“It was either going to be a disaster or really work…” - hmv.com talks to Unfriended’s Jacob Wysocki
Of all the movies released in 2015, nothing will scare you in quite the same way as Unfriended. Produced by Blumhouse, the same production company that has given us Sinister, Paranormal Activity and Insidious, the movie follows a group of online chat room friends who find themselves haunted by a mysterious person using the account of their dead friend, a mysterious person that seems to have great and deadly power.
As the movie comes to DVD (it’s out on Monday and available to pre-order on the right-hand side of the page), we called up Jacob Wysocki, who plays the role of Ken Smith, to talk about the claustrophobic way the film was shot and why he really had to sweat to get in character…
(Be warned, not only is the movie terrifying, but there are minor spoilers in this interview…)
What attracted you to this movie?
“It was the concept, the movie that doesn’t cut, that takes places on six screens all at once, I was very interested. It was either going to be a disaster or really work, the concept was too out there for the outcome to be anything else.”
So how did you make the movie?
“We all filmed in a house, everybody was in separate rooms with all the computers hard wired into each other and we were all on this fake Skype software and we were acting and interacting with each other on that. It was very genuine, we were all plugged in, we had earpieces on and the director would be in our ear the whole time, advising and keeping us going.”
That sounds very intense…
“Absolutely. It’s the most unique filming experience I’ll ever have, it’s like doing a play, we only ever did full takes of the whole movie, no scenes here and there, it was long hours, but it really added to the performances. It asked a lot of us as actors, but that was great.”
It must have been exhausting though, there’s a reason you only do a play once a day, twice at the most…
“Oh yeah, it was. Also most of the actors were in this air-conditioned house and they ran out of room so they had to put me in this shed, it had no air conditioning, it was so hot, we were filming right by the desert too, it was a very wild and sweaty experience.”
Did that mean the director would end up delivering loads of notes when you’d finished filming a take?
“We’d do a take, we’d all step outside and have these long talks about what we needed to fix, but Leo (Gabriadze - director) and Nelson (Greaves - writer) were in our ears the whole time, so they were able to manage it pretty well.”
A lot’s been made of the film’s take on cyberbullying, what was your take on that?
“I grew up in the digital age, so I knew about it and I knew that this movie was dealing with it, but I think this is more of a heightened take on what could happen. I don’t see this movie as a statement, they’re using aspects of that to tell a story. We’re not making a point.”
Finally, who do you think has the best death in the movie?
“I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I think my death is pretty great. You definitely don’t see it coming…”
Unfriended is released on DVD on Monday (September 7th)