The Men Cast Had A Bizarre Encounter Before Filming That Let Them Know They Were On The Right Track

Regardless of how crazy events may get in a film, there is always a strive for an important level of authenticity – which is a key tool in keeping an audience invested in a story. It’s an odd thing, however, to try and manifest credulity in what really is in actuality a ridiculous world. Crazy, random things happen all the time in everyday life (hence the commonality of the expression “stranger than fiction,” not to mention all the movies made based on true events).

It’s a line that has to be toed carefully, and sometimes it’s good to get a solid dose of the true strangeness of reality when planning out key choices. The cast of Men experienced this first hand during pre-production rehearsals for the new symbolism and body horror-filled film from Alex Garland.

As captured in the video at the top of this article, I virtually interviewed Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear, and Paapa Essiedu earlier this month during the press day for Men, and it was while discussing the aforementioned rehearsal period that Kinnear told a story of wonderful and bizarre serendipity. Said the actor,

Actually, the first time we went for a walk in the countryside, [Alex Garland] showed us the railway line that you see [Jessie Buckley’s character] Harper sort of investigating. And we were talking about the weirdness of the script and the weirdness of some of the themes, and whether or not it was pushing the nature of English rural weirdness. And then a woman walked past walking her goat. And we realized we might not have gone far enough.

Sometimes the universe tells you when you are on the right track, and this is a fantastic example.

In Men, the latest horror film from A24, Jessie Buckley’s Harper is a woman emotionally recovering following the dissolution of her marriage and a tragic accident by going on holiday and renting a house in the English countryside. While I won’t spoil all of the madness in the Alex Garland feature, the atmosphere that she encounters most definitely isn’t normal – starting with the fact that all of the men seem to share the same face (Rory Kinnear).

Paapa Essiedu, who plays Harper’s husband in the movie, noted that the rehearsals were done in the area where Alex Garland shot Men – which also happened to be the area where Alex Garland’s father lives:

Paapa Essiedu: It was cool. It was cool. Cause we did the we did the rehearsals in the same area where we filmed. So we spent time in Alex's dad's house.
Jessie Buckley: Yeah, yeah. Where he grew up. Yeah, yeah. Which is like five minutes from location.
Paapa Essiedu: And in between rehearsals, we'd spend time walking around the area, walking through a lot of the locations that you see in the film.

Movie fans will be able to experience Men for themselves in the coming days – including the extreme body horror that has gotten a response from critics. Also starring Gayle Rankin, the film arrives in theaters exclusively this Friday, May 20. Go to Fandango to see local show times.

To plan your upcoming trips to the local multiplex and/or figure out what streaming subscriptions you need to renew in the coming months, check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.