The actors discuss working with Renny Harlin, group rivalries and how this film is nothing like Harry Potter
During a set visit to the set of Renny Harlin's highly anticipated teen, horror film, The Covenant, stars Steven Strait and Sebastian Stan sat down with us to discuss their roles as Caleb and Chase in this somewhat updated take on the 1980s, teen hit, The Lost Boys.
Based on the graphic novel by Aron Coleite and Tone Rodriguez, The Covenant is the power passed down from generation to generation, but when four boys accidentally unleash an evil force in the process of receiving the powers from their fathers, they must join together to stop it.
What's it like flying around in a harness?
Steven Strait: It's pretty incredible we've been working with wire rigs and harnesses for about two months. So it's been crazy and great.
Is it uncomfortable?
Steven Strait: At times but I think we've gotten used to it by now.
Sebastian Stan: It's certainly something you've got to get used to. I just started doing it. For me it was a little bit tough because I have a little bit of a vertigo thing going on. I really had no choice but to do it, I guess. We just spent a lot of time rehearsing.
Can you talk about the powers that your characters have?
Steven Strait: Well we create these energy balls that we can use with force to pull and push, and throw at each other and so on. Also, this anti-gravitational capability that we can use for jumping and whatnot.
Sebastian Stan: Manipulating energy.
Is there a backstory to all of this? How do your characters find out about it?
Steven Strait: Yes, there's a blood line from a group of Warlocks. It's genetic. It's not something that just happens to you.
Sebastian Stan: There's pretty much just like five families that dates back a few generations. Regarding the whole history of the Salem Witch Trials and whatnot. The whole thing about it... with anything that's powerful you can abuse it. If you overstep those bounds you can get lost in it. It's all about how we learn how to use them, and how we grow with them and how we deal with them. I guess that can be applied to a lot of different things in your life.
What is the group dynamic between the four friends?
Steven Strait: The dynamic is that this group of people is so unique... with this secret that they have; nobody else can really relate to it. Being able to get a handle on this power that they really have had no choice in having. The problem is that it's a huge responsibility and after a certain age, it starts to age you every time you use it. It's really a balance of what you can do with the responsibilities that you have.
Sebastian Stan: I'm sorta kinda like the new guy. I'm fully aware of this school being prestigious and this group stands out at this school as being the good guys; a nice group of people to hang around. For me, it's mainly about fitting in without giving too much away of course.
So is there a rivalry going on?
Sebastian Stan: Yeah, there's definitely a rivalry going on but we become friends also. Friendships are lost at the same time along the way. It all revolves around what they know and what other people don't know.
So you guys all know when someone else is using the power?
Steven Strait: Yeah, you can feel it. All of these guys are so linked together, that whenever somebody is using it, you can feel it as well.
Are some members more powerful?
Steven Strait: There's a bit of a rivalry going on between Caleb and Reid (Toby Hemingway). It can be kind of explosive. It's kind of a fighting brothers relationship.
Sebastian Stan: Mostly because they love each other like brothers and they're constantly fighting with each other.
Is there a drug abuse metaphor there? In relation to the powers these guys have?
Sebastian Stan: I think to some extent it becomes about overcoming those powers and just wanting more. You just want more and more and more. Where does that lead you eventually?
Are you guys considered superheroes in this film? And then the story takes you to a darker side?
Sebastian Stan: Yeah, well that's sort of the way it goes, I guess; eventually. Somebody has to fall victim to these powers so I think that's what happens.
Steven Strait: You have to understand that this small group of guys have this intense gift that only they have. They can't expose that to anybody and if they overuse it they're more or less dead. It's talking about a different subject.
What's it like working with Renny Harlin?
Sebastian Stan: It's been a really, really great experience so far. I think he's putting together a really fantastic film. I think this is very in right now and what's wanted. I think it's very different in a lot of ways than some of the other movies like Harry Potter. It's a lot darker. I'm not really sure that Harry Potter would ever do these things.
Do you guys age in the movie?
Steven Strait: After you turn 18 that's when it starts aging you.
You're not 18 in this?
Steven Strait: No, not yet.
Are there any films that you feel have an influence on this one?
Steven Strait:The Matrix, I can see.
Sebastian Stan: I feel like this has the feeling of The Skulls. Just in that they went to a school and the atmosphere.
Steven Strait:The Lost Boys.
Is the story of The Covenant written for a sequel?
Steven Strait: It could be a possibility. We just don't know.
What special effects have you done so far?
Sebastian Stan: There's been some fights between myself and the different characters and so on. We're just starting with the wirework now so...
Steven Strait: The next two weeks we're in this barn.
The Covenant comes to theaters nationwide on September 8 through Screen Gems.