Watch: Ben Aldridge on LGBT+ representation in Knock at the Cabin
Ben Aldridge says the portrayal of a gay relationship in the new thriller Knock at the Cabin is “nicely progressive” because the character’s sexuality isn’t the center of their story.
Directed by M Night Shyamalan and adapted from a novel, the film follows a gay couple – played by Aldridge and Hamilton star Jonathan Groff – as they try to defend their daughter from intruders.
Aldridge’s character initially thinks their motives are homophobic, but it soon becomes clear that the mysterious group believes they are on a crusade to stop the end of the world.
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The star said that while the characters’ sexuality influences their view of the world and their experience of danger, it is not the center of the story.
“I think it feels nice and progressive that way. It puts a same-sex parent family at the center of the movie, but Night treats them like the normal family the way they should be treated,” Aldridge told Yahoo Entertainment UK.
He added: “I think it adds a really interesting element to the film and there are interesting details in it, but it’s not the core of it.
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“It just happens to be this family with gay dads. I loved that. It felt great that that was at the center of a major studio blockbuster.”
Aldridge was also able to bring a unique perspective to the spiritual side of the story, given that he was raised as an evangelical Christian, only to leave the church as an adult.
He added: “Like the year before I made this movie, I started to think about that a little bit more in a kind of ‘oh no, maybe I believe in something’.
“But then I played this super atheist cynic. He’s a human rights lawyer and not only doesn’t believe in religion, he doesn’t actually believe in humanity either. He’s pretty cynical about that.
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“It was a really interesting experience to be someone who was so clear about that, and he’s the only voice in the booth who feels that way. Everyone else believes in something more than he does.
“It was kind of weird because I was the only actor with the perspective I had. Everyone else was a bit more spiritual about the movie, but I was a bit more skeptical about the whole thing I guess.”
Aldridge said the experience of filming Knock at the Cabin was intense, with production taking place partly in a real forest cabin and partly in a 360-degree replica built in a studio.
“You would walk in there, get strapped to a chair and the fear would set in,” said the 37-year-old British actor.
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He added, “I started sweating, my heart started racing. Even before we’d say ‘action,’ it was super intense. We were in the cabin for 12-hour days for eight weeks, so cabin fever was real.”
Knock at the Cabin, which also stars Dave Bautista and Rupert Grint, will hit cinemas across the UK from 3 February.
Watch: Trailer for Knock at the Cabin