A man sick of spoon-fed narratives and comfort zones.

Logan Marshall-Green’s character in The Invitation (Will) has layers of emotions. Everything from sorrow and grief to finding inner peace and mental instability. While the movie’s focus is not solely on Green’s character, his ability to bring this complex performance to life definitely makes him stand out from the bunch. Here’s what he has to say about his character, the cast, and director in The Invitation.

LoganWell I read the script, and I had intentions, but I didn’t know if they lined up with the director. So I met the director, Karyn, and I instantly fell in love with her as an artists, and our intentions lined up nicely with what we wanted to do and how we wanted to transcend the potential of this guy and this house and this night. And that was orbiting in a more emotional path; a three dimensional and vulnerable path of grief and trauma and human condition, and going after a boring talky chamber piece instead of the genre that bubbles underneath.

What were those intentions that you were worried about not lining up with Karyn’s?

Logan: The intentions were to be able to go places that were unsafe and to know that she’d build an environment that’s safe to be unsafe in. Very specific moments–not sentences, but moments–that I needed to know she wanted to go to that level of vulnerability and pain and hurt and let that be the centerpiece. So it’s a dramre (drama/genre), not a genre or drama, but a dramre. And she was absolutely at the tip of her tongue ready to do that–so I wanted to do this movie with her.

LoganI think I was a little afraid of him. I also just had a son, so I had a newborn boy, and I have a little girl as well, and I didn’t want to tap into that kind of a darkness. I knew at least I had some emotional research already built in. I just liked his flaws, and I took a lot of the hero out of him. I didn’t want him to have those heroic strokes. I wanted him to be flawed and make mistakes, and I wanted to put the audience in the point of view of a man that they aren’t necessarily rooting for the whole time. But saying “stop doing what you’re doing”. And I think everybody else wanted that too.

LoganI think there was a physical look I was going for; I knew I wanted to keep growing a beard for it, and Karyn loved that idea. Obviously there is a lot of history of cults in the Hollywood Hills, and I thought it would be a nice twist on that to see him as someone on the outside that’s untrustworthy, at least in archetypes, as well as this internal voice piece for what maybe some people are feeling but don’t wanna put out the mention. So I just wanted him to be a wildcard. I think we would not be doing justice to the piece if we just sat in on the hero. I needed to sit in a feral trauma induced character, mechanism. So it’s a roller coaster, and not that the roller coaster is going around us, but that we are the roller coaster. We are inventing and we are building this roller coaster, and that was important to me. And it was important to me that the house had a point of view, and I think Karyn felt the same way. So that the house haunts him and the house watches him watch everything else. Ties there echos in the halls.

LoganIf you notice, and again there are a lot of subtleties, she does know Miguel. She and Miguel work at the hospital–which again–it’s nothing spoon-fed which I love about the script. I’m so sick of spoon feeding narratives; we don’t need that. We digest a lot and narrative is something Americans do great. So if you look at it, she does actually know Miguel; so now she kind of knows Tommy. So luckily I have that. I’d be lying if I said I am not using her as crutch. I think Will is using her as a crutch to get through this night and hides behind her at times. But she is such a strong character that she’s that person that’s socially available and sound, and Will is not socially sound.

And she’s there for him throughout the night too, but Will blows her off more than once.

Logan: Yeah that was something I had real problem with. I had to make sure I really understood those moments since when I blew her off, or when I was not leaning on her for support, there were real reasons why. Because she is an incredibly strong character, and I also wanted that to show at the end. I was advocate for taking the hero out of Will and giving it to her. And I think that pays her patience off staying in this situation all night long. She is one of the most likable characters, certainly. There are times on the couch where he tries hard, and I think any other night he wouldn’t but he pushes her away. It’s outside of his body and mind, and he isn’t really thinking, so the one person that can help him, he is un-reliant on.

Would you say Will has lingering feelings for Eden holding him back from fully committing to Kira?

Logan: I haven’t been asked that yet, but I have to say no. I don’t think so. I think he is hung up on her, but not in an emotional romantic sense. I think he is hung up on her because they have one thing in common, the boy who lived for seven years in their household that they shared, and he died in their arms. So they are linked forever, Eden will always be Ty’s mom. I’m someone who is able to say his name is Ty; she isn’t even able to say that. So there are differences, but I don’t think he is hung up on her emotionally.

LoganIt was great. There is this big house, but there aren’t just cast members in there, but a large group of people making this movie as well. All of them from the gaffers to the grips, to the directors and producers, makeup, hair, you name it–production designer. Everyone lived in that house together. But we didn’t move around a lot. We didn’t go to our trailers. We sat there and talked, and the cameras were turning, and we just fooled around and played games, and we shed the darkness at lunch and walked out to the sun cause we shot from day to night.

Basically the chemistry on camera was the exact opposite of the chemistry off camera.

Logan: That’s right. We really needed to turn it off. In fact, Karyn had to tell us to turn it off sometimes or quiet down. There is just a lot of laughter, and I think that it’s important in making movies with this kind of content and subject matters. If you start taking it too serious it starts to drip, and you don’t want it dripping. You want it real, and you want it to come from a real place so that you laugh when you cry and you cry when you laugh. And I think that’s the only way to do it.

LoganMaybe not to this level. Every role hopefully is a challenge. If it’s not a challenge–I’m probably not having fun. For me it wasn’t so much preparing as in putting on research, it was more taking off and revealing and using my own family as an emotional guide post in my research; but mostly shedding it and shedding it and getting away from sitting in it too much. Really going after things I wanted. Will can be kind of like a wet blanket–let’s just be honest. He’s a fuckin’ party pooper. Again, I wasn’t doing my job if you were going “yes! You go for it Will”. He is a fuckin’ wet blanket, and that’s something I needed to get rid of and shed, and I think rest of the cast helped me stay light.

People in this party wanted to get closer to Will, but then his actions would completely push him away from rest of the group.

Logan: Yeah he is antisocial, and I can be antisocial, so it was great to have a cast that just constantly having fun, and it made me not take myself so seriously.

LoganI kind of like doing everything. If I was being honest, you know, I have that check list so if I’ve done it already–I’m kind of not interested in it. So horror, psychological thriller, sci-fi, western. And when the day comes where I checked everything off I’ll go do something else. I’ll start directing, I’ll start writing and producing. For me it starts at the character. If I like the guy, and he is complex enough–or in this case, I’m scared of him–because I like being out of my comfort zone. I want to be afraid. In theater if you’re afraid to do a scene it’s probably unrehearsed, but in movies if you’re afraid of playing a character–you probably should.

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