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Q&A with Elijah Wood: A look behind the 'Maniac'

Elijah Wood plays a serial killer in the

Elijah Wood plays a serial killer in the horror flick “Maniac.” Photo Credit: Elijah Wood plays a serial killer in the horror flick “Maniac.”

A generation of moviegoers has grown up watching Elijah Wood transform from precocious child actor to the central figure in a major blockbuster trilogy and the star of a surreal TV show about a man who has two-way conversations with a dog.

But “Maniac” marks new territory for the 32-year-old, worlds away from “North,” “The Lord of the Rings” or “Wilfred” (premiering at 10 p.m. tonight).

It’s a first-person-point-of-view horror remake in which Wood plays a serial killer who scalps women and runs a decaying old mannequin shop.

amNewYork spoke with the actor about “Maniac,” which opens in theaters Friday.

To what extent did the POV approach sell you on “Maniac”? Just that alone, before I even read the script, I found so intriguing and exciting the idea that I could play a character that you would largely not see, that you would only primarily subjectively experience everything through his eyes, I found such a fascinating way to make a film, especially a horror film.

How does the process change when the film is shot from your character’s perspective? It was primarily the same process as playing any character, except it was largely technical when it came to the work on set. Even the reflection shots incorporated a certain technical aspect, just to be standing in the right spot.

What was the key to empathizing with such an evil character? He clearly has an issue with women and I think that stems from his relationship with his mom. He also has an inability to connect — so he’s incredibly disconnected — and one of the ways you can kind of imagine feeling empathy or even sympathy for him is that he desperately wants to connect.
 

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