Vaughn Stein interview for Inheritance

AJ: Hey Vaughn how are you doing?

Vaughn Stein:
Not too bad, thanks, AJ, how are you?

AJ Friar:
Good. So how long have you been involved with Inheritance?

Vaughn Stein:
Mid-2018, I first read the script. It got sent to me through my agent and friend [inaudible 00:00:21], just kind of fell in love with it the first time I read it. I just, I love thrillers. I love beautifully conceived and complex thrillers. And this one, the way that this one sort of blended those kind of, sort of dark folklore into this satire about the monster in the basement or the skeleton in the closet. I found it really unique and really exciting. So yeah, I started on it mid-2018. Introduced Simon Pegg to the project and he loved it and we started working, and sort of building his character up, and I met Lily who plays Lauren Monroe, this sort of fiercely, excuse me, fiercely independent DA, who’s kind of eschewing her family money, and sort of striking out forging her own path, who’s then pulled back into the sort of tangled webbed of lies that the Monroe dynasty has created. Yeah, it was an amazing, amazing journey [inaudible 00:01:28].

AJ Friar:
And let’s talk about the cast as you brought up, you have Simon Pegg, you have Lily Collins, who both delivered powerhouse performances in this. How was it like seeing Simon Pegg transform into this character, because it looked like he lost a ton of weight to be able to portray his character in this?

Vaughn Stein:
I mean, it was slightly terrifying to watch him go through it. I mean, he’s a very trim guy. He keeps himself in good shape, but he surely lost 14 kilos to sort of take on this skeletal, emaciated, monster in the basement, as it were. But we talked early on about the idea of what captivity does to people, and how people cope. And we talked about him sort of developing this prison guard physique, this idea of relentless press ups and sit ups, and just doing anything to keep active and the body engaged, in a confined space. His discipline in doing that was just astonishing, the physical transformation made. It’s a unique opportunity to cast someone, a world renowned actor in that new role that audiences haven’t seen him, and then I’m really grateful for him for doing that, for putting himself out there.

AJ Friar:
Right. And that’s another thing about this is a lot of people in the genre haven’t seen Simon Pegg do something like this serious. They’ve seen him do Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but they haven’t seen him really playing like the straight man in a thriller yet, which was incredible to watch. I want to give Patrick Warburton some love for this too, because even though he just had like an extended cameo, you finally gave him something that he can chew into and is not his every day role and that he has. And it was just fantastic to see him play a straight man in this also.

Vaughn Stein:
AJ, I’m so glad you brought him up, because Patrick, I mean, it was such a pleasure to work with him. And of course I know him from, as we all do, as this universally renowned and loved brilliant comedy actor.

AJ Friar:
Right.

Vaughn Stein:
Playing the comedy bit man is, you need gravitas and poise and presence to do that. Patrick Warburton and [inaudible 00:04:00], and people who are able to lean into their natural gravitas to do comedy, and to use that, Patrick plays Archer Monroe, this sort of billionaire patriarch of this huge like old money, New York family. To be able to use his strength and his resonant voice and his physique, just his amazing acting ability to do something that hopefully audiences won’t necessarily have seen him do before [inaudible 00:04:34] in a job. We really wanted Archer to haunt the movie, and he did, he was able to play that, that sort of scepter that hangs over it, it was amazing.

AJ Friar:
And how was it like, I mean, to get this performance out of Lily Collins also, who was a young actress, up and coming. For her to kind of stand head to head with Simon Pegg throughout all of this must have been just incredible to watch unfold right in front of you.

Vaughn Stein:
I mean, yeah. She’s well classed. I mean, she is a truly special talent really. And she is so giving and so open and incredibly disciplined and hard working. And, I’ve loved some of the stuff she’s done and [inaudible 00:05:29], it was amazing to, again, like to have an opportunity to work with her in a role that she hadn’t done before. That in a sense learn some extremely complicated character, on one level, this independent, confident, unassailable, public defender trying one of the biggest cases in the history of New York state. And on the other hand this fragile, bereaved daughter, who’s being dragged back into this dark family secret, who’s watching her world unravel and her family being threatened. To sort of have that duality in her performance and to be so emotive and so nuanced, it was just amazing. .

Lily Collins and Patrick Warburton in inheritance

AJ Friar:
And I want to get your thoughts on kind of the new landscape of cinema going on now with all the cinemas pretty much closed and this won’t have an opportunity to play at theaters, but it’s getting like a home premiere date. How do you feel that cinema is going to evolve during all this COVID-19? And is this a glimpse of what could happen in the following years with movies to come like Scoob! home premiering on videos on demand and Trolls and possibility of Halloween and Candyman premiering at home now because AMC and Regal said they will no longer show Universal movies at the cinema, what is your take on what’s going on right now?

Due to COVID19 theaters are temporarily closed

Vaughn Stein:
Well, I mean, we should preface this, AJ, by saying that cinema is a collective experience. It’s theatrical in nature. There is no better place to watch a horror film than in the company of a load of other people that are full of the same adrenaline, who are when someone screams, everyone jumps.

AJ Friar:
Right.

Vaughn Stein:
It’s an amazing feeling, but I would say that sitting at home with the lights turned off on your couch and a big TV, having that same experience with loved ones and friends, make a very, very close second. Like I love cinema. I love the experience. I love the smell of it. The feel of it. But I love being able to sit on my couch with my wife and watch amazing films with just [inaudible 00:07:45], and with what’s going on with the world, I think there is no reason that the two can’t co-exist moving into the future. And I think for the short term, while cinemas sadly can’t, they can’t be part of the cultural experience like us watching it on VOD or whatever, and showing it, like everyone’s talking about it, everyone’s getting hyped on whatever social media platform they’re on, and people talking about it, it’s not the same, but it’s a close running second, I’ll tell you that.

AJ Friar:
Well, Vaughn, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been really fun.

Vaughn Stein:
Oh, it’s a pleasure, AJ, thanks so much.

AJ Friar:
Have a good day and stay safe.

Vaughn Stein:
And you, mate, take care.

AJ Friar:
Thank you.

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