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Pet Sematary Interview: Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz

In Pet Sematary, when the Creed family move from Boston to rural Maine, they soon discover a mysterious burial ground in the woods near their new home. This burial ground leads to a series of horrific events that the family has to confront, facing them challenge something that truly evil.

Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz play Louis and Rachel Creed in the new Stephen King adaptation and we got to talk to them during SXSW 2019.

My first question I have for both of you is how familiar were you with Pet Sematary and Stephen King's work in general? Before the film.

Amy Seimetz: Very familiar! I read Pet Sematary when I was eight. I went on a tear, I started with R.L. Stine, and then Christopher Pike and then quickly advanced to adult level literature a the age of eight. Very scary literature. And picked Cuju and Christine and Pet Sematary and It and yeah, my parents were just excited that I was reading so I know I have just nightmares all the time.

I love that you started with R.L. Stine.  

Amy Seimetz: Oh yeah, that’s a good one...Goosebumps...and you ease in..

A gateway.

Amy Seimetz: Yeah yeah.

Jason?

Jason Clarke: At nine I read Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. (laughs)

Amy Seimetz: On my spare time!

Jason Clarke: Ulysses was another good one.

Very light reading for a child.

Jason Clarke: Yeah, I mean, it’s funny because as an Australian I’m not as aware with the whole size of it but of course you read it. Everyone has read King, you’d be very hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t read Stephen King. When I started to go into it, the more you go into it, the better you realize his simplicity is. How deep his simplicity is. And also that he writes these big complex worlds.

Jason Clarke and John Lithgow in Pet Sematary
Jason Clarke and John Lithgow in Pet Sematary

And very easy to get into.

Jason Clarke: Very easy to get into!

Amy Seimetz: Very easy.

Jason Clarke: That’s the deceptiveness about King. That’s his genius as well too. Click, you’re in there you know. Before you know it.

This story requires you both to some very messed up things to put it mildly,  how do you get into the mindset of some of the things you had to take care of in the film? Specifically even well, both of you… I don’t even know where to begin!  Some of the dark stuff your characters have to go through.

Amy Seimetz: That’s the thing, just going back to Stephen King’s, to the novel itself, is like, that’s the deceptive nature of it. You can identify even as an actor the beginning parts of the film because it’s all about a couple and raising a family. And all of these things that are like making sure the kids are safe, and then as it starts to fray that’s when it gets into this other territory as an actor  you just have to embrace this section where you just you know, you’re losing it. You lose yourself in grief, and you lose it. So you can’t really rationalize certain things and like what Jason says a lot is that you have to go for it. There is no overthinking it, you just have to dive in and start screaming really. (laughs)

Jason Clarke: Oh yeah you do, It’s like Antony and Cleopatra! Just go for it! It’s big emotions! (To Amy) you know what line I hadn’t heard last night when were the first ones in the house...We left the cat in the car. (laughs) I thought that was brilliant.

Amy Seimetz: It’s like revenge for Church.

Jason Clarke: You must of done that in ADR.

Amy Seimetz: Yeah I did, yeah yeah…

Jason Clarke: It was a really good choice…

Oh yeah that was clearly Church thinking step one…

Amy Seimetz: Yeah yeah yeah…

Jason Clarke: It really was, but it just set tone because anyone, so many people have read it and are gonna go and see this just get that straight away and lets people know you know what, it’s ok to have a laugh! It’s ok to open up! You have to start opening up to really go on this journey otherwise you're just sitting there going “grumble grumble grumble” you know what I mean? It’s not a movie about the dark recesses of our past and our history, this is... it’s proper cinema to enjoy.

Which I did, thank you so much.

More: Watch the Pet Sematary Trailer

Key Release Dates
  • Pet Sematary (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
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