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In director Josh Ruben's just-released horror-comedy Werewolves Within, Sam Richardson plays a good-hearted forest ranger who's presented with a deadly serious problem when he arrives in the small town of Beaverfield.
"A new forest ranger comes to a small town that is embattled over a pipeline," the actor tells EW of the video game adaptation, whose stacked cast also includes Milana Vayntrub, Michaela Watkins, and Harvey Guillén. "There's someone or something killing people, and it's up to the ranger and the townspeople who are all snowed in together to figure out who or what is killing people before everybody gets killed."
Richardson's credits include the shows Detroiters and I Think You Should Leave but the actor got his big break playing Richard Splett, one of the very few decent human beings on HBO's political satire Veep.
"I play a lot of nice guy characters," says Richardson. "But [with Werewolves Within], him being nice, the whole time you don't know whether it's a red herring. I thought that was a really interesting take and approach and I had to be a part of it."
Below, Richardson talks more about Werewolves Within and why his costars are the comedy Avengers.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you get involved in the film?
SAM RICHARDSON: Ubisoft reached out to me, so I got sent the script and I loved it so much. Then Josh and I had a long phone conversation, talking about the movie and what his ideas for it were. I was so into it. I saw Scare Me (Ruben's debut movie), and I thought he was such a brilliant mind, and I was so into what his vision was going to be for this movie.
You shot in upstate New York. What was that like?
We were up in the Catskills and we were so remote from everything. It was easy to get in the mindset of the character, because we were up in this lodge, it was called the Urban Cowboy, we were the only ones staying in this place, and the only people we were around were each other. So the idea of being in this closed-off remote town, it was like, oh, that's what we're living right now! It helped us all focus on what we were doing because we were the only people who we were interacting with anyway. There were only a few places to eat, a few places to do whatever, but I was like, oh, I kind of want to live in the Catskills.
Who is the funniest member of the cast in real-life?
That is a good question. It's truly a murderers' row. It's hard. Do I say Harvey Guillén? Or would I say Michaela Watkins? It's like trying to pick your favorite Avenger! It's like who's better, Iron Man or Captain America or Thor? Each one is brilliant in their own way. That's what made it so much fun. There was no weak link. Although I guess if you say, oh, I can't find a weak link then you are the weak link.
So you're sayng you're the least funniest cast member?
I guess that's what I'm saying. [Laughs]
Well, you can't sue us for libel over that. I understand you were still shooting the movie close to the shutdown?
Two days before the shutdown, we finished. I got back to L.A. and the following week everything shut down. So it was right down to the wire. This was all happening as we were finishing this movie. It was like in a zombie [film] where, in the background, TV is like, "...and a person who was bitten has come back from the dead." More and more we were paying attention. It was like, well, that's a little frightening.
Courtesy of Amazon Studios The Tomorrow War
You're also in The Tomorrow War (out on Amazon Prime, July 2). What was that like to make?
It was incredible. It was my first time shooting a big action movie. I did it with Chris Pratt who is such a fun and really lovely guy. It was my first time really stepping into a full action role. We filmed in Atlanta and I was out in the streets running every day, shooting machine guns, and just running and screaming a lot. [Laughs] I mean, as a kid, I always loved action movies, I always wanted to be a part of an action movie, so it really felt like a dream being in a movie with explosions and guns and helicopters flying 30 feet from me.
I was just thinking about that amazing sketch on season 1 of I Think You Should Leave where you basically play the Terminator and bust in through the wall to take Scrooge to the future.
[Laughs] Oh my god. Believe you me, on my Instagram and my Twitter, as soon as I posted a picture of the trailer [for The Tomorrow War] it's been nonstop "Ghost of Christmas Way Future." So many pictures of that. The parallel is not lost on me. I'm the Ghost of Christmas Way Future and I'm also in the way future shooting guns. I'm like, okay, I see it, I see it for sure.
Werewolves Within is now playing in select cinemas and will be released on VOD July 2.
Watch the trailer for Werewolves Within above.