HELLRAISER Interview: Odessa A'zion And Brandon Flynn Talk Cenobites, Siblings, And Fake Blood (Exclusive)

Hellraiser stars Odessa A'zion and Brandon Flynn talk to us about their roles in Hulu's reboot, revealing what it was like to work with the Cenobites and the biggest challenges fake blood presents on set.

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/Pinhead in the reboot, and she's surrounded by a terrific cast. 

Hellraiser's ensemble includes Odessa A'zion and Brandon Flynn, with the two actors playing brother and sister Riley and Matt in the movie. The former is a recovering addict who stumbles across The Lament Configuration, while her brother is caught up in the madness that ensues when the puzzle box starts to unravel. 

In our exclusive video interview, A'zion and Flynn discuss the temptation presented by that, what it was like sharing the screen with the movie's terrifying Cenobites, and the unique challenges working with fake blood brings.

They also explain how they went about developing Riley and Matt's unique sibling dynamic, and you can watch our full conversation below. Be sure to also subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking here to hear more from the Hellraiser cast!

Odessa, Riley seems to be seduced by the temptation of the puzzle box very quickly after finding it, but do you think that’s more down to her past or the sinister powers within it?

Odessa: I haven’t heard that about her history…that’s an interesting question. I think she’s just very attracted to shiny objects and the box is one. She’s an addict. It’s not about that she’s an addict, but if she’s going to start something, she’s going to finish it. It takes her on this journey and she does not want to let go of it even when there are times she probably wants to a little bit. She doesn’t [Laughs].

I’m pretty sure the Cenobites are going to be haunting people’s nightmares after watching this film, but as you both share the screen with them, what sort of impact did that have on the feeling on set those days?

Brandon: Yeah, it was very strange. The Cenobites…what you see in the movie is what they look like on set. The FX team were very specific in making everything practical and real and tangible. Most of the time, I felt bad [Laughs]. 

Odessa: Yeah!

Brandon: In all this heat, they had to be in these incredible costumes, but I think even the people playing them were in such awe and fascination of the incredible work that went into creating them.

Odessa: They would be in that makeup trailer getting those suits on for like 7 hours. It’s crazy. It was all very much right in front of you and incredible to look at. 

Both your characters get put through the wringer in this film, but were there any particularly memorable days on set dealing with all the gore and blood?

Odessa: I mean, I loved it so much. At the same time, I hate working with blood. I love it, but I hate it. Blood continuity is such a big thing. They’re like, ‘No, no, no, the blood mark was not here, it was here.’ So much detail goes into it which is incredible that everyone remembers that, but it’s also the most stressful thing and just to scrub that blood off sometimes…it’s alcohol-based so you’ve got to get in there. That was very interesting [Laughs].

Brandon: There were lots of days off with random blood spots still stuck on you [Laughs].

Odessa: You’d be walking to go buy a coffee or whatever and someone would say, ‘Are you okay?’ ‘What?’ Then, I’d just realise there’s a giant splatter of blood on my neck. I’d be like, ‘Oh, it’s fine, don’t worry.’ They’re saying, ‘Do you need me to call someone?’ ‘Actually, yes!’ [Laughs]

Brandon: Yeah, call SAG!

Matt and Riley definitely have a complicated sibling relationship, but what sort of work did you both put into that in order to portray it so convincingly on screen?

Odessa: We did talk about that. I usually don’t really like to go that crazy about figuring out my character’s backstory because I like to see what happens, but we did talk about…you know, our parents are never mentioned or anything, so we did talk about it. 

Brandon: Yeah, I love talking about backstory [Laughs] so I had all these questions. I think the meeting of both my and Odessa’s process allows for what happens on screen to be very full. Even that process of what she wants and what I want are very indicative of siblings.

Odessa: That was fun. We loved working together and had fun on set. 

Hellraiser premieres exclusively on Hulu on October 7.

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