Exclusive Interview with 'Don't Breathe' star Daniel Zovatto
Last weekend "Don't Breathe" made headlines for winning the box office and scoring some of the best reviews of the year for any horror movie.
The film tells the story of a group of friends who break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they'll get away with the perfect heist.
Latin Post had the opportunity of interviewing Dabiel Zovatto, a rising star and one of the most sought after Latin American actors currently working in Holltywood.
In the film Zovatto plays Money, one of the leads in the film. Durng the interview with Latin Post, Zovatto spoke about is work on the film and the experience of doing two horror films back to back.
How did you get involved with the project?
I got involved through an audition process. I read the script and I really liked the character and I didn't know who was doing it or anything. When I finished the script I realized it was Fede Alvarez and I was a big fan of the "Evil Dead" remake so that was a big attraction for me. Then I read for Fede, took a few meetings here and there and then I got the part. So it was a typical story.
Tell me about your collaboration with Fede and what it was like to work with him?
Well Fede is a director that in the next coming years everybody will know who he is and people will fight to work with him just because I think he is a true visionary and a he is such a smart guy. He writes his own stuff and he is a perfectionist. He works really hard. I mean for an actor or for any department in the film, the director is the captain of the ship and he made it so easy and so exciting to get up in the morning. It's a real pleasure to be in a film of his and its very cool to see him on his second movie and be a part of his career when it's starting to blow up. So I feel very fortunate.
Can you tell me about your role and was there any special preparation that you had to do?
I had the opportunity to do a film "It Follows" and that film was shot in Detriot as well. That's where "Don't Breathe" is told as well. So I got to see what were the living circumstances and the way of living in Detroit. So I got a little head start in that and I knew where my character's head was at. I knew where he was living. So his phycology was very in me already and I kind of understood him more. After that it just became more about building a character look and who this guy was and why he looks the way he does. So there was a lot of research in that department. Finding out what he was going to wear and if he had to get tattoos or anything like that. Because he comes from a different place than I do. We did a little research going to houses and seeing what they would do or how they would act. Then just go in and living that story.
Latin Post: What do you think was the biggest challenge for you as an actor?
Daniel Zovatto: I have to say that it did flow. All three of us we all had an understanding of who these kids were. And I think that was always going to be the biggest challenge coming into it because these kids are very different and you need to understand why they're together and why they are doing this. So I think what really helped me was having a great cast around me. We opened conversations and I was a blown away in that aspect.
LP: You spoke about "It Follows" and that was a horror film. Can you tell me what drives you towards these genre picks?
DZ: Well I think it's the stories that drive me toward horror. You know it's not like I say "Its horror, let's do it." I mean I am a big fan of horror movies growing up and still am. But I think it's more the story and character that drives me to do something. I am big fan of these two directors. I watched David Robert Mitchell's first film and then I read "It Follows" and I said "it's not that hard to know that this is going to be a great movie." And the same thing happened with "Don't Breathe." I guess I've been really lucky. And it happens to be two horror movies that people are intrigued by and want to know about and want to watch them. It's awesome to be part of these two projects that are getting so much attention. But I don't really choose them by genre. I think I focus more on who's involved and what the character is.
LP: What are some of your favorite horror films?
DZ: There are few. I definitely think that the first one that comes to mind is "The Shining." It's a movie that really got me and I watched it in a hotel room with my dad at a really young age. I've been a huge fan of "The Exorcist," "Halloween," and "Panic Room."
LP: Can you tell me a little about working with your co-stars?
DZ: I had worked with Dylan Mynette on my first TV gig when I moved to California. So I had a relationship with him and we became friends on that project. And we were really excited to be working on this project together. That was cool to be working with a friend on this film. And then Jane Levy came very last minute because we couldn't find the right girl. But Fede had worked with Jane and that was perfect for the film. There was a lot of open dialogue and mutual respect and we trusted ourselves. Obviously I didn't get to work as much with Stephen Lang but he is a force to be reckoned with. After this film people are going to be seeing him in a different way.
LP: For my final question, as a young Latin American actor, what are some of the challenges of working in Hollywood?
DZ: Getting a Latino role. Surprisingly enough that is a problem I am dealing with. I think for me I always wanted to be that ambiguous person that could do everything. I want to be able to play an American, a Latino, a European and be diverse in roles. But if I had to be very honest with you, I think that has been my biggest struggle. Its convincing people I am a Latino. Maybe in the next couple I can bring my Latino personality. But I am getting closer because I am working with a Latin director.