CS Interview: Noah Segan on western horror The Pale Door
Just in time for the film hitting select theaters, digital platforms, and VOD, ComingSoon.net got the opportunity to chat with star Noah Segan (Knives Out, Scare Package) to discuss his role in the western horror pic The Pale Door! Click here to rent or purchase The Pale Door!
Segan has worked with co-writer Cameron Burns and co-writer/director Aaron B. Koontz multiple times over the years and when it came to joining on for this project, the 36-year-old star credits a lot of his interest to their “great friendship” and their love for “a lot of the same stuff,” namely westerns and “great genre horror,” of which The Pale Door “kind of fits in the box and then tries as hard as it can to break out of it.”
“That in and of itself, kind of when he was conceptualizing it, was just really exciting to be a part of,” Segan warmly expressed. “And then, of course, being able to bring in friends, like Zach Knighton and have a script that was written by Keith Lansdale, one of my favorite authors, it kind of kept getting better and better up until the point that we made the movie and hopefully delivered it to you.”
Segan’s character of Truman was written by Koontz specifically for the frequent Rian Johnson collaborator, even being somewhat inspired by his turn as Kid Blue in Johnson’s Looper, and Segan reveals he knew “a little bit” that the character he was in talks for was written specifically for him and that he felt “very lucky” to have the opportunity to get that insight as the script was being polished before the casting search began.
“He did sort of drop this idea, ‘Hey, listen, what about this guy and what do you think? What little idiosyncrasies would you want to do?'” Segan explained. “So I did get a little bit—I got a little extra before we actually started going. But you know, you get into an ensemble situation, you’re just like, ‘Hey man, I played the oboe, let me play the oboe,’ you know, and get it in sync with the rest of the orchestra.
When it came to actually stepping into the role and finding a way to separate the goofier nature of Blue from the more serious-yet-still goofy Truman, Segan points out that “the difference between Kid Blue and Truman is that Kid Blue wishes he was like Truman.”
“Kid Blue is playing cowboy, whereas Truman really is a bandit,” Segan noted. “He may be the goofy member of this team, but this team is a legit vicious group of bandits, you know? I think that, I hope that even though there’s some comic relief and there’s some sort of fun, light times, I really hope that in a lot of ways as much as we’re trying to hit the great gags and gore and action on the horror side, we’re also hitting the sort of traditional Bud Bedicker all the way to the kind of Wild Bunch, Long Riders sort of serious 70’s Western stuff. It’s a real grittiness, you know, that can kind of speak to the legitimacy, I want to say, of the genre.”
Much like with the horror anthology Scare Package, in which Segan made his directorial debut and worked alongside Burns and Koontz, the cast for The Pale Door features an ensemble akin to an “indie horror Avengers” and in looking at the rest of the cast he described it as “a dream come true” while also “keeping me on my toes.”
“I mean, guys like Bill Sage show up and Stan Shaw, Stan Shaw comes in, he showed up a little bit after some of us, and it’s like having a celebrity, but it’s beyond that,” Segan described. “It’s like having royalty sort of come and bless you, and the same thing with Melora Waters. You know, Aaron has a Magnolia themed tattoo. I mean, so you have your Zach’s and your Bill’s, but you also have Melora and you have Stan who are, like I said, it’s like there’s a regalness that comes with that, that just is mind-blowing.”
With The Pale Door hitting theaters and digital platforms mere months after the debut of Scare Package, the speed at which Koontz is delivering the new project is rather impressive and Segan calls the director one of the most efficient he’s ever seen.
“Scare Package took a little bit longer because he was basically putting together whatever it was, seven little movies altogether,” Segan explained. “A lot of different schedules and moving parts. Pale Door, it’s been like a blip through a colt revolver, man. He shot it out and he’s been editing it. And I think it just got done in a way that allowed it to come out now. Also, I think there’s definitely a sentiment there, ‘Why wait? Give people some entertainment right now.’ You know, give people as much as you can so that they have something to enjoy.”
The Dalton gang finds shelter in a seemingly uninhabited ghost town after a train robbery goes south. Seeking help for their wounded leader, they are surprised to stumble upon a welcoming brothel in the town’s square. But the beautiful women who greet them are actually a coven of witches with very sinister plans for the unsuspecting outlaws-and the battle between good and evil is just beginning.
The horror western pic features an ensemble cast that includes Devin Druid (13 Reasons Why, Greyhound), Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings, Magnum P.I.), Melora Walters (Big Love, Venom), Bill Sage (Power, Hap and Leonard), Noah Segan (Knives Out, Scare Package), Pat Healy (The Innkeepers, Bad Education), Stan Shaw (The Monster Squad, Jeepers Creepers 3), Natasha Bassett (Hail, Caesar!) and Tina Parker (To The Stars, Better Call Saul).
The film is co-written by Koontz, Burns, and Keith Lansdale and directed by Koontz. The Pale Door is now in select theaters and on digital platforms and VOD!