Pilou Asbæk Interview: Run Sweetheart Run


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WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the movie Run Sweetheart Run.Available to watch on Prime Video, Run Sweetheart Run is a horror-thriller that is sure to leave viewers looking over their shoulders for the remainder of the night. What starts as a business dinner quickly turns into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse behind closed doors. Barely escaping with her life, single mother Cherie finds herself alone and on the run from a dangerous predator.

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Pilou Asbæk plays Cherie’s stalker Ethan, who is determined to drag out her suffering for as long as possible. Asbæk can be seen in Game of Thrones and Overlord among several other films and tv series. Additionally, Run Sweetheart Run also stars Ella Balinska, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Clark Gregg, Aml Ameen, Dayo Okeniyi, and Betsy Brandt.

RELATED: 10 Best Religious Horror Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

Screen Rant chats with star Pilou Asbæk about playing the villain, as well as the changes his character undergoes while filming the horror movie.


Pilou Asbæk Talks Run Sweetheart Run

Screen Rant: I loved this film. I was watching it in broad daylight, and I was still like, “Are the doors locked?” Your character is absolutely terrifying. What was it like getting inside his head?

Pilou Asbæk: Creating a character like Ethan is always interesting. It’s a collaboration between the writer, the director, your co-host, and you, and costume and settings and cinematographer, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So you bring something to the table, and people will help you create the image that the director wants, and you take it from there. I’m not married to any decisions. I feel it’s something that happens between you and me. And I think you should be open for different interpretations, et cetera. If you do the same scene the same way 25 times, how boring is that? You know what I mean? It’s just boring. And he’s not based on anyone I met. It’s not like, “Oh, it’s my dad.”

The scene that I’m very proud of—that’s the prison scene. There’s a scene in a prison, which I love because there are so many layers, and he’s so psychotic, but also very polite and playful and furious. The reason why the scene became like it did was because within like two hours of recording, it didn’t work. It just didn’t work. And Shana was like, “I don’t know if it’s the writing, if it’s the lines, it’s just not working.” I felt so frustrated and angry and upset. I just went like, “Let me just take all that anger and frustration, all that mushy-mushiness, and channel it through the scene.” And it ended up being probably one of my favorite scenes I’ve ever done in my life.

Did you know that your character wasn’t human? Did you have a character description? Or was this something you found out as you were reading the script?

Pilou Asbæk: No. I thought he was just a rich boy. I thought he was just this rich guy. In the church, I kind of went, “Oh,” and then we made a decision. I thought it would be so much cooler. I was like, “What if every time he gets bloody or every time something happens, it magically disappears?” I just thought that would be funny. And they went like, “Yeah, we kind of like that.” Some big decisions can be made on the spot where you go, like, “I kind of like this,” and the director goes like, “So do I.”

And when the audience sees it, they’re like, “Okay, that’s a crazy decision.” And you’re like, “Yeah, we kind of just made it while eating a burrito.” And it was pure luck and coincidence, it actually turned out well because 9 out of 10 times when you make a decision like that, it’s sh*t. But sometimes it works. I also love the scene in the house with the music and the dancing and stuff like that.

A lot of the action takes place off-screen. You don’t see him doing the attacking. How many stunts did you have to do? There are some sequences later on.

Pilou Asbæk: Not a lot. Not a lot. The end—crawling on the floor, but besides that there weren’t a lot of stunts. But that’s the thing. When you come from a country like Denmark, you’re used to working with a budget of like zero money. I don’t know if this is a low-budget film or a non-budget film. I don’t know what they would categorize it. It’s a Blumhouse production. He has his way of creating films. I just know that when you do stunts, and you have CGI, and you have blood, and you have all these things—they cost. So you want to be creative. And I think Shana did an incredible job being very, very creative.

About Run Sweetheart Run

Initially apprehensive when her boss insists she meet with one of his most important clients, single mom Cherie (Ella Balinska) is relieved and excited when she meets charismatic Ethan (Pilou Asbæk). The influential businessman defies expectations and sweeps Cherie off her feet. But at the end of the night, when the two are alone together, he reveals his true, violent nature. Battered and terrified, she flees for her life, beginning a relentless game of cat-and-mouse with a blood-thirsty assailant hell-bent on her utter destruction. In this edge-of-your-seat dark thriller, Cherie finds herself in the crosshairs of a conspiracy stranger and more evil than she could have ever imagined.

Check out our other interviews for Run Sweetheart Run here:

NEXT: 10 Best Horror Films Of The 2020s, So Far, According To Letterboxd

Run Sweetheart Run is currently streaming globally on Prime Video.

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