Stephen Moyer & Drew Mylrea Interview: Last Survivors

The post-apocalyptic thriller Last Survivors had its premiere at London's Frightfest in October and will be released in theaters and On Demand in February of 2022. Written by Josh Janowicz and directed by Drew Mylrea, the film tells the story of Troy (Stephen Moyer), a father raising his son, Jake (Drew Van Acker) in a wooded utopia away from the world's destroyed cities. But when Troy is hurt, Jake must venture into the world to save his father. Ordered to kill any humans he encounters, Jake engages in a forbidden relationship with the mysterious Henrietta (Alicia Silverstone) - but Troy will do anything to get rid of her and protect his son.

Related: Every Sci-Fi Movie Still To Come In 2021

Screen Rant spoke with Moyer and Mylrea about Last Survivors' twists and turns, the film's talented cast, and future projects.

Screen Rant: First of all, what was it like being at Frightfest and being in that premiere atmosphere, having that crowd energy absorbing the movie?

Drew Mylrea: It was great. We've been waiting a while for an audience to see the movie. And as you know, without giving too much away, the audience starts suspecting something is very different than what is first presented in the first I'd say 20-25 minutes.

So it was really nice having an audience feeling the things that we wanted them to feel, and understanding what we wanted people to understand before the characters do in the movie. And just seeing that tension start twisting in the audience was really great.

And of course, Stephen’s from the UK. So it was really great to have him there. He's a hometown favorite. Everyone, I think, really enjoyed his presence and his performance in the movie.

Stephen Moyer: Honestly, it was just so nice being in a public place with people. I also had some of my family there. And equally, it was the first time, as Drew knows, that I'd seen the film. And so it was, as he said, lovely watching it with people.

A lot of my family friends were completely sort of drawn into the post-apocalyptic world and the World War III aspects of it. That was really very satisfying to watch them enter the world, not unlike in A Quiet Place - you enter a world that is different from the world that we live in, and you experience it in that way. And, and Julián [Estrada's] lighting and Drew's direction are absolutely stunning. So it's also this incredible vista that you're watching unfold.

I'm curious how the movie's twists were presented to the cast. Stephen, did you read the script and have it unfold that way? Or did you know upfront what the twists and turns were gonna be?

Stephen Moyer: No, I read the script. And Drew and I had some really great chats. I was actually working in England, but I had some time, and Drew and I spent at least an hour, probably an hour and a half the first time we spoke, just talking about the style of film, [and] the way that post-apocalyptic worlds have been looked at in the past.

But also, I was really interested in that survivalist situation; what a father would do for his son and the survivalist instinct. Because it's ultimately a story about a father's love for his son, and how he wants to protect him from the evils of the world. And teach him to be a better man than he is - which is what I think all of us are striving to do with our children, make them better than we are. So that they don't make all the stupid mistakes that we make. So I was really interested in that.

And we're also setting up an ideal as well. We all have that dream to live in the middle of nowhere, and live off the land and be self-sufficient. And Drew and I also talked about how we would create this world that people wanted to enter into. So it was great. I mean, he's incredibly articulate and we saw things in a very similar way.

Drew Mylrea: We spent a lot of time talking about this - this is Troy's version of Utopia. This place away from humanity; the humanity that he despises, in a way, and he's able to create his own perfect world. And it was really fun in that first conversation we had just talking about like, "Okay, well, what would that look like for you?" and then being able to build that and play into that. 

And just to go back a little bit to when we want the reveals of the movie to start happening, we really want to sprinkle those seeds, those hints early on. The fun thing when you watch a movie that's psychologically terrifying is knowing more than the characters in the movie. So you're wanting to almost reach through the screen and say, "Oh, my God, please stop. Don't do that." And it creates this nice tension when the audience knows more than the main three characters do and you're just on pins and needles, hopefully, waiting for them to figure everything out.

You have Stephen Moyer, Alicia Silverstone, and Drew Van Acker - that's a hell of a cast with big projects behind them and big fan bases. Drew, if you could direct a revival of one of their projects, which one would you want to do?

Drew Mylrea: Oh, my gosh, a revival of their projects? Oh, geez. I'm just gonna have to give it to Clueless. Because it was the first movie I ever saw in theaters. I had the soundtrack. I geeked out over Clueless. I think it's just a really funny movie with great timing. And I would just love to direct a movie that has such great timing. It's a masterpiece.

Stephen Moyer: Did you know, we had the same costume designer [on Last Survivor as Clueless], Mona May? She is a genius. We were very, very lucky to have her. 

Drew Mylrea: When I first met with Alicia, she was just really excited to make a small movie where she could sink her teeth into something raw. We were originally going to make the movie during the summer. So snow occupies this really harsh element in the film, but it was going to be the sun and we were going to film out in Georgia. I just told her, "It's going to be hot, it's going to be sweaty, it's going to be hard." And she was just really excited by that; by doing something that was really against type.

She's a classically trained actor, and she was just really excited to get out there in the elements. And we all did. it was really freezing there. We were all very cold and just making the most of the elements that we had.

Stephen, I know you're stepping back behind the camera directing another project coming up called A Bit of Light with your favorite actress Anna Paquin. Tell me about that project.

Stephen Moyer: It's a piece of material that I have been trying to get for about three or four years. A dear friend of mine [Rebecca Callard] wrote it. It was a play and she won an award for it. And she saw my previous film Passing Glass and said, "Oh my God this is so tonally similar to what I'm doing, you should read my play." And we hadn't seen each other for a while. So I read the play and then I was like, "I want to do this."

I was actually working at the time and it had taken me about five or six weeks to read it. And by the time I'd read it, she had given the rights to somebody else. And long story short, the rights came back up in May, and I found a producer who loved it and we've made it already. And to turn it around that fast, to give somebody the material to raise the money super low budget - similar budget to what we've just shot with Drew. [It's] an amazing cast. Anna, Ray Winstone, two amazing British actors - an actress called Pippa Bennett-Warner and an amazing actor called Youssef Kerkour - I mean, dream cast. And I'm editing.

It's about a mum who temporarily loses custody of her children and moves back in with her dad. And to punish herself for her behavior she spends time going to the local park where she used to take her children and watch the other children play. And so there she befriends a little boy - he's not a little boy, he's 13. It's about this sort of unlikely friendship.

After Frightfest, Last Survivors is going to get a wide release, right?

Drew Mylrea: We're going to Leeds next week for their film festival. So we're playing there on the 4th and then the first week of February we're going to be coming out in theaters and On Demand.

Stephen Moyer: I will add that I loved the film, and I thought Alicia was incredible. Drew does an amazing job, but I thought Alicia [was great] and I haven't even had a chance to speak to her. I've got to text her and tell her that she's really, really good in the movie.

Next: One Of Clueless' Funniest Lines Was A Complete Accident

Last Survivors will be released in February 2o22.

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