IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jeremy Irvine Talks 'The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death'

Tuesday, 30 December 2014 23:09 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jeremy Irvine Talks 'The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death'

Opening in theaters on January 2nd is the new movie The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death, which is a sequel to the 2012 horror film starring Daniel Radcliffe (Horns). 

Directed by Tom Harper (The Borrowers), the sequel takes place 40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House. When Harry Burnstow (War Horse’s Jeremy Irvine), Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox) and a group of children evacuated from WWII London arrive at the house, they awakening its darkest inhabitant. In addition to Irvine and Fox, the film also stars Helen McCrory (Skyfall). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jeremy Irvine about his work on The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death. The talented young actor discussed his new movie, why he wanted to be part of the project, making his first horror film, the mood on set, joining the franchise, Harry and Eve’s relationship, the WWII backdrop, and working with director Tom Harper


Here is what Jeremy Irvine had to say about The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death:

IAR: To begin with, what interested you about The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death, and made you want to be part of the project?

Jeremy Irvine: I have always been a big fan of movies like The Sixth Sense and The Others. I am not necessarily a horror fan. I like those movies because they are just great little backstories of the characters. This movie reminded me of that. It has some class to it. A friend of mine who is an actor read it and said, “If you take the horror element out of it, it can still stand alone as a drama.” I enjoyed the characters as well and the history it is set in, and how everyone has their own ghost and their own past haunting them.

Having never appeared in the horror genre before, was there an adjustment that you had to make as an actor? Or did you try to forget about the horror element and just approach the character as you would in any other film?

Irvine: Yeah. I approached it the way I approach anything else. You try for realism. You create a character, show up on set and hope for the best. One thing that struck me was how exhausting it was playing scared a lot of the time. It is always tiring my emotions.

When you are making a horror film, what is the mood on set? Is it fun, or do you have to keep the intensity of the scenes going when you are not shooting?

Irvine: It was an absolute blast. It was interesting because we had these kids on set as well. I adopted the main kids as me gang. We spent most of our time tormenting Phoebe Fox. It might be a mistake to tell you that she was scared easily on the first day of filming. I spent most of my time hiding in cupboards and letting these kids jump out at her. I pulled little pranks like that, and hiding behind cupboards and doors. The director as well would call rehearsals just so he could hide somewhere and jump out.


Can you talk about the relationship between Harry and Eve, and the connection that the two characters have together?

Irvine: All of the main characters in this movie have their own ghosts and their own pasts haunting them. Both Eve and Harry are hiding things. They are being haunted by the past and pretending to be something that they are not, which is lying about who they are. So I wanted to make Harry at the beginning appear to be this charming presence in the film. They both meet on a train and form this bond. They both sense that they are both suffering inside. It is during the World War II. The relationship starts to happen very quickly because no one ever knew if their next friend was going to be their last. It becomes very intense.

Do you think that having World War II as the backdrop of the film helped ground the horror elements in a certain reality?

Irvine: I feel like it gave it some class. It is a wonderful subject to set a horror film in because it is such a scary backdrop and set based in reality. It feels very real to me. The whole movie feels very real. There is nothing really silly about it. As soon as my agent got the script, he told me that it was not a “ghost trick” movie. It is not like so many of these horror movies where a girl in a bikini runs into a haunted house. I understand exactly what happens in The Woman in Black 2. You get the entire backstory. You can feel sympathy for the characters and understand why they are doing what they are doing. I guess that is what made it one of the best scripts I have read in a long time. 

Obviously, The Woman in Black 2 is a sequel to an original film that you did not appear in. While this is a standalone film, as an actor, what was it like joining an already successful franchise?

Irvine: It is funny. It was a privilege knowing that Daniel Radcliffe was in the first one and now they wanted me to do the second one. The script is really well done and a standalone movie. There are no recurring characters. I don’t imagine if there is another movie that these characters will be in it and there is something very classy about that. Now I look back and am very proud that I’m in a sequel to a movie that I enjoyed very much. 


Finally, what was your experience like working with director Tom Harper?

Irvine: It was pretty good. Tom was like a little kid on set. He’s like a lot of directors that I have enjoyed working with. It is very easy to forget that what you are doing is playing make believe for a living. You are dressing up and playing make believe. You need to have that atmosphere on set and he definitely makes that possible.

The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death opens in theaters on January 2nd. 


Full Disclosure: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death was produced by Relativity Media, iamROGUE's parent company. 

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