Well, quite a lot. It was an interesting prep period, for Luke. When they offered it to me, I watched a bunch of documentaries. Then I thought, “No, no, no, this isn’t the right way. I don’t want to play an addict, because these are people.” Playing Luke was not about playing a heroin addict. It was about playing someone that had been so deeply traumatized that he had no choice but to end up in this place, and that it wasn’t his fault. No one fucking wakes up one morning and goes, “I know what I want to do.”
Let’s stay in the horror realm with The Invisible Man. It’s amazing how much I felt not just that there’s a presence in the room with [Elisabeth Moss’s] Cecilia, but that it is specifically Adrian — it still seemed like you even when you’re not on screen. Because it’s not always just special effects or a stand-in: you were there!
In that sexy green suit, yep. Lizzie is such an incredible talent and I just wanted to support that as much as I could. I mean, she’s more than capable of doing it without me, but it just felt like the right thing to do all the stuff that I could do. I mean, some of the stuff were [stunt performers] doing it. I’m glad that you say that: we did want this constant looming threat, so I’m glad that it’s achieved.
But that sexy green suit was horrific. Never ever say yes to green spandex. Ever.
You did a similar thing on The Haunting Of Bly Manor, in the scenes where Miles [Benjamin Evan Ainsworth] is possessed by your character, Peter. Do you ever get stressed out working with children, particularly on something that scary?
I think there’s always a concern when you are working with kids: you don’t want them exposed to anything. Ben and Amelie [Bea Smith, who plays Miles’s sister Flora] were just so incredible, and their moms were with them the whole time. We tried to make their experience as uplifting and as fun as possible. But with Ben, I would sit on set with him, and I would do the scene, and then he would copy what I did. Then I would just sit by the monitor, in his eye line. I mean, kids at that age, they’re such brilliant mimics, you know what I mean?
Apparently I love to do stuff like that offscreen. Maybe I shouldn’t be an actor. It felt very, very important for the story, as with Invisible Man. Whether or not people will notice that, I don’t care, but I feel like all this minutiae hopefully adds up to something in the end.
When I was going back through your older press, it was impossible not to notice the dates on all those pieces about The Invisible Man: it really was the last big movie to come out pre-COVID, and your first big splashy Hollywood movie. What was it like for you to have the movie and lockdown happen right on top of each other?