HELLRAISER Interview: Adam Faison And Drew Starkey Reflect On Their Pulse-Pounding Horror Roles (Exclusive)

Adam Faison and Drew Starkey spend a lot of time on the run from the Cenobites in Hulu's Hellraiser reboot, but what was that experience like and how did it feel to be confronted by those demonic beings?

Interviews Opinion

Hellraiser is a reimagining of Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic from director David Bruckner that will debut in the U.S. exclusively on Hulu on October 7 as part of the streamer’s annual "Huluween" celebration of fright-filled content.

In the all-new take on the classic horror franchise, a young woman struggling with addiction comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon the Cenobites, a group of sadistic supernatural beings from another dimension. Among those on the run from them are Adam Faison's Colin and Drew Starkey's Trevor.

We won't say too much about what they get up to in the Hellraiser reboot, but both actors spend a lot of time with the Cenobites and blood. 

The actors reveal what it was like to be chased down by the Cenobites, reflect on the experience of seeing them on set for the first time, and explain how they went about dealing with the movie's impressive practical effects. We also learn about the heightened state of fear which came as a result of an intense shoot. 

Check out our interview with Adam and Drew below and make sure to go ahead and subscribe to my YouTube channel here for more Hellraiser content!

Hellraiser feels like classic horror in the sense that you’re all being pursued by this unstoppable, relentless force in the Cenobites, but what was it like for you both to have to maintain that fear and adrenaline on set?

Adam: [Laughs] I wish I could have had more fun. If we ever do another of these or I’m in a horror project, I feel like I need to have more fun. It’s hard for me to get out of the zone. I find that the adrenaline kicks in and I’m running on fumes. I feel like Drew and Odessa were able to get into it right away and have fun between the takes, so if I did it again, I’d probably try to have a little bit more fun. I started to later in the shooting. 

Drew: I loved getting into it with Adam, jumping around and getting our breathing together. It’s a lot of fast-paced action in the second half of the film, so we’re constantly running. It’s a constant state of anxiety, but we’re able to replicate that on the day really well. After a few weeks of that, you’re literally in fear. There wasn’t a lot of acting. It’s just like, ‘I’m terrified as Drew.’ I knew Adam was as well. We just tapped into it and, hopefully, it worked. 

The Cenobites in this film are terrifying, but what was the experience of coming face to face for the first time with them on set like for you both? 

Drew: When was the first time you saw a Cenobite, Adam?

Adam: Dude, all I can remember is Yinka [Olorunnife] plays The Weaver and seeing the prosthetics on her was so cool. She’s this black demon, this Cenobite, and I don’t think I’d ever seen that before and definitely not in real life. She’s so tall and did this scary guttural laugh and it was freaky on the day when we were doing it. I just remember being like, ‘Wow, she’s so in it and unrecognisable.’ She’s missing a jaw as you can see in the trailer. I think that’s the one I remember first. What about you, Drew?

Drew: I think David Bruckner, the director, surprised Odessa and I. He wanted a truthful reaction to The Chatterer, the first Cenobite that I’d seen in person. I can hear them walking him into the room and I know he’s behind me. There’s a moment where I had to turn and see him…Jason Liles, who plays The Chatterer, is 6’7” and this towering figure. It was awful. The prosthetics are so realistic and the skin looks so realistic it felt as real as anything in front of me. It was terrifying! 

I think it goes without saying that you guys get a little bloody in the film; what did you both enjoy most about working with what I’m assuming were mostly practical effects?

Adam: It was really a game-changer. You hear these stories about an actor having to act opposite a f***ing tennis ball on a pole or whatever the f***. It was really cool to be in front of the real thing and be like, ‘Wow, we’re in it, dude!’ Sometimes, they’d have to get their coverage and rush off to get it taken off because they’d be going overtime, but just having the mental image of them there in front of us…you just can’t beat it, dude. 

Drew: Yeah, just the amount of blood too [Laughs]. The amount of makeup we had to go through. We went through some, but nothing compared to the Cenobites which was hours and hours. It felt like when I was a kid. ‘Oh, this is what like making a horror movie is supposed to be.’ We had all those elements and the prosthetics and gags and animatronics and tubes with blood. It felt like we were making it with our friends as everyone is trying to figure out how to make the skin or blood look a certain way. In that respect, it felt like making a classic horror movie which was really incredible. 

Hellraiser premieres exclusively on Hulu on October 7.



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