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Writer/Director Andre Ovredal On His Amazing Take On Superpowers In Mortal [Exclusive Interview]

With how many film and television shows have been put out the last few years about people with super-powers it’s surprising that there doesn’t seem to be much superhero fatigue. Recently I had the opportunity to see what I believe is an amazing film about a man with super-powers called, Mortal from Saban Films.

Mortal

Moral takes from writer and director André Øvredal takes what we love from a superpowered character and grounds him to what comes off as a believable story. It follows the story of an American backpacker named Eric, played by Nate Wolff. Who is arrested after witnesses claim that a teenager died after touching him. As well as the fact that he somehow started a fire that destroyed a farm. Mortal takes on a journey of self-discovery for Eric. Who is he really?

You can check out the trailer for Mortal below!

Latino Review Media had the opportunity to talk with Øvredal about Mortal. In the interview, we are able to talk about his vision for his story. Also the way the story was paced to keep you guessing. As well as Wolff’s portrayal of Eric. You can check it out down below!

Emmanuel Gomez: Let’s start with this, how many are out there? What was your approach with Eric’s character?

Andre Ovredal: I wanted him to be a very grounded take on this mythology. I wanted him to be a person filled with guilt for what he’s done in the past that will be revealed at the end of the movie. And, you still have to like this person. It has to be something empathetic and charming about him that he’s not a bad person. But he unwillingly can end up doing bad stuff. I think there is an intriguing balance, so about humanity in that, we are all gray, with lots of layers of gray, or shades of gray. But he’s also a person with a temperament and with flaws and he’s still a god. He’s still, and I think that to have a flawed god in a way is really intriguing.

Emmanuel Gomez: The other thing I think was just as important as your main character, you’re supporting characters. It seems that you had levels of kind of reactions at a personal level, institutional level, and then a government level. Can you talk about how you’re supporting characters really add that grounded feel to the story?

Andre Ovredal: I think that a movie should, in a way be about the consequences of something. So my first movie was about a guy who runs around with trolls. Then the movie had to be about the consequences of the fact that there are trolls in this world. This is basically the same scenario. It’s about the consequences of a god, and how do you see these consequences while you have to see them through different perspectives.

How they affect any kid who runs into him. You know, like are those kids out on the field there, to how a person with a power to kill would react. How would without the weight of that responsibility to make a decision like that? To make this person go away or not forever, those aspects and of course, you have the sheriff and that’s what intrigues me about the stories to put a spotlight on it from different sides in a way.

Emmanuel Gomez: Can we talk a little bit about what it was like to work with not Wolf? He really can empathize with the character with how flawed he is, despite the fact that he has these powers.

Andre Ovredal: He’s such an intuitive, amazing actor. He really follows his instincts. A lot of times it was about just discussing with him at what levels is he reacting? How is he feeling about these moments and where does, where do you come from where to go? But oftentimes it would be him honing in on, we’d play through the whole scene. He would start to feel how the scene plays and how this character would react at each moment and behave at each moment. So much of acting is about behavior. I think that’s what his processes is kind of cleaning up his relationship to the scene and the characters through living it. That was fascinating to watch.

Emmanuel Gomez: I want to ask about your pacing for the film because I felt like throughout the film, you were just giving us just enough information to keep going and really be intrigued by the mystery surrounding his powers and whatever he did in the past.

Andre Ovredal: Yeah I know. I’m really glad you caught that because I was trying to create a pretty calm pace. But still with, as you say, with a minimalist tone and a minimalistic level of information where you kind of just get enough to keep moving. I wanted the movie to be about the experience of being with Christine and Eric. Not about them talking too much about everything. So the conversations would be cashed through and they would be pressing than just about here and now mostly. I think that’s, that was a tone I was going for a bit. Basically tried to create a minimalist movie from beginning to end, or even like, the first 10 minutes without any dialogue, it’s just images of Eric.

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Emmanuel Gomez: What do you hope is the lasting impression for audiences of Mortal?

Andre Ovredal: I mean, of course, the movie ends with a bang. The movie ends with an enormously dramatic twist to everything. Two twists, three twists. First, they find something crucial. Then something happens to somebody, It’s like a real stepping stone of a nightmare, stepping stone the last two minutes of the movie. I don’t know, I hope that people can embrace the suddenness of that. The intensity of that ending, because it’s something I always loved about the script. It’s divisive but to be able to go out with such a bang and really feel it and question, how was this the correct who made the wrong decisions, who made the right decisions? Questioned decisions in a way, I think it’s an aspect

Mortal

Emmanuel Gomez: You mentioned the minimalist kind of feel to it and then this big bang at the end almost. And so without giving too much away, I’m really curious. Do you have a planned sequel for this that you want to do?

Andrew Ovredal: Yeah, and I have what characters I want to talk about, and I know what a sequel would be without having actually developed the details of it, but I know what that movie would look like, yeah.

Emmanuel Gomez: Well, Andre, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. Congratulations on a great film and I hope you have a great rest of your day.

Andre Ovredal: Yeah. Thank you. You too. Thank you very much. Nice to talk to you.

Saban Film‘s Mortal is now available On-Demand, Digital, and Blu-ray!

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