In the supernatural thriller “Dark Skies,” Keri Russell plays Lacy Barrett, a wife and mother who has a hard time convincing her husband Daniel that their family (which includes their two sons) may be in danger. There’s a mysterious force that seems to be targeting the family, and strange things start to happen around them. Russell talked about “Dark Skies” in this interview that she did while filming the movie.
Can you summarize “Dark Skies” for people who don’t know anything about the movie?
“Dark Skies” is a family psychological thriller about a family trying to protect themselves against this unknown entity.
What does “Dark Skies” say about fear and protecting the family?
What I responded to in the story is really the deconstruction of this little family and a marriage and them trying to hold it together, but then all of the fears that are normal fears that families, parents, kids have, and trying to protect that insular little world — a fear of a child being taken or a fear of the parents divorcing or fear of the unknown — in our case, aliens or whatever it is. But that can be anything: kidnappers, tornadoes. So I think it’s really relatable as this family just trying to protect themselves and stay afloat.
How else is “Dark Skies” relatable to audiences?
It’s kind of like, “Am I imagining this? Am I being crazy? Can I protect everyone? I can’t protect everyone.” I think everyone feels that.
There’s a lot of strain on the marriage, and then these crazy things start going on, which only adds to it because [my “Dark Skies” character] just seems crazy because [she’s] imagining it, or so [her husband] thinks. And I’m trying to get him to believe and I’m trying to get him to get a job. I think they’re all absolutely relatable.
What was it like working with “Dark Skies” director Scott Stewart?
He just has a really smart, kind of natural take on things, which is an easier access point for me to enter this world of scary movies. And I just responded to him. I like his style. He’s smart. He’s funny. I think he knows what’s important in the scenes. That’s the kind of movie I like to see.
How would you describe your “Dark Skies” character Lacy Barrett?
I play Lacy, the mom of these two boys and the wife of Daniel. I think my character, I’m just trying to keep the family together and protect my family and trying to rationalize some of the crazy things that are going on and trying to keep my marriage afloat at the same time. I think anyone with kids, it’s hard to manage everything, and I think that played a part in this story too.
What can you say about your “Dark Skies” co-star Josh Hamilton?
Josh Hamilton plays Daniel, my husband. He’s wonderful. In fact, we have some mutual friends in New York. We both live in New York. He’s been great. I was so excited when he got [the role in “Dark Skies”].
I feel like Scott the director really chose people who were really just kind of good actors. I loved his taste across the board. It made me like him so much more. “Oh, we’re on the same page.”
Why do think people like scary movies?
Personally, I’m a real wimp with scary movies. I get so scared. Even with the [“Dark Skies”] script, I was reading it at night, and I had to save it until the daytime to finish it, because I’m such a scaredycat. I think people like to thrilled and excited. And a scary movie is a safe way to do that because you’re not actually doing it. It’s entertainment. You know that you’re in the confines of this two-hour space of safety in the movie house.
So given that horror movies scare your, what was going through your mind when you first read the “Dark Skies” script?
I thought, “Ooh, that really scares me and thrills me and pushes my buttons and makes me really worried for them.” And I think that’s good.
For more info: "Dark Skies" website