Andi Matichak is quickly becoming one of the bright new stars in Hollywood, especially in the horror genre. She was chosen to be a part of the Strode lineage in the 2018 Halloween film and will reprise her role in Halloween Kills this year and next year's Halloween Ends. She is also now starring in an excellent film titled Son, directed by Ivan Kavanagh. In it, she plays a mother trying to determine what is happening to her son while also dealing with the trauma of having left a cult. It is heavy stuff, but Matichak handles it with ease and is fantastic in the role. We got to chat with her about making Son, what kinds of roles outside of horror she may be looking at, and a tease about that pesky Michael Myers.
Andi Matichak Is A Star On The Rise
What was it like working with Ivan on this movie?
It was such a cool experience. I mean, he is so specific as a storyteller and knows exactly what he wants. He put the movie together in the way that he envisioned it. It creates a lot of freedom working with someone like him because there's nothing that's really frivolous about it. Every shot, every setup is exactly how he intended it to be. He knew exactly what he wanted, and when we got it, it was "Boom! And we're moving on". It is great when you can work with someone when his vision is so extremely clear.
Yeah, I've enjoyed his other films, too. And one of the things I really appreciated about Son was that it didn't rely on a lot of jump scares and freak-out moments. And it was very atmospheric and psychological instead. It seems like he's that type of filmmaker.
Exactly. He spent so much time crafting the atmosphere and finding the exact place to shoot, I mean, he drove around for so long with our producers out in different towns and trying to figure out where and how to shoot, how to tell the story visually, and he paired unbelievably with our cinematographer Piers McGrail. They were able to create a movie that speaks with its atmosphere and mood. Furthermore, Ivan loves sound design so much, and he spent the same amount, if not more time, editing the movie together as he did on the sound design or the film.
You are an actress who's now appeared in a few horror movies. Do you prefer more of a psychological/atmospheric role, or do you like being spooked and jump scares and getting that natural reaction?
You know, they're both really fun. They're both fun to make and really, really different. That is one of the things that's really cool about horror; there are sub-genres in horror that make them really different experiences. It makes it really interesting and fun for me. I've always found that psychological thrillers resonate with me on a deeper level in terms of scaring me more than, like, a creepy junkyard (laughs).
You have a very natural gift for being very in the moment in your roles and keeping us on our toes, wondering if everything is at it seems in this film. Was that hard to pull off in this story?
You know, it is one of the things where we definitely had to toe the line and make sure we were keeping Laura a reliable narrator while also dealing with her potential declining mental state. It's something that for all of us was really imperative to make this story work. Laura needs to be almost a straight man in the movie, although she is very far from that. I also think that the film can seem quite tumultuous when you see it as a whole. But if you actually just think about it, she's just a mother who's reacting to what's happening in the most logical way that she can to what is happening around her.
What was it like getting close to Luke (David Blumm, who plays the son) on set and having that son and mother dynamic? It's very important to the film, obviously, but it looked like you had really good chemistry.
We became fast friends, and I definitely think that it translates to the screen. It was something that was imperative to the movie. They were very specific about who they cast, and as we hung out more and more and, it was easy for David and myself to show that natural chemistry. They did a fantastic job with the casting of this film.
They did. Working with Emile Hirsch as well; he's been around forever at this point. Did you take anything away from his performance and being around him on set at all?
Definitely, he's such a pro, and he's been doing it for so long. He has so much experience working with so many different types of actors and so many different filmmakers that bringing that knowledge to a film is very powerful. Getting to work with somebody with that knowledge is also very powerful. Quite frankly, I wish we had more scenes together just because working with him was such a blast and each take was completely different than the one before. We are able to maintain story structure while still playing within the confines of that, which is something that can be quite hard to do.
Did you do any research into cults for the role? Like how they indoctrinate you and how hard it is to break away from that lifestyle?
I did a good amount of research until the point where I was absolutely terrified (laughs). Satanic cults are quite prevalent, and learning about how that world works… One of the things we did so well was make this as realistic as possible. And you don't see that much of it in the film, but Ivan and I had spoken at great length about what that life was like, and what Laura's life was like from the second she was born all the way until you meet her in the opening credits with her on the run from the cult. Having all that knowledge and that backstory was extremely helpful and was able to bring a depth to Laura that might not have been there.
Are there any other things you'd like to do in the genre now, or would you rather kind of step outside of horror after this?
I'm really big on who the collaborators and creatives are and who I would be creating with. There are so many incredible stories that take place in the horror world that are really interesting. And I think at the end of the day, it would be who was involved that that makes me very happy to do something. Of course, that doesn't just go for horror. I am game for every genre. Comedy, drama, whatever it may be, including television. It's really what the story is and who's involved in telling it, and if it excites you.
I'd be remiss, as a giant Halloween fan my entire life, if I didn't ask one question about Halloween. Can you give us one quick tease on Halloween kills since it's been delayed for so long? I know everybody is jonesing for anything they can get from it. Can you give us one quick tease?
It is bigger and better and more violent than we've seen in the past, and it's a very epic chapter. It's a really special thing to be a part of, and the Halloween community, in particular, is really awesome. I can't wait for everyone to see it.
Son is now in select theaters, on-demand, and available to watch on digital platforms.