Zach Gilford’s face is without doubt one of the first stuff you see within the new Netflix collection Midnight Mass, and it instantly units the tone for the following seven hours. He’s misplaced, wayward, and wounded, but undeniably soulful, simply as he was in his breakout position because the tender, artsy Matt Saracen on Friday Night time Lights and within the underrated horror flick The Final Winter.
The brand new collection from The Haunting of Hill Home mastermind MIke Flanagan sees Gilford’s Riley Flynn returning to a provincial, devoutly Christian fishing island (the precise location isn’t acknowledged, but it surely’s strongly New England-coded). A brand new priest arrives and tensions start to boil over between the townspeople, creating some critical drama earlier than the supernatural components even manifest.
“I auditioned for the present solely attending to see two scenes,” Gilford says. “All I knew was who my character was, what Mike had performed earlier than, and that I used to be an enormous fan of his. He does the horror style another way. “
The solid had performed solely a single desk learn when manufacturing stopped in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When it resumed in August, Gilford was out of the blue remoted in Vancouver, lacking his household and never with the ability to attend the beginning of his son. That somberness comes by way of in his efficiency as Riley, who’s the closest factor we have now to an viewers avatar.
“[My wife] instructed me, ‘I knew it was dangerous.’ I wouldn’t even fold my laundry, I’d simply wash it and throw it on the ground,” he remembers. “I’m so OCD, I do all of the laundry in our home, I’ve folding boards so it seems to be like Abercrombie & Fitch, and I used to be identical to, ‘Who cares, simply put it over there. I’ll simply survive off the ground.’”
Troublesome circumstances apart, it’s one of many 39-year-old actor’s greatest performances ever. Although guarded and tender spoken, he types shifting connections with characters like Kate Siegel’s Erin Greene and Hamish Linklater’s Father Paul, as Flanagan units Crockett Island up like an intricate domino sculpture earlier than tipping issues into abject chaos. Between Midnight Mass and his upcoming work with Flanagan on The Midnight Membership, Gilford needs to be strongly thought of for a spot within the high 10 of any post-Friday Night Lights cast rankings.
With the brand new collection incomes rave opinions, GQ spoke to Gilford about what he thinks makes horror particular, how halting for COVID-19 affected the present (for higher and worse), and bringing Mike Flanagan’s eerie imaginative and prescient to life. Spoilers for Netflix’s Midnight Mass to comply with.
I do know you’ve talked lots within the press about what occurs to Riley’s character, but it surely nonetheless caught me off guard.
I believe it’s cool. I auditioned for the present solely attending to see two scenes. All I knew was who my character was, what Mike had performed earlier than, and that I used to be an enormous fan of his. He does the horror style another way. The phrase “horror” is such a big umbrella and once we say it persons are like, “I don’t like that,” but it surely’s not gory. It’s not even scary, it’s just a bit creepy, perhaps.
It’s virtually gothic.
That’s an ideal phrase for it. And I like that type of stuff the place it simply makes you are feeling uncomfortable whilst you’re watching it, however his cinematography is gorgeous and his storytelling and the characters he develops [are terrific]. So all I had was these two scenes, and for an audition they had been wonderful scenes. I knew, holy shit, I need to do that. And I don’t even know what this present is about. [laughs] All I knew was the logline of “A younger priest arrives in a small island fishing city and unusual issues begin occurring.”
https://www.gq.com/story/zach-gilford-netflix-midnight-mass-interview | Zach Gilford on the Non secular Horror of Netflix’s ‘Midnight Mass’