A group of teenagers are taken back when one of their closest friends commits suicide, and with each having issues of their own, they too then feel they need to follow suit. Some of the teens then change their mind, but Archie, played by Robert Sheehan (Misfits), soon realises they’re being targeted by a mystery killer. Who could it be? Demons Never Die, directed by Arjun Rose, follows the story of Archie and his friends’ fight for survival. With an impressive UK cast, this gripping horror is set to make its mark in British cinema. Flavour talks to two of the stars, Robert Sheehan and Emma Rigby (Hollyoaks), who plays Samantha, about the film and their amazing fans…
Congrats on the new film!
Both: Thank you!
How was the experience for you?
Emma: Fantastic for me personally! Everyone was so lovely – they’ve all got different personalities. The set was really fun and I’ve made really good friends out of it. It was a really great experience for me!
Robert: It was good and very quick! There were times where it felt like guerrilla filmmaking. It’s a hard task to make a feature film the best of times – this film was made in three and a half weeks!
The main theme is suicide. How did you prepare emotionally?
E: I went to the Minghella Film Festival and Ralph Fiennes did a talk and said, ‘The most important thing is to feel it, not force it.’ So I really try to do that when I act. It’s not necessarily being emotional; it’s just seeing what happens in that position.
R: Yeah, I suppose I find you work backwards. You work from the point of seclusion, in this sense, somebody who wants to end their life, and of course you have to ask yourself why and take it deadly serious for the drama. On the set, amongst all the crack and fun we had, you have to let your mind go to a bit of a dark place.
What was the most memorable scene you shot?
E: It was the mirror scene. It was a strange set-up because I had to look at myself in the mirror – I had to act to myself; it was a different way of working. There was also the added thing that I was in my underwear [laughs], which I was really embarrassed about, but you can’t see it! When I read that scene in the script I was like, oh, I would love to do this part!
R: There was a chat-room scene we did, where all of us were sat in a horseshoe shape and each of us had a camera directly in front of us. We had the studio for one day where we all occupied the same space with separate viewpoints, as if we were sat at home with our computers looking into a webcam. It was interesting; some strange technical movie magic that I hadn’t anticipated.
So that’s what attracted you to the roles of Samantha and Archie?
E: This project was very different to anything I would necessarily go and watch or be involved in. I’m not very cool as a person and I thought everybody else in the film was quite cool [laughs]. It was a great script and I really liked everyone. I was grateful that I was able to do the part.
R: I had a conversation with Arjun Rose, who wrote and directed the film; he illuminated me to what he wanted ultimately to do with the film and how this character played into himself. He’s a man full of enthusiasm and ideas; thankfully I was happy that he wanted me!
Are you like your characters?
E: I suppose as an actor when you play any character you take parts of your character. Any person can play any character, because you have all those feelings and characteristics inside you but don’t show them on a daily basis.
R: I see stuff on both sides of the scale, down the road of dark intense drama and the light-hearted and comedic. Nobody is one or the other; there’s aspects of both in me and Archie the character; everybody laughs and cries in the world [laughs].
The film’s impressive young UK cast includes Tulisa Contostavlos and Reggie Yates. What’s it like working with such big talent?
E: Robert is a fantastic actor and a lovely boy! I was a big fan of Robert’s before I met him, and Reggie is amazing, so funny and passionate! And Tulisa is now on The X Factor; she’s doing an amazing job.
R: It was always fun and a good giggle, but I didn’t have the pleasure of working with Tulisa; she was on different days due to her schedule being mainly her music obligations. But, it was a great collective.
Was there a lot of joking around off-set?
E: Everyone was laughing all the time, no one takes themselves seriously. We had lots of fun and had a nice rap party. Reggie DJd at the first rap party we had! It was really good, me and Robert were dancing!
R: It was lovely because there was a nice big bunch of us and we were always up for having a crack and a laugh! It was like one big band of soldiers as they were.
Did you always want to be actors?
E: Yes, I always wanted to act from the age of four or five. I used to say, ‘I want to be in film,’ and obviously when I was about seven I went to drama school and I wanted to be an actress. I love acting – I want to do film, TV, theatre, any type of acting!
R: I don’t know [laughs]. I started quite young; I never really tried to plan a strict future in my life. I suppose in regards of work, it’s very enjoyable, rewarding and challenging. You get to see different parts of the planet – great in that sense!
You guys must get bombarded with fans! What has been your most memorable fan experience?
E: I have amazing fans! Everybody I meet is lovely, they want to chat, especially with the storyline I did in Hollyoaks. I had a really nice letter from a boy, his sister was severely anorexic and he said watching the show helped him find his voice. You get a letter like that and it’s just wow! Also, I have this amazing fan, she’s a founder of a group called Team Rigby. She’s so sweet – she made me a birthday present for me, so I’m going to go and meet her because she’s gone through all this effort.
R: There was a woman who painted my face, she’d taken a snapshot and copied it in an oil painting. She sent a letter, saying, ‘I love expressing myself through painting, I really love Robert! And please do turn off the lights when you get the painting, because some of it glows in the dark.’ [Laughs]. It’s kind of baffling but flattering none the less!
Interview by Jaskiran Mankoo