In INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY (in theaters this weekend), a brilliant parapsychologist Elise Rainier receives a disturbing phone call from a man who claims that his house is haunted. Even more disturbing is the address — 413 Apple Tree Lane in Five Keys, N.M. — the home where Elise grew up as a child. Accompanied by her two investigative partners, Rainier travels to Five Keys to confront and destroy her greatest fear — the demon that she accidentally set free years earlier.
I had a chance to interview Kirk Acevedo who play’s Ted Garza in the film and here’s what he had to say about his experience filming and much more!
Luis Lecca: Had a chance to check out the new Insidious flick, The Last Key, and man… It’s the best one in the series! You had an excellent performance as Ted Garza. How do you prepare for that character, without giving away spoilers, he’s complex.
Kirk Acevedo: I had to play him very, very innocent because he has a secret, so that was just a simple transition. For me, I was playing him like he didn’t know what was going on. You know what I mean? It was the house with the demons that made him do certain things.
Luis Lecca: You’re from New York originally. How do you get that accent for the movie?
Kirk Acevedo: I’m an actor! (Laughs). Like if people don’t know me they go, oh, you don’t sound like you’re from New York. And, I’m like … If they don’t know me, and I go no I’m not from The Bronx. So, you can easily put it on and put it off. I went to college for 4 years. I went to high school performing arts, junior high school performing arts, and 4 years of college. So, you got speech and stuff like that. And you learn to put it on and put it off and do things phonetically too. Do accents and stuff like that.
Luis Lecca: Hardcore horror movie fans love the Insidious Franchise, yet the Insidious Franchise is PG-13 and not rated “R.” Can you talk a little bit about how that process works, of keeping it just below an “R” rating?
Kirk Acevedo: Well, I think it also has a lot to do with language. There’s a certain amount of curse words that you can have to make it PG-13. I think that’s one of the things, but curse words don’t make it scary. Right? Also, blood, like a certain amount of blood and gore. Poltergeist didn’t have blood and gore and that was scary. I can remember tons of films that have a PG-13 rating and were still frightening.
Luis Lecca: You have a huge list of credentials under your belt. They include T.V., mega box office films, and different genres. Can you talk a little bit about working with the Insidious Franchise this time around, which is a moderate budget compared to some of the stuff you have done? What’s the difference?
Kirk Acevedo: My favorite genre is horror … No one would ever know it … This was the first horror film I have ever done. I love horror. I’ve seen everything! So, me and my daughter whenever we are at home, on holidays that’s all we watch. We watch every horror film. Working with Leigh Whannell, and Adam Robitel was totally amazing. They let me play. They let me do whatever I want. They trusted me and you don’t get that necessarily on the bigger films. You know being in films is a lot more pressure now.
Planet of the Apes (for example), it’s like a 205 million dollar film. I mean they’re not playing. Which is probably … maybe, I don’t know, like 80 times the budget (of Insidious) It’s the smaller films … It’s more independent. They tend to be more family and you can play. There’s a little bit more of a cohesiveness in a collective, which I prefer because I come from theater where it’s a trust and group effort like Blumhouse.
Luis Lecca: There’s a lot of talking about the multi-million dollar budgets in films especially in the comic book genre. One specific film is Wonder Woman. People (me included), praise it for having an awesome female superhero, but I consider Lin Shaye a superhero before that even hit the big screen. Could you talk a little bit about having a superhero like Elise in the cast? What makes her different? I think she’s the heart of the franchise.
Kirk Acevedo: You know what’s so funny, that’s a fantastic point. Because, you know, like Lin and the other women on Insidious, and in a lot of the horror genres, but specifically Lin, she is the lead and she is the star, and she is this psychic superhero that’s helping people.
It’s actually a great point. But, because it’s just more independent, they don’t really get the eyeballs because of publicity and stuff like that. She deserves her equal share, in creating opportunities for other actresses.
You can listen to the interview below!