Oculus takes part in both the present and the past, showing us Tim and Kaylie as children and adults in their struggle against the Lasser Glass. For the latest in our Q&A series, we spoke with Garrett Ryan, who plays the younger version of Tim in this movie, and he told us about playing this character and his experience on set:

Garrett, thank you for taking the time to talk with us about your new movie, Oculus. For starters, could you tell us what it was like acting on a horror movie set? Were there any particular scary moments during filming that you experienced?

Garrett Ryan: Thank you for having me. The sets of horror films are very fun to be on. But surprisingly, it’s never scary to film a horror movie and you can never really tell how terrifying the final product will be. But when I watched the movie at the premiere, it was a completely different story. Even though I know exactly what is going to happen, I was still completely scared.

Actress Annalise Basso plays your sister in the film. What was it like creating a brother-sister bond with Annalise onscreen in both calm and terrifying scenes?

Garrett Ryan: We became friends very early on in the filming process which allowed our brother sister relationship to be much more natural. She was also an amazing actress and we always seemed to be on the same page for emotion in terrifying scenes.

You play the younger version of the character Tim Russell, and your co-star Brenton Thwaites plays an older version of Tim. Did you and Brenton ever talk about playing the same character, and if so, can you tell us about that collaboration?

Garrett Ryan: We talked to each other along with the director Mike Flanagan about a week before shooting about how our character would handle the intense situations we are both in. This allowed our reactions to be more similar.

Tim faces some very scary, traumatizing situations. Was it fun for you to play a character facing the dark forces of the Lasser Glass?

Garrett Ryan: I had a blast! That [the trauma] was something that I wanted to stress while playing the role. If I could make my fear of the mirror more believable, it would make the audience fear it. If we could make the audience feel like this mirror is alive and that it is it's own entity, then the movie is made right there.

Did you do anything special to prepare for the role of Tim Russell? Was it difficult getting in the mindset of being terrified?

Garrett Ryan: I definitely wanted to immerse myself in this character who had some rather large shoes to fill. I always had to think how I would react if I was this character to get a more natural fear.

On the set of Oculus, you acted alongside the talented Katee Sackhoff, who plays your mom, and the accomplished Rory Cochrane, who plays your dad. Did this experience enhance your own acting? Did you learn anything from them?

Garrett Ryan: Everyone in the cast was incredible and I think we all made each other better, Rory and Katee both brought so much to the movie and I learned a lot from them. Everyone in the cast brought their all to the movie and I don't think the final product of the film would have been the same without the cast we had.

Oculus has many supernatural scares in it. Do you have any favorite supernatural horror movies or television shows?

Garrett Ryan: My favorite horror/supernatural movie is The Shining. I love Jack Nicholson's gradual progress to insanity.

With Oculus set to get a wide United States release on April 11th, what projects do you have on-deck that you’re excited about?

Garrett Ryan: I am the lead of Nickelodeon’s first Digital/Web series "Junior Eye". It is about a team of 6th grade detectives in their Junior High School. Kids in the school come to us with secrets and mysteries that need to be solved and we get on the case. I play the role of Everett Tibbles who is the leader and Sherlock Holmes, if you will, of the group. He is the one to find little details that will eventually crack the case wide open.

For our readers interested in keeping up with you online, what’s the best way to follow you?

Garrett Ryan: The best way to follow me is on Twitter and Instagram both at: @garrettryan10
Thanks for having me!

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.