ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese talks Knocking on Cabin star Abby Quinn about M. Night Shyamalanthe latest movie (watch and read more interviews). The actress talked about wanting to work with Shyamalan and the challenges of filming on location. It is now available at 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and digital and streaming on Peacock.
“While on vacation at a remote cabin, a little girl and her parents are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand that the family make irrational choices to avoid the apocalypse,” reads the synopsis. “With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe in before everything is lost.”
Tyler Treese: Something I really like the movie is there a mystery to all the characters and you doubt if they are honest. What do you find most interesting about that aspect – that people can be so curious and unreliable about your character while you’re acting?
Abby Quinn: Well, I think what I find interesting is that I have to find a balance between the feelings of my character and then myself reading the script, because I think I’m a person to the audience thinking these people are crazy, and if it’s me. in this situation, I definitely … I think my gut instinct is to believe that these people are crazy and that we should get them out of the house. So it’s interesting to find the truth for the character and not write him as crazy or these Four Horsemen and to really find a truth and a truth in their situation and what they say and what what they believe, because you don’t exist’ I don’t really know, as an audience, what’s going on and who to believe. So yes, it’s very interesting.
There are many heavy themes throughout Knock at the Cabin. I kept thinking about it since I first saw it. What was it about the script that sold you on this project and made you want to come on board?
Well, I want to work with [M.] night [Shyamalan] for a long time. I’ve been a fan of his for years, so … in the beginning, even before I got the script, I just got a description of the character and the audition parts, and that’s really all I had to go with. My audition was my last scene, like that long monologue before I died. So I knew it was going to be very intense. [Laugh]. And in the audition, the email … I think it said, “More intensity is needed in this character.” So, before, there was an ambiguity about it, but I just knew that I was very lucky to play this role.
The fact that she’s a young mother and it’s a horror film … there are a lot of elements that are new to me and that I haven’t done before, so it’s exciting as well. And many of the actors, too, I’m big fans of. As I started to hear about who was going to be in the cast and who was going to be in it, I felt like I would be really upset if I wasn’t. [Laugh]. So yeah, it was a lot of things.
Talk to me by filming that death scene, because as you said, they are intense and there is this weight on all the intruders who know what their end is and will do it no matter what, because this is how they try to save the world. Can you talk about filming that death scene? They all just look crazy.
Yes, I think – at least for my character – he is the youngest of the four of them and he is quite naïve, although he had to mature at an early age and is now on this mission. I just keep feeling that my nature wants to postpone these feelings as long as possible. So even in the morning when he knew he was going to die unless they chose it, he cooked breakfast and tried to talk to Wen [Kristen Cui] and you never know what will happen in 10 minutes based on his behavior.
So it’s really fun to play because this guy is absolutely in denial until he has to beg for his life and not die. So it’s really the slow burn and then he explodes because there’s no time and he has to get out everything he wants to say to people in order to survive.
The cast is amazing, and I think it’s an interesting way to watch Dave Bautista‘s range as a performer. How was he viewed as this soft-spoken, highly emotional character? Those aren’t really the roles we usually see her in, and she’s very up to the task here.
Well, it’s interesting because that’s how I know him now. When I first met him… he was very nice and kind and soft-spoken, especially when you first met him. Like the first night we met him, we had dinner at Night’s house, and I sat next to him for 30 minutes, we talked about veganism and how we both don’t eat meat. So it was really weird… no matter what I thought about him and how nervous I was to meet him, it wasn’t what I expected.
Seeing him play this character as well, he is the guiding force for the Four Horsemen. I think our characters look to him and look to him for guidance. Then as actors too, we watched him a lot in many scenes to set the tone, and we followed his lead. He is just kind and sweet. So I feel lucky that, that he is leading this movie for us.
This movie does so much with so little and there’s only one real central location – the cabin. How does it make a full-length feature on it? It’s not a big mansion, it’s a nice cabin. How was the availability of one location for the entire film?
I think because it’s built on a stage that also has this element and makes it feel more real than just filming a cabin in the middle of the woods… we’ll walk outside the cabin and this is it. industrial building that we go to and we avoid the lights … it’s this weird Truman Show-esque feeling for five weeks when we leave the set. But it was great because at the end … those outdoor scenes at the beginning of the film when we were walking in the woods, that’s where we ended. So it felt great to be outside and it felt like we were out of the cabin and breathing fresh air for the first time in like five weeks. So it’s cool to finish with nature and the outdoors and it’s a big sigh of relief for everyone, I think. [Laugh].
You’ve talked about wanting to work with Night for a long time. What exactly made him a director? I think it’s great that we’ve seen him get more praise lately. It seems that he took it for granted for a while but now he has beautiful flowers.
Yes, I agree. I’m a fan of him … I have two older brothers, and they really introduced me to those movies and influenced me in what I wanted. He’s always been someone I admire and I just enjoy his work. Then I auditioned for him at … like 13, when I started acting professionally. I’ve auditioned him a few times, so he’s always on my radar and I’m hoping to work with him and get a project done. I’m always excited when I see his name in an email that he’s doing another movie or a TV show.
I think the movie that stood out for me – and I watched it again before filming – was The Village, and also Signs. But The Village, I feel, perfectly encapsulates what he does best, that he can add humanity and humor and then also horror. I think, for me, that movie just reminded me why I love his work and admire his filmmaking.