Exclusive Interview! We Talk Brahms: The Boy II With Katie Holmes

Director William Brent Bell's The Boy was a surprise success back in 2016, making a worldwide gross of seventy-four million dollars. When a low-budget horror film rakes in that amount of cash, well, you can expect a sequel. I was late to the game and caught The Boy last year on Netflix, and had a great time with it, as I'm a sucker for creepy dolls, Victorian mansions, and tough brunettes.

Last year, Arrow In The Head was able to visit the set of Brahms: The Boy II, and we were able to talk with director William Brent Bell and producer Gary Lucchesi. We also got to visit the real Heelshire mansion (Victoria's own Craigdarroch Castle) and got to witness an intense scene that had a worried Katie Holmes brandishing a shotgun, all of which you can read HERE.

Holmes is no stranger to the horror genre. Having starred in the underrated Rami flick, The Gift, the 90s cult classic Disturbing Behavior, and more recently, the Guillermo del Toro produced Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark; It's clear she's drawn to the genre and even admitted that some of her favorite films are Rosemary's Baby and The Shining. With the release of Brahms: The Boy II coming up, we were able to participate in an interview with Katie about her character, the direction of the sequel, what it's like working with the doll and, much, much more.

What can you tell us about your character in The Boy II?

My character is a mother who's gone through a traumatic experience, And so we go to the country to sort of heal. My character is starting to feel very uneasy because of the influence this doll has on my child. So In the process of trying to heal, She's getting more and more terrified. And I felt like that was very relatable for parents. And it was a challenge, a fun challenge.

Would you say that this would be a more physical or emotional role for you?

 I think it is more emotional because It's the takeover of someone's child, which is incredibly terrifying, and it was important to me to show that, along with the scares that would happen in this kind of genre. But to put real humanity behind it, where parents could understand that, like 'Oh, that would be terrifying' outside of even the horror element.

It does look like the driving force of The Boy II is the relationship between mother and son, but the cast looks a lot larger than the first one. Did you have a lot more people to play off of? Or is it a more intimate story?

No, I got to work with everybody, which was really fun and made it very relatable and fun as an actor. You know, it's always great to work with other actors. I felt like it added to the story and made it less dependent on the genre.

When it comes to picking horror projects, do you find that your tastes have changed since the beginning of your career? Or that your approach is any different?

I think I've always gone after projects that have characters I've never played before, while also keeping in mind what audiences like to see, combining the two and continuing to challenge myself.

The trailer seemed to suggest more of a supernatural turn. Would that be a fair interpretation? And could you get into what kind of what style this sequel is going for?

I think that's a great question because there is definitely some new supernatural elements to it for sure, but It was actually very character-driven in a lot of ways. The plot follows the characters, you know, emotions.

What was it like working with William Brent Bell? And what do you ask of a director to get a great performance?

 When I got to Victoria Island, he had the movie all mapped out. It was great because he knew exactly what he wanted. He knew what would work, and so it made my job really fun because we were collaborating, and he was very aware of what I was trying to do with this character. We were a good team, and he's really good at getting the scares.

William Brent Bell was trying to go in a different direction from the first movie for the element of surprise. But did you have to familiarize yourself with the first movie prior to coming into this?

I had, but I was really open to whatever he wanted to do with this one. I felt no obligation because he wanted to make it its own, and so, yeah, I enjoyed the first one, It had great performances, and yet I didn't feel like we had to adhere to the first one.

We read that you grew up with dolls and didn't find them too scary before filming The Boy II, but afterward, you might have to re-evaluate that.  Did you find yourself more creeped out as the film went on?

It was creepy. It's really creepy every single time. They did such a good job on that doll. Yeah, I didn't want to be alone with it, it was weird. By the end, I was like, 'Am I waiting in line behind a doll at catering? I might be.'

Do you see yourself maybe doing part three in the near future?

I mean, sure, I'm open to everything, and I love working with William Brent Bell. He's lovely and very nice to work with.

Brahms: The Boy II releases in theaters THIS FRIDAY! February the 21st. We will see you there.

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