Prior to Friday’s release of MIDNIGHTERS, Shannon had the chance to speak with the always amazing Alex Essoe about her character Lindsey, being duct-taped to a chair, and acting alongside Ward Horton.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Thank you so much for speaking with us Alex! To start things off can you tell us a little bit about your character Lindsey and what interested you in the for MIDNIGHTERS?
Alex Essoe: Lindsey was a challenge because a lot of the things that are going on with her she doesn’t wear on her sleeve, she internalizes everything which is why she is kind of a doormat and why she doesn’t really have strong connections to anyone in her life. What I loved about that is it was tragic but also the very thing that leads to the distinct shift in her psyche halfway through the film. It makes it easier for her to be like “Okay, I’m on my own again”, its as though it finally clicks to her that she is the only person she can trust or rely on that’s a very tough lesson for her to learn.
Nightmarish Conjurings: What type of research did you do to get into the mind of Lindsey and did director Julius Ramsay give you pointers on how he wanted the character to be?
AE: Yeah, he absolutely did. We had many, lengthy discussions about Lindsey because there’s so much raw material there and so much you can fill in that’s not explicitly spelled out. For me, I felt that knowing her history would be the most important thing about her so I visited trailer parks to see where she would have grown up and what it is that she wouldn’t survived and what the culture was that she felt alienated from. It’s voluntary alienation, but still, I would look for the sort of situations or environments or experiences that she would have felt apart from. That was the thing that interested me most about her, this renascence to even form connections with people. She’s not great at expressing herself and she doesn’t know how to really ask for what she wants. She doesn’t really show up for herself which leads her to let other people make decisions. These are all qualities that a lot of people have, that they beat themselves up about and have chips on their shoulders about. I thought it was important to bring enough truth to that quality of a person because no matter what she does I still believe at the bottom of it all she’s a good person and didn’t do anything to deserve the situations that she found herself in.
Nightmarish Conjurings: The chemistry between you and Ward Horton was fantastic. What was it like working so closely with him, especially during some of the more difficult scenes?
AE: It was amazing, I mean he’s so present, he’s so right there with you. As soon as he walked on set he was like a predatory cat which made my job so much easier because all I had to do was react to him. It was really cool, he’s really one of those actors who’s willing to go into the dark place, into the dark forest, to see what’s in there. He’s extremely prepared and extremely professional but in the scenes with him its almost like it’s improvised. It was great, I really hope we get to work together again.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Were there any scenes in particular that were difficult to shoot?
AE: Being duct-taped to a chair in a cold basement was a bit of a challenge (laughs). There was one moment where our schedules got particularly grueling and I was just exhausted and I’m in the basement and I’m duct-taped to this chair and Julius is talking to myself and Ward. He’s giving us notes on the scene and discussing where we are going and the next thing I know I’m opening my eyes and Ward and Julius are both staring at me. I had fallen asleep sitting upright looking at both of them, my brain just checked out completely (laughs). I’m just sitting there with my eyes closed completely and my mouth hanging open.
Nightmarish Conjurings: I absolutely loved MIDNIGHTERS and thought it was a fantastic thriller but I also enjoyed how there were some great underlying themes such as distrust, loyalty, deception and lies. Is there anything you would like viewers to take away from this film?
AE: Be careful with who you trust and always ask to see identification before you let someone into your house (laughs). For me, there are practical lessons to gleam from this movie for self defense and what have you. Fire pokers also make a great self defense weapon, especially when you have little noodle arms like I do.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Last but not least, are you working on any future projects that we should be keeping our eyes out for?
AE: There are some things in the ether. I am recording an EP right now under the name Junior. It’s just six tracks and I’m not sure how I would explain it, it’s like evil folk music (laughs). Then I have a movie that should be coming out this year called THE DRONE which was directed by Jordan Rubin who directed ZOMBEAVERS. This film is also a horror/comedy, a different genre of horror but still very much in the comedy realm. I shot that with John Brotherton who was in THE CONJURING, FURIOUS 7 and “Fuller House.” I was really excited to do a film that was really funny.
MIDNIGHTERS is now out in select theaters as well as VOD and Digital HD.