Jeffrey Wright is an expert on wolves — or so he joked when TheWrap caught up with him at the Toronto International Film Festival to discuss “Hold the Dark.”
Wright plays a wolf expert who comes to a small town to help two parents (Riley Keough and Alexander Skarsgard) when they suspect that their young son was taken off into the woods by a pack of wolves. The grizzly thriller is the third film from Jeremy Saulnier, the director of “Blue Ruin” and “Green Room,” and Wright pounced at the chance to work with Saulnier.
“What was exciting was the opportunity to expand on that sense of isolation and sense of lawlessness that he explored in that film,” Wright told TheWrap’s Steve Pond about Saulnier’s “Blue Ruin.” “And this was just even on a more extreme and grander scale, this idea of being behind God’s back where the laws of nature kind of take over.”
Based on a book and scripted by “Blue Ruin’s” Macon Blair, Wright said the film’s screenplay architecture was “incredibly tight.”
“Each scene that we ended up working on had this tension built in and these angles that carved through it that created a very forceful space to play within, so that even ideally the subtlest gesture has some resonance,” Wright said. “It was one of the most architecturally satisfying scripts I’ve had a chance to do. Really tight. It’s a credit to Macon, and also just the power of the novel itself.”
Co-stars Riley Keough and Alexander Skarsgard also joined Wright on the panel and spoke to the film’s power and darkness as a story of revenge in a fight against nature.
“It wasn’t like the lightest of characters I’ve played,” Keough said. “I don’t want to give the film away, but it was an interesting headspace to be in. Not very comfortable, but interesting to work through and process.”
Watch the full interview with Wright, Keough and Skarsgard above. “Hold the Dark” will be available on Netflix on Sept. 28.
89 Stunning Portraits From TheWrap's Toronto Studio (Exclusive Photos)
Toronto Film Festival 2018: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Elle Fanning, Robert Pattinson and more stop by our studio