DANGEROUS GAME: THE LEGACY MURDERS Interview With Star Jon Voight And Director Sean McNamara (Exclusive)

We recently spoke with legendary actor Jon Voight (Ray Donovan) and director Sean McNamara about Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders, an edge-of-your-seat twisted family reunion unlike any you've ever seen.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Vikings) and Academy Award winner Jon Voight (Coming Home) star in Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders, a nail-bitingly suspenseful thriller filled with twists and turns.

In the movie, a family reunion at a remote mansion takes a lethal turn when they are trapped inside and forced to play a deadly survival game where only one will make it out alive. Voight plays the sinister Ellison Betts, the patriarch of this dysfunctional family, and we recently spoke with him and director Sean McNamara (The King's Daughter). 

Discussing the brutality of their violent new horror movie, the filmmaker and legendary actor tell us all about the sheer amount of fun they had collaborating on this twisted thriller. 

Sean talks about teaming up with Jon, casting the movie's leads, and taking audiences to some truly twisted places. Jon, meanwhile, breaks down his approach to this character, shares why he loves playing villains, and reflects on his experience wearing some gnarly prosthetics.

Needless to say, it was an absolute delight to speak with Jon, while Sean had heaps of fascinating insights to share. The movie proves to be a fun ride with a lot of unexpected twists, so we'd recommend checking it out this Friday.

Watch our full interview with the Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders director and star in the player below. 

Jon, you play the patriarch of this very dysfunctional family and, without giving too much away…

Jon: Really? [Laughs] I think they’re normal. I didn’t see anything off-centre. You’re right, you’ve caught us! 

Well, they definitely don’t get on and everyone seems to think you’re the apparent mastermind of all the horrible things that start happening. What was it about Ellison that really drew you in when you read the script?

Jon: Well, initially, I had a normal response which was, ‘I don’t want to do this. Oh gosh.’ Then, I was convinced to do it, you see, and then I fell in love with it. I wouldn’t have done it without Sean McNamara who really has a touch for this kind of work. He’s never done it before, but even the way he was salivating when he was reading notes for us, I could tell we were in for a real journey. Anyway, ask the man! He’s right here and available to us. Let’s ask him about this. 

Sean, as a filmmaker, you get to take the audience to some really twisted, very violent places with this film; how much fun is it to bring those moments of gore to life on screen and sell the cast on what you wanted to do to them?

Jon: [Laughs]

Sean: I look for the most talented actors to work with and Jon was the head of that. People do connect to this. They go to a family event or birthday party and not all of us want to be there the whole time. This is that on steroids with, ‘What if this or that happened and how would guys really react?’ When you watch the movie, you’re blown away because this really is the worst family reunion. Or could it be the best? Who knows! 

Jon: He doesn’t want to give away anything! [Laughs]

And Jon, you get hands-on with some of those prosthetics as Ellison’s story continues, so what about that did you enjoy and does a transformation like that play a big role in the performance you’re delivering? 

Jon: We had a great team and I have a lot of fun with makeup. I’m a danger to the makeup artists because I’m inventive. I want to play with it like anyone would. It’s really playtime, so you put this on and try this, and think, ‘Maybe I can do this with my eye…’ Anyway, we had some fun with it and I did enjoy it. The fella I worked with was a good guy and we did some good work. It comes down to the lighting when you’re considering makeup. Some stuff you can’t get away with unless it’s lit properly too, but we had a wonderful DP on the film, Adam Sliwinski. He was just wonderful and I think his work in the film is quite extraordinary. It draws you in and this is a beautifully lit film that creates a belief in all of the things we were doing in the film that were quite extraordinary. 

Of course, you’ve played some great villains across what’s proven to be a legendary career, but what is it about these antagonists you really like sinking your teeth into? 

Jon: I tell you, being the head of a family…of course, I’m an older fella, and I felt like all of these young people were in my charge in a certain way. I felt like a father figure among the group. I was very, very pleased with this great ensemble. What a wonderful group of performances. I wanted to work with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, I got my chance, and he was as spectacular as I thought he might be. I don’t want to talk about one performance and leave out others, but they were all wonderful. I felt myself strangely comfortable with this role and all of the damage being done around me…

Sean, you’ve got a great cast here with actors like Jon, Jonathan, Will, Laura, and Megan, but when you’re casting people to kill in these gloriously inventive ways, does it become a harder sell or just part of the fun of pitching a movie like this to them? 

Sean: [Laughs] Well, it’s the best thing in the world. Luckily, having Jon there brings out the best talent that they have. They just want to bring it every single day and they’re super talented. Like Jon said, they’re all great, but Megan - who is a new star - is so beautiful with understated elements and can scare the heck out of you. It’s pretty amazing. Putting those actors together, they just got better and better. It was amazing. 

And a question for both of you, in terms of collaborating to create Ellison, what was that process like and did the character charge or evolve at all from the script when Jon came on board? 

Sean: I’ll start with that. I’ve worked with Jon on a lot of different movies and I love that ge digs into the script. He understands story is everything as he’s building this character, and to have an actor that cares that much about the whole movie just makes it so much better. It’s not, ‘Hey, I’m just looking at my part here that’s a part of the whole.’ Jon looks at everything and discusses how everything reacts together. So, I am just blessed to be able to work with him in that situation where we get to create together. Of course, Jon’s ideas are just the highest level of brain thought. He brings a complete different level that brings everybody, and all the actors, up a level. I just really enjoy those sessions, we hang out and have a coffee, he’s got a pencil, and he’s literally coming up with ideas and you don’t get that with actors very often. They’re always concerned with what they say and do. Jon sees the whole movie and how it all feeds into the character he’s playing. 

Jon: That’s the nicest thing anybody has ever said about me and I’d like you to put that on my tombstone. All of it [Laughs]. It was an exciting thing to work on this film. I’ll return the compliment in a certain sense because working with Sean on this film was extraordinary. He had many cameras. I think we got up to five on the set at the same time and he’s looking in the monitor at five cameras and sometimes directing from the other side of this wall and he’s got us all going. He’s got such a positive energy and it’s always very loving. He’ll give you the energy, restart things saying ‘We have to do that, let’s move this, we’ll use that camera,’ and I don’t know what it’s like. It’s not like anything you think of in terms of having a controlled set. It was like an athletic event, a lot of fun, and amazing for me to watch. I was always deeply impressed by what was going on around me, I must say. It was a lot of fun.

Jon, I was such a big Ray Donovan fan and loved how you wrapped that story up. To come on to a project like this where you get to be larger than life, how much fun is that as an actor? 

Jon: It was fun, but fun for all of us. It was also very intense. We all had to go to work and it was high-level stuff with big emotions. We were very blessed to have this team of people and this ensemble. Jonathan is a person I’d heard about and wanted to work with and that was a wonderful experience for me. Will Sasso was a surprise as a great dramatic force aside from his wonderful wit. He brings lots of colour into the sequences and Megan is just something very special. Everyone in the piece I could talk about at length. I was very impressed with all of us. 

Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders arrives in select theaters and on Digital on October 21.

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