Logan Marshall-Green stars in the thriller The Invitation as a man still grieving the loss of his son in a freak accident and the ensuing dissolution of his marriage.

Logan Marshall-Green

Marshall-Green’s character Will is mentally unstable, but it was important for Marshall-Green not to let that fact overshadow the nuances of his character, or the origin of his grief.  “I think just where he puts his grief was completely different from where his wife put hers, and so it put them at the other ends of the spectrum, and it really is a movie about grief,” Green explain in an exclusive interview with uInterview at SXSW. “[The Invitation] is a psychological thriller, but I think there’s a beautiful conversation and dialogue about how we grieve and where we put it.”

Inhabiting the grief-stricken father, Marshall-Green was most challenged by a scene in which Will thinks he’s seen the ghost of his late son. Working with director Karyn Kusama, Marshall-Green felt as though they achieved an organic scene that spoke to the truth of the character and the circumstances that have brought him to this vulnerable state. 

“[The Invitation] is not a ghost story, but I knew that I wanted it to be very vulnerable and very raw. And I was hoping that Karyn felt the same and she did and so that’s how we approached it,” Marshall-Green said. “I knew that that scene was kind of the scene that I was most afraid of, but the reason why I wanted to do the movie. I was glad that the writers and Karyn agreed that it was going to be an excruciating scene and not just something you could walk through.”

Though The Invitation is billed as a thriller, the movie, with a screenplay penned by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, is more than that, according to Marshall-Green. The actor believes that not only is it about the thrills, it’s very much about the characters and how they interact with one another.

“I knew very quickly after meeting Karyn and understanding her approach that this film was going to be a dialogue and a character/relationship-driven piece that had a genre backdrop,” Marshall-Green told uInterview. “I just loved how Karyn approached it and I knew instantly that I wanted to work with her.”

Marshall-Green’s next big project is the new HBO Cinemax series Quarry, which follows Vietnam veterans in the 70s who are recruited by the CIA and the Mafia.


Q: Who do you play in the film? -

I play a character named Will who is returning to his old house that he and his now ex-wife, Eden, once had a family in. He is returning to a house he very early on learned their son had passed in a freak accident. So he is returning with all of his damage and she’s returning with all of hers. It’s dinner party with their friends as well as invited guests and some other people who I don’t think he was expecting and worlds start to clash.

Q: How did you prepare yourself to play a mentally unstable character? -

It was important to me that we couldn’t put a thumb on it. That we were still wondering who the protagonist is, who the antagonist is and that it vacillated between he and David, who is somewhat his opponent. And I think just where he puts his grief was completely different from where his wife put hers, and so it put them at the other ends of the spectrum, and it really is a movie about grief. It’s a psychological thriller. But I think there's a beautiful conversation and dialogue about how we grieve and where we put it.

Q: What was the most difficult scene for you to film? -

I think it was a scene about – I don’t know if I can give the movie away – it was a scene about realizing that you might be wrong. And seeing a ghost that you thought couldn't be. It’s not a ghost story, but I knew that I wanted it to be very vulnerable and very raw. And I was hoping that Karyn felt the same and she did and so that’s how we approached it, and I knew that that scene was kind of the scene that I was most afraid of, but the reason why I wanted to do the movie. I was glad that the writers and Karyn, that it was going to be an excruciating scene and not just something you could walk through.

Q: What drew you to this script? -

The script was fantastic, but there was still kind of the approach, which I didn’t know, that this was a script that could easily become a genre, your genre film. But then I knew very quickly after meeting Karyn and understanding her approach that this film was going to be a dialogue and a character relationship-driven piece that had a genre backdrop, and I just loved how Karyn approached it and I knew instantly that I wanted to work with her.

Q: What can you tell us about your new HBO project? -

The TV show is called ‘Quarry’ and it’s for HBO Cinemax and it’ll come out later this year I think. It’s great. It’s based on these books that are loosely based on these murders up and down the Mississippi and it’s about Vietnam vets in the 70s that come home and are certainly not approached by their country; they’re shunned. Yet they are approached by the CIA and Mafia to become hard killers and that’s what he decides.