Premiering on April 30, 2020, Netflix’s’ new movie “Dangerous Lies” brings one into a world of paranoia, and deception.
Directed by Michael Scott, this feature film captures audiences immediately and refuses to let go until the final credit. After losing her waitressing job, Katie Franklin (Camila Mendes) takes a job as a caretaker to a wealthy elderly man in his sprawling, empty Chicago estate. The two grow close, but when he unexpectedly passes away and names Katie as his sole heir, she and her husband Adam (Jessie T. Usher) are pulled into a complex web of lies, deception, and murder. If she’s going to
survive, Katie will have to question everyone’s motives — even the people she loves.
Before being released on Netflix, The Knockturnal sat down with stars Camila Mendes and Jessie T. Usher to talk about their new project. Mendes is known for working on Riverdale, a CW show that twists and turns whenever possible. Dangerous Lies allows the actress to hone in on her skilled acting training and showcases Mendes’ ability to live fully in the moment and discover moments WITH the audience. Usher’s work on Amazon’s The Boys is filled with dark humor and quick wit, which comes into play beautifully in Dangerous Lies. In tandem with Mendes, Usher helps to create a beautiful young marriage, one filled with love and history. He skillfully uses his humor to warm Mendes in times of strife, which illuminates the strength of their relationship.
Dangerous Lies is directed by Michael Scott and stars Camila Mendes and Jessie T. Usher. The film also stars Jamie Chung, Cam Gigandet, Sasha Alexander, and Elliott Gould.
Check our exclusive interview!
The Knockturnal: Hi guys! Congratulations on a fantastic film. I had no idea what was going to happen. What drew both of you to this film and the characters?
Camila Mendes: Yeah, the most interesting thing to me was the very process of reading the script, because I think it’s always such a good sign when you’re reading something and you’re actually captivated in the story. Not even paying attention to the specific role you’re playing or anything, you’re just so lost in the mystery, and I couldn’t put it down, I had no idea where it was going. Every time I thought it was going in one direction, it would surprise me and go in a different direction, and I felt like it was a sure thing.
Jessie T. Usher: Yeah, I have to agree, it was a really great read. Camila and myself, we read a lot of scripts, so when there is one that grabs you from the beginning and keeps you all the way through, you know there’s something there, you don’t even have to think about it so much, you’re just like, “Ok, I was interested in this from beginning to end, I want to talk to some more people about this and see if they felt the same way.” And everybody that I talked to about the script, they seem to have this deep-rooted, long passionate feeling about it, something that had been carried on for years … The writer was like “I wrote this twenty years ago and I’ve just been revising it and revising it.” I was like, “Oh, wow.”
Camila Mendes: Yeah.
Jessie T. Usher: The director talked about how badly he wanted to tell this story, and I talked to Camila and she seemed like she had a really great grasp on the Katie character. So it was all those moving parts kind of coming together and everyone sort of having the same outlook about it as me, that was a really big draw.
The Knockturnal: The entire film, the entire cast, really felt like you were all in the same world, you were all in love with what you were doing, that came through beautifully.
Jessie T. Usher: Thanks.
The Knockturnal: Now, paranoia, it felt like paranoia was just a character in itself. It was the two of you, then there was paranoia in the corner being like, “What’s up?”
Jessie T. Usher: Yeah. (laughter)
The Knockturnal: How did you guys play around with that?
Jessie T. Usher: To be honest, there’s so many moments, and I’m not really sure how many of them they grasp, where because I was playing like this backboned, husband, trying to stay strong, do-the-right-thing kinda guy, I didn’t want that to show in front of Katie. So there was a lot of moments where I kind of played into that behind her back which you know, gives the impression that he’s up to something, which I loved because we don’t really know what side of the fence Adam is on. But like you said, paranoia was absolutely there in almost every single scene, but trying to mask it, trying to keep it out of his mind, was something interesting to play with, and I don’t know if Camila caught me a couple times or not but I was doing some sneaky stuff behind her back. [Laughs] I was worried quite a bit, but you know, I tried to keep it hidden from her.
Camila Mendes: Yeah, I feel like the key was to build it, and kind of like with every twist, to have a little bit more paranoia because the more things happened that were unexpected, the more the character started to question everything before and everything they thought they knew was true, so I think it was trying to up the intensity every time there was a new turn.
The Knockturnal: Absolutely. Last question, speaking of twists and turns, Cami, you’re on Riverdale. That is the epitome of twists and turn on every screen page, how was working on this film different from Dangerous Lies?
Camila Mendes: Yeah, I mean there’s obviously the similarity of it being and mystery and a thriller, but I think it’s so incredibly different tonally because I think Riverdale obviously it relishes in the absurd and it has fun, and we kind of go to this extreme stylized place and the world of Dangerous Lives was very much more grounded, I think, and it felt more realistic. And kind of like, what if this crazy fortune happened to somebody, they moved into this huge house and all of these crazy, absurd, mysterious things kept happening? What would that actually look like? And that’s kind of like what this movie felt like.
The Knockturnal: Absolutely. Well, thank you both so much for talking with me today, it was a pleasure.