BY: DAKOTA DAHL
Some of you may recognize Adam Brody from his role as Dave Rygalski on Gilmore Girls. Many more of you will recognize him from his iconic role of Seth Cohen on The O.C.. I’m hoping there’s a good chunk of you that recognize him from the criminally underrated Jennifer’s Body. He even had a brief but awesome cameo as Shazam Jr. in, well, obviously, Shazam! Apparently Adam has been busy this year, since he has Isabelle, a demonic possession thriller, making its Toronto premier on June 29th, as well as Ready or Not coming out August 23rd.
Rue Morgue was lucky enough to jump into his packed schedule to ask him about transitioning from capes to creeps, as well as a few other pressing questions.
Your character in Isabelle must deal with a lot of loss and tragedy. Did you tap into any personal experiences to get into character?
You know, I have a young family myself so I certainly could relate on that regard. Luckily, tragedy hasn’t befallen us but I do have those fears and worries, as most people do. I think it’s a very basic human fear, so I didn’t have to reach too far.
What attracted you to the character of Matt Kane?
It wasn’t so much the character so much as the overall story. That tends to be the case for me, anyways, I tend to do projects based more on the overall story than the individual character. If it’s a nice character from a story I’m not that interested in or from a storyteller I don’t find that interesting, it’s sort of a moot point, but I’ll play a doorknob in somebody gifted’s story. That said, I did feel like the basic premise, and the fear of loss of a child is universal, and I could certainly tap into that, and I also thought that there was some interesting imagery with that. I actually think it got cut, unfortunately, but one of my favorite scenes, one of the creepiest scenes is when [a spoiler free character] goes to see their child who is deceased and it ends up being a twisted, mutated version of what she thought. That seems like a horrifying image to me. Ultimately, it might have been too horrifying! Still, I think it speaks to a very basic fear which I think is very palpable.
I felt a lot of love and chemistry between you and Amanda Crew during the movie. How did you two develop this repertoire?
Well, you’re stuck in a room together for four weeks, sharing a newspaper, thoughts on life and ideas as you film. We got along fantastically, I had a great time with her. It couldn’t have been more comfortable and friendly. That was easy.
Who are some of your favorite on screen characters, and did you use any of them for your depiction of Matt in Isabelle?
I didn’t channel any character I can think of, but as for the question of who are some of my favorite on screen characters… you know, I’m not a true eccentric, so it’s funny that the characters I really like, some of the best performances are like, Nic Cage has a few. Obviously he’s not always doing A+ material but he’s always fantastic. Jack Nicholson is another favorite, as he is for most people, but the guy just exudes charisma and energy and intelligence and he’s so interesting looking. I mean, he’s obviously got like 30 great performances or more. A few that come to mind, I mean Cuckoo’s Nest, there’s Chinatown. He was great in one I just saw recently, directed by Sean Penn, The Crossing Guard, it was awesome, he’s just so great.
Without giving too much away, what was your favorite scene in Isabelle and why?
Maybe wrestling a demon in a wheelchair is the most fun, because it’s just bonkers.
What was your hardest scene to film?
Ironically, that one, because I sort of threw my back out the day before. I had to film the thing very piece meal. That was actually the hardest, and I basically hurt it doing nothing, too, nothing exciting. I was on the floor all weekend. That was the hardest, so maybe that’s why it was the most rewarding.
On top of Isabelle’s Toronto premier, you’ve also got Ready Or Not coming out in August. Do you find you enjoy working in the horror genre?
Of course. I like it because it’s very cinematic. You’re using, oftentimes, effects, and the lighting is very moody. You’re very much in a movie-verse. I like all genres, there’s not a genre that I think I don’t like, but the thing about horror is that it can be exhausting, it can often be very physical. Very physical, very emotional, most acting is, but horror more so. None more so than for the leading lady. The fact of the matter is, Samara Weaving in Ready Or Not and Amanda Crew in Isabelle do all the heavy lifting. I say that the role is emotional, but they are dealing with 90% of that. So my hat’s off to them, they both give fantastic performances. I also enjoy dark humor and good horror tends to have that as well. Certainly ready Or Not does, so it suits my sensibilities in that regard. I’m not necessarily a violence fetishist, it’s not so much that I get off on torture all the time, but, like I said, it’s very cinematic and I enjoy the movie atmosphere of it.
Speaking of Ready Or Not, what kind of secrets can you give away for it?
Well, I can’t tell you any secrets, but there’s this sense hanging over the movie of…no, I don’t know, I don’t think I can give you anything. If you give me a question I’ll try to answer it.
Is your character a villain?
I actually certainly can’t reveal that, either. I will say that my loyalty kind of waivers in the movie, and that’s kind of my journey. As it is a few others. Loyalty is a question for sure for a few characters, mine included, and that’s the kind of fun of my journey.
So there’s a lot of twists and turns in it?
Yeah, there is, there is, and I will also say that it has a hell of an ending.
What was it like working with the cast of Ready Or Not?
Fantastic cast, awesome. I’ve seen it, and everybody gives such a great performance. It was very well written and ensemble. Every actor is worth your time and give an awesome performance, and it’s very funny, it’s charming, it’s great. I’m very happy to be part of this crew.
If you had to compare Ready Or Not to another horror movie, which would you say it’s most like?
I haven’t seen You’re Next but I’ve seen it compared to that. There’s certainly similarities to Get Out. It’s funny, when I did it, I was like “Oh, it’s funny, it’s really funny, I don’t know if it’ll be scary or tense, I don’t if it’s grounded enough for that” and then I saw it and was like “Wow, it’s really tense.” It’s very funny but it’s more of a thriller I was even expecting, which is great. I think that’s to its benefit. So, uh, maybe a little Get Out meets Kill Bill? She’s definitely not a damsel in distress. It was a great part for Samara, she was so good in it. She’s an ass-kicker in it, so it’s really cool in that regard.
Is there one scene in it that you really want audiences to look forward to?
I love the ending. It’s rare that you get such a satisfying ending. A lot of the time, even in good movies, by the third act, everyone is kind of going through the paces a little bit, just kind of wrapping it up. For me, Ready Or Not builds so well, and it just gets better.
You’ve had a long and varied career for someone so young. What are some of your favorite roles, and why?
I don’t know, I’ve been real lucky lately. I have affection for all of them, for one reason or another. My favorite tends to just be the most recent just because it’s the stuff I’m bringing my latest experiences to and it’s the stuff I’m coming at from my wisest place. The Ready Or Not role was very fun, because it was melodramatic and bitter and funny in a great way. I just did a part in this Carey Mulligan movie called Promising Young Woman and it’s a darkly funny, awful, creepy and all too real role. I was a 14 year old superhero in Shazam! and that was real fun for a lot of different reasons. I got to put on a big superhero suit and fly around and also play with the joy of a 14 year old (that sounded weird.) I got to truly tap into my innermost child and that was a thrill all on its own as well.
Do you have any other upcoming projects you want to talk about?
Yeah! I’m going to film an independent in Toronto called The Kid Detective. A buddy of mine has been trying to get it made for like five years, and it looks fantastic. My friend wrote such a funny, sad script. It’s a part I love and I can’t wait, I’m thrilled we finally get to make it. Hopefully it comes out as good as it is on paper, and we can show that to the world the following year.
Since we are a Canadian magazine, I pretty much have to ask, do you enjoy filming in Canada?
Yeah, I love it. I filmed so much in Toronto these last couple years. Funny enough, I filmed Isabelle in Hamilton, I filmed Shazam! in Toronto, I filmed Ready Or Not in Toronto, I’m filming a few episodes of a TV series in Toronto, I’m going to film The Kid Detective a few hours north. I love it. It’s a lovely city and the food is incredible. The food is just…I’m over the moon about the food. I also so love filming in Vancouver. It’s been a long time but I used to do that a lot as well. It’s a beautiful city.
Isabelle will have its Canadian premier at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema. Buy your tickets here.