What Lies Below is out this week. The sci-fi/horror film stars Mena Suvari, Trey Tucker, and Ema Horvath.
In the film, 16-year-old Liberty (Horvath) returns from summer camp to find that her mother (Suvari) has fallen in love with a mysterious man named John Smith (Tucker). John is just a little too…everything. He is the perfect blend of looks and charm, and at first, Liberty is as taken with him as her mother.
It’s not long, however, before she begins to suspect John isn’t what he seems. In fact, she begins to wonder if he’s human at all.
Filling the role of a man who is too perfect to be human is certainly a daunting task, but it was one Trey Tucker was eager to dive into. The actor spoke with iHorror about his experiences on the film. The first order of business? What does it take to play perfection?
“It was a little intimidating,” Tucker explained. “You certainly get your ass in the gym and get your diet dialed in. Other than that, you kind of have to trust the people you’re working with and say, ‘My job as the performer is to know why this person is doing what they’re doing in all the scenes that they appear.’ To have all of that filled in with history and motivation and experience and then trust that everyone else involved is going to bring that image and that impression to life. You just have to do your part and trust the rest of the team.”
This sense of hyper-sensuality and charm is placed front and center upon Tucker’s first entrance in the film when he emerges from a lake, dripping wet, walking toward Suvari and Horvath. It was a cold day in upstate New York, and the actor laughed recounting the process.
“We had to do that a few times because even though they did a really good job of clearing the ground at the bottom of the lake, it was very rocky and bumpy,” he said. “So even with them doing all that work, it was a very exacting thing to make it look smooth. The water was like 39 degrees or something. After a couple of takes, I just started yelling playfully at Brad after every take, ‘Okay, now you owe me a steak dinner.’ He’d say, ‘Can we do one more?’ ‘Okay, now you owe me a bottle of Scotch.’ He never actually made good on that. It wasn’t a formal agreement, but I’m still going to hold it to it someday.”
After that, the actor could focus on the larger themes of the film and his work with his fellow cast members on screen.
This was what especially appealed to Tucker. Digging into the characters and their motivations. What drives a mother to put her own desires for romantic connection over her daughter’s fears? What does a daughter do when she feels unsafe and unprotected by the one person she should be able to count on?
“You know the title is What Lies Below because all of them have other motors driving the way they’re making decisions,” Tucker pointed out. “That’s a very fun thing to get to play with. The external factors on that whether it be concerns over the environment or Mena wanting to find a boyfriend who would love her. All of those different motivations…the external things are secondary to what you get to work on in the scene if that makes sense. Those different sort of layers is what I found appealing. It’s a fun exercise to do for a performer.”
The work certainly shows onscreen. Tucker gives a captivating performance. You can see it yourself this Friday, December 4, 2020 when What Lies Below will be available On Demand and on digital screening platforms. Check out the trailer below and let us know if you’ll be watching!