Starring in a horror movie brings with it a number of unique challenges that performers won't face in a drama, romance, or comedy, while starring in a remake of an established story adds even more obstacles. In the case of Prime Video's Goodnight Mommy, not only was the cast starring in a reinterpretation of a beloved journey among horror fans, but the specifics of the narrative add even more layers to the process. Naomi Watts, for example, spends a majority of the film having her face completely obscured by bandages, which presented her with unique opportunities. Goodnight Mommy hits Prime Video on September 16th.
"Going into it, I was like, 'Oh, gosh, this is going to be so hard,' but when you have really strict rules and limitations to work with, you figure out what are going to be your most powerful tools, and of course that changes from a wide shot to a close-up," Watts confirmed to ComicBook.com. "In a wide shot, you've got all your physicality, everything, the fingertips, everything is going to be part of that emotion that needs to come across in the story, and of course, in a close-up, you've got your eyes, and it's how you place them, when they're big, when they're small. It is freeing, actually, with strong steadfast rules. It was hot and uncomfortable at times having this thing on because you couldn't take it off all the time because of upsetting the hair and things, but overall I would have to say it was a good experience."
In the film, when twin brothers arrive home to find their mother's demeanor altered and face covered in surgical bandages, they begin to suspect the woman beneath the gauze might not be their mother.
For twin stars Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti, the intense nature of the narrative saw them embrace some creepy encounters, though still found ways to have fun during the production.
"I think my favorite day on set was probably the first day we shot, the first scene, because it was really getting to know each other, so I think that really made an impression on me," Cameron recalled of filming. "So, that was probably my favorite normal scene, and then scary scene, it'd probably be when we go into mother's room and I'm behind the curtain watching her. That was very scary, I feel, because just seeing her act so strange. It was for my character, they were like, 'What is she doing?' So I think that was probably, that'd be my favorite scary scene."
Nicholas added, "I liked doing the outside scenes a lot, because it was really a big change from doing the stuff inside where it just felt very serious, I guess, and a lot more tension. And then when we did some of the scenes that were outside, it just felt happier, I guess, and more fun. So I liked doing all the scenes we did outside running in the cornfield and when we were shooting the BB gun, like the plants, those ones. Those were probably my favorite and then I don't know what was the creepiest. I think maybe when we were torturing her, I guess. I guess that was the creepiest. It just felt so weird."
Interestingly for Watts, she was no stranger to starring in a project that puts a new spin on a familiar story, having previously starred in remakes like The Ring, Funny Games, and King Kong. The actor went on to note how the source material factors into the remakes she has taken part in.
When asked about whether she watches the original, Watts admitted, "Usually, one time. I'm definitely going to be curious. I mean, obviously King Kong I'd seen before, but with all of the others, I had not seen before until I'd read the script and I was really considering it and there is a moment like, 'Oh, does this movie need to be remade?' And usually they're only remaking it because it did well and it was an effective piece of storytelling, which is both the reason to do it and not do it. But I liked [director] Matt's [Sobel] interpretation. He had some really innovative ideas that he wanted to bring to it and make it more of a thriller than a gory horror film. Just after multiple conversations with Matt, I was drawn in and you're always looking to make it your own performance. You don't want to have the performance that you watched on screen the first time in any way direct yours or make too much of an impression on yours."
Goodnight Mommy hits Prime Video on September 16th.
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