Thursday night, the Metrograph theater held a premiere for the upcoming film, ‘Bad Times at the El Royale,’ written and directed by Drew Goddard. Attending the premiere were actresses Dakota Johnson and Cynthia Erivo, who appeared in the film in respective roles. Before entering the auditorium, they talked to us about how they approached their characters, as well as what to expect from a film full of surprises, keeping it as spoiler-free as possible!
The Knockturnal: What was the biggest challenge for you regarding your role?
Dakota Johnson: The biggest challenge for me was to really make the duality of the character really clear. So you have a person who is seemingly such an asshole, but you actually find out that she might not really be that way.
The Knockturnal: So this is your film debut. Are you excited about it?
Cynthia Erivo: Yes, it’s the first film being released, but the first one I filmed was Widows.
The Knockturnal: What was the challenge in approaching your character, because the scenes with you and Jeff Bridges in the trailer seem to suggest something big?
Cynthia Erivo: I think something big happens in this! The most challenging thing was that there is a lot of running around in the rain for me. That was challenging because it was 14 days of running around in the rain.
The Knockturnal: What do you think audiences should be expecting? What do you think they’re going to walk out of this movie thinking about?
Cynthia Erivo: I hope they come out of this movie knowing that it’s okay to forgive a little, it’s okay to speak up, it’s okay to say sorry and to have fun. I hope they love the music, and that they get a little nostalgic. There’s a few good things that happen in this movie and I think that people will enjoy it.
The Knockturnal: It’s interesting that this movie is set in the 60s. Why that time period?
Cynthia Erivo: Well, I think it was the cross-section when a lot of things were happening in the movie, whether it would be the Civil Rights Movement, or who was president at the time. A combination of many different things were happening, and 1969 was when it was happening. So I think that’s why Drew chose to set in that time.
Additional guests included, but were not limited to Brooke Shields, J. Quinton Johnson and Ashley Jordyn. The evening was hosted by the Metrograph Theater and was followed by a party featuring a special musical performance by Cynthia Erivo at The Box.