Beware of Southern Hospitality
On the latest episode of Dead Talk Live, Jessica McNamee of new film The Visitor stops by to deliver the inside scoop about her newest project with Blumhouse, her bout with Covid, and what interests her in a role.
Small Town Secrets
The Aussie actress plays Maia Eden, the wife of the tormented protagonist Robert, played by Finn Jones. The Visitor’s premise is less a fish-out-of-water tale than it is of isolation and inarticulate dread. Task one was creating a viable chemistry to the relationship between Robert and Maia. Before the audience would react to the tension of the scenes, there was the need for authenticity and depth to their interactions, she says.
Robert’s unease is only heightened upon discovering an old portrait bearing his image – the whole town seemingly in on a joke behind his back. It’s this paranoia that propels the plot, McNamee explains. “I could equate this to being famous … you walk into this party and you don’t know anyone but everyone knows you.” Behind their smiles lies a sinister truth.
Cogs in the Machine
Coercing him emotionally, she uses trauma to control him. Maia uses her charms to drag her husband to a small town that is not as idyllic nor innocuous as it initially appears. Though we soon find out that she isn’t exactly what she appears either. “She’s half trying to encourage him to lean into this small town … Then she’s also trying to gaslight him and making him feel crazy.”
However, McNamee interprets her character as more complex than merely a femme fatale, describing the “generational trauma” that traps her in a mindset of obedience. “I find her to be tragic,” she says of her role, the character affected by forces she cannot fully overcome, the whole town reenacting a cycle of behavior that defines them and gives them the only purpose they know.
The Visitor is available now to stream and buy digitally, and you can see it on EPIX in December. To see the whole interview with Jessica McNamee, check the video out below.
Dead Talk Live hosts live interviews of the industry’s most thrilling artists, producers, writers, directors, and actors. Make sure to tune in for Dead Talk Live’s next exciting episode, and also join us daily to get your horror fix!
Thank You, and Stay Walking!
Dead Talk Live (2022)