Ryan Allen has been in many TV shows, such as Tokens. We interview him about "The Devil Comes At Night". He has a primary role in this film and he cowrote it.
What's your character like in The Devil Comes at Night in terms of personality?
I would say Ben is can be impulsive. He has a bit of a chip on his shoulder because of the hard life he's had. I'd also say that he's very strong willed. When he sets his mind to doing something, he's able to do it. And I think he's a little bit resistant to change we see in this movie, and he kind of learns, as time goes on, that no man is an island, and you have to be able to collaborate with other people and to work together.
What do you think viewers will like about the storyline of the movie?
I think something that's interesting about this movie in particular, is that we don't have the traditional horror lead. He's not a vulnerable person. He's a professional fighter. He's a big, strong, capable guy, and yet, he's still put in a position where he fears for his life, and we fear for him. So, I think that's a unique take on the horror genre.
What were the inspirations behind the storyline?
Well, I think the cowriter really is a quite a special horror cinephile. I'd say he knows all the classics inside and out, and he wanted to write a love letter to all of those horror movies. From my perspective, I had been training Muay Thai before the pandemic and had aspirations of taking an amateur fight. So, I was spending a lot of time training with pro fighters, or people who are trying to become pro fighters, and I really was interested in telling a story about the darker sides of the fight life, what fighters are like when they're not winning fights.
Did you do any preparation for the role?
I would say that doing some fight training myself helped me kind of put me in the frame of mind of a fighter and how fighters would move their bodies in space, how they take up space. Yeah, I would say that for sure. I watched Cabin in the Woods, which is another horror movie that takes takes place in the woods, and I prepared myself for it that way.
Were any scenes particularly challenging to film?
Yes, yes. There's a scene where we run out of the front door to go around to the side of the house to go down into the basement or cellar, and we really did shoot this in the woods in Meaford, Ontario. That's Northern Ontario. So, it really is pitch black out there. So, running out in the middle of the night to the side of the house, where the ground is uneven, so we really had to make sure I didn't fall. I say that was definitely a challenge.
There were two other writers for The Devil Comes at Night. Do you find collaborating with several other writers easy or difficult and why?
Well, to be fair, it's my first foray into the world of writing. So, I don't really have anything to compare it to. I will say I did enjoy this process. Both Scott and Adrienne I consider to be friends outside of coworkers, and I think this particular team worked well together, because we all brought different traits, I would say, to the writing process, or strength to the writing process. As I said, Scott is a is a huge horror buff, so he really knows the style. Adrienne’s a professional novelist herself, so she really understands how to frame and format things in an interesting storytelling way. And I think from a dialogue perspective, my time working with fighters and being around fighters I really got to get inside of how they speak and communicate with each other. Yeah.
Do you plan on writing future screen productions?
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, I don't have anything to share about that just yet, but it's definitely inspired a desire within me to pursue it more.
Which actors inspire you?
Oh, that's a really good question. You know, growing up, I always love Denzel Washington. I think every black actor loves Denzel Washington, because he was one of the first guys to really be a lead in in this certain kind of way that you didn't always see black actors get opportunities to do, like to play roles that it didn't have to be a black person. It could be it could have been anyone, but it was him doing it. In terms of style, I've always liked Tom Hardy. I like his intensity. I like Vincent D’Onofrio’s ability to be completely different every time I see him. And he's a large man, so he takes he takes space in the frame in a very unique way. Those are the ones that come come to mind first.
How did you get into acting?
Well, I went to an arts high school, because I sang as a kid I sang at church in the choir, and I just enjoyed it. I didn't know that I was particularly good at it or anything, but people told me that I was. So, I was encouraged by my grade eight drama teacher to audition for this art school in Scarborough, and I got in, and the bug hit me then. So, I was doing plays and musicals and just wanted to be a part of telling stories.
How do you get into character?
It really depends on the project. You know, sometimes you get a role that is so different from you as a person that you have to go do a little bit more work. So, a lot of it is imagination. It's understanding the stakes. What does the script say? What is the script telling me? Where am I? What am I doing? How important is it that I get done what I'm doing? How am I going to get that done? So, thinking about the reality of what my character is trying to achieve really grounds me in what I'm doing, as opposed to kind of sprinkling on frills on top of it.
Do you like the horror genre? And what do you like about it If you do?
I do like it. I do like it. It maybe sounds a bit masochistic, but I love it when I get scared. When I jump, you know, it's like, “Oh, that was a good one.” You can feel the goosebumps on the back of your arms. What I think it comes down to I think, the horror movies have the ability to make you feel really invested, because you're watching it. You're going “No, don't go in there. Don't go in there. Don't go in there.” And so, it makes you feel like you're part of it almost.
What is your favorite TV role that you played?
Ooh, that's a really difficult question, because I've done a few that I really enjoy. The one that comes to mind first hasn't come out yet. It's going to be coming out this summer, where I play Lionheart in a remake of Robin Hood. That will be on Global TV this summer up in Canada. And I grew up as a huge Robin Hood fan. Like I told my mom to make me a Robin Hood costume for Halloween two three years in a row. And I love the cartoon version. And I really really love the Kevin Costner version with Morgan Freeman. So, needless to say, I'm a huge Robin Hood fan. So, when I heard that they were making the show up here in Canada, I was like, “I need to be a part of this somehow,” and I got Richard the Lionheart, that role, and I'm really excited to see how it comes out and how it's received. I actually have I wear a dreadlock wig in it, and I've never got to do that before. Which wasn't as fun, because we shot it in the summer, so it's pretty hot, but I'm excited for that.
Where can people follow you?
I'm actually not on social media. So you can go on IMDB page to see what I'm in coming up or what I've been in if you want to see more of me, but, yeah, I'm not on social media.
Share on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Google+