Alex Wolff has gone from former Nickelodeon child actor to indie horror star with his big roles in Old and Hereditary. The latter is a particularly intense watch, with numerous disturbing scenes that include more than one decapitation; it makes Old look tame in comparison. So, it’s not much of a surprise that it was just as intense to film as it is to watch. In an interview with Looper, Wolff talks about getting his first major horror role in Hereditary and he discusses the emotional toll the role took on him.
“I’ll tell you that movie did about as much damage to me as a movie can do,” he says, before explaining that the damage included psychological effects and a loss of sleep. However, now that he’s found a successful career in film, Wolff is worried that talking about the negative aspects of filming Hereditary is in poor taste. He says he doesn’t want it to sound like he’s unappreciative of his career when he discusses the downsides of being an actor who continuously works on these kinds of horror flicks. “It’s very hard because as an actor, you really don’t want to sound pretentious or self-serious or like anything is too serious, because we have a cushy job in a lot of ways, but this, emotionally, it was one of those tough ones, it was one of those ones that really did some gymnastics on my emotional well-being,” Wolff says.
He also recently talked to IndieWire about not being too enthusiastic about sharing details of how his prepared for his role in Old—because that often became the focus of interviews when he talked about Hereditary. “Almost to the disservice of the performance and the movie, the press really angled on the preparation because people hadn’t seen a movie where people were this raw, in at least years, I think,” Wolff recalled. “They would dig things out of me talking about the process. In some ways I regret it, because it can come across as self-important, or indulgent.”