Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George
talk about reliving The Amityville Horror!
Kathy Lutz move their family into a house where another family was brutally murdered a year prior. It was a real fixer-upper.
The Lutzes were a real family who claim that the same voices that prompted the first murder told George Lutz to kill his own family. Their story was documented before in Jay Anson's book and the 1979 movie of the same name. But Reynolds did not think about how much of the story was true when he played George Lutz.
"I just wanted to tell the story as best I could according to the script," Reynolds said. "It's not a biography of George Lutz so I never met George. I never got into what he is like as a man and a person. I know that something awful happened in that house. We know that six murders happened in that house. We know a family moved in there a year later and lasted 28. We know that. My job was just to bring that character to life in the script."
Kathy Lutz was not available to George, but the actress shared Reynolds' view on portraying the story. "As an actor doing a role in a true story, I'm not trying to imitate her at all," George said. "I just got the facts and I wanted to keep my interpretation of the role, to play this tortured soul and actually feeling like I was the eyes for the audience in a way. Like what I was feeling as Kathy Lutz, I'm assuming is what the audience is going through as well watching this movie. To do a true story in general, you've got to be careful in a way that you make it believable and true to the story and I think we did. It's a horror film definitely, but what I love about this movie is there's real scenes. I'm not just running and getting slaughtered or whatever. There's actually a real story and a real performance going on."
Reynolds was familiar with both the original film and the book on which it was based. "I read the book when I was sixteen and it scared the sh*t out of me, only because of the true story stuff," he said. "When you're 16, you know you're really into it but probably now it would still scare me. The movie I saw years ago and I felt like this was a worthy remake. It's not something that really has aged particularly well. I think for its day it was great but its one of the few movies that they are remaking that I thought, ‘Wow, this is interesting.'You want to tell this story with the technology that is available now to these filmmakers."
George saw the film after auditioning for the remake. "I was at home and my mother was looking all over Australia getting orders for this Amityville Horror to get a good copy to see for us because she'd never seen it either," she said. "She remembered it, but didn't see it for a long time. And we sat down and watched it and they were on the edge of their seat in the original. And I'm like, ‘Mum, here's the screenplay. You've never read one before, read this' and she couldn't read it. I said, ‘You're scared of the original? You're not even going to be able to watch my film.'"
Best known for his comedic performances in Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place and Van Wilder, Reynolds welcomed the chance to give his first dramatic performance, and such a dark one at that. "It's a little intimidating but once you get into it, you know it's that first day," he said. "Like when I used to do this sitcom and I would always want to throw up before every episode and we did 90 of them. It's always that first moment, you've got to get that first moment out of the way and then you're fine; that first laugh or first what ever. For me the first day as George Lutz I just had to get it out of the way."
No student of acting methods himself, Reynolds simply drew on his own natural instincts. "I look at it like everyone has these wounds they acquired in childhood and that sort of thing. Not to be too Jungian or anything on it. I just look at that stuff when I was young and the things that effected me most. The things that I sort of hung on to and don't really look too much so much I kind of did for this movie and really helped fuel the fire so to speak a little bit, stuff that you're usually covering up when you're doing movies like comedies. It was fun for me. Everybody has rage within them and their own unique set of wounds and an ability to go off the deep end. It's just a journey to sort of find that and once you do it kind of fun to explore and or exploit."
George spent more energy trying to get the part than she had to playing Kathy Lutz. "My first screen test, as an actor when you audition, you know whether you're going to get the role or not," she said. " It's how on you are in that character. I felt from the beginning that I deserved it, but we all think in this town that we deserve it and it's whether you get the offer or not that's the hard part. And all these big stars were getting offers, so every time I would screen test, within 24 hours I knew I was going to lose it because someone would say, ‘I'll take that for no money' or whatever. And then five screen tests later I finally got the role. But only then did I watch the movie."
Kathy stands by her man no matter how crazy and threatening he gets, believing that the murderous manifestations are the house's doing and not inherent in the man she loves. "Then when she sees the coffins with the names on it, I think that was the moment where it all hit and that was like ‘I have to get out of this house, I have to get the kids out of this house' and she was about to kill him. I mean, she had the gun on him and she went for the trigger in a moment of insanity and then she chose to believe that he was still a good guy, Kathy Lutz being the loving woman that she is always to the end."
The Amityville Horror opens April 15.
Dont't forget to also check out: The Amityville Horror