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Katie Holmes Wants You to Know That ‘Brahms: The Boy II’ is Really Scary [Interview]

Bloody Disgusting
By Meagan Navarro
February 18, 2020

Last year, Bloody-Disgusting visited the set of Brahms: The Boy II and observed an eerie scene in which Katie Holmes‘ character Liza descended into the labyrinthine cellar in search of her son, with a shotgun poised at the ready. It was one strong visual that hit home what producer Gary Lucchesi and director William Brent Bell told us during our visit; they’re raising the stakes in a big way for this sequel.

When casting the part of Liza, Lucchesi thought of Holmes, someone he’d previously worked with twenty years ago on The Gift. It turns out, Holmes happened to be searching for a horror project at the time. Why horror? Holmes says, “Well, what I love about the genre is it’s really fun to go and see a horror movie in a theater. It’s a communal experience being scared with strangers. I’ve done this genre before, and I think it’s really fun to create a character within this kind of genre.”

Of her character, she explains, “My character is a mother who’s gone through a traumatic experience, and so we go to the country to sort of heal. She is starting to feel very uneasy because of the influence of this doll on my child. In the process of trying to heal, he’s getting more and more terrified. And I felt like that was very relatable for parents. It was a challenge.”

Being that this is a sequel, we wanted to know if Holmes had any familiarity with Brahms and The Boy coming into the project.

“I had, but I was open to whatever [Bell] wanted to do with this one. I felt no obligation because he wanted to make this its own. I mean, I enjoy the first film’s performances, and yet I didn’t feel like we had to adhere to the first one,” Holmes says of Bell’s approach to giving Brahms: The Boy II its own identity. On working with the director, she adds, “Before I signed on to do the project, he was obviously very well prepared. And then when I got to Victoria Island, he had the movie all mapped out, and it was great because he knew exactly what he wanted. He knew what would work. We were collaborating and, and he was very aware of what I was trying to do with this character. He’s really good at getting the scares.”

Owain Yeoman, Katie Holmes and Christopher Convery star in BRAHMS: The Boy II

It turns out those scares might have affected Holmes during the shoot; working with the doll proved to be quite unnerving.

She told us, “It was creepy. It was really creepy every single time. They did such a good job with that doll and I mean, I didn’t want to be alone with the doll. It was weird. By the end, it was like, ‘Am I waiting in line behind a doll at catering? I might be. I think this thing really is alive.'”

Though she emphasizes the creepiness of the doll and Bell’s instinct for crafting scares, she explains that the more extensive cast of the sequel adds to the narrative. “It’s always great to work with other actors and, you know, it felt like it added to the story and made it less dependent on the genre. It was actually very character-driven. I mean it’s, it’s fun to have the challenge of creating a very relatable storyline within these scares because it just enhances the scares.” In other words, the scares aren’t empty; they’re in service of the story.

But Holmes can’t stress enough just how effective the scares will be: “Really scary. You’re going to be on the edge of your seat the entire time. Truly, I’m not just saying that.”