Hypnotic dropped on Netflix right before Halloween, for those of you who haven’t tuned in, now is your chance to keep the thriller in freight month lovers going.
Becareful who you talk to. Jason O’Mara absolutely transforms in Hypnotic as a therapist whose motivations are not what they seem. Hypnotic is the story of a young woman seeking self-improvement enlists the help of a renowned hypnotherapist. But after a handful of intense sessions, she discovers unexpected and deadly consequences. We sat down with Jason O’Mara to speak on his bone chilling role.
PPLA: First of all, we’re terrified to ever set foot in therapy again. (We’re joking, sorta)
JO: Laughs. Yeah it’s really freaky.
PPLA: Have you ever done hypnosis-therapy yourself?
JO: No, I haven’t. I’ve been to hypnosis shows, you know where they pick out members of the audience, but you know, I’ve never been one of those people. You know I don’t think I’m particularly suggestible. But, um…I’m not sure I want to mess around with that. You know? I don’t want someone rummaging around in there, thats weird.
PPLA: For sure!
PPLA: How did this role come about for you? Did you audition or was it an offer?
JO: I’ve worked with Matt Angel (the director) before. He did a role on a show I did called Complications, a few years ago for USA Network. He’d always talked about wanting to make films, he wanted to be a director. And you know, you hear that alot from actors working on tv shows, its like “oh I really want to direct,” and alot of times it’s like yeah sure. But then a few years later he and his wife Suzanne Coote made a no budget (forget low budget), no budget psychological thriller called Open House and they sold it to Netflix. I went to the premiere and thought it was an incredible achivement, especially considering no budget. They had always said they wanted to work with me, and I’ve said” I’d love to work with you guys”, you know they’re so talented. So, they called me about Hypnotic, and they said they wanted to make an offer, but, Netflix were less familiar with my work, they weren’t convinced I’d be right for the role. And I went in an auditioned. Even though, I knew I had an advantage going in because I knew the directors, I knew I had to win the role from Netflix, from their point of view. So I did that. I worked really hard on the audition, and in that I really started to enjoy the character. Sometimes when you audition for something and you really kind of get under the skin of the character, and start trying it on, you think to yourself, “okay, well I actually could do this. This could be alot of fun, this is juicy.” And then they offered me the role and it did turn out to be, well, this is the juciest role I’ve played in a long time.
PPLA: How was it getting into character? It’s always so fun to play the villain isn’t it?
JO: Ha. It’s so fun, it’s so much more enjoyable than playing the hero. And I’ve had a long and successful career playing the leading man, and it’s been alot of fun. Particularly when the leading men are flawed, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. But, as I get older I’m getting more opportunities to play villains and slightly more interesting odd characters, and thats a joy for me as an actor. I get to flex my acting muscles and just have fun, you know? In this case the guy seems like a very successful and charismatic therapist with a very kind of up-market, almost chic office and practice, kind of intimidating almost, and he’s had alot of great results, people are talking about him. He’s recommended to this woman Jenn Tompson (Kate Siegel) and shes kind of in this state of malaise in her life and she wants to break through, and she is suggested to meet this hypnotist. And she does. Then thats when things take a turn because he’s not quite as he seems. I think that, in terms of acting, thats where the fun is. When you’re keeping a secret, and you know, this is just like dating in LA. You’re presenting as a really nice, well-rounded human being and then you get to them and they’re complete psychopaths.
PPLA: Wow, what an advertisement for Bumble.
PPLA+JO – We had a good laugh sesh. If you’ve dated in LA you know he’s not wrong.
PPLA: What was your favorite scene to shoot?
JO: It was probably the scene towards the end where Jenn wakes up and realises she’s not in the office, she’s actually in Dr. Meade’s bedroom and he is painting her nails and kind of admiring her, and shaping her…
PPLA: WHICH IS SO CREEPY! Sorry but can we just say how that was the scariest scene in the entire film. Can we ask was that improv or was that in the script?
JO: Thats in the script! It’s in the script! But I think it’s probably one of the most memorable scenes in the movie because it’s just so weird. He’s making her up to look like his dead wife, um, and, uhh thats whats really weird and creepy about it. It was just the idea of painting the nails, and blowing on them to help them dry(laughs).
PPLA: Again, might have been the scariest scene in the whole movie, and you’re not even threatening her.
JO: Yeah, it’s just so strange. In a way, the whole movie is building up to that scene. So it’s that much more shocking when it happens.
PPLA: Well, you can add nail technician to your resume now.
JO: Manicurist. Yeah.
PPLA: For the fun bits for our readers, what are you reading right now?
JO: Oh, thats a really good question. I just finished a book called “Red Notice” about a banker who got involved in the Russian economy right after the Iron Curtain came down. The economy was in the tank and this guy invested. Then theres like Putin and all these political leaders of Russia come in on him, and it’s a true story. And his accountant-lawyer died in their police company, and the investor took all this to the White House, to John McCain in Congress. Actually, Matt Angel recommended this to me. “Red Notice”, is a true story.
PPLA: Favorite Takeout?
JO: I probably go to Chiptole far too often. It’s just so easy, and it’s healthier than the other fast food options. You can make it healthier you know?
PPLA: What are you listening to right now?
JO: I’m a big Radiohead fan, and I love Johnny Greenwood’s film scores. I’ve been listening to the film score from “You Were Never Really Here.” I thin what Johnny Greenwood is doing with music is really different and new, and of course dark and haunting but, I’m just kind of obsessed with his composing.
PPLA: In a fun-fact for our readers, they may or may not know this, you voice Batman in all the animated films. How has that been?
JO: Well first of all, “How is it being Batman,” it’s pretty great. Like I do conventions and I get to meet fans, my son’s older now he’s 17 so he’s over it now, but when he was younger he thought it was pretty cool that his dad voiced Batman.
PPLA: In your defense thats cool at every age.
JO: Thats true, but it’s, he’s just at that age now. It (voicing Batman) can be kind of humbling too. Friends love to kind of rip me, I’m Irish we show eachother affection by insulting eachother, so oftentimes I’ll be walking up to my group of friends and they’ll be like “Ugh here he is, here comes Batman.” But, I had a great time. There was a producer called James Tucker whose really super talented but I think his deal with Warner Brothers came to an end so I’m not sure if I’m doing another Batman at this point. The cast kind of left as well (With James Tucker), I never say never, but at this point there are no plans to continue the “Tuckerverse” as far as I know. But you know, my Batman is a dad as well, to Damian Wayne and thats kind of what sets him apart. And I must say, that was also really fun part of playing the character, because I am a dad too.
PPLA: Any last thoughts you’d love to get across to our readers about Hypnotic?
JO: I’m really looking forward to everybody seeing this because it’s a little bit different for me. I haven’t done anything like in awhile. The trailer is intriguing. You know, you take a lookat the trailer and you think “I really want to watch that movie,” I think there are enough twists and turns to really make it super enjoyable. It’s the perfect thing to watch on a Friday night when you just want to chill after the week. You can just turn on Netflix, and it’s a real rollercoaster ride, and it’s not gorey, and it’s not horror. It’s a psychological thriller so it’s a different kind of thrill. You know I hear alot of people going, “oh that tlooks too scary” but it’s really not super scary…unless you don’t like spiders.