Sinister 2 Interview: James Ransone & Shannyn Sassomon

With the writer played by Ethan Hawke in the first Sinister and his family consigned to Bughuul’s box of home movies, Sinister 2 picks up with its predecessor’s sole survivor, Deputy So-and-So (James Ransone), as he tracks the rampage of the demonic entity through various homes and families. His travels bring him into contact with Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon), a young mother hiding herself and her twin nine-year-old boys from her estranged, abusive husband who has inadvertently placed her family next in Bughuul’s path of terror.

Ciaran Foy (The Citadel) takes over in the director’s chair from Scott Derrickson, who once again co-wrote the script with C. Robert Cargill. We sat down with Sossamon and Ransone to their roles in the expanding Sinister mythology, which scenes unsettled them the most and whether Deputy So-and-So has a real name or not.

James, you’re the connective tissue of this franchise -- did you expect to be?

James Ransone: No, I really didn’t expect to. I guess I knew maybe six or seven months after, Scott called me and they were like, “Yeah, we’re gonna write the sequel for you.” I was pretty honored, pretty psyched, to be able to do it. And then also, let’s be honest, I’m the only character that lives from the first one so, you know, there you go.

Shannyn, what was the appeal for you of doing this?

Shannyn Sossamon: I liked the character and what she was fighting for, and I really loved Ciaran, the director. When we met, it just made me excited. At first I was a little unsure because these films can be draining, emotionally draining, but yeah, because the character was grounded in a reality, some kind of a reality -- although it is a terrifying one as well -- I think that it was nice to kind of be in a drama. I felt like I was in a drama almost, you know. And I just loved Ciaran.

What was it that Ciaran said to you? What was his pitch for the film?

Sossamon: When we talked, he said that he was really passionate about focusing on the story first. The story was first. And a lot of people say that, everyone throws that around a lot, but he actually -- I really believed him. I really, really believed him when he said it, and it was just a feeling, and we talked about life, we talked about all kinds of things.

Ransone: I was doing the movie whoever was directing it at that point, so -- he got hired after I did, actually. Honestly, I got really lucky that it was him to be able to carry this, you know.

Shannyn Sossamon in Sinister 2
Shannyn Sossamon in 'Sinister 2'

Do you have a name for Deputy So-and-So? Do you have some private history worked out for him?

Ransone: No, I don’t have a personal history. I based the character on that Chris Farley SNL sketch, “The Chris Farley Show,” where he would just be really nervous around celebrities, ‘because that’s what I was doing in the first one. That’s all I had to do, was just be the comedic relief. And then to flesh it out into a real character, I was like, “Uh oh, this is a way bigger piece to bite off than I had anticipated.” I don’t really have a name for him. I’m sure it’s something really terrible.

How has he changed from the first film to the second?

Ransone: Probably a lot of guilt, remorse. Probably a little bit darkened and haunted a little more. The youthful sort of vigor is maybe gone, but he’s a little, I think, haunted from what happened in the first movie.

For both of you, what was the most unsettling scene to do in the movie?

Ransone: I didn’t really have -- that fight scene that I have, that just sucked, ‘cause I was just getting beat up (laughs). Yeah, that was, I mean, she carries more of the emotional weight than I did.

Sossamon: I think it was a lot of the stuff at the end, without giving too much away, just dealing with the reality that one of my sons is not well at all on the inside. I think actually that was probably more horrifying than the end, when she realizes that and it gets worse and worse and worse. I mean, that would be terrible as a mom.

Sinister 2 is out in theaters August 21.

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