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M Night Shyamalan and Grint are “at peace” with Knock at the Cabin

M. Night Shyamalan and Rupert Grint talk about making Knock at the Cabin, and what it was like to work with each other again after Servant

Knock at the Cabin Rupert Grint as Redmond

Knock at the Cabin is the latest psychological thriller movie from M. Night Shyamalan, and it’s carving itself out a top spot among his already-illustrious filmography. Starring Dave Bautista and Jonathan Groff, the new movie is an emotional and gripping pre-apocalyptic horror, as we explore in our Knock at the Cabin review.

Underneath all the tension and horror is excellent direction from Shyamalan himself and wonderful performances from the Knock at the Cabin cast, including  Rupert Grint. To get into this, we sat down to speak with M. Night Shyamalan and Rupert Grint, asking them about the narrative choices within the movie, the challenges, and whether they still get nervous ahead of big releases.

The Digital Fix: Rupert, firstly, what did you find the most challenging aspect of working with M. Night?

Rupert Grint: Oh wow, there’s lots of challenges! No, I love working with M. Night. Obviously we have a history, and have worked together for four years on a TV show so I feel like we know each other quite well.

The challenge with this was the proximity it had to the TV show; tuning in and out of two very different worlds and characters was the challenge.

M. Night Shyamalan: Oh yeah that’s right. For a second we needed to get Julian, who he plays in the TV show, out of the cabin.

RG: Yeah! Julian was hard to shake.

MNS: Yeah that was years of playing him.

RG: But no, I love working with M. Night. It’s the best.

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TDF: M. Night how did you decide to deviate from the novel, and what informed that choice from a narrative perspective?

MNS: You know the premise is such an incredible one, it’s why I wanted to tell this story. And I just felt, for me, that you need to make a choice at the end of this. So either way I’m fine, but that choice has to be made.

In the book they went in a different direction, so I changed the title and I decided to write out from the premise on ‘what could this configuration and movement be onwards making a choice either way of yes or no to save humanity?’

TDF: Your characters in your movies – I’m specifically thinking about Cole Sear, David Dunn, and the four horsemen in this movie – they all share unexplained powers. What do you think about the idea that they might be connected?

MNS: In some multiverse?

Knock at the Cabin Rupert Grint as Redmond

TDF: Well, in the same universe potentially. Do you think there’s anything to that?

MNS: I didn’t think this through when I was 23 years old. If I had thought it through maybe I would have put them all in the same world with all of my movies. But I didn’t know if I was going to get to direct again, so I just wrote one.

The relationship between the movies is that: what I find exciting is when ordinary people start to believe they’re part of something larger, and more extraordinary and the disbelief, and how they’re so ill-equipped to be the thing that they’re either told, or realise they are.

To Rupert’s character, it seems inconceivable for him to think that he was vital, in some way, which is poignant. In his character’s mind he’s a screw up and has messed up his life, and in some ways he’s thinking ‘there’s a point of redemption here’ as well as a deeper feeling of ‘I’m actually important.’

RG: Yeah, that’s really interesting.

MNS: And I think you played that incredibly beautifully.

TDF: Rupert, this is a major release; is that something that you still find yourself getting nervous for, or has your previous work on Harry Potter allayed those nerves about big, upcoming releases?

Knock at the Cabin Rupert Grint as Redmond

RG: I think the older I get the more I’m comfortable with it. Back in the day, when I was a lot younger, it was quite daunting. But now I feel a lot more together, and I’m more proud of my work.

And, this is a very different kind of movie, and I’ve loved working on it and it’s a really different interesting character. I’ve never sunk into a character like Redmond before, so it was a particularly exciting challenge.

MNS: So you don’t feel nervous at all? That’s really cool.

RG: Yeah, no I don’t think I do. With Harry Potter there was this pressure I guess because you were embodying this character that people loved and already had such a clear idea of. So it was kind of a different beast.

MNS: But say no one comes to see our movie; would that worry you at all? Not really, right? You’ve been doing this for so long.

RG: It would bother me, but it doesn’t keep me up at night.

MNS: It doesn’t keep you up in advance.

RG: And, I have confidence in the movie!

MNS: I feel at peace about it because I think we did something that we believe in, then let it happen.

For more on Knock at the Cabin, take a look at our guide on how to watch Knock at the Cabin, or take a look at our picks for the best plot twists in movie history and our choices for the best movies of all time.