A woman is tormented by a series of sinister phone calls in this thriller from Matthew Parkhill, available Tuesday, October 4th
Troubled divorcee Mary Kee (Rachelle Lefevre) is tormented by a series of sinister phone calls from a mysterious woman. When the stranger implies that she's calling from the past, Mary tries to break off contact. But the caller doesn't like being ignored, and looks for revenge in a unique and terrifying way. From director Matthew Parkhill comes The Caller, which arrives on DVD today, October 4th. We caught up with co-star Stephen Moyer while he was promoting this taunt thriller in Puerto Rico earlier this year, where he was in the midst of braving a hurricane in a hotel with no electricity.
Here is our conversation.
Stephen Moyer: I am looking down from my balcony in the hotel, and people have written things in the sand beneath me. Karen has written, "I want a divorce!" In the sand. (Laughs)
You need to take a picture of that one!
Stephen Moyer: I know. Right next to it, it says, "Billy, I love you." My friend's name is Billy. So I did take a picture of that.
Someone is down there doing your work for you. Are you going to go down to the restaurant and find out whom this poor sap is that's getting a divorce?
Stephen Moyer: Yes. Right. Though, I think its Karen that is being asked for the divorce. Poor Karen is probably sitting at the bar as we speak. Crying.
You guys are in Puerto Rico, right? How's that treating you?
Stephen Moyer: It is lovely. The Puerto Ricans are fantastic. But, the hurricane has cut all of the power to the island. So we have a black out. The hotel is running on a generator, but we have no power in our rooms. The only reason I am able to speak to you on the phone is because the emergency phones are working. We have no running water. No electricity. No air conditioning. No lights.
That sounds scarier than this movie...
Stephen Moyer: Its funny, because last night, after the movie finished, all of the restaurants and stores were closed. Because no one has any electricity. So the crew, and all of the cast, and all of the people here to support the film...We all went back to the bar at the hotel. We sat with the critics, we had some drinks, and everyone debated the movie. It was really interesting. We stayed up very late doing this. Of course we went to bed eventually. The hotel had given everyone flashlights. Everyone had to find their rooms with these flashlights. You'd close a door behind you, and you had to sit in your room alone, after you'd just watched this horror film. (Laughs) Some of the girls? They weren't havening the best time.
I don't know. That sounds like one of the best junkets I've ever heard of...
Stephen Moyer: I know! Isn't it fucking great? We are having quite a great time, actually.
That is a pretty intimate setting to be discussing a movie with the cast and its creators. What was the general consciences about the film? It seems like, after a few drinks, in the dark, real opinions about the work can't help but come out.
Stephen Moyer: Listen, I don't want to jinx anything, but people actually loved it. It had a wonderful reception. So we were excited to be able to talk about it in a real setting. We talked about it for hours, and every single person had a different opinion on what they thought the film was about. That is the really interesting upshot of the film. I have been fascinated by it. I even came up with a whole new concept about it today. What I think it could be about. I watched it with the critics, and I loved doing that. I think this is a proper, old-fashioned thriller. We do all of our effects through sound and practical settings. There are no digital effects. I am really proud of that. I think it's a great little movie.
How have your views on it changed from that initially script reading to now, sitting with critics, discussing all the different things that it represents?
Stephen Moyer: The thing that made me most excited about this project was director Matthew Parkhill. We had discussed it on the phone. He was very thorough with his concepts. And it was there, on the phone, that he offered me the part. We had a long chat about it. We had a similar sensibility about filmmaking, and the films that we love. What I liked about the character was his humanity. Here is an ordinary soul that gets mixed up in these extraordinary events. I liked that he was this ordinary guy, especially coming off such a wild season of True Blood. We went pretty dark. So the thought of playing someone that was normal and ordinary was a really nice idea. I'd hoped that it would be a compelling film, but I have to be honest with you. I was surprised. I think it's a really wonderful piece. The cinematography is wonderful. I love the score. Matthew did a great job with the editing. It's a film that works.
I like the path of destiny that has been laid out between you and Matthew. It sort of ties in with the themes of the film. You are both from Essex. You have both frequented the same bars. Do you think you guys crossed paths numerous times before meeting, and you just didn't know it?
Stephen Moyer: It is very possible, though at the time, I was seventeen and he was, like, fifty. I joke. We are very similar in age. And its not that big of a place. It has been lovely hooking up with him again. He is in London, and I live in America. Seeing him here, I like the feeling of being around him again.
You were original set to play the ex-husband role, but you eventually landed on the boyfriend role. Why did you think that character was a better fit for you as an actor?
Stephen Moyer: I was shooting a British mini-series at the same time. I was playing a very straight character in that. A politician. At the same time, I was doing this crazy Russian character in this film called The Double, which is coming out soon. Whilst I was doing that, I thought, "Oh, here comes Stephen Moyer! Look out, he is being crazy again!" Before I had done True Blood, I had done quite a bit of normal on British television. I knew I had it in me. I love doing crazy, don't get me wrong. But I wanted to try the empathetic character for a change. He is the character that serves as the audiences' eyes, in a way. As he starts to make sense of what is going on, as he becomes enlightened, so does the audience. I loved the simplicity in that, really. I also had nine open days in my schedule. It was much easier to fit the role of the boyfriend into my schedule than the ex-boyfriend.
How do you think the character changed once you took on this role? Do you think he became a little bit darker, just because people are used to seeing you in that type of role?
Stephen Moyer: I don't know. That is a really good question. I think there is a moment in the film, where you are wondering if he will turn as well. Because he has all of this darkness in his life. There is this idea: Is he as nice as 'he' thinks? There is certainly an element of that, but at the same time, there is so much going on in this woman's life. I think it would be one step too many if he turned on her.
The premise reminds me a little bit of Frequency. Did that movie ever come up in conversations between you and Matthew?
Stephen Moyer: No, it didn't. I haven't seen that movie. Though, I love Dennis Quaid. That is ringing bells, now...I like the time jump continuum aspect of that. I do like the fact that things in the past are going to change what happens in the future for you. If you take that as a metaphor for life, it becomes very interesting. It means what you did before will come back, possibly in a karmic way. It also begs the question, "Is this really something that is happening to her? Or is this something she is reliving in the past?" Ultimately, the audience is left thinking after it finishes, "What is the truth here? What have I just seen? Is it real? Is it imagined? Is it in her mind?" Its fascinating. And I don't know the answer. I love that. The idea is what attracted me to this. You need to think about what you saw. It doesn't just get lost in your brain. It doesn't just get flushed down the toilet with your popcorn. It makes you talk. To me, that is what the best theater, and the best films, are all about.
Before I go, you guys are safe there in the hotel?
Stephen Moyer: Yes. We're safe. Hopefully we will get the electricity on again sometime in the very near future...
The Caller is on DVD today!