Reece Connolly discusses gothic horror The Haunting of the Tower of London

British actor Reece Connolly is fast becoming a mainstay of the Dark Temple Motion Pictures stable, having completed a hat-trick of roles with the upcoming The Haunting of the Tower of London, which premieres at the Soho Horror Film Festival: Pride Edition.

We caught up with Reece to talk all about the role of Isaac Crawgyll.

When did Charlie Steeds approach you about working on The Haunting of the Tower of London?

I remember him chatting about it in its early early stages when we were shooting ‘A Werewolf In England’ [which was the first film I made with him back in early 2020], and already I thought it sounded great — ghosts and demons and dark doings in medieval England is very my bag. I was really excited and nervous to audition because I very much wanted the part; Isaac is a character I instantly fell in love in. 

You got to really camp it up in Werewolf Castle last time around, is this performance more restrained?

And I loved having the chance to do that! But yes, Isaac is a totally different character inhabiting a very different world so the performance adapts in response to that. Isaac has a great arc, and that was a fun challenge to take on.  

It must feel like working with old friends at this stage given the recurring cast?

Absolutely. These folks are good friends now as well as being co-stars, which makes being on set a real joy. You’re hanging out with your mates and you’re also making movies – the dream!

What can you tell us about life on set, were there any pranksters?

The biggest prankster of them all is most definitely Charlie himself. He has a genuinely wicked sense of humour, and an enviable pokerface; dangerous combo.

What can you tell us about Isaac Crawgyll?

Isaac is a very tightly-wound, young, closeted priest who’s been thrust into a role he’s totally out of his depth in at a time of huge upheaval and danger. And what happens next – this rollercoaster of death and madness and revelation – changes him completely. He really goes through the wringer, poor soul. 

Did you get any creative input into the character?

As a writer myself, I appreciate that everything I need to embody a character should be in the script – if it’s a well-written one anyway, which this was. So you do all this prep and try and get into the character’s head, and then that levels up when you get on set with the other actors and see their performances bringing all these other characters to life. And you’re in the costume, walking around by candlelight in these awesome authentic locations, which amplifies everything again. So it’s a process, and the character grows and grows as that goes on, is my experience of it. 

How do you summarise The Haunting…?

I’m not dropping any spoilers… But, what I will say is, it begins as you might expect and then ramps up in ways that will really surprise people I hope. There are some amazing visuals in this, and I love how much Charlie respects and employs practical effects in bringing these to the screen. Audiences are gonna be shocked and grossed out, and terrified – fingers crossed!

You have done some writing recently too, are you staying in the horror genre or looking to branch out?

Horror is one of my big passions – that’s the majority of the media I consume as a fan, and that comes through in the stuff that I in turn create. I’m always gonna gravitate towards it, for sure. But of course, as a storyteller first and foremost, I go where the good meaty stories are – so whatever genre or medium works best is how that story needs to be told. Saying that, I’ll always try to sneak in some blood and guts and jump scares – would be a shame not to. 

The Haunting of the Tower of London screens at Soho Horror Film Festival: Pride Edition between 24-26 June 2022.

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