Fright Interview With THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING’s Shane Johnson!

David Jung’s THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING hits theaters this Friday (August 22nd) and VOD on August 26th from Anchor Bay, and after checking it out, we’ve got to say, it’s one fun movie that’s full of enough surprises and scares to make dedicated horror fans jump out of their seats. The film’s star, Shane Johnson (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, TV’s Power), was nice enough to chat with us for a bit regarding the film and his dedication to scaring the hell out of horror fans all around. Read on!


 

MKposter

You did an amazing job in THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING, and the scenes in which your character was possessed were intense, and downright terrifying. Is there anything you had to do to mentally and physically prepare for this role? And if so, what helped you get into that character?

Thank you.  I really appreciate that. Yes!  I spent the months leading up to the movie preparing myself physically.  I knew that a lot was going to be demanded of me and I wanted to make sure that my physical limitations weren’t watering down my performance in any way. I wanted to be limber and in control.  I figured that if I was in control of my body enough, I could manipulate it to look like I was out of control.  In reality, it’s mostly just really going for it when the director calls “action”.  I don’t think I held anything back.  There were days where I really thought I was going to be dragged off set in the back of an ambulance.

Mentally, I wanted to have bunch of ammunition.  I did my research with the help of the writer/director David Jung.  I  didn’t want to “act at” circumstances, I wanted to fully understand and experience them.

Spiritually, I was dabbling with fire.  The fact that I verbally challenge the devil to reveal himself to me is never anything I planned on doing in my life.  That was uncomfortable.  At the end of the day I could say “I’m just an actor, I didn’t mean it”, but that didn’t go very far to comforting me.

 There are quite a few possession films out there, and I’m sure a lot of people will eventually agree with me when I say that THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING is truly fresh and unique. I mean, most of the stuff in this film really got a lot of great reactions from the audience at the LA screening recently. Although the film is just coming out, how does it feel to have people already giving such positive feedback on your performance in this film?

It’s been very rewarding.  This transformation that I get to experience in the story is definitely the most rewarding experience of my career.  I have to give it up to David Jung and Guy Danella for championing me and throwing all kinds of amazing ideas and concepts at me.  Not to mention pushing me to the breaking point.  It was very tasking, and ultimately even more gratifying.

There are a lot of horror film clichés out there, did you feel any pressure to bring something not seen in every other possession film?

Not really.  So much has been done out there.  What I really spent my time looking at in regards to previous films, is what works and what doesn’t.  I wanted to avoid pitfalls and analyze why certain things work, while others don’t.

Ultimately, the most important thing to me was that I came from a place of truth – presented this argument to the audience in such a way that they have to relate to it and consider it.  If we accomplished that as filmmakers, then we did our job.

Aside from doing features, you also have a pretty extensive background in TV, Is your approach, acting-wise, different for film as opposed to TV? Or do you kind of head in and prepare for every role the same way?

This role is different than most because I had to really go through a remarkable series of experiences each more horrifying than the last, so my preparation was more extensive than normal.  Also, keeping this whole journey straight in my head so that I knew where I was at was challenging.  We shot in 19 days and we shot the scenes out of order.  So jumping back and forth in the story and keeping the arc clear was really important.

Of course, I just have to ask…in every great possession or haunt film there are always weird things that happen behind the scenes, on set, or even after filming is done. Did anything unusually creepy happen to you, or anyone on the set? 

I had a couple of experience that seem beyond explanation to me.  One is when my little girl in the movie wakes from a nightmare and comes out to me in the middle of the night.  She says she had a nightmare, I ask her what it was about.  She says a monster, then I send her back to bed (and this is while fighting the “ant” infestation).  A couple hours later, I was at home crashed on the couch cuz it was really late – didn’t want to wake my wife.  My 6 year old comes out and wakes me up, says he had a nightmare.  I ask him what it was about…….. monster.  I send him off to bed.  I’m freaking out on the couch…….. ant crawls up my arm.  No BS – that is exactly how it played out.

And I can also say that working on the material in my house in the dark and challenging the devil to reveal himself – made my hair stand on end and had me questioning whether doing this movie was a good idea.

THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING scares audiences, beginning August 22nd in theaters and on August 26th on VOD via Anchor Bay.

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