HELLRAISER Interview: Goran Visnjic And Hiam Abbass Tease Their Twisted Roles In The Reboot (Exclusive)

The Cenobites return in Hulu's Hellraiser, but they're not the only characters who prove themselves a deadly threat in the movie. Check out Goran Visnjic and Hiam Abbass had to tell us about their roles...

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. Jamie Clayton plays The Priest in the reboot, though she's not the only character to be feared here.

Goran Visnjic (The Boys) and Hiam Abbass (Succession) play Voight and Menaker, two people with some seriously sinister motivations where the Lament Configuration is concerned. 

Talking to us ahead of Hellraiser's release, the actors explain what pushes their characters and what pushes Voight, in particular, to head down such dark paths. That wasn't easy for Visnjic, and he takes us into how he prepared for the role. Abbass, meanwhile, sheds some light on how she went about approaching this iconic franchise. 

Finally, they both reveal what it was like to come face to face with the Cenobites on set, and it sounds like a freaky experience. Check out the full interview below and subscribe to my YouTube channel here for more Hellraiser content!

We see very early in the film that Voight is a very sadistic guy who seems completely unbothered by violence; how do go about getting into the mindset of a character like that?

Goran: Well, it starts with a good director. A lot of conversations with him. We kind of built the character together and the script was really good. It was very much showing off what Voight is and that’s a guy who has experienced a lot in his lifetime. He’s felt a lot and that’s where the box is coming through because he was insatiable and always wanted more. To feel more and to experience more is why he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s kind of dulled to other people’s pain and doesn’t feel it. We didn’t want to make him a psychopath because that would make it so he’s sick. No, he gets himself to that place which is a huge difference. So, everything that’s happening to him is deserved, I would say. It’s always interesting to play characters like that with a lot of things going on. 

Menaker definitely seems to have something of a change of heart as the film continues, but what was exciting about exploring that and the decision she makes to turn her back on Voight?

Hiam: I think the whole thing, for me, it was the first time I’ve done a movie like this. It was exciting for me to even discover the whole universe of the writing, the doing, and the directing. Why would we do such movies? As Goran said, it’s so great to work with David. He’s such a great director that knows how to take you through the scenes and take you through your character. It was very interesting for me because we had to work out a past for that lady that we don’t have on screen.

It’s her relationship with Voight and then what happens to her, but these conflicts really came into her because of the nature of this man. When she realises who she is, then she decides to turn her back. Then, when she decides to turn her back, she gets sick. The most important thing is that she knows the secret of the box…I should not spoil it for you guys, but she knows that she has nothing to lose in that moment, so she would sacrifice herself. 

Without getting into spoilers, you both get to share the screen with the Cenobites, and they’re absolutely terrifying; what were those days like for you both on set? 

Hiam: [Laughs]

Goran: We had fun being together as friends and going out and stuff like that. It was fun to see them dressed up! ‘Oh my God, is that actually you? I can’t believe it!’ It was fun before we started working and then the camera would start rolling and it was a little bit scary [Laughs]

Hiam: For me, there was something spiritual about that day when they came to my character. The whole process of what was happening without spoiling too much about the scene itself, I really lived it completely as something that was actually really happening to me. I needed to feel it that way otherwise I wouldn’t be able to go with it. It would have been fake. There was a process in it. That process is unknown to us somehow, but at the same time, doing it on screen felt like you were part of that process. Your character and person as an actor can not be separated from it. 

Hellraiser premieres exclusively on Hulu on October 7.


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