Director Joe Lynch’s “Die-Hard in a room” film Everly got a Hall H panel at Comic Con Friday, which showcased actress Salma Hayek as a woman trapped in a shoot out after having been kidnapped, and has to escape the apartment she was held in with her life… and with a duffle bag full of cash. Hayek plays the titular kidnapped woman who desperately attempts to escape from an apartment building at any cost. It features the 47-year-old actress (yes, forty-seven…if you can believe that. She certainly doesn’t look it) taking down a group of Yakuza type bad guys with guns, grenades and any weapon she can get her hands on. In speaking to the crowd, she said “I know there are many women out there who aren’t in a situation like this, but are in situations where they feel it’s impossible to get out and they feel week, and we they see this movie I want them to realize there is a strength inside us we didn’t know we had, and we can do amazing things… but please don’t go shooting anyone. It’s a metaphor!”
After showing a scene from the start of the movie, director Lynch (Knights of Badassdom) said he really wanted to showcase a story with a “strong female character” and lamented the fact that we still live in a world where we still need to say “strong female character” and not just “strong character,” period. “That shouldn’t even be a thing, it should just be strong characters. This movie is if you’d unzipped my brain and looked down into it and saw every movie fetish that I’ve loved, as filmmaker as a film fan, because I love movies like Blood Simple, but I also love movies like Ichi the Killer. This was an encapsulation of everything I love about movies. So this was a personal story for me in many ways. There is something about seeing someone persevere in the most inescapable situations. And Salma came along, and she instilled such heart and humanity to it.”
The moderator then asked Salma Hayek what it was like to walk on to the set, since the movie all takes places in a single apartment and everything for several months of the shoot would be happening in that one location. “It was actually really exciting, because that set becomes a character, and as a character is has the opposite journey of me. Because as a character I start out broken,and then I get strong…the apartment starts in one piece and gets more and more destroyed. And we shot the movie chronologically, so we went on the journey together.” Salma Hayek admitted this was the most physically demanding movie she’s ever done. When asked what her favorite weapon was of the many different ones she uses in the movie, she admitted it was her sai. Lynch then chimed in “screw the Ninja Turtles, when you see her twirl that sai in the air, you’re gonna crap.”
After the Everly portion of the panel, moderator brought out Harry Potter himself Daniel Radcliffe for his first ever Comic Con appearance for the movie Horns, directed by Alexander Aja and written by horror writer (as well as the creator of Locke and Key) Joe Hill. Firs But before the panel addressed the movie, the entire audience sang “Happy Birthday” to Radcliffe, who just turned 25 two days ago (yes, Harry Potter is twenty-five. You are that old.) When asked id he’s ever had 6500 people sing him Happy Birthday before, you could tell the guy was visibly moved.
Horns is about a young man who is accused of murdering his girlfriend, and subsequently, grows a pair of demonic horns on his head. Aside from the horns, he also displays the power to have people around him admit their hidden truths just by being near him, as showcased in a rather hilarious clip they played for the panel, where a bartender at a local bar admitted that he wants to burn his bar down for the insurance money, and attempts to do so.
When asked why he chose this project, after having starred in the biggest franchise of all time, Radcliffe said “I’m always looking for projects that are original and dark, and take things that anyone can relate to, not necessarily the idea of being accused of murdering your girlfriend, but the fact that he’s been made to feel like an outsider and all this loss, but it deals with it in this insane way. And I like movies that defy genre.”
Next, Joe Hill was asked if he always envisioned it as a film “I never did think that it would be a film, because it’s so dark and goes to all these dark places, and I never thought that if it did become a film it would get Daniel Radcliffe to take on the part. Over the course of the story he experiences a lot, and has a lot of emotional terrain to cover, and I thought Dan went to all those places emotionally, and made it look effortless.” When asked how he felt when first seeing himself with the horn prosthetics, Radcliffe said it felt “Fantastic. I really enjoyed the,…I was really worried about how the prosthetics would look, but they did beautiful work. And they only took twenty minutes to put on.”
When asked to describe the film (and the book) and pin it down to being a tragedy, or a comedy or horror film, Joe Hill said it was a “tragi-come-horrordey” and combined elements of all those genres. There used to be a time, back in the 70’s, when movies were daring to combine genres like that. And I think the human experience is richer than one emotional note. When you see a successful genre movie achieve that, like Cabin in the Woods, its a rare thing. By the way, can you believe we’re in Hall H? Joss Whedon’s buttsweat has touched this very chair once.” (As one can imagine, this got a big laugh from the audience. When in doubt, invoke Joss.)
They opened it up to audience questions at this point, and one fan asked after playing a magical Brit for so many years, what was it like to play a demonic American? “One of the things I always do with films, I made a playlist with lots of American music like Metallica and Megadeth and more melancholy stuff like the Shivers, and I’d played American on stage before. But there is so much American culture in the UK that growing up as a kid I made all my action figures have American accents , and so I’ve secretly been practicing this since I was about six.” Director Alexander Aja then chimed in and said “when people see this movie, and see what Daniel has done in it, they’ll see that Potter was just the beginning of something great.”