Ryan Simpkins interview

Interview – Ryan Simpkins

A diverse performer, Ryan Simpkins is a name many recognize for a list of film roles. Starting out in the early 2000s, Simpkins has applied a passion for acting and grown in extraordinary ways with parts in every genre from Drama, Comedy, to even Horror. Speaking of which, in more recent times Simpkins has made quite a name with the hit Netflix film series known as the Fear Street Trilogy. Embracing this, now Simpkins takes on another Horror leaning character in the brand new 2024 film The Exorcism. Set for a theatrical release on Friday, September 21, 2024, the talented actor took a bit of time to discuss their love of Horror, working on The Exorcism, plus more.

Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in acting since a young age. A part of many cool projects, how did The Exorcism come about for you?

Ryan Simpkins – They sent me a script. Before I read it, I was kind of hesitant because I love Horror as a filmmaker and as a fan, but I’ve done so much of it. I went, “Well, I don’t know if I want to do yet another.” You hear exorcism movie and you’re like, “God, I don’t know. You have one idea of it.

Then I read the script and I just absolutely loved it. I was so drawn to the character. It’s such a great part. I really loved the way it subverted my own expectations. I just have to do it.

Cryptic Rock – It is great to hear how it drew you in. As you said, you have done quite a bit of Horror in the past… especially in recent history. Is it safe to say you are a fan of the genre?  

Ryan Simpkins – Yeah, I absolutely love Horror. I think it’s a really innovative genre. I think it’s a great opportunity to represent the underrepresented. While the movie may be about one thing, Horror movies are almost always talking about something else. I love getting into those deeper themes, which I think we do in our movie pretty well.

Cryptic Rock – Most certainly. You work with a very diverse cast and crew with The Exorcism. What was your experience working with both Joshua John Miller and M.A Fortin?

Ryan Simpkins – They are both so fantastic. I think they’re the perfect people to make this movie; because they do have a personal connection to it. Obviously, Josh’s father was in The Exorcist, but they’re also queer people who love Horror movies, as am I. I think if you’re going to make a movie about movies subverting tropes within movies… there’s no one better to do it than queer Horror nerds. They’re both so dedicated, so smart, and passionate. We really got along.

Anguish movie 2015
Anguish (2015)
Fear Street Triology
Fear Street Triology / Netflix

Cryptic Rock – It sounds like it was a good working environment. As far as your co-stars in the film, it’s a very eclectic mix of actors and actresses in the sense that you have some more veterans and some newer actors and actresses. How did that chemistry work?

Ryan Simpkins – Yeah, it was great. I think Russell honestly brought a lot of people on. I think Adam and David were both people he had known for a long time. I think that’s the case with David, and I know it was with Adam. Then you have me and Chloe, who I’ve been doing it for a long time, but I am younger and Chloe’s also obviously younger.

I think that’s a lot of what the movie is doing too. We’re looking at this tired trope in the genre and we’re breathing new life into it. It’s a genre that we love. That’s why we’re doing it, like I said, but I think working with Russell was fantastic. He was such a giving scene partner. He’s a really generous guy, and he’s obviously such a legend. Then Chloe, too, she’s just got such a natural charisma to her. She’s so kind. It was a really fantastic cast.

Cryptic Rock – Wonderful. So,  you said you are a Horror nerd. What are some of your favorites?

Ryan Simpkins – I have a ton. It’s too many to count. I really love Jennifer’s Body (2009). I really love The Exorcist (1973). I love Carrie (1976). More recently, I Saw the TV Glow (2024), and it is really fantastic. Skinamarink (2022), We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2021), Barbarian (2022). I could just keep going.

I love Horror so much. Again, for the reasons I said, you’re watching one thing, but you’re really thinking about something else. I just think it’s such an innovative, exciting genre. Halloween’s my favorite time of year, because I just get to go to rec theaters and watch old scary movies.

The Exorcism 2024 movie poster
The Exorcism / Vertical (2024)

For more on Ryan Simpkins: Instagram

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