Interview: Elijah Wood on MANIAC, Horror, and Serial Killers

Last week, we were invited to a special premiere party of MANIAC at Times Scare in NYC. We got to chat with Elijah Wood for a few minutes about horror. Check it out below.

ManiacThe new MANIAC remake has people talking. Despite many of the remakes failing to live up to their original versions, MANIAC has proven to be a shining example of a fantastic remake. You can view my spoiler-free review of MANIAC here. Despite his current interest in horror, Elijah Wood is mostly known for his roles in movies such as LORD OF THE RINGS, THE GOOD SON, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF A SPOTLESS MIND, GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS, and most recently his starring role on TV show WILFRED. He’s known for quirky, often strange roles and most people don’t think of him as a “horror actor.” However, after seeing MANIAC you will change your mind. Elijah’s stunning and very eery performance leaves you weary of all strangers, especially ones that are socially awkward.

 

When we got the opportunity to chat with Elijah, we started off our conversation with something a little more close to home to him rather than MANIAC.

TD: Tell us about your production company, The Woodshed, that you started. What can we expect to see from you?

EW: We are actually going to production on our first feature film this summer, in July, its called COOTIES. It was written Leigh Wannell who wrote Saw and Insidious, and Ian Brennan who wrote Glee. Its a horror comedy about a zombie virus that effects little children in an Elementary School. Thats our first original production that is going into production soon. We co-produced a movie thats in post right now called THE GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, which is an Iranian black and white  Vampire film in Farsi. Its so beautiful. We also have a film festival too, which is called NIGHTMARE CITY with CINEFAMILY in LA. We acquired a movie that is coming out in October that Exploitation is distributing called TOAD ROAD, which is primarily a documentary about a group of teenagers who experiment with drug use and it barrels out of control and that part of the movie is real. Woven into the narrative is the fictional element which is based on this myth of this place called Toad Road, which is basically these various gates that go into a forest which represents a gate to Hell. It pushes the boundaries of what we consider a horror movie. It really kind of exemplifies what our production company is about.

 

TD: You’re known for quirky roles and your role in Lord of the Rings. How do you think your fans will accept something as jarring as MANIAC?

EW: Well, its not for everybody. I accept there are fans of horror, and those who don’t like it at all. I’m hoping the ones that see this are ones that want to see a horror movie. Im sure there will be people that are fans of my other work that will see it and it will be disturbing for them. But its made for horror fans. But I also think in some ways we’ve made something that isn’t exactly polarizing to just fans of the genre, I feel like its really beautiful and artfully made movie, and I think people outside of the genre can certainly appreciate it.

 

TD: How did you prepare for your role physically, mentally, emotionally?

EW: There wasn’t a huge amount of preparation. I think I was mainly concerned with how the character would look like. Because the character is seen so rarely in the film, it was important that he look different from me and skirted some balance between approachable and non-approachable. So I cut my hairline back and worked with makeup artist to make him pale. He’s very anti-social and hermitic. As far as the characterization, I’ve done some research on serial killers. I’m fascinated by their psychology–Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Ed Geen. All that was playing in the back of my mind while filming.

 

 

MANIAC is now in theaters and available on IFC on Demand.

 

 

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