Max Thieriot stars as the odd neighbor to Jennifer Lawrence in the thriller The House at the End of the Street. Thieriot met Movie Fanatic recently for an exclusive chat to not only talk about the dark places he had to go to personally to capture his character Ryan, but he also shows a levity about himself as a person. Seems that Thieriot feels he’s the springboard for actresses to work with him and then go on to huge things!
“I keep working with all these actresses that all of a sudden become huge stars,” he said and laughed. “Kristen Stewart in Catch that Kid and Emma Roberts in Nancy Drew and Nina Dobrev, now in The Vampire Diaries -- she had a little part in Chloe playing my girlfriend, we only saw her on Skype! I’m like the springboard that sends these actresses into fame while I sit there bouncing!”
The House at the End of the Street was filmed several years ago, before Lawrence earned an Oscar nod for Winter’s Bone and scored huge box office success with X-Men: First Class and The Hunger Games. Thieriot said it seems cliché, but he could tell Lawrence was going places.
“Immediately, I could tell she was a fantastic actress. It was always very real with her. It made it so much easier for me to come off like that. She was a down-to-earth, small-town girl. I’m from a small town in Northern California. We understood each other. It was before any of her success. Nobody in the industry knew her. That’s how it always is -- you’re unknown until you get that one chance to show it.”
In The House at the End of the Street, Lawrence and her mom (Elizabeth Shue) move to the quiet, woodsy neighborhood in hopes of finding a better life. Lawrence’s high school student is taken with Thieriot’s Ryan, a child whose parents were murdered by his sister, who in turn disappeared. Although Lawrence’s mother wishes she wouldn’t, she can’t quite stay away from the enticing, yet dark young man.
Thieriot finished the script and was shocked at all the twists and turns that he did not see coming. “For me, that’s hard to come by, especially in a film of this genre. Usually, you foresee what’s going to happen,” he said.
“It shocked me and surprised me and got me thinking, going back over the whole story I just read… looking back you can see all these things that make sense. And the character of Ryan, he’s got so many layers and he’s so complex. To get to play a character like that is exciting.”
Given that his character is key to the entire mystery of the thriller, the actor had the difficult task of never revealing too much, for fear of giving away twists.
“One of the hardest parts is when you’re playing a character and you know what’s going on with the character, it’s easier to not show it. In this film, there are moments where you reveal little secrets without telling people that it’s happening -- whether it’s a look and being able to have them noticeable enough that when you finish the movie, you go, 'Oh!'" Thieriot said.
“And at the same time, how do you not be obvious? Luckily you can have multiple takes and really focus and make sure you’re on your game!”
As his character goes to such dark places -- shown off in this The House at the End of the Street clip -- we wondered if it was difficult for Thieriot to not take it home at the end of the day.
"Yes! I usually go back to my room and eat dinner and watch TV. I just sat there in the hotel room… thinking. You spend so much time getting into it -- it’s tough to come back out of it. I spent a lot of time by myself."
When it comes to movies with twists, Movie Fanatic asks the actor to name his favorite. Turns out, he does not have to go back too far -- just recently, in fact.
“The Dark Knight Rises… the new Batman was perfect! I thought it had some great twists,” Thieriot said. “By the end, I was like, 'Whoa.' Obviously that was an awesome film all around. I personally think it will go down as one of the best trilogies of all time.”