Noah Segan has been popping up everywhere over the last year. He appeared in Knives Out in a scene-stealing role (my mom affectionately calls him the “tiny cop” in the movie, so that’s been a great source of joy for me), he also recently directed a segment in the horror anthology Scare Package, and now he’s playing a cowboy who must take on a coven of witches for Aaron B. Koontz’s The Pale Door, which heads to theaters this weekend and will also be available to stream on VOD and Digital Platforms as well, courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

Daily Dead recently spoke with Segan about his involvement with The Pale Door, and he discussed his experiences collaborating with both Koontz as well as his fellow co-stars, the fun of getting to transform himself into a cowboy and how he hopes to add the title of “feature film director” to his resume in 2021.

So great to speak with you, Noah. You’ve been having a great run lately and I was really excited that you were also involved with Scare Package as a filmmaker, which is really rad. Obviously, you've known Aaron for a few years now, so I'm guessing it was an easy yes to saying you wanted to come on board this project then? 

Noah Segan: When you're lucky enough to get, whatever, a third or a fourth call from somebody to work with them again, you pick up the phone, and Aaron is a close friend of mine now. We've become very close and we share so many of the same interests and love westerns and we love horror movies and we love Joe Lansdale. So, to watch him put this thing together, even as a pal, you're thinking, "Okay, what can I do?" And then he was really gracious in saying, "Well, you can do this man. Come and play your instruments here with this great group of people.” This film really did continue that sentiment of being with your friends at summer camp that you always want to have when you’re working on a project. Everybody wants that.

You mentioned working alongside of the cast, and there are so many fun personalities that come through in this movie. Was there a ton of comradely on set and did you all just click once you started working together? 

Noah Segan: You know, when Stan Shaw and Melora Walters show up, you're in awe because these are people who you've been a fan of and you've known your whole life. And to an equal degree, somebody like Bill Sage, who has been in so many Hal Hartley movies, and I'm such a huge fan of his work and of Hal's work. And then of course, Zach, who is a buddy of mine, but he's also in Happy Endings, one of the best shows of the last however many years.

So you're in awe and you're on your best behavior, but you're also like, "Wait a minute. This means that we can do this guys, we have the tools, we can knock this out." So there is a real sense of comradely there, but that also exists on a bigger movie when you're there and you're with Jamie Lee Curtis and Daniel Craig and LaKeith Stanfield, and you're like, "Well, I guess we've got what we need to get this one done, too." You know what I mean? You just really hope that you hit your mark and know your lines. 

Was it fun to take it all back to the days of westerns and peel away the razzle dazzle of modern technology to explore this era from hundreds of years ago?

Noah Segan: Oh, yeah. It's like a real sandbox and little kid Halloween shit. It forces you to go back to that place where you just thought anything was possible where you're playing cowboys with your friends and then somebody decides to throw a witch into the mix. And there's something really freeing about that. I hope that the fun that we had bringing that to you is there. I hope we can illustrate a little bit of that joy of playing dress up as much as we're scaring and there's wild stunts and gags and just insane shit. I just really hope that it can also just it brings a little bit of escapism to people who want to get out.

Absolutely. And I think especially right now, it just feels like having diversions, especially through entertainment, just feels like such a lifeline right now. proves the point that, yes, everything sucks and there's obviously way more important things to be worried about, but just having a way to escape for two hours is really crucial and it's just nice that if nothing else, we're still getting films to get us through this stuff.

Noah Segan: Aaron was with Greg [MacLennan], who's an old friend of mine from Austin. He’s an editor. We were able to bring this out quick and I hope that there's a sentiment of doing our small part to bring people more and more entertainment, because as crazy as things are and as much as people are struggling, and I really hope you're not struggling witches in a brothel, but I hope everyone can find that to be an escape from the very real challenges that we’re all experiencing day-to-day. 

I wanted to ask you, because obviously you've known Aaron for quite a while now and you've worked with him in different capacities, too. How different was it working with him as your director or was it just business as usual because you guys have developed this relationship over the last seven or eight years now? And I can't even believe it's been that long already.

Noah Segan: I know. Tell me about it (laughs). When I look in the mirror, I'm like, "Oh my gosh, what happened? I was a cute kid and now I'm a dad." But that being said, making movies when you're working with a filmmaker, especially somebody like Aaron who wears a hundred different hats and does them all seamlessly, it's a real benevolent dictatorship. And to say that you can put your trust in the guy and hopefully it turns out differently than most dictatorships. I think it does. But you know, it's the best case scenario where you have a leader who is bringing people together. And whether it was Scare Package or his previous film Camera Obscura or Starry Eyes, which he produced, it's always been about him doing what you hope, which is asking you what do you need. What do you need to do your job well? And then he gives it to you. It's a really gracious, generous, pleasant way to do your thing. It makes you want to just be there with him and hop on the horse.

One last question before we go. You directed one of the segments in Scare Package, and I was wondering if we're going to be seeing more from you as a director in the future?

Noah Segan: Oh no. You're not getting rid of me that easily. I'm putting the pedal to the metal and really trying to drive a movie over to you guys that I wrote. I hate to be that obtuse, vague guy but obviously you work with people that you love and you want to continue to work with them. So I don't think anybody's going to be surprised to see that I hope to be working with some folks that are familiar, and it’ll happen hopefully next year. Then I'll be able to add feature film director to my resume along with “tiny cop” and cowboy (laughs).

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.