When it comes to horror films, nobody belts them out more consistently right now than A24. The studio’s latest film, Bodies Bodies Bodies, directed by Halina Reign, takes a stab at the whodunit style of movies and flips the genre on its head with gen-z focus.
The film follows a group of 20-something spoiled rich kids Sophie (Amandla Stenberg), Bee (Mariak Bakalova), Jordan (Myha’la Herrold), Alice (Rachel Senott), her much older boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace), and Emma (Chase Sui Wonders). They decide to have a hurricane party at a remote mansion owned by David’s (Pete Davidson) parents. A night that was supposed to be full of fun quickly unravels after the gang decides to play a party game called bodies bodies bodies. When one of the friends ends up dead, it sets off a series of events that exposes the lack of friendship between the friends making for an extremely long night, full of deceit, backstabbing, and plenty of bodies bodies bodies.
Cassius Life’s Bernard “Beanz” Smalls spoke with the cast of A24’s latest thriller before the film’s release. During the interviews, they spoke about preparation for their horror debuts, slapping each other, literally, and who they thought would be the killer if they played a game of Bodies Bodies Bodies.
Step into the interview below.
Cassius Life: Since this is your first stab at a horror/thriller/comedy film, how did you prepare for these roles?
Maria Bakalova: We watched a couple of movies, and we just let Halina guide us through the whole shooting and before shooting. We did some table readings, and we just got to know each other so we can allow ourselves to be bad people toward each other.
Myha’la Herrold: Well said.
Amandla Stenberg: I watched a lot of horror movies because horror movies have always really scared me, and I was hoping that if I watch as many as possible, I would have this emotional armor once we were filming it.
MH: Did that happen?
AS: Well, no, because I was still terrified while we were shooting it. But now, when I watch horror movies, I don’t experience an ounce of fear. It’s so strange.
MH: Yeah. I didn’t watch horror movies because I was scared, and I’m still scared of horror movies. This one is easy to digest because it’s funny but prep-wise, not terribly different. I let Halina guide me as well when it came to the tone of the things, but when I prepare for anything, I go for the truth, and the honesty, and the authenticity of the character, and hopefully, the script will do the rest.
Chase Sui Wonders: I think we were all tossed into it pretty rapidly, but because it’s a horror, I think what at least was new for me is you don’t realize how many elements of it work to your advantage when you’re in a horror movie. The fact that you’re covered in blood, you have prosthetics, you have things that are actually physically scary on your body, and you shot all at night. You become these nocturnal beasts who come alive. I think all those elements are so much fun and such useful, the actor’s dream toolkit for a horror [film].
Rachel Sennott: It is true because sometimes, I’m trying to cry in something where there’s no dead person, and it’s a little harder. You’re like, oh, problems with my mom, and you’re like, no, I wish that we were being rained on.
CSW: Right, but your friend looks dead right in front of your face, so that makes it easier.
They’re throwing blame around all the time. So you don’t know if one of them is the killer or if there’s a killer on the outside that’s terrorizing them, which as the movie concludes, you learn that’s the point.
CL: This film does an excellent job of keeping the viewers on their toes and guessing who the killer is by the end of the film. I’m curious to know, were you guys privy to know who the killer was, or was you just us going into the film just guessing as you all went along or whatever like that?
RS: We know.
CSW: We all read the script, so. We knew. We were playing into it. I think we all had the direction of Halina wanted to make it like it could be you, it could be you throughout the all introductory scenes.
LP: Because the movie’s about chaos. So if you have all of these, and Halina was so great with all of the characters about directing specificity into them so that the dynamics between all of these different characters are very rich. They’re throwing blame around all the time. So you don’t know if one of them is the killer or if there’s a killer on the outside that’s terrorizing them, which as the movie concludes, you learn that’s the point.
CL: Now, we have to talk about the infamous slapping scene because that scene was hilarious. How much fun did you have doing that whole moment?
MH: It was super fun.
AS: We slapped each other.
MH: We did. We actually slapped each other, which did not end up in the film actually because the real slaps did not look…
AS: As brutal.
MH: Yeah, as brutal. We did stage slaps, but we volunteered to hit each other. We were very close that day. It was fun. It was good.
Lee Pace: That was actually a lot of fun. I thought it was pretty fun.
CSW: It was so fun.
RS: We slapped each other… for real.
CSW: People got hit. Pete and Lee really got it, really.
LP: Yeah, he really hit me. I was asking for it, and I really enjoyed it actually.
RS: It was fun to do that. You said earlier it’s the best kind of trust fall or something because you have to really trust each other where you’re like, slap me. Do you know what I mean? And also, you really have to love someone to be like, I trust you to slap me. Do you know what I mean? Slap me in the face. It was a good bonding exercise.
People got hit. Pete and Lee really got it, really.
CL: Well, you all sold them. They looked real. They sounded real. Outside of the film, if you guys actually played Bodies, Bodies, Bodies again with yourself, who would you immediately think is the killer?
MB: Me. No, because we played it already.
AS: We know that Maria is difficult to detect when she’s the killer. We learn this in our own game.
MB: They’re going to kill me first. They’ll be like, whatever.
MH: I don’t know. Now, I’m like, maybe she wouldn’t be, and I would be confused, and that would be a great diversion because then it could still be her, so I guess it would have to be Maria.
AS: Mm-hmm. So layered.
LP: Oh. Well, you all probably think it was me because that’s what you did in the movie.
CSW: That’s true.
RS: That’s true. Yeah. When we played it in the hotel, people kept saying that it was me.
CSW: That’s right, yeah.
LP: Was it true?
LP: No. Okay.
CSW: You try to pick the most unassuming person, and also with actors, it gets tricky because they’re acting really well at being unassuming or not being the killer, so it could be anybody. It’s awesome, but these two.
You can find out who the film’s killer is, as the movie’s playing in theaters now.
Photo: A24 / Bodies Bodies Bodies