Starring Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey, “Truth or Dare” is a Blumhouse Production project that puts a new twist on the horror genre by making each main character play the antagonist at some point. Hale and Posey explain their attraction to the script and their thoughts on Blumhouse’s creative decisions during a roundtable interview.
The following interview has been edited for style and clarity.
The Badger Herald: The movie is a horror, but it also focuses on the psychological aspects of that genre. What were your thoughts on going into that sub-genre?
Lucy Hale: For me, that’s what I found so interesting about this movie is that Olivia’s biggest fear isn’t doing something, it’s the secret that she harbors and has kept her whole life. So I thought it was really interesting that we all have something we’re afraid of or something about ourselves that we dislike or we all have secrets. And that’s ultimately what the game brings out of everyone. And I thought that was super relatable and a really interesting twist on a horror film.
Tyler Posey: I love psychological horror films more than big scares and gory stuff. I like when movies mess with your head — it’s creepier that way.
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How much freedom did you have with the script?
LH: I think within this movie there’s so much running around, and our director Jeff Wadlow really did trust us with our characters and let us run free with whatever we wanted to do. I always try to pay respect to the writers and stick within … they wrote a really great script so we wanted to honor that but … we got to know each other so well and I think because our chemistry was so great we added some special touches, but the script was written so well that we didn’t need to add much to it because it was already there on the page.
TP: One thing we got to have a lot of freedom with though was the actual truth or dare game. I remember when there was the lap-dance happening, everyone was throwing out adlibs and we just kind of had a lot of fun with that game. It really did feel like we were playing truth or dare because we were always adlibbing stuff and trying to one-up one another and make each other laugh or something like that, so that part was really fun.
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What made this specific film so enticing that you wanted to be a part of it?
TP: It was an offer for me and I’m a huge fan of Blumhouse and was immediately humbled and honored that they even thought of me to fill in the shoes of an actor who had dropped out of the project. This just fits right in my wheel-well of what I like to do. I love gory, fun, insane stuff — I like heightened energy, acting and I love being covered in blood and I had some blood on me this movie.
LH: For me — yeah, love Blumhouse. I love that they’re the people that really take risks on making these films because … you know like “Get Out,” nobody else wanted to make that movie but Blumhouse decided to make the movie and now it’s going to be a classic. I respect the people who are willing to do the weird things that nobody else is willing to do. It’s hard to make a good horror film and there’s a good mixture of comedy and thriller mixed in and I think that’s the reason why it works. It’s almost like at times we poke fun at the genre. And obviously I loved my character — I thought Olivia was a badass and I don’t always feel like that in real life so I wanted to play one.
In most horror movies, the characters that make dumb decisions, but in this movie the characters make pretty rational decisions. Was the smartness of the script part of the reason you were attracted to the film?
TP: Yeah definitely. Just like you said, we figured out today that there’s not a lot of those moments in this movie where you’re like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ The only moment that happens is the initial truth or dare game — the guy is charming, it seems like it’s going to be safe and fun and ends up not, but yeah that’s definitely one of the things that attracted me to this. One thing that I love about filmmaking is making it look real and as believable as possible even though you’re dealing with supernatural elements … that definitely had a lot of influence as to why I wanted to do this role and this movie because I do have an issue when movies seem fake and not that real — and it was going to be a challenge to make this as believable as possible as an actor.
LH: What I loved is that they incorporated social media which is so relevant in the time that we live in. Olivia’s a very bright girl, and the twist at the ending on how she figures out how to win over the game is really clever. And the use of social media through it is really smart. I credit that to the writers and to Blumhouse. This isn’t your typical horror film. I think people will walk into it thinking it’s one thing, but it’s really not. I think they’re going to walk out and it being a totally different experience than what they thought.