Nick Simon told me about the script, having worked with him before on The Girl in the Photographs and having become close friends. It sounded like a fun, doesn’t-take-itself-too-seriously kind of a film and I was really interested in being involved. Nick brought me in to audition and to meet the producers, and luckily enough they liked what I did and hired me. Carter was such an interesting character for me because there was a hint that he might be behind some of what happened in the house, but he’s by no means “the bad guy”, and that gave me a lot to play with.
Did you do anything special to prepare to play Carter?
From my first read, Carter struck me as a film buff who, born in another decade would have been obsessed with shooting Steven Spielberg-esque Super 8 films. Instead, he was born in the time of YouTube, and while he may turn his nose up at it a bit, he is very much apart of it. So to prepare, I watched as much YouTube content as possible to try and find what Carter’s tone would be… and I guess that was somewhere between social ethnographer and trouble maker.
What was it like working the director Nick Simon?
Nick is one of the best humans I know, and certainly one of the best creatives I’ve had the privilege to work with. He just knows this genre so well, and filmmaking in general, that I always feel safe with him. It can be scary as an actor to put yourself out there because while the finish product is generally attributed to the director, it’s your face (and your bad acting) that people remember. But having Nick by my side gives me the freedom to be as creative as possible, to make ridiculous choices, and he’ll rein me in if it’s not working. There’s a deep level of trust there.
What was it like working with your fellow cast?
Hated them. We barely spoke. Horrible people. Well… except that we literally didn’t spend a second apart and are all still friends and hang out all the time and talk constantly. It was honestly one of the tightest casts I’ve been apart of, to the point where all 8 of us would hang out in the same tiny trailer rather than go to our own, then finish shooting and go out together, and then come back to our hotel and hang in each other’s rooms watching the sunrise. It’s funny because Nick really wanted us to all get along so he had us fly out to Alabama (where we shot) so we could bond the weekend before we started, and by the end of the shoot, he couldn’t get us to shut up long enough to actually work.
You have starred in a few scary films before, did you bring any of that knowledge to this film?
For sure. I think as an actor it’s impossible not to sponge up all your experience from other sets and bring them to your next. I think that’s part of the development process. You learn and evolve, and with each film, become a different actor. There are definitely things I learnt from past horror films that I used for Truth or Dare that are specific to the genre – like when Carter explains the history of the house to the kids. The pace of it, and the overdramatic delivery is crucial to the horror set up.
Do you have any Halloween traditions you can share with the fans since it is the season?
No, not really. I would love to start some though. Any ideas? Growing up in Australia, we don’t really celebrate it, so I’ve only experienced a few Halloweens while living in LA… I guess pulling out my favorite horror films would be one – Scream, Candyman, IT, Hocus Pocus (not horror but you get the vibe) would be something I do. They feel spookier around this time of year.
This film seems very different and twisted in a good way. Do you feel the horror genre is in a good place?
I think it’s a great time to be making any kind of independent film. With the improvement of technology that causes the cost of equipment and post to go down, it means that filmmakers who wouldn’t have had the chance in the past to bring their ideas to life, now have the chance. I think with that comes more truly original content as people are able to bypass the traditional Hollywood gatekeepers, and that excites me. Especially for horror, as all sorts of boundaries are continued to be pushed.
What do you want to say to the fans that will be watching “Truth or Dare”?
Thank you for watching. Sincerely. I see everyone who posts on Twitter and Instagram, and I really appreciate it. Also, sorry for the trauma.