Why ‘Barbarian’ Filmmaker Zach Cregger Included THR’s Kim Masters in Film – The Hollywood Reporter

Judging by the trailer or poster, it’s by Zach Kregger barbarian It seems to follow a classic horror movie premise updated for the tech age: A young woman checks into an Airbnb in Detroit, only to find a man — and a variety of scares — waiting inside. But this is only part of the story.

During the weekend of September 9-11, the no. Halfway through the film, which opened at 1, writer-director Kregger abruptly jumps from dunk Detroit to sunny LA, where hotshot actor Justin Long stars. Traveling in a convertible without a care in the world. That is, until he gets a call from his agent telling him he’s been accused of sexual abuse. The Hollywood Reporter.

“When I wrote, I had to use my dream The Hollywood Reporter But it’s one of those things that you think will never happen, and I would have been sad to make some kind of hypothetical estimate,” Kregger explained. THR Recently on Zoom. “And the benefit of having competent producers is that they say, ‘Why don’t we see if we can get the real deal?’

For Kregger, the real deal wasn’t just getting used THR But it’s editor-at-large Kim Masters’ byline whose name appears in the exposé written about Long’s character.

“Having Kim Masters as the author of the article is the ultimate. Kim is just ahead of the curve in exposing the toxic nature of the power dynamic at play in Hollywood when it comes to men and sexual misconduct,” Kregger explains of the veteran journalist and host of KCRW. business Fred Savage, Amazon’s Roy Price, Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara, Sex and the City Chris Noth and more. “She’s very locked up [these stories] Before it exploded a couple of years ago. I think this is very admirable. “

Because of her work, Kregger says that seeing or hearing Kim Masters’ name evokes a reaction. “There are a lot of people who are in awe of her and a lot of people who really admire her. She’s earned this place in our culture and she deserves a lot of credit for what she’s done. Personally, for me to have her name in this movie is a tip of the hat to what she’s done. And thanks to Kim Masters.”

Zach Kregger and his co-stars, Georgina Campbell and Justin Long.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

What about Long’s role? Kregger insists he created him based on an amalgamation of people he knew. By casting Long, a lovable actor known for his comedic chops, he wanted to play with expectations, as did Bill Skarsgård, known for playing monstrous clown-like villains in blockbusters, as Georgina Campbell, who was welcomed into an Airbnb. This is.

“We all have this preconceived idea of ​​what a predator looks like, and I wanted to explore that a little bit,” Kregger says. “Bill Keith is perfect for the role because he has a long established history of literally being a monster in film. This is It’s the scariest movie of all time and he’s a clown so when you see him, you know it’s an evil guy, right? The audience is prepared to fear him or suspect that he has some kind of ulterior motive.

As such, Kregger gave Skarsgård very limited direction. “My only directive to Bill, from the beginning, was, ‘Don’t do anything creepy.’ Even with all these microaggressions we lean towards him from the good guy zone. Then, when it came time to cast AJ, at first I thought it was some kind of low-hanging fruit. Let’s cast an actor like Zac Efron with a jawbone, a haircut and biceps. But I Didn’t think about it deeply enough.

barbarian Now in theaters.

Bill Skarsgård in barbarian.

Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

This story first appeared in the Sept. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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