While the young actor has been steadily working since 2016, for many of us, Azhy Robertson came to the forefront of our attention as the child caught between Charlie and Nicole Barber in last year’s critically acclaimed Marriage Story. Since the film’s release, you might have seen him in HBO’s The Plot Against America. Now you’ll get to see him in Jacob Chase’s COME PLAY, a horror film that focuses on Oliver, a lonely young boy who feels different from everyone else and accidentally attracts the attention of a monster.
For the release of COME PLAY, I had the chance to chat with Azhy Robertson, where we discussed how he related with his character Oliver, how writer/director Jacob Chase helped him prepare for the role, and what his favorite horror manga is.
Hi Azhy, thank you so much for speaking with me today! To start things off, what interested you in playing Oliver, and were there things that you could easily relate to with him?
Azhy Robertson: First and foremost, I really like SpongeBob, just like Oliver [laughs]. I just thought it was really cool playing someone who’s on the spectrum which is generally a community that isn’t really represented in media at all, with a few exceptions. Representing someone on the spectrum was very appealing to me because I feel like I wanted to do a very good job and present myself well and authentically.
How was it working with writer/director Jacob Chase and how did he help you prepare for the role?
Azhy Robertson: Yeah, he helped a lot. He gave me very specific directions and understood what I was doing which kind of helped. Before I was filming, he arranged for me to go to a few schools with kids on the spectrum there. I went to the Rebecca School and when I was there I sat in on some of the classes and observed some of the characteristics that were shared between some of the kids. Cause you know, if you’ve met one kid with autism you’ve met one kid with autism. They’re not all the same. So I just wanted to observe these shared characteristics between them.
In the film, Gillian Jacobs and John Gallagher Jr., play your parents. How was it working with them?
Azhy Robertson: It was amazing. It’s a really horrifying film when you see it, but off set it was like a comedy. We talked a bunch about stuff like video games, movies, TV shows, music, all that sort of cool stuff. It was really great working with there.
As you mentioned above, COME PLAY is very much a horrifying film. That said, are you a fan of scary movies?
Azhy Robertson: Well, I haven’t really seen that many. I feel like the only horror movie I’ve really seen is Poltergeist. I’m a huge scaredy-cat but I read horror manga. One of my favorites is “Uzumaki” by Junji Ito which is like, the definitive horror manga that whenever someone thinks of what horror manga is they think of that usually. I felt like that gave me chills without being like too terrifying. I want to find a healthy balance [laughs].
COME PLAY arrives in theaters on October 30, 2020.
Disclaimer/Editor’s Note: Nightmarish Conjurings doesn’t endorse seeing movies in theaters at this time due to the pandemic. Please consider VOD and/or Drive-In options and, if you go to the theater, please be safe.