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Interview: House At The End Of The Street With Max Thieriot

House At The End Of The Street presents a horror film that tells a psychological tale for a younger generation. While Jennifer Lawrence stars, her leading man Max Thieriot plays Ryan, the town outcast who carries a deep dark secret. Yet Lawrence’s Elissa thinks she can help Ryan through his issues. But what she finds may be more than she bargained for.

Recently a number of media were allowed the chance to talk to Max Thieriot about his experience making the film, getting into the character of Ryan, and even opening his own winery.

What was the most fun you had making this movie?

Max Thieriot – I think just all of it honestly. It was fun being stuck up there in Ottawa, because I’d never filmed there before. I’ve been to Vancouver, Toronto, basically everywhere else in Canada besides Ottawa. It’s very different than those two cities. It’s an awesome city, and we all became very tight, like a family up there.

When you play a character with secrets, how do you shut off what you do know after having read the script?

MT – It’s tough, it’s something that has to be constantly on your mind. Before every scene, I like to make sure I know where I’m at, even if it’s something totally different of where I just came from, what room I just left, so that way I think of everything prior also because it kind of gives you a place in that scene. As long as I’m aware of where I’m coming from in every scene, it allows me to keep that. It definitely, constantly has to be on your mind. You don’t want to slip up anywhere.

You worked with Wes Craven, and you worked with Mark [Tonderai]. Where you kind of comparing and contrasting, and kind of bringing maybe what Wes had taught you?

MT – They have very different styles of everything, storytelling, directing, everything. Wes is Wes. He’s very iconic in this genre and I definitely learned a lot from him. But at the same time, Mark really has a new look to it all. So rather than bringing the Wes stuff into it, I really wanted to take on Mark’s style. Even getting into character, it’s the same thing. He and I sat down a few times, and we really tried to come up with a background for Ryan, stuff that would even seem irrelevant, like his family tree, his grandparents. Everything. The stuff about the house, who originally built it. On top of that, I watched a lot of videos of famous people who have made poor decisions in their life to try and come up with the personality to try to get inside Ryan’s brain to see why he does the things he does.

Where you more the devious type in high school or more the jock?

MT – Kind of both I guess. I mean I played sports in high school, but there’s definitely the devious type. If I could skip class, I did. I got by easily in Spanish, so the teacher let us leave and go get lunch at the store. So I constantly doing whatever I could to be a punk.

What kind of roles are being sent your way?

MT – Kind of a mix of everything. I’m kind of fortunate where I’m at the age where if I grow my facial hair out I can play older, or I can still play eighteen. I’m doing “Bates Motel” now, a new TV show with A&E. That kind of came up quick and out of the blue, but it’s exciting I’m leaving to start that on the 24th and a lot of great people are attached to do that. I’m playing Norman Bates’ brother, and for me it’s more exciting because it’s a character that’s unknown, and could do anything.

Physically, what was the most challenging thing for you?

There was a lot of running and lifting of people. It’s different when you’re picking up a person instead of a sack of rice because a person is moving, so that was a little challenging, and I kind of do it quite a bit. I started working out just before the film started, and it was just good timing that I happened to do it then. I was starting to get physically stronger, so that helped.

When you were coming up with the character of Ryan, what aspects did you study for his more accessible side?

MT – Without stealing other characters from movies, a movie I saw before this that I really liked, and kind of wanted to take a little bit of that love story from, was American Beauty. Wes Bentley’s character in that film, and just kind of how he acted around people was kind of interesting to me. Like I said, I watched a lot of videos of people. I wanted Ryan to be kind of sweet and approachable, but also have this mysterious side to him.

Where did this interest in having a vineyard come from?

MT – I’ve had an interest in a vineyard pretty much my whole life. I grew up with my dad growing grapes, and he’s been growing them since ’89. It kind of came up out of the blue because I’d never been in the wine business, I’d really had no interest in it. A friend of mien got his masters from Harvard Med, so he decided to get into the wine industry. And he asked me ‘do you want to start a winery?’ and I was like ‘alright! let’s do it!’ And so, our other friend, we’d all been to school with each other since kindergarden, his family had a vineyard, so we took over that vineyard and farmed it all ourselves this year.

House At The End Of The Street is in theaters now. You can learn more about Max’s winery here at Senses Wines.

House At The End Of The Street Max Thieriot

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