CS Interview: Andi Matichak about son and love for horror subgenres
With the Chiller continuing to receive positive reviews from critics, ComingSoon.net had the opportunity to chat with rising star Andi Matichak (Halloween) to discuss her latest work in the horror genre son and their love of returning to the world of horror thanks to its different subgenres.
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ComingSoon.net: So Son is a really thematically interesting film and also has some great horrors. But what really attracted you to the project?
Andi Matichak: One of the things that interested me most about the project was the group of people that it had. Ivan Kavanagh is an amazing storyteller and someone I was really excited with, as well as his production partner AnneMarie Naughton and Rene Bastian and Louis Tisné between the group of producers that we had. You know, they have pretty eclectic films on their résumés and that’s why it felt really exciting for me to work with them to bring something like this to life.
CS: How was it for you to take Laura into your hearts for the film?
AT THE: What I wanted to focus on the most, which luckily was all natural, was just the relationship she has with David and the relationship I built with Luke David Blumm who plays my son who is absolutely amazing is the film, let alone in everything it does. He’s going to have an amazing career, only we’ll become really good friends. And for this film to stand and work, so to speak, you have to have this connection and this chemistry. And luckily I think we did.
CS: Well, that answers my next question.[Lacht]What was it like building up chemistry with Emile back then?[Laughs}WhatwasitthenlikebuildingthechemistrywithEmile?[Laughs}WhatwasitthenlikebuildingthechemistrywithEmile?
AT THE: You know, Emile is such a professional. He’s been doing this for so long and he’s had so much experience working with so many different people and so many different directors. He is incredibly well versed in his approach and was so fun to work with. Each setting was completely different from the last and while still keeping an eye on the structure of the story and still going from point A to point B so that each setting could have been feasible, you know? He was just very, very fun to work with and I was really looking forward to my scenes with him, even though I didn’t have too many. I wish I had more just because working with him was so refreshing, being an actor so playful as to turn it upside down and just go with what’s going on in the present moment and pretty fun and is incredible.
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CS: So since you described part of the filmmaking process in this case as being related to the moment and the huge effort involved in collaboration, would you say that there was some kind of improvisation on your part that was assigned by Ivan?
AT THE: You know, especially working with Luke was so much fun that he wanted to hold on to our relationship as it was in life. You know, a lot of the time he just let us talk into scenes and was just already in a place where we hang out as friends, but then all of a sudden we get right into the scene in a pretty organic way. And again, as long as you follow the structure of the story and move from point A to point B and certain things happen, he was pretty open to whether something felt wrong on the tongue or you know you wanted to turn it on to get a new reaction or to dive into a new angle of the scene. He was very open to what was really liberating as an actor.
CS: What would you say were some of your greatest creative challenges in this film?
AT THE: Hmm. I mean, without giving away any spoilers, I’d say it was difficult to find nuances in Laura while she remained a reliable narrator in the psychological thriller and horror genre. I mean, you always want to risk the audience being one step ahead and it was very important to all of us to try to take the audience with you on our journey instead of being one step ahead. That was something pretty difficult and we spent a lot of time trying to achieve it.
CS: Gotcha, okay. The role seemed to have real physicality too, especially in the earlier parts of the film. What was it like exploring these elements alongside the psychological elements?
AT THE: You know, I grew up an athlete and it has always been very helpful to use my body and work to feel as grounded and connected as possible. And I love physical challenges, of course, running around with a 10 year old or an 8 year old, Luke’s 10 in real life and it’s not like running with a 10 year old is the easiest thing to do, but it adds a lot to that Movie, and it puts you in a different mindset too. I love the challenges of making this film just from the point of view of the psychological, mental and emotional stress and challenges that you have. But I think the physical is just as important to the story.
CS: So we’ve seen you a few times before in the horror genre and we’re preparing to see you even more in the future. What do you find about the genre that really brings you back to it over and over again?
AT THE: Hmm. You know, I think one of the things that is really interesting about horror is that there are so many subgenres within the genre of horror and there are so many different paths to go and different types, stories and different Kinds of Stories to Tell You can tell I am really fascinated by this. You can have very nuanced films that are very different from one to the other, and I mean, I would say son is wildly different than Halloween and Halloween is wildly different than son. And even the second Halloween is very different from the first, you know? So it’s a lot of fun making these films. On top of that, just the horror community is a pretty spectacular group of people and I was very special working with them.
CS: For many in the horror community, many of them see you transition from Halloween at this point, so essentially see you go from high school to young mom. How was it for you as an actor to manage this change of character?
AT THE: You know, I think it was a nice film to transition. The main reason for this is that you see Laura at 17 and she at 25 with an eight year old child. I think this juxtaposition of seeing her as a kid, pretty much who’s pregnant, then being a mother, who’s a pretty good mother, but she’s still figuring it out. I mean, she’s still a child herself in many ways. It felt like a really good transition of a movie and of course it’s nice to play a role that has a lot of depth and is mom and it was just really exciting for me to dive into both arenas in the same movie.
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After a mysterious group of people broke into Laura’s house and tried to steal their eight-year-old son David, the two flee the city in search of safety. Shortly after the failed kidnapping, David becomes extremely ill and suffers from increasingly sporadic psychoses and convulsions. Laura follows her maternal instinct to save him and does unspeakable acts to keep him alive. Soon she has to decide how far she is ready to save her son.
In addition to Matichak, Emile Hirsch (Once upon a time in Hollywood), Luke David Blumm (The King of Staten Island), Cranston Johnson (Hap and Leonard), Blaine Maye (dirt), J. Robert Spencer (Grave of the fireflies) and Rocco Sisto (Donnie Brasco).
son, written and directed by Ivan Kavanaugh, is now available in select cinemas as well as on digital platforms and VOD!