The Knockturnal was on the red carpet for the New York Premiere of “A Cure For Wellness” presented by Prada at the legendary Landmark Sunshine Cinema where we talked with stars Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth.
An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure. From Gore Verbinski, the visionary director of The Ring, comes the new psychological thriller, A Cure For Wellness.
Check out our video from the carpet below:
I thought you played your character with such romanticism, talk about what you wanted to bring to him.
Jason: I just wanted to make him real. The thing about a film that’s a kind of a genre piece like this, is as soon as you’re leaning out of the camera and winking at the audience, they no longer believe you, so I just wanted to try and get this extraordinary, kind of crazy world feel like it was honest in my head and then the audience believe you and then they go through the ride with you.
We’ve noticed you’ve had a lean towards more villainous roles, talk about why is that and what about these roles that you love?
Jason: Well, it’s been unfortunate two have come along in a row. I’m in the OA at the moment and I’m in this, but in the OA, Brit Marling was already playing that part and I’m not very good at playing 30 year old women, so the next best part was the one I took and also, the characters, the antagonists, are very often the engines of the plot and you get a lot of very fun things to do and particularly, if you can make them truthful, you can really disturb people. And there’s nothing more fun when you’re telling a story than to get inside people’s imaginations and haunt them.
This is not your typical horror, it’s more of a suspense aspect, talk about that aspect and what it brought to the film.
Jason: Well I think that Gore wants to tell the story, his story, his way, and it kind of defies genre and he’s earned the right to do that by being so successful in every other genre. But people should come to this without any expectations of what kind of film it is because it will defy them, subvert their expectations. So just get on the Gore Verbinski rollercoaster and let him take you for a ride and see where it takes you.
We talked about the OA a bit earlier, which has been a surprise runaway hit. Season 2 we know it’s happening. Can we get a little bit of scoop?
Jason: Sure, let me tell you all about it, answer everybody’s questions. Oh wait, the tape record is on the blink. Oh, what’s going on. So sorry.
But no, we’re super excited for it.
Jason: Me too, I can’t wait.
Talk about turning audiences over and starting as a not so likable guy, then winning the audience over towards the end of the film.
Dane: Yeah, well he goes on a crazy journey and I think the reason he isn’t likable is also the reason he’s the perfect protagonist for this story because he works for a Wall street firm, he’s obsessed with getting richer and more powerful and climbing this corporate ladder. He’s willing to step on other people to get to the top and he thinks that’s what makes him healthy. He thinks that makes him well. He thinks he’s really winning at life, but that is the sickness and he knows that somewhere in his subconscious he’s unwell, so when he’s diagnosed, that’s why he’s willing to take the cure. He goes on this crazy journey and he goes through a lot in the movie. I think if he was too likable, you would feel bad for him the whole way through, but I was just trying to create a guy you’d like to have a beer with but you also wouldn’t mind seeing him get punched in the face.
All of your co-stars have said that this is some creepy stuff that we’re about to see.
Dane: Yeah, it’s creepy for sure. There’s everything in this movie. It’s also truly original and mysterious and my character goes through so much. It hits on most people’s fears, but there’s also a mystery around every corner and you never know what’s gonna happen next … Oh it totally creeped me out. It’s definitely, it’s not the movie that I would sign up to do with any director, but it’s a movie I knew Gore could pull off. It really is a wild, crazy, terrifying ride and you read it and it really is like, “Wow, I can’t believe a studio has the guts to make this movie.” But they did and that’s what’s exciting.
Were you nervous about stepping into the genre, cause sometimes it can be a bit campy and go the wrong way.
Dane: No, it’s all about keeping it different and challenge myself in different ways and I’d never done a thriller before. And I knew with Gore directing it, that it had every chance to be something special and I really think it is.
How much fun did you have on set?
Mia: I had a lot of, I don’t know that “fun” is necessarily the right word. It was a lot of fun, it was just very intense, also. I think that’s the word that first comes to mind. Every day was a new challenge, a new adventure and it definitely seeped into the film.
This might be your biggest role yet. Were you a bit nervous about being on set with all these really great actors and director?
Mia: For sure. It was completely overwhelming, it’s a massive deal. I’m just really starting out still, so to get to work with Gore, with Dane, with Jason, I’d want to call my mum every night and be like, “Guess what, mum?” No, it’s a big deal and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
Your character, she is not your typical female lead in a horror. Talk about what you wanted to bring to the role and what you brought to her and how you portrayed her.
Mia: I really just wanted to be able to honor Hannah. I wanted to be able to bring to life that childlike, delicate, fragile nature that she has to her. But also being able to transform her into the young woman that she becomes throughout the movie and perhaps that was one of the biggest challenges. So that was really exciting to me.
We mentioned working with Jason and Dane, talk about working with them and what you learned from them while you were on set.
Mia: Well working with Dane and Jason, I had a great time and I learned a lot. With Dane, he is very effective in what he does but yet it’s very minimal, it’s quite contained and yet it’s very powerful and so I learned a bit about that. And Jason, he’s been doing this for a long time so he would every now and again come into my ear and give me a bit of advice or a tip and I have kept with it for a while. I definitely think I would label it as a psychological thriller. It’s not really blood and guts and gore, it’s much more of a head scratcher. It definitely makes you think. It’s a thought provoking film and I think people are just gonna be really creeped out. They’re never gonna look at water or sanitariums in the same way.