Shattered: Cameron Monaghan Talks Film's Classic Erotic Thriller Roots

When Cameron Monaghan was pitched the thriller Shattered, it provided a rare opportunity to take on a genre he feels isn't really visited anymore, the erotic thriller. The film follows a rich divorcee in Chris, who falls in love with a mysterious woman in Sky (Lilly Krug), and later finds himself, his ex-wife, and their child trapped in a desperate fight for survival. I spoke to the Shameless star about how he came upon the film and how it challenged him physically and emotionally.

Shattered: Cameron Monaghan on Film's Classic Erotic Thriller Roots
Cameron Monaghan in Shattered (2022). Image courtesy of Lionsgate

"David Loughery wrote a couple of movies that I was familiar with, one called Lakeview Terrace with Samuel L. Jackson and one called Obsessed starring Beyoncé," Monaghan said. "I watched those movies when I was younger, and I thought that they were really fun explorations of a very specific genre, which is this kind of thrill ride roller coaster of a movie that's very suspense driven. I was also familiar with the director Luis Prieto, who had directed a movie called Kidnap starring Halle Berry, which was also a very confident and kind of harrowing thrill-ride of a movie. So it was a genre that I'd never explored or stepped into before, and it was something that I was kind of eager to give a shot and see what that was like."

Shattered: Cameron Monaghan on Film's Classic Erotic Thriller Roots
Frank Grillo, Cameron Monaghan, and Lilly Krug in Shattered (2022). Image courtesy of Lionsgate

Monaghan was familiar with immersing himself in the vulnerable setting, having read Stephen King's Misery that follows a popular author, injured in a car accident, and his obsessed fan who took care of him. "What I think is interesting about this movie is it takes a plot like that, but it combines it with a bunch of other genres," he said. "[Shattered] starts from a more romantic perspective, and it's almost the way that our director Luis described it was. 'It was kind of like a romantic comedy upon first meeting.' So we have this sort of neat, cute thing of these two characters, which quickly twists and devolves into something different. From there, it moves into this kind of erotic thriller territory, a genre that was very prevalent across the 80s and 90s but doesn't really exist now. Movies like Basic Instinct and Body Heat and it's a genre that I think is really great, and I'm kind of sad that it doesn't exist. It doesn't exist anymore. So I love the idea of kind of bringing this back and having it be a bit of a throwback. From there, we then move into this bottle thriller, something that's been lined with Misery, but beyond that, then it's his genre again, and it kind of explodes into a horror movie of sorts. So I really like the genre-bending, and I thought that it was bringing a bunch of different elements together in kind of a fresh and creative way."

Shattered: Cameron Monaghan on Film's Classic Erotic Thriller Roots

While Monaghan has played roles delivering such malice like Fox's Gotham, playing the victim at the other end provided its own difficulties. "The most challenging thing about this role is it's just physically and mentally, very exhausting," he said. "The character of Chris is psychologically and literally tortured and tormented across the story. It was really important to me for those teams to feel as harrowing and grounded as possible and to really put the audience in the same position as Chris, where we're kind of strapped into our feet. We're literally strapped into our seats, and we're going to be going through scary and challenging, and sometimes outlandish things. So it was finding a way to access something that felt grounded in terror. There's no way to really prepare from that for that. All you can do is just give your absolute everything to those moments. So I spent a fair amount of the shoot screaming and crying and being physically thrown around, which I was excited to do. It's something that I'd never really done before. While it was extremely exhausting, I thought that that helps contribute to the reality of the character ultimately." Lionsgate's Shattered, which also stars Frank Grillo, Sasha Luss, and John Malkovich, comes to select theaters and on-demand on January 14th. It comes on Blu-ray and DVD on February 22nd.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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