The Knockturnal: Pet Sematary, you guys were both so good. Was there any pre-couple bonding before? How do you make it so believable between the two of you?
Jason Clarke: Good question, and integral to making this work. Like absolutely, essential, integral. If you do not feel intimacy between Rachel and Louis you do not care about anything that happens afterwards. And for me, as an actor, I needed someone that knew what they were doing as well because you can’t overwork intimacy. You can’t ‘hey we need to do this, we need to script it or write it.’ You just have to find a partner where they’ve done their work and you can just find an easy way of being with so that you feel it. You don’t just hear it in words or exposition, it’s just there in some casual ways you know. And then you know, you go straight to that scene with the bird. You know, it’s just small little ways that Amy was great. There’s just an ease, a trust almost, that you don’t need to tick all your boxes, you know. We’ll find it and not overdo it.
Amy Seimetz: And I think that’s also integral to how effective later it is and how tragic it is that they fall apart, it’s finding those lighter moments and establishing that there’s a real bond and they’re a real unit, so that later there’s something that you actually lose when you go into that dark period of time. You have to establish a relationship that is sweet and light, up and down, and good and bad, to see where they go and see what they lose at the end.
The Knockturnal: For a horror film it has some really great emotional beats. Talk about some of those really emotional scenes without giving a lot away, and finding the heart in it. There’s some great crying stuff going on.
Jason Clarke: It opens with a house, I mean you’ve got the horror, but you’ve also got the house, family moving in, change. There are all these language beats that come to us from thousands of genre films that speak to us because we know what’s coming. And then you’ve got your serious, serious scares. And I love that it leans into laughter at times because laughter is a natural emotion when you’re shocked. You’ll just laugh at the stupidest situations because you’ve got to open up and let something out.
The Knockturnal: Some of the scary scenes, there are a lot of scary scenes, but some of the scary scenes involve the children. Talk about working with them, and was it scary for you working with them in a horror way?
Amy Seimetz: Well Jete is amazing, she’s a real pro. I’m gonna say it again Jason, she’s more of a professional than we are. [Laughs] So she’s great and she can handle anything. She just dives right in. Not only is she technically amazing, but emotionally she just goes for it and just jumps right in physically and emotionally. So with her, it was like acting with another professional. With the children, with the boys that were playing gage, it’s very interesting to be working with like, they were 2 years old when we were working – three, yeah. With some of that horror, it’s interesting to see the way they process things. It was never the zombies that they were disturbed by, I think they were disturbed by the emotional side of seeing adults cry, and –
Jason Clarke: Freaked out. But you know you use them as you need them. Most of the time when you go through it you’ll be surprised how little they need it, you know, and when you show them. It becomes, you know, an experience where they looked on.