Interview with 'This Is Our Home' Star Jeff Ayars

Interview with 'This Is Our Home' Star Jeff Ayars

Horrorific content by jessicagomez on December 13th, 2019 | Horror News |

Actor and producer Jeff Ayars is best known for his comedy work on shows like Funny or Die, but he displayed some impressive horror chops recently in the chilling and creepy film This Is Our Home . Ayars sat down with AllHorror and talked about the transition to horror, what he loves about the genre, and what it was like filming a movie as intense as this one. 

Jessica Gomez (JG): I just watched This Is Our Home, I loved it . I thought it was really well done and it invoked a lot of thought and feeling. What do you want our readers to take away from the film?

Jeff Ayars (JA): I think the best thing to take away from the film is the multiple sides and viewpoints of relationships. One of the things that we talked about the most is just how scary relationships are. My character is very commitment-phobic and scared of fatherhood and just the idea of love in general, whereas Simone’s character was gung-ho for commitment and partnership and motherhood, and so showing the two sides of that is what interested me the most. We talked a lot about it being a drama dropped into a horror setting. I think that’s one of the coolest things about it, because what’s scarier than opening yourself up to someone and learning deep dark parts of another person?

JG: This was a really intense film. It seemed like a big step out of your comfort zone because you’re more known for your comedy work, and this was the opposite of that. 

JA: It’s pretty opposite. (Laughs.)

JG: How did you get involved with making this film? I know that you’re a producer, but what made you want to get into horror?

I spoke a lot about horror with Omri in the past. He and I had done some dramatic short films together. Horror and comedy are two of my favorite genres and I think they have a lot of similarities, as Get Out recently and notably showcased for people who didn’t know that. That’s interesting to me, the line between making the audience jump and making them laugh, and the relief of the tension you get from both genres. I also think that I do a lot of dramatic acting in my comedy, because the set pieces and concepts are so over the top and I’m usually parodying a famous actor. A lot of times I’m just acting like the guy would in that movie, in a drama. So for me, it wasn’t like I had to do a ton of prep to do drama or horror, but it was about trusting and knowing the new environment that I was in, like how the cinematography was going to come across. I kind of talked through the whole thing with the composer. It was reassuring knowing that we had this big team - well, actually it was a small team - of talented people that could really pull it off, style-wise - and I just tried to exist, basically. (Laughs)

JG: I was personally very impressed - I wouldn't have known that you normally do comedies. I was completely immersed, and you seemed really immersed in your role. Did you have to do anything to mentally prepare yourself to get into a dark mindset? The movie kind of starts off playful but then it gets to a very dark place.

JA: Thank you. That’s part of what we really liked, was getting you to love and hate these two as a couple. We needed the playful stuff, we needed the light stuff, but then we really needed you to buy us yelling and screaming and hating each other in some moments. It was conceived around Simone and me, and we were dating at the time. A big question we’ve gotten is, was it really easy because you’re actually dating? And the answer is, yeah, when we were dancing, it was very easy - but most of the movie is just hating each other and laying into each other and belittling and needling and being sarcastic, so a lot of the stress was us talking about how couples communicate, and our own differing viewpoints, and our characters’ differing viewpoints. There were definitely some scenes where we had to hit the reset button because it got so intense. It was a weird, meta experience, that’s for sure.

JG: You guys shot this on a micro-budget, correct?

We shot over 11 days at one location for 12 hours a day, for under $100,000.  

JA: Any plans to get into the horror space again in the future? Do you think you would do another horror movie?

I absolutely would. One of the executive producers on this film, Inga Vanshtein - she was in this kinda cool sci-fi gore movie Hardcore Henry - she and I are taking around a horror right now, so I’m hoping that sees the light of day in the next year or two. It’s a genre I really like - it’s probably half of the movie tickets I buy.

JG: I always end my interviews with asking what your scary movie is. I think that it gets us into the mindset of actors, when we know what you like to watch.

JA: I can’t say enough good things about Hereditary . I love a lot of classic horror films, but in terms of my type of movies that actually terrify me, that’s right at the top. The Sixth Sense is another one. I think I’m really into the family emotional horror.

JG: I would say This Is Our Home is in the same vein as Hereditary.

JA: We talked about it a lot while filming. It wasn’t out yet, but we were all so excited just by the trailer. We were all like, “our dream is to have a movie a tenth as good as this.”

You can watch This Is Our Home now on iTunes, DVD, Amazon Prime Video and VOD. 


*This interview has been condensed for clarity. 


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