Sylvester McCoy is a name we should all know, between his roles in The Hobbit franchise and for his role as The Doctor in “Dr. Who” from 1987 to 1989. McCoy actually plays another doctor in the soon to be released horror film The Owners. That’s what we are here to talk about.
The Owners stars McCoy alongside “Game of Thrones” actress Maisie Williams, Rita Tushingham, Jake Curran, Ian Kenny, and Andrew Ellis.
In the brutal movie, a trio of young burglars enters the home of an older couple, not knowing that script is about to get flipped on them.
The film is non-stop action, twisted, and definitely demented, in the best possible way. I sat down with McCoy to find out more about The Owners. This was our conversation.
Horror Fuel: “What can you tell our readers about your role as Dr. Huggins, from your point of view.”
Sylvester McCoy: “Well, he is a man who loves his wife deeply. He realizes that he’s losing her to Alzheimer’s. He wants to hang on to her as much and as long as he can so he gives her whatever it is to keep her with him, to keep her interested, to keep her sharp. The tragedy is what she really wants is horror and evil. But it’s not evil from other planets, the evil is practiced a lot, sadly, in the world. She’s kidnapping young ladies and locking them in the basement and doing horrible things to them. But he loves her. He does it for love.”
Horror Fuel: “Even though it’s a bit twisted, all he does for his wife Ellen (Rita Tushingham)
is noble, in a way.”
Sylvester McCoy: “I can’t tell you too much about it. It’d spoil it.”
Horror Fuel: “Do you think this evil that grips his wife is a symptom of the disease or is it her?”
Sylvester McCoy: “It’s part of her. It was a darkness that was in her when she was well. I think that they may have lost a daughter earlier in life and affected the wife’s mind.”
Horror Fuel: “I’m sure the loss of a child would damage any mother’s psyche.
I’ve heard The Owners described as both a psychological thriller and as a horror thriller, which would you say is more accurate?”
Sylvester McCoy: “I would say it is a psychological thriller.”
Horror Fuel: “How do you think you would respond if you were in the situation your character was in The Owners?”
Sylvester McCoy: “Me? It would be horrible. I wouldn’t know what to do really. Although the thing is, you’ve seen the trailer, they break into the house and the couple comes back and they terrorize the old couple. But I mean, my character and his wife turn on the crazy.”
Horror Fuel: “It’s a great concept, having this older couple flip the script on them. You don’t expect it.”
Sylvester McCoy: “Yeah. That was one of the attractions when I read the script. There’s also a lot of twists and turns in it, unexpected things.”
Horror Fue: “Right. If you had to describe the film in just a few words, what would they be?”
Sylvester McCoy: “A sweet love story of horror and Mayhem.”
Horror Fuel: “Great answer! How was your experience working with the younger actors in the film?”
Sylvester McCoy: “It was great. I mean, with all the cast we become very fond of each other over filming. The wonderful thing about a tribe of actors is, even the young, is that there is no age difference, all actors are kind of the same age in a way. I mean Maisie, Maisie is amazing. She should be called amazing Maisie. She’s young yet I think she’s older than me. Her understanding and knowledge of the business is just so impressive. I think her future is going to be great as an actress. I think she’ll go into production, directing. She’s terrific.
The lads were so good. Especially Curran, the tall skinny one, has done terrific things. But in real life, he is such a nice chap.
When you’re in a scene where you’ve got to do something really horrible when you come off the set you want to be in the opposite world. Rita Tushingham, who plays my wife, she’s hilariously funny, lots of people from Liverpool are. We got on like a house on fire and we came off as a double act, entertaining the others. They said we should go on the road with our double act. Then we go back and do really nasty things to the young people [evil laugh].
Horror Fuel: “[laughter] You have a great evil laugh.”
Sylvester McCoy: “Thank you.”
Horror Fuel: “What was the most difficult aspect of filming The Owners?”
Sylvester McCoy: “Actually, there was a scene where I had a page and a half of script. Learning it was hard enough, but if you imagine there were six of us around a table, and each actor got a master shot a brief shot, and then a one-shot. So, that was three different shots of each actor. So there were basically eighteen shots. We filmed it eighteen times and I had to do that very long speech eighteen times. At the end of the day, I could hardly speak. The muscles in my mouth had become exhausted. I just couldn’t get it out. I had worn myself out doing it eighteen times. It was a heavy speech. It was really deep and kind of dark. That was the hardest thing really.”
Horror Fuel: “I imagine it was.”
Sylvester McCoy: “It was a very long speech.”
Horror Fuel: “What’s your favorite thing about the movie?”
Sylvester McCoy: “Everybody on it was so nice. We had such a good time. With this, it was just such lovely people. It was fun. The director and casting director did very well.
When I did The Hobbit, that was three years of filming. Peter Jackson’s casting was really nice, good actors because he knew it would last three years. There was always great comradery. With this film, it didn’t last three years, it was three months really. It had the same atmosphere because it was a joy to go to work really.”
I would have loved to have spent hours talking with Sylvester about The Owners, The Hobbit franchise, and more, but we ran out of time.
I will say this, the seasoned actor was a pleasure to talk with. He is cheerful and kind, unlike his character in The Owners who is brutal and violent.
Be sure to check out The Owners, arriving on Digital and On Demand on September 4, 2020, from RLJE Films.