Wunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù wouldn’t have considered themselves hardcore fans of the horror genre before shooting “His House,” but were drawn to the terrifying film for other reasons. The pair spoke on Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast about the making of their new thriller, which has just hit Netflix in time for Halloween. (Listen below!)
Mosaku has actually flourished in horror as of late – the Nigerian-born British actor starred in “Lovecraft Country” as skin-shedding songstress Ruby Baptiste. But she says she initially didn’t consider herself a fan of the genre.
“I don’t like being scared one iota!” she says. But there was one film in particular that changed her mind: “I realized from ‘Get Out’ I don’t mind if it has a social commentary or something that means something. Before that, I never watched them. I thought it was just like things to make you scared for no reason. And I don’t like that. But now, I think I would say I’m a horror fan. As long as there’s something meaningful in it, you know?”
Written and directed by Remi Weekes, the film stars Mosaku and Dìrísù as Rial and Bol, Sudanese refugees who discover the home the British government has placed them in is haunted. In addition to the supernatural factor, the film also shows the everyday issues immigrants must face. Attempts to relocate are considered ungrateful and the couple soon learn it’s impossible to forget the ghosts of their pasts.
English actor Dìrísù had more experience watching horror films but says he was “searching for something that’s going to truly scare me. I think maybe having watched loads of films or knowing how you tell stories, you can see through them, or you can expect the jump scares and stuff like that.”
But when he read Weekes’ script, “I could see there were layers to it. And yes, there was the monster as it’s presented, because it is a horror film. But for me, the story without the monster was equally as valid and equally heartbreaking and equally terrifying.”
Dirisu might best be known to American audiences for his appearance in the “Black Mirror” episode “Nosedive,” which starred Bryce Dallas Howard as a woman obsessed with social media ratings. The end of the ep finds her in prison, engaging in a screaming match with Dìrísù’s character – with a hint of chemistry. While “Black Mirror” has never done a sequel, Dìrísù jokes he would love to revisit these characters down the road. “I wanna see those two, what happens, and how they tear down this institution of ratings and save the world!”
Variety‘s Awards Circuit podcast, hosted by Clayton Davis, Jenelle Riley, Jazz Tangcay and Michael Schneider (who produces), is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week Awards Circuit features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday.