This Memorial Day weekend, I attended Carolina Fear Fest to get some coverage and interviews for Horror Obsessive. On day one, I had a moment to talk with Hannah Fierman, star of V/H/S’s segment Amateur Night about her work in the horror field. Later on, I talked with Ross Marquand, known for his work in The Walking Dead, Avengers: Infinity War, and Endgame about his experiences on both those sets and what he likes to see in horror films.
Emma Gilbert: So, you played Lily in V/H/S, which is my favorite segment of the movie and one of my favorite horror movies of all time. It seems to be one of your most recognized roles. How do you feel about that?
Hannah Fierman: I am perfectly happy with that being my most recognizable role! Because I’m proud of my work, and I think it’s a good movie. And I got to be very, very creative with it, because David [Bruckner] and I were developing the character as we went because it was his original idea—him and Nick Tecosky. And I’m so thrilled that you liked it so much, and it scared the s*** outta me, even though I knew what was gonna happen—I read the script, obviously. It was me, and yet I still couldn’t watch myself half the time. It was excellent.
[She then asked if I had seen Siren, which I hadn’t, but the friend I had with me had, and said they liked it.]
Fierman: [About Siren] It was really good, right? I liked it, too. I thought that it was a good movie. I thought V/H/S was scarier, but I think that Siren was more fun to watch because it had a bit more comedy. It wasn’t found footage, so it wasn’t, like, shaky, and that kind of nauseates me a little bit sometimes. Actually, at Sundance, we literally made somebody puke and pass out.
EG: That’s how you know you’ve won.
Fierman: That’s how you know you’ve been helpful, yeah.
EG: You’ve been in an episode of Shudder’s Creepshow. Do you want to go back to Creepshow? How was your time on there?
Fierman: I had an absolute BLAST on Creepshow season 2. I worked with Greg Nicotero and Justin Long, and D’Arcy [Carden]—she’s Janet from The Good Place. Wonderful people, very, very wonderful people. I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun, ever, acting in anything. That’s how much fun we had. They dressed me up in these amazing costumes, they were all tailored to me, and [there were] all these cool wigs and amazing makeup, and people were so nice. And Greg is so happy all the time, so happy to be there and work with you and create art. It’s just a wonderful vibe. And I’ve already done season 3, I don’t know if I’m really allowed to tell you that, but oh well, there it is. I also had a blast doing that one.
EG: That is awesome. Alright, I got just one more [question]; what is your favorite horror subgenre?
Fierman: I like misunderstood monsters.
[My mother then proceeded to call me, disrupting the recording process, but thankfully we were already done.]
Emma Gilbert: You have worked with Robert Kirkman a couple of different times now. What is your experience working with him?
Ross Marquand: I love working with Robert because he’s one of the most hilarious guys I’ve ever met, but his brain is just incredible. He creates these dark, insane worlds, and he always blows me away because he just knows how to make stories interesting and keep the audience on their toes. Did you watch Invincible?
EG: I have not yet, but I am so excited to do it!
Marquand: The very first episode is just the biggest kick to the face.
EG: I love when that happens.
Marquand: Yeah, and you’re just not expecting it. I love when storytellers really just keep you on your toes, and that’s what Robert does.
EG: I like not knowing what’s going on, that’s my favorite thing. So, you’ve worked with Avengers, this huge, massive-budget, Disney-Marvel, megacorporation production, and then you work on Walking Dead, which is a TV show, much smaller. What is the difference working on those two different types of sets?
Marquand: To be honest, they’re completely different beasts, but it’s the same general vibe. I mean, everyone is working so hard to collaborate and make sure that their product is as good as it can be. I will say the conditions we work on Walking Dead are unlike anything I’ve ever worked on. It’s super, super hot, and then really surprisingly cold at the end of the season. And you’ve got all kinds of bugs crawling over you, you’ve got blood all over you all the time, and you’re running around. It is a grueling show, but I feel like when you’re done with each episode you feel like you really earned your keep, and I love that. [And] I loved working on Avengers; the biggest thing I would say is the ease that you have when you have a sound stage around you as opposed to working out in the woods. Because, y’know, you can wear a motion capture suit, you’ve got the head camera on you, and then you can just act like you’re back in theater. It’s a lot more freeing, I would say. They’re very different “animals,” but everyone’s still working together to make it the best thing possible.
EG: If you were in a zombie apocalypse, what would your first move be?
Marquand: I always say the same answer, but I will not change [it] ever: I get my friends, and my family, into a Costco as soon as possible. If there’s other people there, we will either kill them off, or we will work with them to forge a new community there. They will seal the door shut from the inside, and we will have people manning every exit and entrance 24/7, and then we’ll be fine for the next 20 years.
EG: Alright then! I have just one more [question]; what types of horror movies do you wanna see more of in the future?
Marquand: I love psychological horror movies. I mean, my favorite horror movie is The Shining, I love Jacob’s Ladder, I love Rosemary’s Baby […] I watched Midsommar recently, I loved that movie. I like movies that really get into your head and don’t leave for years, those are the ones I like the best. And also ones that have, like, social commentary about where society is headed.
EG: Absolutely, so much of horror is that.
Ross Marquand: Yeah. I’m not a big gore guy, which is funny ‘cause I work on The Walking Dead, but I really like psychological terror, that’s my favorite.
[I then proceed to express my view of NBC’s Hannibal being the god of all psychological horror, and then make my way to my next adventure.]