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Barbara Hershey and Nicholas Alexander Interview: The Manor

The Manor comes as one of the latest chapters in Welcome to the Blumhouse, the independent powerhouse studio's anthology film collection on Amazon Prime Video. The horror-thriller revolves around an elderly woman moving into a nursing home following a stroke, where she comes to find a dark supernatural presence is preying on the residents of the titular locale.

Related: Everything We Know So Far About Insidious 5

Screen Rant spoke exclusively with stars Barbara Hershey and Nicholas Alexander to discuss the horror-thriller, Hershey's reunion with Blumhouse, and more.

Screen Rant: The Manor is creepy, it's funny, it's thoughtful, it's all these great things, but what about it really drew you both to the project? 

Barbara Hershey: Well for the reasons that you just stated I was attracted to it. I really thought it was a good script, I also loved the character a lot. I loved her feistiness and her humor and that she swore and that she was just an unpredictable kind of heroine, especially for an older character. Because I really think we're all people, in all varieties, even as we get older, so it was fun to see it encompassed in a film.

I enjoy psychological horror, which this is, and I thought it really discussed a lot of issues without hitting you over the head with them [chuckles], wrapped in horror and humor and all kinds of things and I loved the ending. And I loved working for Blumhouse, I've [worked] on Insidious films, and so it was a lot of attraction for me.

Nicholas Alexander: I read the script and I instantly fell in love with the character and I related a lot to Josh and his relationship with his grandmother is very similar to the relationship that I have with my grandmother. She shares similar traits of being young at heart and fun and energetic and, you know, she curses. [Laughs] Just all this stuff and reading the script and all the twists that it takes. You're reading one thing, and then it turns into another thing and every turn, you don't know what's going to happen.

Since the relationship between both of your characters is so vital to the story, what was that like for you to build that rapport off camera before bringing it to every take?

Barbara Hershey: We didn't really have the luxury to do it before, we didn't have a rehearsal period. We got to meet with Axelle [Carolyn, the director] in a restaurant very briefly, so we got to lay eyes on each other. [Chuckles] But it happened pretty immediately with us and you're right, it's extremely vital.

To me it's a love story between these characters, they're united; he's her raft more so as things start happening to her so he's the whole reason that she is alive at this point, I think. So it was really vital that we connect. You can hope for those things and work for those things, but they don't always happen, but I think we really took off wordlessly, without any effort we connected as actors and as friends.

Nicholas Alexander: I feel the same way, it was instant and we got along so well and I think both of our loves for acting and just the craft in general really was the connection. Watching Barbara, this legend, at work was so amazing as a younger actor to learn all this stuff, it was like free acting classes every day on set, just sitting back and watching her do her craft. It was an amazing experience.

Barbara, you're obviously no stranger to the horror genre, but Nicholas aside from briefly appearing in Outcast on Cinemax, this is really your big starring role for the horror genre. What's it been like for you to make that leap from supporter to main star in this genre?

Nicholas Alexander: It was definitely a shock because I didn't really know how a horror movie worked. You really have to be grounded as an actor and it's hard. I think it's one of the hardest genres, possibly, because if you're not in that moment and if you are not committed to the scene and truly feeling that terror, it's not gonna work on screen and it's not going to be any good. To really get there and really be in that moment was the challenge, but it wasn't really a challenge because working with Barbara — like we're under the bed and feeling all that, it just came really naturally.

Next: Adriana Barraza, Joshua Caleb Johnson, & Richard Brake Interview: Bingo Hell

The Manor is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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