Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Reportedly Blocked Jon Hamm From Starring In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Reportedly Blocked Jon Hamm From Starring In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Why Is It Suddenly Not OK To Have Been Gripped By 'The Jinx'? Why Is It Suddenly Not OK To Have Been Gripped By 'The Jinx'? New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Clive Owen Discusses Playing Fathers & Acting Alongside Ghosts In 'Intruders'

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist March 30, 2012 at 2:00PM

Into the pantheon of horror movie creatures comes Hollowface, the cloaked villain of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s “Intruders.” In this horror film, two separate families are stalked by the faceless killer who seeks his own identity. The film stars Clive Owen, who is used to fighting all sorts of bad guys, but has never explicitly tackled a ghost.
0
Intruders Clive Owen

Into the pantheon of horror movie creatures comes Hollowface, the cloaked villain of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s “Intruders.” In this horror film, two separate families are stalked by the faceless killer who seeks his own identity. The film stars Clive Owen, who is used to fighting all sorts of bad guys, but has never explicitly tackled a ghost.

“You’ve got to play it real,” Owen told us in an interview alongside Fresnadillo, comparing “Intruders” to his work on action picture “The Killer Elite.” Owen shares more than a few scenes with Hollowface, including several physical encounters. “Getting to that place can be more difficult than reading two pages of dialogue. You have to play it very straight.”

This proved to be even greater a challenge given Fresnadillo’s creation of the monster, which is occasionally physical, but often CGI. “We invested a lot of time in it,” Fresnadillo says. “I was working on the design of the monsters with the art director and costume designer. And we researched monsters in fairy tales and fables, but at the same time I wanted to have a new approach, specifically to try to connect the monster with a human emotion. And the idea of a monster trying to find his own identity, trying to steal a face, to exist. You can’t establish the eye contact, which is scary, but at the same time not having a face has to do with desperately seeking identity, which I think is important to the story.”
 
As far as utilizing both CGI and a physical actor, Fresnadillo wanted the design to wink at the audience. “I wanted to express through storytelling that the monster had a little bit of evolution, a bit of progression,” he says of “Intruders,” which splits its time between the family life of Owen’s character and the tale of a Spanish-speaking little boy haunted by the same creature. “In the Spanish part of the story, he’s more ethereal. In the English story, the appearance becomes more physical, more real. I was trying to show that the monster has a kind of evolution because I believe that if you’re running away from your monster, your nightmares, the monster becomes more real, and more dangerous.”

This was a large part of why Owen took on the role, eschewing concerns that this would be just another horror film. “When I read the script, I saw it more of a psychological thriller,” he says. “I was interested in the idea of parents passing their fears onto their kids. I don’t think that’s a supernatural thing, I think that kids soak up everything about their parents, including fears and worries.” That concept was key given that Owen’s character encounters strife with his own wife, played by Carice Van Houten. “There’s a strange relationship, because she kind of distances herself,” he says, noting that Van Houten was great to work with. “The intense relationship is the father and daughter, that’s where the problems are, and she’s kind of on the outside looking in.”

But perhaps it’s Owen’s way of admitting his own mortality. “There’s no accident that in the last few years I’ve done ‘The Boys are Back,’ ‘Trust,’ and this,” he says, regarding the shift in his career. “I am a father, and to explore that on film is interesting to me, and I also like working with younger actors. I find it very refreshing, they’re really reactive, responsive, and it’s more immediate. It’s not a honed sort of craft.”

“Intruders” is now playing. Here's our review of the film from SXSW.

This article is related to: Clive Owen, Interview, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Intruders


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates