Stars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye along with Producer Jason Blum and Writer/Actor Leigh Whannell discuss Insidious: Chapter 2

Insidious 2 CastStars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Lin Shaye were on hand to discuss their upcoming horror movie Insidious: Chapter 2 along with Producer Jason Blum and Writer/Actor Leigh Whannell. James Wan’s second installation of the ghost series catches up with the Lamberts whose son appears to be doing much better, but not all of their other-realm problems have been solved.

Actor Patrick Wilson plays the role of husband, father and recently possessed Josh Lambert in the movie. If miles were rewarded for traveling back and forth to the Further, Wilson’s character would have elite status. Wilson was also in The Conjuring, and you may recognize him if you watch HBO’s Girls. He guest starred on the show, playing a round of ping pong with Lena Dunham’s character…who happened to be only wearing panties.

Wilson on Director James Wan:

He’s great. What I love about James is that even within the genre, you see the difference with Saw to The Conjuring to this movie, which in a weird way, is much more fantasy or even camp at times. If I were to put The Conjuring into a group of 70s horror movies, I’d put this into a group of 80s horror movies. You watch Nightmare on Elm Street as a cynical adult, and you’re like “It’s a guy, a burn victim in a striped shirt with a fedora. Like, what is happening?” There’s that almost ridiculous element, and yet you’re scared. I like that even within the genre James pushes himself as far as he can go. I love that. I can really admire that. It’s one thing I thought after the first Insidious. If you’re going to go do it again and move the story along, can you pick it up right where you left off? And where can you go? I think they just wanted to swing a big stick. You’re dealing with a very linear storyline of what’s happening to me and you’re dealing with a very non-linear storyline of time travel weirdly and the Further. I applaud that. I really applaud the fact that they really stuck their neck out.

Wilson on letting his children see the film:

They’re seven and four. I’ll show them pieces of stuff because they get fascinated by it. They of course come to set, too. I would show them parts of the first one, because my oldest would remember going to the set and remember seeing Joe, the red-faced demon, get into makeup. My son’s a cinephile. [Jokes] I don’t know how that happened. He’s a huge movie guy, so he can look at it from that perspective too. Obviously I’m not going to show him the whole thing, but I may show him bits of this where I go crazy, not where I’m really choking anybody.

Actress Rose Byrne plays Renai Lambert, who is a mother, wife and someone whose life is constantly disrupted by ghosts. (She was also the annoyingly perfect new best friend on Bridesmaids.)

Byrne on ghosts:

I’ve never had an encounter. I like horror movies. When it happens I’m well up for it.

Byrne on her favorite scary movies:

The Shining. I like Nightmare on Elm Street—the original, and Silent Night, Deadly Night. I love that stuff. There’s an Australian film called Snowtown. That’s probably the scariest one I’ve ever seen.

Byrne on the sets for Insidious Chapter 2:

None of them were like a palace. The dust is what killed us at the hospital; everyone is coughing. The house is pretty creepy, just strange, really atmospheric. The hospital was in a stranger part of LA, which added to it.

Actress Lin Shaye plays Medium Elise Rainier in the movie. She and horror movies go way back—she played a teacher in Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street

Shaye on being cast for the role:

When I saw the character I was so thrilled James would ever think of me. I was the first person he cast. I still say, “Why?” He said, “I just thought you would be great.” If I went into audition, I never would have gotten cast. I’m thrilled he saw something in my core that he thought would translate and make it rich. I really worked on who she was.

Shaye on spirits:

I believe in everything. I think our receivers are clogged with so much commerciality and static. I don’t meditate per se, but I think people who can and do it properly clean their receptors.

Shaye on people in touch with the supernatural:  

I think there are a lot of fakes and a lot of great receivers. I think Elise is a great receiver. There are other worlds. There has to be.

Producer Jason Blum is the CEO and founder of Blumhouse Productions which has produced more than 30 films including the Paranormal Activity movies and Sinister.

Blum on whether there will be a third installation of Insidious:

I hope so. I hope there will be a third chapter. I’ve thought about it. Leigh and James haven’t thought about it. I try to restrain myself from banging down their door, but I hope they make a third one.

Blum on making smaller budget horror films:

Budgets are under five [million], and the reason I do that is so that people like James [Wan] and Leigh can do whatever they want. We make very inexpensive movies. In exchange for that everyone makes scale. Everyone makes money if the movies work, and if they don’t, no one does, but no one loses because we don’t spend a lot. I always tell our directors to try stuff in the movies they’ve never tried before, because the whole point of doing movies inexpensively is to take creative risks.

Blum on when to quit making sequels:

It depends on the franchise. If it were just up to me, it’s like when it starts to feel tired….like when it starts to feel like, “Ugh not another one of these.”  I think if it’s purely corporate, it’s the fans. So, if the fans stop coming, they stop making sequels.

At one time on Paranormal I thought the third one was particularly good. I thought maybe we should hold off for five years, but that fell on deaf ears.

Blum on how he got into producing scary movies:

I was really into Halloween when I was young. My mother and I made our costumes; we started in July. That’s where it started, more than movies. I was really into dressing up into scary things. I saw Friday the 13th too early, and it really scared me because I was too young when I saw it. I studied Hitchcock in college. We just saw a bunch of Hitchcock movies and got to talk about them, which is fun. If there was a moment where I had started clicking into scary movies I would say it was then, in college, but I always liked scary stuff. I always won the Halloween costume contest.

Leigh Whannell wrote the screenplay for the movie and also plays the role of Specs, one of Elise’s protégés. Specs’ thick-rimmed glasses and white shirt-black tie combo make him look something like a member of a ghosthunter Geek Squad.

Whannell shares his thoughts on screenwriting and acting in the film:

I enjoy playing that role. The thing about being a writer is once you finish writing and you hand it off, that’s it. It’s like, “Okay, go away now.” The cool thing about acting in the film is you still get to be a part of it. The shooting of the film really is like summer camp. It’s like a little bubble. You have these really intense relationships with these people for a short amount of time. It’s just really fun. So, I really want to be a part of that, and until I start directing films, the way to stay involved is to be like, “Here’s my script and by the way…Gary? That’s me.” As long as you don’t make Gary the lead, the producers are like, “Alright you can play Gary.”

Plus acting is way more fun than directing. You actually have to work when you direct a film. Actors—they just get doted on. You can say you’re thirsty, and ten people repel through the ceiling with bottles of water; meanwhile, you’re surrounded by grips who are lifting equipment, freezing their asses off, haven’t eaten in seven hours. Don’t believe anybody who tells you acting is hard work, it’s really just being doted upon.

Insidious: Chapter 2 is now in theaters nationwide.

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