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M. Night Shyamalan reveals the one thing he won’t let his actors do

M. Night Shyamalan sounds like a dream to work with, and his sets sound very chill. But he does have just one rule that he wants his actors to follow.

Knock at the Cabin

Interviews with actors who have worked on the sets of M. Night Shyamalan movies – most recently, horror movie Knock at the Cabin – always praise the calm, relaxing atmosphere. According to his colleagues, Shyamalan sounds like a pleasure to work with – but he does admit to having one rule on his sets.

Speaking to Variety, Shyamalan said there’s only one rule that he has regarding his actors and characters; “The only thing I don’t allow actors to do in the movies is feel sorry for themselves. I think audiences can find that indulgent in a way that’s offensive. But as soon as characters feel sorry for themselves, audiences are like: ‘I’m out.'”

He continued; “You can show anger, you can show fighting, you can be funny, but you have to be active in your own survival. If you feel sorry for yourself, that’s a form of giving up, and that’s not a circumstance I want to put them in.”

M. Night Shyamalan’s movies tend to be extremely divisive, provoking ‘marmite’ love-it-or-hate-it reactions. He exploded onto the movie-making scene when he was only 29 years old with the highly critically-acclaimed The Sixth Sense – which was nominated for 6 Oscars. His following three movies were largely positively received, until he entered a roughly decade-long period of making ‘turkeys.’ 2015’s The Visit started to claw some good will back, followed by the highly successful Split (2016) and Glass (2019).

Shyamalan made the mid-budget horror movies Old and Knock at the Cabin pretty close together, and it’s an exciting time for the independent, risk-taking director who has always followed his own path.

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