In an interview moderated by Danny Leigh, Holland and other stars including Bill Skarsgard, Jason Clarke, Sebastian Stan, Haley Bennett, Harry Melling, Eliza Scanlen and Pokey LaFarge joined director and co-writer Antonio Campos to discuss their characters and experiences on set.
“I’ve got to say I was really nervous and scared coming on set for the first time because I didn’t know if I had it in me to play this type of character,” Holland said. “He is a really complicated character and it is very dark, and I had to go to places mentally that I didn’t know I could go to or don’t think I ever want to go to again.”
The actor added that his character, Arvin Russell, though the hero of the film, has an idea of morality that sometimes involves killing. To get into the right headspace to take on a character so different from those he’s played in the past, Holland had to trust Campos’ direction.
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Stan, who is best known for his role as Bucky Barnes in the “Avengers” franchise, said his role as a corrupt officer in “The Devil All the Time” also pushed the boundaries of his acting.
“This was a very different role for me to jump into in terms of the world, which was so different from how I grew up or what I knew,” Stan said. “Even just in terms of the character, the challenge for me was the physicality aspect of it and really trying to go for something new that I hadn’t tried. That’s where the director comes in, the vision they have and how specific they are. He knew very specifically where to go with this thing and with this guy.”
The film comes to Netflix on Sept. 16. Skarsgard, who plays Arvin’s father, said the platform is perfect for the movie, as its composition follows the stories of multiple characters through different periods of time.
“It might be great for Netflix for … the fact that it’s telling chapters. So you have all these different short films almost, or short stories that have this red line tying it all together. I dealt with Willard’s story as if it was just his story because obviously his story ends.”