Having made a name for himself in both the horror and drama film genres, actor Julian Sands has definitely made his mark in recent decades. I was introduced to him when I discovered the 1989 horror film, Warlock, and couldn’t help but be completely taken in by his performance. This, of course, instigated an adventure in checking out the rest of his filmography, where I then discovered Arachnophobia, Rose Red, and more.
With the latest installment to Blumhouse and Hulu’s Into the Dark anthology series titled A NASTY PIECE OF WORK, Sands returns to the horror genre in the role of Essex, the boss of Falconheart Enterprises who invites the protagonist to his home to discuss a new career opportunity. And Sands absolutely kills it.
For the release of the film, we had the opportunity to chat with Julian Sands where we discussed everything from what initially drew him to the project to what he thought people could take away from his character.
To start things off, for those who may not be familiar with your latest role as Essex, can you tell us a little bit about him?
Julian Sands: Essex is clever…rich…and sadistic..but with a playful, if depraved, sense of humor which he seems to share with his equally sick wife. They are like a couple of vampires living on their own terms for their own ends. He is kinky and crazy for sure, [and it was] a sheer delight to play him.
I have to say, it was so much fun watching you embody the role of Essex onscreen because you never knew what was going to happen next. What was it that drew you to the role of Essex?
Julian Sands: Well, I was drawn to the role for the reasons already given. He is Shakespearean in his scope. Funny, bright, subversive, and I hope sexy! He was panache and charm, as well as being sardonic and truel. Very good with words, with language, [which is] always a pleasure for this actor. His humor wasn’t necessarily intended by the writer to be accentuated as it is, but I saw the opportunity for his self-entertaining pleasure in his conduct. [It] would have been dull to play him straight and serious as he might have been. There was an opportunity for choices [and] I took them with glee.
My favorite moments from the film were honestly between you and Molly Hagan’s Kiwi and it was a treat to see where you guys would take the relationship dynamics next. That all being said, how was it working with the rest of the cast as well as with director Charles Hood?
Julian Sands: Molly [Hagan] and all were so collaborative. It was a true ensemble and Kyle [Howard], Dustin [Milligan], Angela [Sarafyan] and Natalie [Hall] were all game and on-board to make this as dynamic and surprising as we could. In terms of the relationship between Essex and his wife – we were trying, I think, to channel George and Martha [as] the abusive, dangerous, loving/hating couple in Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. For all their confrontations there is a deep bond of mutual understanding and nihilism.
If you were about to be given the opportunity of a lifetime, but you were told that you had to kill off your rival in order to obtain it, would you? And why?
Julian Sands: I personally would never consider such a proposition for a moment. Our ‘rivals’ are what keep us motivated and sharp. [They] keep us in the game, don’t you think? Rivals are seldom rivals, really. It is just a perception. We are all ultimately our unique selves plowing our own furrow. Essex, of course, would not hesitate to eliminate those who stand in his way, even though he would do it with both a smile and a crocodile tear.
Last but not least, what do you think people, especially employers, can learn from your character’s choices featured in this film?
Julian Sands: Well, people can learn not to work for Essex should he be revived for a sequel! I think it is also important to be able to say no. Don’t be tempted, don’t be greedy, that is what characters like Essex exploit, even if they do so in a very entertaining way for the audience.
Into the Dark‘s A NASTY PIECE OF WORK is now available to stream on Hulu and you can read our review here.