Recently released on VOD and in limited theaters is David Guy Levy’s wickedly brutal Would You Rather, and we caught up with co-star Sasha Grey to hear about her role in the thriller, what drew her to the project, working alongside her castmates, and much more.
The film follows a young woman (Brittany Snow) who shows up for a dinner party, only to be forced into a deadly game of Would You Rather alongside seven other guests hosted by twisted “philanthropist” Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs), who offers them all a handsome reward for surviving his game.
You’ll find the highlights of our exclusive interview with Grey below, and make sure to check out Would You Rather (review here) now that it’s been released (absolutely worth it).
Dread Central: What were your first impressions of the script for Would You Rather? Did Amy’s character and her particularly nasty “strategies” against her fellow contestants appeal to you since it seemed to be very against type for you?
Sasha Grey: You know, I loved the story; it was just so horrifying to read, and I really wasn’t sure just what direction they were going to go with it. But I dug the character because of that- because she was against type for me. I wanted to challenge myself with something different.
Then after I met with David, I knew he was going to make the movie that maybe people weren’t expecting, and I knew I wanted to do it because it was going to be something different. This wasn’t about shocking you necessarily; it was made to really make you think and maybe feel a little uncomfortable, too.
Dread Central: We get a sense in the movie that a lot of Amy’s “attitude” (as Lambrick puts it) is just a front and that’s she’s been through some incredibly rough things recently. I know we get a little bit of Amy’s backstory towards the end of the movie, but was there more going on?
Sasha Grey: Definitely. Everything about Amy was a front; sitting there in that room was a performance for her. She had so much pain and suffering in her life that she decided to embody the one person responsible for that pain – her husband – in that performance during the game. There’s definitely some truth to the things she says, but she also says a lot of things that aren’t as convincing, making it hard to read her at times. I really dug that duplicity.
Dread Central: I thought that the entire cast had such great chemistry in this; was that something you guys worked on ahead of time, or did that come from being contained together in essentially one space for most of the movie?
Sasha Grey: I think that dynamic really built up while on set; it was just the right chemistry across the board, and it was very fortunate for all of us that David really picked the perfect blend of actors for this movie. He was also great about giving us all our own little moments so there were a lot of hours spent around that table, but it was great. I think it only made the movie that much better because after a while everything felt natural- except the story of course.
Dread Central: Because you guys were stuck to that table for so long, was it hard keeping up the energy at all?
Sasha Grey: Sometimes it was. I think that was something we were all worried about coming into this- that maybe things could lag because people would be watching almost the same “scene” for most of the movie. David thankfully knew what he was doing because he really keeps the story and the characters interesting even though they’re not running around in the woods or anything like that. And I think that once we found our rhythm, it became easier and easier to keep that energy up between us. Plus, when you have all this talent in one place, it’s not hard to start feeding off other people’s energy, too.
In the wake of her parent’s death, Iris struggles to make ends meet while caring for her terminally ill younger brother. Shepard Lambrick, a seemingly philanthropic aristocrat, expresses an interest in helping them. When he invites her to an exclusive dinner party, she accepts. Also attending the dinner party are seven more desperate individuals. They soon find themselves trapped in Lambrick’s mansion and forced to play a sadistic game of Would You Rather, where the winner will be awarded untold amounts of money. As the game progresses, the dilemmas Iris and the other players face grow increasingly deadly.
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