WELCOME THE STRANGER is the new supernatural thriller from writer/director Justin Kelly. The film tells the story of Ethan (Caleb Landry Jones) and his estranged sister Alice (Abbey Lee) who attempt to reconnect in a mysterious house. When Ethan’s mesmerizing girlfriend Misty (Riley Keough) shows up, things get really weird. Nightmarish Conjurings recently had the opportunity to speak with Riley Keough about WELCOME THE STRANGER!
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi, Riley! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today!
Riley Keough: Of course!
Nightmarish Conjurings: For those who may not be familiar with WELCOME THE STRANGER, can you tell us a little bit about the movie and your character Misty?
RK: It’s basically about a brother and a sister who are estranged and they have some sort of issues going on. It’s sort of them trying to have a reconciliation and there’s a weird vibe and my character comes in and she’s a bit more grounding. I think it’s really a brother and a sister trying to sort through something with some paranoia and weird mental issues (laughs).
Nightmarish Conjurings: What was it about Justin Kelly’s script that interested you in the role?
RK: I actually met with him about another film and he was just somebody that I was interested in working with and it’s a close circle and we have the same manager so I said, we should find something to do in the summer because I have a month off. He wrote the script very quickly and we shot it a few weeks later (laughs), so it was sort of like an experimental project. We spoke on the phone and said, let’s do something, and we ended up in New York shooting it and he cast Abbey, who is my best friend, and Caleb, and it was a fun summer.
Nightmarish Conjurings: I was going to ask about that. What was your experience like working so closely with Abbey Lee and Caleb Landry Jones?
RK: It was great. I love Abbey, my best friend, so obviously working together was an experience. Her and Caleb had started before me, so they had kind of gotten into their vibe, I guess, without me, which was probably a good thing because I’m supposed to be an outsider. They started doing their own thing and getting into their own world and it was fun.
Nightmarish Conjurings: . The film has an ethereal vagueness that is slightly disturbing and uncomfortable, which allows the viewer to come to their own conclusions about the film. Is there anything in particular you wish for the audience to know about your character so as to shine a light on who she really is?
RK: I think it’s a moment of being grounded. It’s a film where you get to get lost in these two characters and you have a point of view coming in that’s like, hey, what’s going on here. I think it’s very much up to your interpretation. That was kind of what Justin wanted to do.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Are there any upcoming projects you are working on that we should be keeping our eyes out for?
RK: I just finished a film called The Lodge, which I shot in Montreal. It’s sort of a psychological thriller I guess. I guess it’s genre. You never know how things are going to turn out. I’ve been doing a lot of scary movies recently (laughs) and I really like that genre. It’s been fun for me. I think I’m going to take a break now for a minute (laughs), because I did like four films in a row! I’ve got a couple of films coming out this year.
Nightmarish Conjurings: I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us!
RK: Thank you!
WELCOME THE STRANGER is now available on digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.