Published: Thursday, 25 February 2021 18:26 | Written by Suzanne Marie Lanoue
Recently, Hulu, in partnership with Blumhouse Television, premiered its new episode of Into the Dark with Tentacles. The monthly anthology horror series follows the couple Tara (Dana Drori) and Sam (Casey Deidrick), who enter into a whirlwind intimate relationship that soon morphs into something quite terrifying.
Deidrick recently took part in a junket promoting Into the Dark: Tentacles and talked to SciFi Vision about his role in the show, working with CGI, and more.
Be sure to watch Into the Dark: Tentacles on Hulu, and you can also read the transcript following the interview.
Zoom Call Into the Dark: Tentacles Casey Deidrick
February 22, 2021
***Some unrelated content from the video was removed from the transcript***
SCIFI VISION: So, tell us about your audition and getting this role.
CASEY DEIDRICK:So, I had just gotten home from shooting season two of, oddly enough, of the show - I'm on a series called In the Dark. So, I had just gotten back in February of last year, and I had gotten this audition. I saw that Clara [Aranovich] was directing it, who is a friend of mine, because she directed an episode of In the Dark last season.
So, I just texted her, and I said, “Hey, congratulations on directing on this film. I just got the audition and just wanted to let you know that I got it. I'm gonna send the tape shortly.” She's like, “Actually, Casey, to be honest, we already have an offer out. Don't worry about it.” So, I was like, “You know what, I'm gonna just go ahead and send in a tape anyway, because I like the role.”
So, I sent in a tape the next day, and I got a text later that night, and quote, unquote, she sent me a text saying, “Fuck you.” She's like, “Your tape was so good; we loved it. It's going to producers. Just hang tight,” and I ended up testing a few days later. It just so happened to be the right time, the right moment, and I ended up getting the role.
So, the process was like - I don't like to have a set set way of preparing for a role for a character, but for this, after I read the script, I just realized that there was just so much texture and so much substance to this character, Sam, and I just imagined him as walking around the world with this dark cloud over his head.
So, I worked with my acting coach and really kind of dove into the hidden layers in between the lines, what this character was after, and how he uses alcohol to run from his issues. I thought this character is just so relatable, and so I really dove into that first from the inside, rather than the outside in. I really kind of related to his pain, because, to be honest, I care way more about a character's darkness than his ability to be a hero. That's just my personal opinion.
So, there're little nuances in this in the script, [like] when Sam first shows Tara the house, and he's entering the bedroom of his mom for the first time. It's little intricacies like that of backstory, of imagining that this is where my mom was dying and I had to take care of her. It's almost like when you get out of a relationship, and you break up, and then you start seeing places around around the city where you guys used to have dinner or lunch, or you guys hung out there, and it's like, there're traumatic feelings that come into play when you see those locations. There're little things like that, that I wanted to add a little, you know, for flavor with this character, just because that's kind of how it is with my personal life. So, I just wanted to make sure that that came across with this character.
It did. Well, thank you, thank you. Thank you very much.
…When I'm on set, I like to stay in character, and if I need to step out for a few minutes and get into whatever place I need to get into, that's what I need to do. So, that's what I'm about.
And did you say are you still in In the Dark?
Yes, that's why I'm in Toronto. I'm shooting season three now.
Oh, good. I love that show.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
I was worried when you did this other one that you were done with it. I couldn't remember at the end of the season, whether you'd left town or what.
Oh, no, no, we're back. We've been here since October.
Well, I'm sorry you have to stay in the cold so long, but I'm very grateful for the show, because I do love it.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate that.
Oh, you're welcome. I partly started watching it because of you and I can't remember the actor's name; the guy who was the policeman.
You're talking about Dean, [Rich Sommer]’s character.
He was in Madmen, and he was so great. And you because of Days of our Lives.
Oh, well, thank you. Thank you for following me and watching of our crazy show.
No, no, I love the show. The show is crazy. It takes so many twists and turns that's why I like it.
Yeah. I mean, there's always some kind of cliffhanger or a twist at the end of each episode, which is, you know, that's just a testament to our writers.
Yeah, definitely. You have to have the writing to do all that, the twists and turns.
Last week, I interviewed Alexandra Pechman, Clara Aranovich, and Dana Drori, and I asked them what I should ask you, because I told them I was interviewing you. They said that you were very intense, and staying in the scene, especially when you're working with the CGI, they were impressed with that. They wanted to know what your process was for doing that.
They’re asking about the CGI scene with the tentacles?
Yeah, how you're able to relate to it so well, with such intensity?
Oh, yeah, it's tough, because I'd never been choked like that my entire life, but, you know, that was a very physical way to get into that scene. I would have to kind of hyperventilate myself in a corner. I'd have to go step outside and really like physicalize the act of getting choked. I wouldn't advise that for anybody else, that's just how I get into the scene. For me, it's really about backing myself into a corner where I have no other way around it but to believe it, and when you start physicalize, it, the panic starts starts to sink in a little bit with the lack of oxygen and lack of breath. That just kind of fueled my way into that scene. After each take, I was struggling for breath; I really was. You could see it in the veins popping out of my brain, like, I just couldn't breathe. So, I had to physicalize that to really make that believable for myself.
Had you worked with CGI much before?
Nothing like that before, no. That was definitely my first time working with any kind of CGI work like that.
So the director, one of the writers, and the casting director were all women. Is this unusual, and how did you feel about it?
No, it felt amazing. It was incredible to work with women, and Clara is actually a dear friend of mine. She directed an episode of In the Dark last season, and I really, really enjoyed it. And I would, no pun intended, follow any one of them “into the dark.” I would do it, because they're so talented and lovely to work with, and smart and beautiful, and I think they crushed this film. I think they did a really good job.
Dana said it made her feel more comfortable, all the sex scenes that you did, with having all women.
Yeah, we also had a female intimacy coordinator (Corrin Evans), which was so lovely and made us both feel heard and safe. There was not one moment on that set where I didn't feel safe or like I didn't know what was going on. So, it was an incredible experience. I would do it in a second; I would do it in a heartbeat, work with them again.
I've never heard of an intimacy coordinator. Is that a new job title in Hollywood, or is this something that’s always been around, and I just never heard about it?
I mean, it's new to me. I don't know if it's new in Hollywood, but it's new to me. This is the first time that I actually got to work with someone like that, and to be honest, it really, really helped, just the coordination of the scene and the way it flowed and making sure that most importantly Dana felt comfortable. That's all that really mattered to me, was that Dana was comfortable and felt safe.
Did doing the romantic scenes on Days of Our Lives help you at all with this role and doing the sex scenes?
Yeah, I mean, it's no surprise with daytime television that there are a lot intimacy scenes. So, yeah, it absolutely prepared me for that. I feel very comfortable, which also allowed me to make sure that Dana felt comfortable as well. Those are just my main focus points anytime we're doing intimate scenes like that.
The ending was, I thought, a little unusual. Did that surprise you when you read the script?
No, no, not at all. I mean, you’ve got to find a way to end the script. You just have to find a way, and I think it was a wonderful way to end something that was so mysterious, so unknown. I think that it just paved the way to maybe a sequel or another installment of it.
I was going to say that.
Yeah, I think there's much unknown about this creature, whatever it is. If it's alien, or if it's been dormant on the planet, who knows? It's just, that's what I love about it is that there's just so much mystery to it, and it left the door open to potentially explore more of that.
Actually, I can see a whole series based on that, these creatures.
Could be. Yeah, could be. It kind of reminded me of The Faculty. I don't know if you've ever watched that movie –
No, I don’t think so.
- with Josh Hartnett, and actually Elijah Wood’s in it too, but yeah, it very much reminded me of that.
And were there any behind the scenes events that were particularly funny or memorable that you can share with us? Behind the scenes events...Well, I mean, our episode was broken up because of COVID, the pandemic, but we ended up shooting the rest of the half at this ranch up in Malibu Canyon, which was infested with tarantulas.
We would see tarantulas almost every every night outside, and believe it or not, I have a huge, huge fear of spiders. So, I really had to like walk on eggshells when I left my trailer every night, because sometimes it was pitch black out there.
But, as far as other other stories, I mean, I don't have any at the moment. I'm sure there're tons, but, I mean, all I can really say is that it was a really incredible experience, and I'm just so happy that I got the opportunity to portray this character.
It’s like, you could have shot a whole other movie there with all those tarantulas. [laughs]
I was in my own horror story, going into that, so that probably also helped me prepare as well.
I know you have the beard now, are you planning to keep that, or do you just keep it because of the projects you're in? Do you like it? [laughs]
I don't know. You know, I feel like every person kind of has their their own insecurities. I have to keep the beard for In the Dark, but I like having a beard, because, I don't know, I just I feel like I can hide behind my hair in a weird way. Some people like long hair and they can hide behind their long hair. I don't know, but I just like to have a beard; that’s all.
Well, it's good for your character, and I can understand why you would like a beard. A lot of guys I don't think like to shave, but you look better without it. You're hiding your handsome face. [laughs]
Oh, thank you. I also am very lazy in the morning. I just hate shaving; I don't like shaving at all.
That's okay, I just, I don't like beards, but you look good either way. [laughs]
Oh, no worries.
Would you ever go back to Days of our Lives if they needed you to reprise your role of Chad? I know there's another Chad now. He's good, but if they needed you to come in?
I mean, if it was for an extended period of time, probably not, but if they needed me to come in and do an arc or, you know, like a three or four episode arc or a month or whatever, yeah, for sure. Acting is acting to me, like, it doesn't matter if it's a soap opera, or a television show or a film. I just love creating. I love working, and I love, you know, just working with people. So, yeah. If they ever asked me to, then sure, why not?
Do you keep up with the show at all or with the people in it or anything that's going on there?
I haven't. I haven't been. I still talk to Chandler [Massey] every once in awhile...and James Scott. I talk to James Scott a lot. I don't really keep in touch with anybody else, really, to be honest, unfortunately.
You have some new relatives on the show, [laughs] just in case you ever go back. Another brother -
I’m sure I do.
So, you're working on In the Dark now.
Is there anything else that you've got coming out or that you're working on?
Right now, just season three, and then we just got picked up for season four. So, yeah, I'll be doing this for the next year.