CS Interview: Storm Reid on success of The Invisible Man
After getting to chat with the 16-year-old star earlier this year ahead of the film’s release, ComingSoon.net got to catch up with Storm Reid (Euphoria) to dive deeper into Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man and discuss the film’s large success, some of her fondest memories from the set and her thoughts on potential future installments.
*Warning: Minor Spoilers Lie Ahead For The Invisible Man*
The horror reboot of H.G. Wells’ iconic sci-fi novel hit theaters nearly a month ahead of the global theatrical shutdown and opened to rave reviews as well as strong box office numbers, grossing $126.1 million on its $7 million budget and becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of the year. In looking at this positive response from critics and audiences and it’s early digital release, Reid found that “it’s been incredible” and that “it’s super cool that people” are giving the film a watch while “staying safe and trying to quarantine.”
“We had an incredible response when the movie was in theaters, and we knew it was a special project,” Reid recalled. “I don’t know if we knew that people would react in the way they did, but of course, we’re super, super grateful that we were able to reimagine the classic monster movie, but just add a little bit of, I guess, add more of a progressive conversation within it. I’ve definitely tried to alter it in any way, but like, ground it more, make it more up to date and really talk about the things that are going on in the world. So I’m super grateful to be a part of it. I know during quarantine, a lot of people have been binge watching things and ordering movies and catching up on movies and shows that they missed because our lives are just so busy. So I’m thankful that this was released early, and hopefully people will enjoy it in their homes as soon as possible and they’ll feel impacted by it.”
Reid, who is known for her roles on HBO’s socially conscious teen drama Euphoria, Netflix’s biopic When They See Us and having made her film debut in 12 Years a Slave, has found herself more drawn to stories with efforts to discussing important topics and that Whannell’s script really honed in on those goals.
“I feel like that’s what attracted me to the project because I was reading it in my kitchen and I was on the edge of my seat because it was super scary,” Reid described. “But also, I recognized very early that Leigh was trying to say something and he was trying to have a conversation about gaslighting and toxic masculinity, things that women go through on a day-to-day basis. So I really respected that. And I think that’s what really put the cherry on top for me.”
In looking at one key sequence in the film, in which her character Sydney and her father, Aldis Hodge’s James, are attacked by the titular antagonist in their house, Reid recalls it being a “pretty challenging scene” as she had to figure out how to tap into her character’s feelings without having anything to go off of in front of her.
“It was just me being there and also emotional and really having to fight with the air,” Reid explained. “So I think it was just about me stepping into these shoes and putting myself in that situation and how I would feel if I was in that situation in those circumstances. But once I wrapped my head around it and Leigh was super, duper patient with all of us during that sequence, so I think it turned out pretty well.”
While recalling her time on the set, Reid warmly describes her time with her cast and crew in which they “created a lot of memories” while working in “Australia,” and that one of the things she found to shine the brightest was working with the co-creator of the Saw franchise, as well as working to build a rapport with her on-screen father.
“The thing that I remember the most or appreciate the most is the bond that we’ve created, even though we were filming a super, duper scary film, Leigh made sure that we all had a bond before we started filming,” Reid said. “So like, going to the Sydney Opera House and having a cast dinner or going to lunch with Aldis a few times before we started. I think those things really made it special for me. I feel like that [relationship with Aldis] was really important because with Sydney and James not having her mother in the film, not having a mother figure, they were really close, so it was important I think for all of us to be able to portray them on screen. And as soon as you saw those two, I think it was important to know what type of relationship they had. So being able to create a bond with Aldis I think really poured over into our characters, and hopefully the audience, what we were trying to do with those two.”
With many people looking for brighter distractions to watch during this time, some believe now is as good a time as any to watch more stimulating material with Reid being one of them, finding that “anything that you consume or even create should be thought-provoking,” especially during times like this, and offered some of what she’s been consuming during this period of quarantine.
“I think it’s important to consume things that are thought-provoking, and I think you think about things that are going on in the world or things that you could do to be a change agent and try to change things in the world,” Reid noted. “I think that is super important. I don’t watch too much TV, but I recently binge watched Little Fires Everywhere, which was an amazing show. And of course, I got to work with Ms. Reese Witherspoon and have a great relationship with Ms. Kerry Washington, and that touched on some pretty difficult topics that I think were super beautiful and portrayed very well. And then, I just finished watching the Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance documentary, which I think was incredible because I’m a big, big sports fan. And to learn about how he was as a competitor was super, duper cool as well.”
Elizabeth Banks (Charlie’s Angels) is currently developing a film focused on the female counterpart to the titular character, The Invisible Woman, for Universal Pictures, though it’s been confirmed it won’t be connected to Whannell’s project, leaving audiences curious about if there is a future for this film. When considering the possibility of a sequel and whether she’d return, Reid feels she would “of course” want to come back for a sequel, should it line up with her creative goals, while noting she’s “not sure” where the story could go for a follow-up.
“I would just have to see where the script would go, but I think Leigh does an amazing job at directing, and whatever he puts his hands on is magic,” Reid described. “So if the team were down to get back together, I would be totally down for it. There are so many places that we can go. Maybe, oh, there’s just so many, so many things. I don’t know. That’s a hard question. There are a lot of things that could happen. I’ll leave that up to Leigh.”
The Invisible Man centers on Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss), a woman trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist. She escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter (Reid). But when Cecilia’s abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turn lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
Jason Blum, our current-day master of the horror genre, produces The Invisible Man for his Blumhouse Productions. The film is written, directed and executive produced by Leigh Whannell, one of the original conceivers of the Saw franchise who most recently directed Upgrade and Insidious: Chapter 3.
The film is also produced by Kylie du Fresne for Goalpost Pictures. The executive producers are Whannell, Beatriz Sequeira, Charles Layton, Rosemary Blight, Ben Grant, Couper Samuelson, and Jeanette Volturno. The Invisible Man is a co-production of Goalpost Pictures Australia and Blumhouse Productions, in association with Nervous Tick, for Universal Pictures.
The Invisible Man is available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms now!