DEATH OF ME is In Theaters, On Demand and Digital October 2nd.
Alex Essoe has delivered epic performances in Starry Eyes, Doctor Sleep, Midnighters. She wrote and starred in the incredibly dark and funny, Homewrecker starring Precious Chong. It was like, The Shining meets Sixteen Candles. Such a great film. Alex is currently filming another project with Mike Flanagan called Midnight Mass, and she took some time to talk about Death of Me and more with Horrornews.net.
Hi Alex, how are you?
Alex- I’m great Janel, how’s it going?
I’m good. This quarantine stuff is crazy and the world is on fire. It’s wild.
Alex-Yeah, dude, I’m in Vancouver right now.
Are they letting you guys film now?
Alex- They are letting us film; we’re filming inside on a stage and as long as we go from our apartment to the car and to the stage and back home again. I always wear a mask no matter where I am because there’s like birds falling out of the sky and stuff.
It’s wild right. I do that. I keep the mask with me and wear it all the time.
Alex-I ordered this crazy air purifier and this is so crazy.
It’s wild, the world is crazy. I watched Death of Me again last night because the first time I watched it. I was in shock but then I watched it again and it’s gnarly. I also have to tell you Homewrecker is The Shining meets Sixteen Candles; I love it so MUCH! It was the most amazing movie I’ve ever seen.
Thank you so much. I’m so proud of it, I was really happy with the way it turned out. Precious Chong is a revelation. I thought she was so good.
I loved the two of you together, I was so happy that you got to write and I was just… I could watch that movie every day.
Oh my, well thank you. That’s an amazing endorsement. I really appreciate that.
I want to know how did you get involved with Death of Me? It’s a trippy movie and creepy. I thought okay, Alex is here and everything is going to be okay. And then I was like., OKAY, EVERYTHING IS NOT OKAY!
Alex- I love that description so much. That’s so funny because that’s essentially what I loved about this character. She’s such a sociopathic fundamentalist. She completely puts you at ease, she puts Maggie Q’s character at ease. She’s so casual in her approach to everything. She just jumped off the page to me, I thought it was so cool. I actually auditioned for Death of Me while I was shooting Homewrecker and I got the call that I had booked my role in Doctor Sleep when I landed in Thailand to do Death of Me.
That’s crazy! Doctor Sleep was incredible. (I was going to ask her what it was like and she is already ready to answer! ALEX ESSOE ROCKS!)
(Laughter) Go ahead, (laughing) I’m sorry, you are on the ball.
Alex- Great minds think alike. I love that we were on the exact same page. Doctor Sleep was one of the most fulfilling acting experience I think I’ve ever had outside of maybe Starry Eyes. Starry Eyes was great, it was extremely challenging and fulfilling in that way. The experience of making Doctor Sleep and the opportunity pay tribute to a film and an actress that I revere so deeply. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, putting her on. It was so cool.
What was it like working with cast and Darren Lynn Bousman?
Alex- I love Darren, working with him is so fun. He’s so personable. He really loves to do this, he loves directing. He has this sort of childlike sense of adventure when it comes to filmmaking that I respect so much. I think it shows in his work. I was saying to someone else, I’m not really a fan of torture-porn, its really hard for me to watch people get tortured and killed. I always think about their families, their wants and dreams. Then it’s like, oh god. Even like his Saw movies they have this spirit of adventure to them, even though they are dark and grisly. I was really excited at the thought of working with him, especially on something as you were saying that’s more mystical and surreal. It has that kind of Serpent and the Rainbow vibe to it.
(Me interrupting her to read my review.) Oh my God, Alex, that’s what I said in my review. Serpent and the Rainbow.
Alex- Oh my god, what! Great minds, man. That’s what I’m saying, great minds think alike.
Yes, I said it kind of reminds me of Serpent and the Rainbow meets Requiem for a Dream.
Alex- Oh, that’s cool. On a side-note if you like Requiem for a Dream you should check out this anime from like 1997 called Perfect Blue. Darren Aronofsky bought the rights to that movie right before he made Requiem for a Dream.
That’s wild. It’s so trippy but I love Serpent and the Rainbow and the dreamy sort of sequences brought that on. I did though, I had so much faith. I was like, Alex is coming and Christine and Neil will be fine. There is sort of an unknown to this movie so that made it creepier.
Alex- Yeah. Right. It really kind of teases it too. It makes you question your own senses and sanity. I thought Maggie did a fantastic job pulling that off. She’s a powerhouse and was awesome to work with.
I loved Maggie and Luke kind of was like lighthearted but still strong.
Alex- I totally agree with you. He’s an interesting actor that way. He has a light touch but it conveys so much in his performance. You do see Neil as this fully dimensional individual. That’s kind of how he works.
I don’t want to give away spoilers but you have a gnarly scene. How did you prepare for that and get ready for the special effects?
Alex- Yeah, oh yeah, thank you. Once we get to that part, we were really shooting little bits here and there. There was a stuntperson needed for one specific part. There was no way they would have left me do that.
Do you think you will write again or are you working on a totally different project?
Alex- I’m currently working on another Mike Flanagan project but, I already have things written already actually that I would love to direct myself. If I can work up the nerve to shop it around. That’s definitely the next step for me.
Is that Midnight Mass?
Alex- Yes, that’s the one.
Will you be a part of the whole series or can’t you say anything?
Alex- Yeah, no I’m part of the ensemble. It’s a limited series. I don’t want to say anything because I think the surprise will be really cool.
What do you want to say to everyone that will be watching Death of Me?
Alex- I guess I kind of want people to keep an open mind. I think the movie makes some interesting statements about the power of belief and whether or not belief is a good thing or not? I think that there’s an interesting conversation that the film brings up. I think to go in with that in the back of your mind.
It certainly makes you think. It’s crazy. This movie was wild in such a good way.
Alex- Yeah. Well, Thank you.
It was such an honor to talk to you. You are awesome, you rock and Starry Eyes is forever one of my favorite films and Homewrecker is awesome.
Alex- Ohhh, thank you. That means so much to me, Janel. I’m so glad. I’m speechless.
Thank you and stay safe.
Alex- Yes, you too. Thank you. It was my pleasure.
Thank you so much.
(I could talk to her all day and ask her millions of questions. She has such an incredible perception of characters and films.) MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT DEATH OF ME AND HOMEWRECKER AND WATCH DOCTOR SLEEP!
ALEX ESSOE www.imdb.com/name/nm3012273/