Old star Alex Wolff says M. Night Shyamalan is “an extreme risk-taker”

The new thriller movie from M. Night Shyamalan, Old, is on its way to cinemas. Chatting to us, Alex Wolff, one of the stars, says that the Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense director has a tendency not to play things safe.

“He is an extreme risk-taker, he’s never once played it safe, I’d say he’s very considerate of an audience, and that we want to be entertained, and that we want to be swept away,” he told us. “But at the same time he is considerate, as in that every movie has underpinnings of something deeply emotional.”

Wolff goes on to say that he believes Shyamalan to be “the first director to perfectly combine emotion and terror”. It must be said, Shyamalan has managed to find a strong balance between human drama, and genuinely chilling visual ideas. Whether that’s between parent and child, or a degrading personal relationship, or, as in Old, a family being stuck in some bizarre, paranormal time vortex. His movies have a humanity to them that’s hard to deny.

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Namechecking some of Shyamalan’s hits, Wolff says 2002’s alien movie Signs is “one of the most emotional dramas ever made”, and that 2004’s The Village is “the most amazing allegory for the political climate with Bush”.

“I think that he is just very in tune,” Wolff explains. “I’d say the main thing is that he is completely sincere, and that he is reverse navel-gazing, he is never doing that ever, I think he is never pretentious.”

In addition to Wolff, we spoke to Vicky Krieps about what inspired her in Shyamalan’s latest project. Old opens theatrically in the UK and US on July 23.

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Anthony McGlynn

Staff writer

Updated: Jul 19, 2021


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