Hooked Up, on VOD April 7, is a rather exceptional horror movie – if even because it was filmed on an iPhone. We spoke to one of the film’s stars, Stephen Ohl, about making director Pablo Larcuen’s crafty screamfest. It is time to get familiar with Stephen and see what is going on, enjoy.
Was the director looking for fresh faced, unknowns for the movie? Did it work in your favor that you hadn’t done any big movies?
I think Pablo was just looking for the right actors to tell his story. I know he probably didn’t have money for name actors, but who knows if he would have gone that way if he did have the opportunity. With Found Footage films, it definitely helps to have unknown actors. The whole premise relies on the idea that this is real footage from random people. To have a familiar face would probably detract from the genre a bit.
But you obviously had the acting chops to pull it off. How did you convince them of that?
There wasn’t really any convincing. Auditioning is kind of just showing the director “this is me, this is how I’ll play this.” And because there was no specific text for the audition process, this film was just showing Pablo who we were. It was all improvised and personal. And when Pablo met us, he kind of sized us up and wrote the script around us. When I auditioned the character was much different, but Pablo drastically changed and brought it to a place I wasn’t even sure if I could pull off, but somehow he saw something in me that convinced him that I could. Then I guess he convinced me that I could too.
Do you think you have to be a horror movie fan to enjoy acting in one?
Absolutely not, I love all movies; no genre is off limit to my love. Horror films aren’t necessarily my favorite. But I can tell you that acting in this horror movie was my favorite acting experience.
What are some of your favorite horror movies?
The Shining, The Exorcist, The Thing, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Ring, The Grudge, Scream, Halloween. More recently I’ve liked Insidious, Sinister, The Conjuring, Green Inferno.
What about in terms of found footage movies, which one rules them all?
For me I think it’s Cloverfield. That was the first time I saw a found footage film and really loved the medium.
Were you guys handling the iPhone/camera at any time? And how hard was it to work with a non-traditional filming device like that?
Going into it, I thought I was going to handle the camera a lot. I’m a filmmaker myself and I had thought that was one of the reasons I was cast. However, we had a great DP who operated almost every shot. There was one scene that I had to shoot because there was no other way to do it. And there was one scene Jonah operated for the same reason. I am actually very proud of the scene I shot and am happy I had the opportunity to do so.
Have you seen the film yet? Are you able to watch yourself on screen?
I have seen the film at three different screenings now. Watching me can be tough especially with a large room full of people watching me too, but I’ve actually enjoyed watching this film every time. You always have the things you cringe watching and think about how you could have done it better. But then there are some scenes in this where I give myself chills…