damn good I’m willing to look past the questionable werewolf costume we get a glimpse in the trailer.  

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And just because I haven’t watch the movie yet doesn’t mean I won’t. I’m firing up this bad boy on Apple TV tonight. You only get to see the acting greats breakout role once. Robert De Nero in Bang the Drum Slowly, Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, Al Pacino in The Godfather, Kevin James in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and now Peyton Hillis in The Hunting.