CS Interview: Alexandra Daddario on We Summon the Darkness
ComingSoon.net got the opportunity to talk with Alexandra Daddario (Lost Transmissions, Baywatch) for her upcoming horror-comedy We Summon the Darkness, in which she acts as both producer and star in an ensemble that includes Johnny Knoxville (Action Point), Maddie Hasson (Impulse) and Logan Miller (Escape Room). The film is set to hit VOD and digital platforms on Friday. Check out the interview below!
The film follows a group of friends heading to a heavy metal concert in the Midwest. Along the way, they meet a trio of seemingly fun-loving guys and eventually head off to a secluded country home for an afterparty. What should be a night of fun and youthful debauchery may instead take a dark, deadly turn. With killers on the loose, can anyone be trusted?
Daddario leads a cast that also includes Keaan Johnson (Alita: Battle Angel), Maddie Hasson (The Finder), Logan Miller (Escape Room), Amy Forsyth (Hell Fest), Austin Swift (Live By Night), Allison McAtee (The Haves and the Have Nots) and Johnny Knoxville (Action Point).
We Summon The Darkness is directed by Marc Meyers (My Friend Dahmer) on a script from Alan Trezza (Burying the Ex). Andrew Kotliar, Elizabeth Zavoyskiy, Joshua Sason, Rebecca Schaper, Lee Broda, Mike Donovan, Eytan Rockaway and Robert Girard are serving as executive producers, with Jody Girgenti as co-producer.
Robert Jones, James Harris and Mark Lane (The Strangers: Prey at Night, Three Seconds) of The Fyzz produced and financed the project alongside Magna Entertainment, with Kyle Tekiela (Mudbound) and Jarod Einsohn of Common Enemy, Christian Armogida of Nightshade Entertainment and Thomas E van Dell of Iconic Media One producing.
In signing on for this project, Daddario found her second project getting to act as producer, having made her debut in the behind-the-scenes role as executive producer on the 2019 romantic comedy Can You Keep a Secret?, and described taking on a producer role for Darkness as “way too much responsibility,” followed by laughter and describing it as a “great” experience.
” I think I’m in a position now where I can help get financing for films, which is sort of where that producer credit comes from,” Daddario said. “But then, it also allows you to bring to the table what you can bring to the table. And I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, and I have certain things that I can help the film with. And I think that that’s, as far as being a woman and empowering yourself, I think that that’s a really important thing that I was looking to do and I’ve done it on a couple of films now and I found it to be really rewarding. And I found that I’ve been able to help when I can help. And I know when to step away when it’s not my area of expertise.”
The 34-year-old actress found one of the biggest draws in the project was getting to reunite with screenwriter Alan Trezza, who she had worked with prior on the 2014 zombie comedy Burying the Ex, alongside director Marc Meyers, who she became a real fan of after My Friend Dahmer.
“It was really about wanting to help bring this to life,” Daddario described. “Alan is a great writer and a great person, and I really wanted to help however I could to bring this to people. And I think we really did what we sought out to do and made a really fun movie. We didn’t expect to be releasing it during this kind of situation, but I really wanted to get it made.”
In building the rapport between herself and the rest of her cast, namely the female trio, Daddario described the cast as an “incredible, really supportive group of people” that knew the project they were a part of and ensured they “brought a lot to it.”
“My female costars and I spent the most time together, and we all had a really great sense of humor about things and a level of an understanding of the world as being totally absurd and also very serious,” Daddario recalled. “So the comedy I think they helped bring out was amazing. One of my favorite memories was, I think I went with Amy Forsyth, this wasn’t on set, but we went to the Wal-Mart and bought like, unicorn onesies and then painted or something. We just were able to do silly things together on our off-time that I think helped develop the relationship that you guys ended up seeing on screen.”
We Summon the Darkness marks Daddario’s sixth venture into the horror genre, with various projects including American Horror Story: Hotel, Texas Chainsaw 3D and We Have Always Lived in This Castle, and she describes her interest in returning to as because “it’s really fun.”
“You get to really let loose, and also, I find that I like comedies, but horror comedy speaks to me,” Daddario said. “Then horror, I think, a lot of these films are a metaphor for something deeper, so you can actually have a lot to explore there. And I like the elevated level of an absurd world, and that’s definitely all in this script.”
The story features a lot of unique twists aimed to amp up the fun for audiences, and while she couldn’t explain the main twist without giving it away to our readers she felt that the “huge twist” and the “little twists” were all “done so well.”
“There are some things you expect, but most of the big things you don’t expect,” Daddario said. “That’s what makes it really fun, and I thought that it was done really well in a way that wasn’t super cliché. I think that’s why people are responding to it.”
The film is set in the late ’80s, around the same time Daddario was born, and she describe the experience of getting to step back in time as “great,” saying she misses the ’80s since she never really got to experience the era.
“I never got to wear those kinds of clothes and have big hair and all of that,” Daddario said. “It really helped to have people who remember that time period, creating the costumes and the hair and the makeup, because then you could step into your character and it helps formulate the character and make you feel more like who you’re supposed to be, and that’s really fun. I love doing period pieces and being involved with a period piece like this is, because yeah, I’ve never had the opportunity to really play that kind of big haired 80s girl before.”
After getting her big break with a key role in the Percy Jackson film franchise, Daddario would go on to star in other major tentpole projects including Texas Chainsaw 3D, Baywatch and the hit 2015 disaster flick San Andreas, her first role with Dwayne Johnson (Jungle Cruise), which has had a sequel reportedly in the works in the years since its release, but no word since February 2016 and the general public isn’t the only ones to have not heard any movement on the project.
“I haven’t heard word in a couple of years, so yeah, I don’t have any information on that,” Daddario said. ” But I would return, I really enjoy doing big movies like that, and the first one did well. I think I wouldn’t have a problem doing another one at all.”
We Summon the Darkness debuted at Fantastic Fest in September to strong reviews and is set to hit VOD and digital platforms on Friday.