The second season of Slasher, airing now on Netflix, follows a group of former camp counselors who have a terrible thing they did five years earlier revisited upon them when they venture back into the frozen wilderness in an attempt to conceal their crime.
[Warning: General spoilers ahead for the season.]
Lovell Adams-Gray plays Peter, whose impetuous decision as a teenager is one of the triggers that leads to the group taking a life. I spoke with Adams-Gray about his character and the show, and his work as a content creator in other mediums.
Adams-Gray auditioned for the role without knowing exactly what he was getting into. “I only had the sides. I didn’t have any concept of what it was going to be. I thought it was going to be a nice romantic thing at summer camp,” he recalls.
“I had a girlfriend and ran the lines with her. I went to the callback and then they [introduced more of the horror elements]. They kept a lot of things under wraps and hush-hush. On the day [we were hired], we found out what was going on.”
By the time they shot, the cast had all eight episodes, and Adams-Gray was happy to be on board. “The script was beautiful and I really connected with it. Thankfully we ended up doing it in Orangeville, so it wasn’t too much of a trek. The night shoots were scary because you don’t know what’s lurking around in terms of animals,” he explains.
The series was his first foray into full-on horror, but he had done a campsite murder story before on last year’s Dead of Summer. Back-to-back stories set at camp brought back memories of his childhood when Friday the 13th‘s Jason Voorhees was his boogeyman.
“When I was growing up, I couldn’t sleep at night and I was terrified that Jason was going to come and get me and do all the things. My aunt told me he won’t get me because I’m not a teenager yet and I’m not around Camp Crystal Lake. I’m old enough to face it now. The goatee [in Slasher] makes me fearless,” he laughs.
Peter and his fellow counselors repeatedly face the choice of whether to confess or press on, and Adams-Gray says Peter sticks by his friends until the killer starts whittling them down. “I think he’s foolishly loyal at the end of the day. That’s just my personal judgment,” he says. “Instead of putting his foot down and [bringing them into line], they’re group voting, and he’s trying to take the lead, but he’s not [successful] until people start dying off.”
One of his favorite scenes involved a chase and tackle in the snow. “[That was] the moment I felt most like an action hero. We have [someone] come up to the camp who we think is coming to finish the job, and Peter is chasing this person down the hill in six feet of snow,” he says.
“I trip, but find a way to roll and still continue to run and grab that person and take them down, and I thought, ‘I’m going to do action movies when I’m 45.’ Thankfully I had knee-high boots. Those boots saved my life.”
He was happy to find himself in each successive script and when he got to his final episode, it was impactful on multiple levels. “Reading [his conclusion], it hit me viscerally, apart from an actor reading a script and thinking, ‘That’ll be a really cool thing,’ he explains. “As an actor [playing that character, I realized it’s] something the character just has to do. For me as Lovell reading it, it was something I’ve never done before.”
Post-Slasher, Gray-Adams would love to get into video game work, and has dipped a toe in that direction with a 3D feature called Little Death. “It’s told from the perspective of a grandmother in a coma as she watches her family unravel a mystery. It’s supposed to be for apps and phones,” he shares. “We wanted to make a compelling story. It was interesting shooting that. The cameras were there and you get to move around the space. It was freeing in a way. It’s wonderful to be a part of it.”
He is currently busy with his production company BDB Productions, where he has several projects in the works. “We have a short film called Residue. That’s a story about a woman suffering from PTSD after witnessing her fiance dying at the hands of police brutality. We’re taking it through the festival circle,” he says.
He’s also written a project he hopes to get made soon, called The Old Proverb, or TOP. “It’s a [short film that is] a mirror between what happened in the civil rights era and what’s happening today in terms of police brutality,” he explains. “It’s a fictional story. We’re at Martin Luther King’s funeral and people like Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, and Rodney King are all present. It’s, ‘What if all these people were in the room at the same time?’ [Let’s] bring all their opinions on what to do in the room and talk about it and mirror that in present.”
His first short film was a personal essay called War on Love. “I wrote that for a girl. I performed it as a monologue at the Toronto Monologue Slam. Andre Newell wanted to shoot it. We made it a scene,” he says. “Everything I said in that I meant. I wrote that for a girl I was really pining for but it didn’t work.”
“I’m really happy that short films are becoming a prominent calling card and are as high-quality as possible. It’s a wonderful medium to tell a story. If you have a feature, you’ve got to get funding. With a short, you get [your people] and you make your point. It’s great.”
“[I’m an] actor first and foremost. I don’t have the developed brain for directing and producing yet. I can’t spin all the plates, I want to focus on creating the content and writing it and then being in it. [BDB] is all about making content and putting power back in your hands and making thought-provoking, quality work.”
Photos Courtesy of Netflix and Shaftesbury TV