Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan in their gory rom-com, ‘Fresh’
In Coststhe delightfully comedic horror flick about the meat market nature of modern dating, out on Hulu this Friday, Noa (normal people Daisy Edgar-Jones) finds herself in a familiar place for anyone looking for a connection. Subjected to endless swipes of dating apps and the indignity of pretentious and disappointing dates, she’s not quite ready to give up, but she’s getting there. That is, until she meets handsome Doctor Steve (Sebastian Stan) at the supermarket, in a too-good-to-be-true encounter that quickly turns into an exciting and cozy relationship. While all the red flags are there — as Noa’s best friend (Jonica T. Gibbs) was quick to point out — naive Noa instead chooses to see them as green lights, much to the audience’s horror (and her own). foreseeable detriment).
Despite the plot’s seeming inevitability, the film’s many twists and turns are truly shocking – and the film’s emotional stakes are high, as Steve and Noa’s early chemistry has us invested in their story. Like Stan said NYLON during a zoom call with her co-star, “We all understand to some degree, that feeling of something that seems so honest or so right and then gets it wrong.” When Steve turns out to be not the person he first introduced himself to, but something unimaginably worse, Noa and the audience are already too deep to leave the ride. As bad as dating seemed at first, it’s actually a whole lot more gruesome – and Noa must rely on her steely resilience and quick thinking to save herself and her friends, if she can bear it.
With a get out-meets-Promising young woman feel, Costs is ultimately a satisfying revenge thriller. Written by Lauryn Kahn and directed by Mimi Cave, the film subverts genres while combining several, remaining genuinely surprising – and funny – until the last minute of its nearly two-hour run.
Read on for NYLON chat with Edgar-Jones and Stan about filming Costs and what the movie has to say about trusting your gut, no matter what.
What did you each think when you first read the script?
Sebastian: I was so captivated by the beginning of the film. I kind of had an idea of where it was going, and so I felt like I was coming in expecting certain things. And then when I read it, I kept getting weirdly more comfortable with these characters and watching what seemed like a real kind of fun, harmless connection. Then I got weirdly caught up trying to figure out where it was going, and how it was going to get there. Even though I kind of knew it, I still felt like the rug was pulled under me. I thought that was really smart in the sense that it’s still that connection that seemingly held throughout the movie. It also becomes what brings Noa into the situation. And then also oddly what brings it out. It’s different from what we’ve seen in this kind of genre, I guess.
Daisy: I had a similar reaction. I read it without really knowing what it was about. I had an idea, but yeah, I read it with fresh eyes and I don’t know, I just thought that kind of balance of tone was something I hadn’t read in a script for a very long time. long time. I really appreciated that, that you had those moments of real stakes of truthfulness and realism and tenderness. And then you also have these kind of crazy, violent moments. And there’s always a balance between that dark humor, which I really enjoyed. I loved the kind of soundtrack Lauren had written throughout. She had written some kind of brilliant 80s music. I kind of knew what the tone would be, going into it, which you don’t always know.
Why do you think it was so important for both characters to have that connection? It’s a central point of the movie, how much Steve loves Noa. I’m curious to know what you thought of it when you created your characters and why it was such an integral part of the film.
Sebastian: I think if there hadn’t been a real connection, you wouldn’t have been so engaged as an audience. I think the fact that, to some degree, you understood there was a connection there, makes us the audience oddly complicit in the story. It suddenly makes us feel out of our game. We all understand that feeling of something that seems so honest or so right and then gets it wrong. And it’s very hard to accept — this idea of, I was wrong about this person. Because sometimes when you have this intense connection in the beginning, it’s so empowering because it feels real. And also this aspect of life seemed important to comment on, in an extreme way and in a very creative way. That’s what I thought Lauren and Mimi did brilliantly with the film, unpacking a connection that, while genuine, had all these really complex issues.
What was it like working with Mimi [Cave] as a director?
Daisy: It was such a pleasure to work with Mimi. I had had a general meeting with her, and she had sent us through a sizzle reel of her visual idea for the film. I had already read the script by then and was so curious to see what his vision was. I just thought it was amazing, and she has an incredible knowledge of the camera and how to use it to tell the story. I think the camera aspect throughout the film is really interesting, starting out as the film does in a fairly generic way. And then as it gets more chaotic, the camera as well, I thought that was really cool. She also has such great taste in music, which you can probably tell by watching the movie. I just thought she was really exciting and really going off the beaten track. And he’s also a very generous director who would allow Sebastian and me to play in the scenes and was really willing to hear our input and really a brilliant collaborator. It was just such a joy to work with her.
There’s a scene in the kitchen with Noa and Steve, where Noa first tries to escape, and it’s very complex. What was it like choreographing scenes like that?
Sebastian: It’s a good example of a stunt mixed in with the camera angle, mixed in with whatever is most effective. I remember exactly, we were all there trying to figure out: what is more realistic? What would you do? And then I remember, so they had the idea, oh my God, wait a minute, let’s put the camera here, so when you get on camera, you walk into this close-up. And then it slows down there and then you see a kind of drift. And even that movement itself has a visual component, but is also oddly metaphorical. I just thought it was so interesting.
Sebastian, Steve is a type of villain that we’ve seen in movies before – and if you gave him a story, or did you study other performances when working on the character?
Sebastian: It was just a compilation of things I had researched and seen in true crime documentaries. By looking at a lot of these serial killers and studying narcissistic complexes and then tracking down some real psychotherapists who have worked with serial killers. And there’s always kind of a common thread, that there’s a real effort to build that character. And once again, not without a past that imposes it. I kind of came across this formula which again, I can’t claim it’s a known thing. But one of the assumptions was that if you have trauma mixed with abuse, mixed with something that happens biologically – like a child falls and hits his head – if you have those three components, you can create a psychopath , essentially. There’s a real mix of things going on. Trying to go back and figure out how someone would start moving in that direction was terrifying and fascinating.
And then Daisy, a bit lighter question, but how does it feel to do a different accent?
Daisy: It was the first time I did an American accent. I’ve worked with accents before and thought American would be easier to come by because I grew up watching American movies and American TV. But I found it very difficult, I think, mostly because I really think the accent does a lot for me in terms of character research. I think the way we talk really goes into your body in a different way. And while working on the accents, I really realized that. And so there was a sort of inherent confidence in an American accent, but Noa is pretty self-effacing. So he was trying to figure out what that particular sound was. And of course she says, “I’m from the East Coast,” but that’s quite a number of areas.
In the UK we don’t have a general accent. We are very specific, you can walk 20 minutes down the road and have an entirely different dialect. And we are very much in tune with that. But in America there is such a thing as a general American. I found it difficult to hang up my hat, because I couldn’t hear what the sounds were. I worked with a brilliant accent coach named Francine. I worked with her all last year, because I did three different American accents that year. And she’s actually from Philadelphia, so she kind of put in light Philadelphia sounds, if there’s things like a light Philadelphia sound. And it was useful, but yeah, it was really, really fun to find. And that really helped me, because most of my preparation was really getting his voice.
I think you succeeded! The film is clearly a commentary on the modern dating scene, and I wonder what you both took away from the film in terms of the main message for the audience.
Sebastian: I think it’s, what you see isn’t always what you get. We live in a world now, where there are these personalities online. We need to realize how much work we do for each other, without even knowing it. Because you go to a profile, you look at certain images that they have selected in a certain way to tell a certain story, maybe not even who they are, but who they aspire to be. So the intention might be good, but then you’re looking at something, because you’re programmed to look for that X, Y, and Z. And then when you see that evidence, you drift into that and you just question your instincts, I assume your GPS system.
Daisy: I am okay. I think that’s so true. And the film explores that, the kind of projections that we put on each other. And how much that comes from us and how much we really should be present and read the other person for who they are. I also suppose to trust instincts, too. If you feel all that, the hair on the back of your neck rising, then trust that in fact, and don’t just try to explain it away.
And always know where you’re going for the weekend, right?
Sebastian: Yeah. But also that right moment, when you’re like, something is not 100%. But you know what? no it’s ok. And you talk yourself out of it, and suddenly you’re in this thing and you’re like, oh my God.
Costs is now streaming on Hulu.