The Boy Behind the Door: Lonnie Chavis & Ezra Dewey on Horror Film

For the young stars Lonnie Chavis and Ezra Dewey, The Boy Behind the Door became a crash course of sorts on the horror genre. The story follows 12-year old Bobby (Chavis) and his best friend Kevin (Dewey), who are abducted on their way home from school. Managing to escape his confines, Bobby navigates the dark halls, praying his presence goes unnoticed as he avoids his captor at every turn. Even worse is the arrival of another stranger, whose mysterious arrangement with the kidnapper spells certain doom for Kevin. With no means of calling for help and miles of dark country in every direction, Bobby embarks on a rescue mission, determined to get himself and Kevin out alive…or die trying. I spoke to the duo about how they got involved in the film, what they learned from the experience and more.

The Boy Behind the Door: Lonnie Chavis & Ezra Dewey on Horror Film
Lonnie Chavis in The Boy Behind the Door (2022). Image courtesy of RLJE Films & Shudder

"When I got the script, I really loved it because I've never been to a horror movie before," Chavis said. "I just wanted to try it out and test out my skills." Dewey got a head start. "I was actually auditioning for 'The Djinn', and I didn't really get to audition for 'The Boy Behind the Door,' but I guess one led me to the other," he said. "I thought it was really interesting because it's not like a normal horror movie. Usually, it's not just all about kids because you don't really see a lot of that. So that's what really caught my eye because it was a lot different than what I've seen before."

The Boy Behind the Door: Lonnie Chavis & Ezra Dewey on Horror Film
Ezra Dewey in The Boy Behind the Door (2022). Image courtesy of RLJE Films & Shudder

Chavis said he initially cast before writer-directors David Charbonier and Justin Powell auditioned actors to play Kevin before hiring Dewey. "Ezra and I had a better connection than everybody else who came in and more able to joke around and then just snap into the scenes instantly," he said. "It was pretty good chemistry, and then when we got there on the day of filming, everything just went smoothly." "I think we got along really well, and I had never met him prior to that," Dewey added. "I think we just like immediately became friends, and it was really nice to hang out with him. He's a really cool dude."

The Boy Behind the Door: Lonnie Chavis & Ezra Dewey on Horror Film
RLJE Films & Shudder

While the experience was novel to both actors, both felt natural getting into their parts. "I'm to be honest. I feel like it's hard, but not that hard when you're in the moment," Chavis said. "You have blood on your clothes and your body. You have to be in the mindset of Bobby trying to fight for your life. You have the scream, kick and try all that. I feel like it's easier when you're actually in the moment." "Most of the scenes, my character has to be played as 'broken' and 'sad,'" Dewey added. "Those were probably the hardest thing for me because I was not really used to doing that kind of acting. I really had to take some time. Get into character in this thing."

As far as the most difficult thing Chavis had to go through, "The trunk scene because there was an actual trunk and it was locked down. It was hot in there. We had to have zip ties on our hands and duct tape on our mouth; we had to keep screaming and just keep doing the same thing and ttakeover and over again with different shots. We had to take some breaks for water. It was a very long day, but I felt like the performance that we did was it was OK." Dewey credits his experience on The Djinn for helping him through The Boy Behind the Door. The Shudder and RLJE Films movie, which also stars Kristen Bauer van Straten and Micah Hauptman, is currently available on VOD, Digital HD, DVD, and Blu-ray.

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Tom ChangAbout 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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