Why Child’s Play’s Director Was An Intimidating Presence On Set… In A Good Way

Brian Tyree Henry and Gabriel Bateman in Child's Play

Speaking with the stars of the new Child’s Play, it’s clear how much they enjoyed working on the film. After all, they did get the opportunity to try and scare the hell out of each other whenever cameras weren’t rolling. When it came time to being professional, though, director Lars Klevberg was able to run a tight ship… at least partially because he legitimately intimidated his cast.

This was something I learned earlier this month when I sat down with Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, and Brian Tyree Henry at the Los Angeles press day for Child’s Play. Apparently it wasn’t just Lars Klevberg’s physical presence that was a bit scary – as the filmmaker stands at nearly six-and-a-half feet tall – but that he also had a super intense job before pivoting his life and directing his first big Hollywood feature. Plaza explained,

One thing you should know about Lars Klevberg is that he was a sergeant in the Norwegian army for six years. So I would say that he ran the set as if we were in the Norwegian army - which, as you can imagine, might be a little scary.

I had asked the actors about the atmosphere on set, and how Lars Klevberg was able to set up a proper horror headspace for their performances. Apparently not much work was required, as when the actors weren’t goofing around, they were responding to military-esque structure. It was something that seemed to impress Brian Tyree Henry, who told me,

Lars is a genius, man. He was so much fun to work with, and you trust his vision. Like regardless if he knew about the movie Child's Play or not, he knew what this relationship between this doll and this young boy had. And the way he sets up the environments. And he used to be in the military, so therefore there was a kind of like finesse that had to happen, you know? Very strategic about getting the shot, and it really worked to the benefit of the movie, I think. It came out great.

Lars Klevberg only recently got into the features game, but he has been directing for a few years now. In the past 15 years he has written and helmed a few shorts, and during the making of Child’s Play even had the opportunity to turn one of his shorts, Polaroid, into what technically exists as his directorial debut (as it was actually finished and released first – albeit only in Europe and Asia). The man has had an interesting life, and it could start taking some even more interesting turns following the release of the new Chucky film.

You can watch the stars of the new Child’s Play discuss their time working with Lars Klevberg by clicking play on the video below:

Co-starring Mark Hamill, Tim Matheson, David Lewis, Beatrice Kitsos, and Ty Consiglio, the new Child’s Play is in theaters this weekend. You can read my full review of the movie here, and stay tuned for more from my interviews with the stars coming your way here on CinemaBlend!

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.