LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
By James Whittington, Thursday 10th October 2019 It was the remake everyone was against! The interweb was ablaze with negativity but director Lars Klevberg and his team managed to pull off one of the best horror movies of 2019. Here he chats about the smart shocker, Child's Play.
HC: How nervous were you taking on a re-imagining of such a beloved concept and franchise?
LK: I was in fact very nervous the minute I signed on to do the movie. Before that, I worked relentlessly for weeks to get the job, but immediately after getting it my body had a very stressful reaction. I was fully aware of the legacy I was about to re-open so, I didn't sleep one minute that night.
HC: Was it a tough movie to cast?
LK: It wasn't hard, but we spent a lot of time searching for the right ones. For me it was crucial to get an actor to portray Andy the way I wanted. We're talking about a child actor that has to be in every scene, every day and deliver a wide range of emotions in front of an animatronic doll on a tough time schedule. If Andy didn't work, the movie would fail. Demanding something like that is asking for trouble in production, but Gabriel is such an accomplished actor for his age and delivered something very unique and under very tough circumstances. He's a maverick.
HC: How hard was it to get the design of Chucky's face just right and was there many different versions of it?
LK: It came together pretty fast because I had a very specific idea of how I wanted Chucky to not only look, but how he would behave, act and how he would sound. So the design came from how I saw him as a character: a little toddler seeing the world for the very first time with this curious look on his face. Because that is basically what he is. Then I brought in designer Einar Martinsen who I worked with on Polaroid and after some discussions and sending drafts back and forth we found our Chucky.
HC: Most of the effects seem to have been done practically on set, was this important to you?
LK: Doing Chucky with practical effects was essential to me. Not only because I wanted to pay respect to the original movies but also because Chucky is a practical doll. He has always been that. I also knew that Chucky would be visible a lot in the movie, and I needed to have the audience with me on an emotional level. If they spot something they see isn't real, the brain will disconnect and the emotional reaction will not happen.
HC: Without giving too much away, which scene or sequence was the hardest to shoot?
LK: The Z-Mart massacre as we called it. Towards the end, we had very little time shooting this movie and everything had to be done by the end of the day. That sequence dealt with practical effects, stunts, animatronics, drones, Buddi Bears and hundreds of people running around in a panic. It was very tough to shoot based on the time given.
HC: Was Mark Hamill your only choice for the voice of Chucky?
HC: The movie got a huge positive reaction across the globe would you consider directing a sequel?
LK: I would love to make a sequel and keep exploring Chucky's arc and his relationship with Andy. But moving forward with a sequel is solely a decision made by the studio.
HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?
LK: I'm writing a sci-fi thriller and reading a lot of scripts.
HC: Lars Klevberg, thank you very much.
From Orion Pictures and KatzSmith Productions, Child's Play will be available to buy on Digital download from 11th October and to buy on Blu-ray/DVD and Digital Rental from 21st October.
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(Photo credit Dawson James Photography)
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