Exclusive: 10 Questions with Garrett Ryan of Oculus
In the upcoming horror movie Oculus (review), Garret Ryan is relentlessly tormented by Katee Sackhoff. Not a bad gig, right? But let me tell you… this is not the sexy Starbuck "Battlestar Galactica" Sackhoff...
...and it’s certainly not the glamour gal of magazine fashion spreads and red carpet events…
In Oculus the buxom blonde is reduced to a frothing, clawing, lunatic mom who’s out to kill her daughter, Kaylie (Annalise Basso), and son, Tim (Ryan); and she will stop at nothing.
When it comes to life vs. death, Tim must take matters into his own hands. But just because crazy-mom is dead, it doesn’t mean she’s gone!
Read on to see what Garrett has to say about that and more.
Dread Central: We'd love to know all about Oculus -- who do you play, and what's the story?
Garret Ryan: I play the role of young Tim Russell. The movie is about a haunted mirror that has mentally and physically destroyed every family who has owned it. When the family is found dead, no one ever expects the mirror; it’s auctioned off to a new family, and the cycle continues. The movie takes place in two timelines, present and past. In my timeline (past), it shows how the mirror affected our family where the older versions of us (present) come back to kill it so no families can be further harmed. My character is an innocent boy who is trying really hard to be courageous and brave.
DC: This is hardly your first rodeo. You’ve worked a lot! So, how does working on TV series and movies differ from a daily soap opera [Ryan was in "The Young and the Restless"]? What's your favorite?
GR: All three are completely different. The main difference is pacing. A soap opera is extremely fast-paced, filming 40-50 scenes a day in contrast to 2-6 for a movie, and 4-10 for television. On soap operas, you will often get a rehearsal and one take to film a scene; then they move on to the next. I would have to say that my favorite style of filming is movies. I love how you have the time to immerse yourself in a character. Also, you get to perform with different casts every movie. On Oculus, we all became friends very early on in the filming process, so our family in the movie became much more natural.
DC: We know you were in the movie, but what did you think the first time you saw Insidious 2 as a completed film?
GR: The first time I saw the movie was actually at the premiere. I was jumping out of my seat the entire time. I've always been easily scared and watching Insidious was no exception.
DC: Describe James Wan in three words.
GR: Loves his craft.
DC: What's one of the most fun or crazy fan experiences you've had at a horror convention or online?
GR: People on YouTube started making videos of me on all of my birthdays celebrating all of my acting for that year. This really stood out to me not only because they took the time to find out my birthday, but they posted them exactly on the midnight before my birthday!
Related Story: Mike Flanagan Reflects on the Horrors of Oculus
DC: What's the scariest thing about Oculus, and should kids watch it?
GR: The scariest thing about Oculus is how it plays with your mind. You get so immersed in an intense false reality and you never know what truly is real. It was beautifully directed by Mike Flanagan and he really captured that claustrophobic aspect of the film. I encourage anyone to go watch the film who is up to the task because you're definitely in for a wild ride.
DC: What is your favorite horror movie or story?
GR: My favorite horror film is The Shining. I love this movie in particular because you can clearly see the gradual progression to insanity in Jack Nicholson's character.
DC: Who's the most memorable actor you've ever worked with?
GR: The most memorable actor I've worked with is Peter Bergman, who played my dad on "The Young and the Restless." He was always nice and greeted me every day with a smile. He helped me when I was new on the show and became a mentor of mine for the next couple years.
DC: What's the one kind of role you haven't played yet - but want to?
GR: I have always wanted to play the role of an insane person. It would be very challenging but I would love to take on the role. It would allow me to do a lot of research and prepare for an exciting character that I am unfamiliar with. I would get the chance to transform myself into a different person.
DC: What are your future horror or thriller projects?
GR: Hopefully an Oculus 2!
Karen Gillan ("Doctor Who," Not Another Happy Ending), Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent, The Giver), Rory Cochrane (Argo, Parkland), and Katee Sackhoff ("Battlestar Galactica," Riddick) star.
Oculus is directed by Mike Flanagan from a script he co-wrote with Jeff Howard, based on a short film Flanagan and Jeff Seidman made in 2005. Trevor Macy (Safe House, The Strangers, The Raven) and Marc D. Evans (Safe House, The Strangers, The Raven) produced the film, and Jason Blum, Ryan Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley, Anil Kurian, D. Scott Lumpkin, Peter Schlessel, Dale Johnson, Glenn Murray, Julie May, and Mike Ilitch, Jr., serve as executive producers.
Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents’ deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. Determined to prove Tim’s innocence, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again…
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