Interview: Amanda Wyss

In preparation for the release of Thommy Hutson's acclaimed thriller, THE ID, Ryan spoke with genre favorite and star of the film, Amanda Wyss.  The film centers around Meridith Lane (Wyss) who for decades has felt trapped in her home.  Surviving on memories of youth, she watches the years slip by while caring for her abusive father...until a figure from her past makes a surprising return.  In order to live the life she desires, Meridith must confront her father's monstrous cruelty and attempt to escape his tyrannical grip.  But the man who controls her every move won't let go without a fight, leading father and daughter into a series of desperate and irreversible acts.  As Meridith's psyche is slowly pushed to the breaking point, the line between fantasy and reality is hopelessly blurred.  With strangers prying at the door and the walls of her childhood home closing in.  Meridith spirals into a frightening world of paranoia, madness... and violence. 

Ryan Wilkins: First and foremost, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day for us. I loved THE ID, it's absolutely one of the better thrillers that I've seen in recent years.  What initially drew you to this project? 

Amanda Wyss: It's nice to chat with you, so glad you liked our movie!  Thommy Hutson approached me and asked me to read the script with the role of Meridith in mind.  I was drawn to the rawness of the story and the challenge of playing such a complex character. 

RW: In my review I talked about how I believe that your performance carried the film.  It was raw, real and seemed like it was coming from a place that was very close to home for you. What was it like playing a role like Meridith, and where did you draw inspiration?  Did you have any exercises to help get you into the right frame of mind to play Meridith? 

AW: Sometimes I put on my headphones and listen to music for inspiration.  My intention with Meridith was to keep her grounded and truthful.  

RW: I've read in various articles that you actually knew Thommy Hutson before this project. I'm sure that it's always a relief getting to work with someone that you are already acquainted with, but please tell us what it was like working with him.

AW: Working with Thommy was fantastic.  I've known him for years, Heather Langenkamp introduced us.  We had a mind meld while making this movie.  

RW: Is it difficult working on a film that is not only filmed in a single location, but is primarily made up of a two person cast?  Throughout most of the film, almost every scene relies on Meridith's interactions with her father, played by Patrick Peduto.  How was it working with Patrick? 

AW: The house felt claustrophobic, it was hot and cramped.  It worked well for the mood and tone of the film.  Patrick is a hard worker and a really nice man.  He and I dove into our roles of father and daughter.  It was intense!

RW: You've certainly made your home in the horror genre, coming from one of the most iconic horror films of all time.  You've had the opportunity to see the genre grow and change over the past couple decades, what has it been like working in the industry throughout those changes?

AW: I love making movies and I'm lucky to be a part of the experiment!

RW: How does working with this generation of horror film makers compare with those 20 years ago? 

AW: A talented filmmaker transcends time.  A well written script, a great role for me to sink my teeth into, and a good director are ageless. 

RW: Well again, thank you so much for speaking with me today and for those of you interested in checking out Amanda Wyss' latest film, THE ID, it is now available on Blu-ray.