Horror fans first met actress Samara Weaving in the Starz series Ash vs Evil Dead, starring as a lost hiker who accidentally came across Ash Williams and his battles with supernatural forces. Genre enthusiasts then saw her in Mayhem and The Babysitter, with each new project she embarked upon displaying her willingness to not only embrace buckets of blood, but also the sillier side of horror. Currently in theaters, Weaving stars in Ready or Not, which has earned both critical praise and a strong box office showing for the independent horror-comedy, which could be the stepping stone to make Weaving a massive star.
In the film, Weaving stars as Grace, a new bride who is happy to have finally found a family with her new husband Alex (Mark O'Brien) and his eccentric relatives. Unfortunately, the newlyweds don't get to experience a honeymoon, as they are forced to play a deadly game of hide and seek to honor a long, bizarre, and deadly family tradition.
ComicBook.com recently caught up with Weaving to discuss her genre projects, the experience of making Ready or Not, and the fate of her character.
ComicBook.com: Stephen King shared his praise for Ready or Not on Twitter recently, and he also recommended Mayhem when that was released. Are you getting sick of him complimenting your films?
Samara Weaving: Did he tweet about Mayhem too? I missed that one. That's cool. No, I would never get sick of Stephen King, keep it coming, King.
Just to keep my sanity, I don't look at social media too much. I hand my phone to my fiance and he scrolls through and gets really giddy about certain things and I'm like, "Oh, should I say something?" And he says, "Yes you should."
I tried to keep a safe, healthy distance from it, but it is really exciting. I'm very grateful for the positive response it's getting.
It must be exciting when a movie that was made relatively independently and outside the traditional studio system and connects with audiences.
Yeah, we just had a bloody good time and that's my happy place, is being on set, playing make-believe with a bunch of legends.
The entire cast was so much fun. I'm hoping we're lifelong friends. We all went out to dinner last night and got really goofy. It's just been a blast. And it's quite rare to find that on sets, where you get along with every single person and want to hang out afterwards.
And with most genre films, there's a small group of killers and a large number of victims, but the dynamic in this is totally different as you're the one victim being stalked by almost all of the cast.
Yeah, I liked that. And I also liked that the villains weren't that scary. They started out really intimidating and threatening and you just so slowly see them unravel into these bumbling, comedic, desperate idiots. And it's so much fun.
The film was directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, what was the dynamic on set with multiple directors?
I read the script and I loved the script. I was a little hesitant because I've done so many horrors. However, I hadn't played a protagonist before and this script was so good. I couldn't put it down. It's always a really good sign when you read it in one sitting. I didn't want to take a break and force myself to read it. It was just right there on the page. And then when I met with Tyler, Matt, and [producer] Chad [Villela], I brought all these ideas about wanting Grace to be... I wanted to avoid playing the typical damsel in distress.
I really wanted her to make fast, logical decisions in moments of extreme panic. That's how most of the women I know and love turn into heroes in those situations, in any sort of distressing situations. And they were so collaborative with my ideas regarding Grace and her story, along with Fox Searchlight. And that was really refreshing because sometimes you really have to fight or you feel unheard and they were the complete opposite. They were so kind and really willing and they were just great to work with. It was such a great team.
What was the collaborative process like between you and the filmmakers so you could bring the most authentic version of Grace to life?
With films like this, we shot it in less than a month. I think it was like maybe 26, 28 days or something? And I take the preparation really seriously because you don't have time on the day to have big debates about scenes or the logic behind all of the motivation of a scene and the arc of the scene.
They really gave me so much time and patience where we could sit and chat. She's in a house that she doesn't know and it's the maze of a mansion, but, I really wanted to make it clear that she doesn't make illogical decisions. That she doesn't play the same beat of terror and fear the entire time. That there's a shock element. And then, of course, when it sinks in what's really happening to her. I wanted her to have a pivotal determination and an anger towards her motivation of survival. You don't want audiences to think she just miraculously survived. I wanted it to be plausible that she could hold herself.
And the film definitely conveyed that, as it never had to rely on the trope of, "Oh, and she's secretly an ex-Marine so she has no problem handling herself."
She definitely wasn't a fighter, she didn't have combat training. But I really liked, when I read in the script, that she was in and out of foster care growing up, and that's why she takes family so seriously. And that's really important to her. And I was thinking about that and it dawned on me that if she is gonna live in foster care, she might've been on the streets for a while, she would have been scrappy. And I really liked making the fights messy and uncoordinated, but still, she can throw a punch well, and compared to this very wealthy, almost regal family, where they haven't had to do this in a long time, which plays into the comedy of the unraveling of the family, more and more as the film goes on.
Some scenes featured the entire ensemble of characters while others were heavy on blood and practical effects. Did you have a particular favorite day on set?
I really don't have a bad memory on this project. My favorite filming day was shooting the scene with Grace meeting the entire family for the first time. Because, at the wedding, there's a couple of late family members and that day it was the only day the entire cast was in the same room together. And we got along so well. We would go and have beers and fries every weekend and just talk until the sun came up. It was so much fun.
That day we just laughed the entire time and cemented our hopeful lifelong friendship, because these are some of the best actors I've ever worked with. They are so talented and humble and so fun. I wish we could do it all over again.
WARNING: Major spoilers below for Ready or Not
The end of the film sees your character alone in this giant mansion, covered in blood. It seems like a happy ending, but we can't help but wonder how the police would react to the situation. What do you think ends up happening to Grace?
Without giving it away, I actually am so surprised. I mean, I'm not surprised. The trailer seems to give a lot of the film away. It really doesn't. If you think that's the twist of the film, it gets even crazier. I wonder what happens afterwards. Does she go to jail? Does she go to an asylum for psychiatric help? Does she inherit everything? I don't know.
Since she is now a family member, she might technically be the last person alive to inherit the fortune.
Or the police would say that she did it on purpose. I don't know.
And the sequel can just be you locked up and sitting in a cell.
Sitting in a jail cell for 90 minutes, just going insane.0comments
Ready or Not is in theaters now.