Last weekend, co-writer/director Adam Mason’s tale of home invasion terror, Hangman, premiered during the 2015 SXSW Film Festival and Daily Dead had the opportunity to speak with the film’s star, Jeremy Sisto (Clueless, Wrong Turn, May) about his role in the project, co-producing the film and what he enjoys most about working in the horror genre.
How are you feeling today, after the big premiere last night?
Jeremy Sisto: It was good, I feel good. It was a little intense though because this is the first time I’ve really sort of stepped behind-the-scenes so to be a producer on this made me feel that much more responsible for it. It was kind of unsettling to leave an audience with that kind of darkness; it ends in such a disturbing way that this was a whole new experience for me.
How did you get involved with Hangman at the start- and what made you decide you wanted to pull double duty on this film?
Jeremy Sisto: I’ve known Adam Mason and his writing partner for some time. Adam directed a video music project that I was a part of and I was excited by what he could do on that with just a camera and some light. And I became a big fan of his writing with Simon (Boyes) and so when they came to me and asked me if I wanted to act and produce Hangman with them, I was thrilled. Then when I read the script, I wasn’t exactly 100 percent sure of what I was looking for just because I’m not that well-versed in the horror genre.
But I liked it; I saw that it was something that we could do for not a lot of money and that excited me because sometimes it’s fun to just make a movie without having to go through all the stuff you have to go through when you’re working on a studio film. And Adam is known for his low-budget movies so I was excited to have that rub off on me bit.
It seems like the horror genre has turned inwards a bit lately, as in the fact that we’re seeing a lot of stories that take place within our own homes. Do you see that as a reflection of where we are at as a society today- that the only real place left that we have that is sacred is our homes and the only thing to fear is someone coming in and destroying that space? And was that something that was conscientious to you guys while you were working on Hangman at all?
Jeremy Sisto: That’s a really interesting question. I think it was probably something more of a lucky accident for us than anything. I feel like the intention at the beginning of this story was probably more in line with Adam wanting to do something that was completely contained but still create an environment that haunts you as a viewer.
But I do think in the lives that we lead having that huge safety net that we create out of our homes is important and when that gets violated, it can be really intense. I think we all recognize that there is pure evil in this world- in whatever form you believe in- and we spend most of our lives hoping that that kind of evil doesn’t show up on our front doors one day.
You mentioned earlier that you aren’t necessarily well-versed in the horror genre but you have actually starred in several great horror films throughout your career. In the same token, you have also stayed consistently busy in the industry for 20 years now- is the secret to that keeping yourself open to diverse projects so that you are trying new things all the time?
Jeremy Sisto: Yeah, and I’d say a big part of that is that I have been very, very lucky in my career and I’ve been fortunate to have been offered great projects in every possible genre out there. There’s really no genre I don’t enjoy and being a part of horror, especially, is really cool for me because you can tell really interesting stories in very unconventional ways.