Max Thieriot’s acting career has been on the rise ever since he made his film debut in “Catch that Kid,” and now he gets one of his biggest roles to date in the horror movie “House at the End of the Street.” In it he plays Ryan Jacobson, a sole survivor of a vicious attack that claimed the lives of his immediate family. Thieriot talked about how he prepared for the role and of what it was like working with Jennifer Lawrence who co-stars as the new girl in town Elissa.
Thierlot got really excited about the part of Ryan after he read the script, finding him very complex and full of many layers that get peeled back as the movie unfolds. The challenge of the role for him was to find a way to make this “soft spoken and quiet” character more unique than the ones that usually inhabit horror movies.
“I watched a lot of videos, and all sorts of stuff on people with different issues, and tried to find some common ground and similarity between them and their actions, and Ryan,” Thieriot said. “I put together a lot of stuff, and came up with what I did.”
Like many horror movies and thrillers, “House at the End of the Street” has endless twists and turns as filmmakers still love to keep the audience guessing. Thierlot said it is actually rare for him to find a script like this which has twists he couldn’t see coming. The trick became to not reveal too much to the audience as it can be ridiculously easy to give a lot of things away.
“One of the hardest parts is when you’re playing a character and you know what’s going on with the character, it’s easier to not show it,” said Thierlot. “In this film, there are moments where you reveal little secrets without telling people that it’s happening – whether it’s a look and being able to have them noticeable enough that when you finish the movie, you go, ‘Oh!'”
Of course, many people have asked Thierlot what it was like working with Jennifer Lawrence whose career has gone into hyper drive thanks to the success of “The Hunger Games.” He spoke very highly of Lawrence and described her as “really cool” and that he had a lot of fun “playing off her” and working with her. What also made them work so well together in “House at the End of the Street” is they have similar backgrounds in regards to how they grew up.
“Immediately, I could tell she was a fantastic actress. It was always very real with her. It made it so much easier for me to come off like that,” Thierlot said. “She was a down-to-earth, small-town girl. I’m from a small town in Northern California. We understood each other. It (this movie) was before any of her success. Nobody in the industry knew her. That’s how it always is – you’re unknown until you get that one chance to show it.”
Up next for Max Thieriot is playing Norman Bates’ older brother Dylan in the upcoming A&E drama series “Bates Motel.” He has previously only been in one horror movie before “House at the End of the Street” (Wes Craven’s ill-received “My Soul to Take”), but he is certainly making his presence felt in this genre. It will benefit from actors like Thieriot who are out to give audiences something that’s not just the same old thing.
Elisabeth Shue on Playing Sarah in ‘House at the End of the Street’
Christina Radish, “Max Thieriot Talks HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET, PSYCHO Series BATES MOTEL, and DISCONNECT,” Collider, September 20, 2012.
Joel D Amos, “The House at the End of the Street: Max Thieriot Explores His Dark Side,” Movie Fanatic, September 20, 2012.