January 24, 2020 Interview – Elliot Knight
Many would say art imitates life, and more often than not, that is quite true. If anything music, literature, and film is a reflection of human nature, our dreams, hopes, and fears. Impassioned with bringing these aspects to life in motion pictures, Elliot Knight has become a familiar face in modern television – taking on leading roles in some of the more popular series including CBS’ American Gothic, ABC’s Once Upon A Time, as well as The CW’s Life Sentence.
An actor with the ability to portray various character, Knight has worked in many genres, but now takes on the world of Horror with his role in the new feature Color Out of Space. In theaters Friday, January 24th, the film marks return of beloved Director Richard Stanley, features a great cast, and is the latest H.P. Lovecraft adaptation to hit cinema. A unique, new experience for Elliot Knight, he recently sat down to chat about his career as an actor, diving into Horror films, his love for challenges, plus much more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in acting professional in film and television for nearly a decade now. Briefly tell us, what inspired you to pursue a career as an actor?
Elliot Knight – Thanks for asking that. My god, a decade, I hadn’t thought about that! (Laughs) Acting is storytelling and communicating to other people and it’s often communicating important messages. It’s always been something very important to me to showcase the different sides of human nature and how we interact with each other and the world that we’re in. Where that might seem like a grand statement at times, I do believe it’s always universally true and applicable to any kind of story that you’re telling.
I’ve loved that since I was a kid. I was always writing stories, plays, and books. I was involved in productions and jumping into the mindset of different people to try to understand perspective. Luckily there is a career that ensues all of those things, and even luckier, I’ve been able to find a place in that for myself. It’s been a crazy decade, a lot has happened and is still happening. I’m very excited and very grateful.
Cryptic Rock – And you have done a lot of interesting things over the years. Of your many roles you have worked in Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, and now Horror. Do you enjoy that diversity?
Elliot Knight – Absolutely. There is so much great television right now. Movies are just infinitely classic and it’s been great to jump more into the world of film lately.
It’s funny, before Color Out of Space came up over a year ago, I was thinking I would love to try a Horror genre film. I’d never done that before, I enjoy watching things when I can bare it, and I thought I would love to see what that experience was like, then this came up. It’s been an incredible experience.
I think no matter what kind of project your’e involved in it all has an impact on the overall journey of what informs your performances, what informs you as an actor, the things you can learn about yourself, and the medium in general. Every different kind of diverse experience you have helps, and that’s true of all things. This has been a very welcomed addition.
Cryptic Rock – It is good to be diverse and have new challenges. Much of your work has been in television such Sinbad, Once Upon A Time, as well as American Gothic. However you star in the aforementioned new feature Color Out of Space. How did this film come about for you?
Elliot Knight – I was sent the script from my agent and they said we would like you to read this, see what you think, and see what you think about this character. I read the script before I looked at the character they asked about because I just wanted to get a sense of what it was and read without bias. I read it and was absolutely shocked. I had never read anything that disturbed me that much off the page. It really had an impact, I thought that was really special and unique. I found I was draw to the character that I had been asked to look at after I finished reading it, which was also great too.
That was that, I signed on to the project and I was so excited to work with Richard Stanley. I very quickly learned what a legend he was and how excited everyone was for his return to cinema after a couple of decades away. I was also excited to dive into the world of H.P. Lovecraft, which was also new to me. It’s been a lot of learning about new things during this feature. Being on a film set opposed to a TV set, which I am very used to and comfortable on, is nice because I was able to see how that really does transfer to being on a movie set. It is just a slightly different time frame and gives you a different approach to how you can invest in your character and the story. It’s nice to have one strong through arc where you know you a clear beginning, clear end, and you have a great playground to share with everyone.
Cryptic Rock – It sounds like it was a very positive experience. As you alluded to, Color Out of Space is actually an H.P. Lovecraft adaptation. Are you familiar with any of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories and film adaptations?
Elliot Knight – I am now, I was not before. As Rich would say a lot while we were on set, “Lovecraft is very Americana.” As a Brit, who didn’t grow up here, it definitely wasn’t on the daily schedule of what I was supposed to be reading or learning about growing up in England. But, I think the characters that are included are so timeless in a sense that they can be in so many other adaptations now and in the future.
I think it’s really great to have an opportunity to tell our version of this story. My character in the movie isn’t in the short story, it was a character Richard wanted to introduce to help give the audience a window into the craziness that ensues in his adaptation. It was important to him reflect Lovecraft’s supposed nature in this character – he is softly spoken, a bit of a loner, very intelligent, and very fascinated with all the themes in the movie. It was a very enjoyable double task to have for my role in the film.
Cryptic Rock – Very interesting. Judging by the various H.P. Lovecraft film adaptations this could be one of the strongest released in years. What really works for the film is the tension it sustains all the way through.
Elliot Knight – Absolutely! I appreciate you saying that about this adaptation as well, I do think it’s very unique and special. One of my favorite movies of experiencing it in cinema is the tension you special.
There are particular suspense moments at the end of the film, I realized after watching it 4-5 times now, I’m gripping onto my feet. You can feel in the vibrations in the sound design and visuals, you are living through the chaos of that moment. I think that is a very spectacular thing to achieve in any medium, but in the medium of cinema, that is what makes it a very special experience and more than just a movie. That is a combination of Richard’s mind and writing, definitely Brett W. Bachman production, as well as the music composition by Colin Stetson.
Cryptic Rock – It all does work very well, fans of Lovecraft and beyond will enjoy this film. Last question. Do you have any favorite Horror films?
Elliot Knight – Great question. It’s not that I enjoyed watching Horror, but it was a thrill and every now and then I was ready for one. I remember watching the remake of The Amityville Horror (2005), that was one of the first Horror films I’d ever seen. It was such a different experience opposed to anything else I had in the movie theater.
One of movie I watched lately, it’s Horror, but something different, is Parasite (2019). I think Parasite is such an incredible movie and there is something more mind-bending than horrific about it. It isn’t Horror in the traditional sense, it’s something more. It’s something more chilling and creepier than scary. I’m a fan of anything that achieve that because it’s not an easy feat for sure.