Actor Matthew Gray Gubler talks “LIFE AFTER BETH”Movies/TV,News Michael Gingold
Out today on Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, the zombie dramedy LIFE AFTER BETH maintains just the right balance of emotion and humor—a good deal of the latter coming from co-star Matthew Gray Gubler, who discussed his role with FANGORIA.
LIFE AFTER BETH casts Gubler, best known for his role on the long-running CBS procedural series CRIMINAL MINDS, as Kyle Orfman, a security guard who takes his job very seriously—more so than he takes the plight of his younger brother Zach (Dane DeHaan), who’s dealing with his girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza) returning from the dead in an increasingly altered state. Fango spoke with Gubler, an avowed horror fan, at this past summer’s Fantasia festival in Montreal, which hosted back-to-back screenings of BETH and Gubler’s starring vehicle SUBURBAN GOTHIC (see review here).
FANGORIA: One of the best things about LIFE AFTER BETH is how writer/director Jeff Baena treats the subject of death seriously, yet makes the outrageous comedic elements work alongside that—and your character is pretty much the wildest card in the deck. Did you have the license to go a little bit crazier than everybody else?
MATTHEW GRAY GUBLER: I did, and that was the fun thing about getting to play Kyle Orfman—having the chance to be the zaniest character of them all. It was an honor to work with Jeff Baena, and so freeing to play this guy who’s quick to react, who’s crazy and loves shooting things. In an otherwise sad film, Kyle is the happiest character [laughs], because his dream is coming true—as the situation develops, he joins the resistance and gets to shoot zombies all day, so it’s a very exciting thing for him.
FANG: As a horror fan, when you first read the script, did you find it to be a cool twist on the zombie genre?
GUBLER: I did. I loved all the little additions—the smooth jazz the zombies listen to and all the little jokes Jeff crafted. He’s a masterpiece maker, and whatever he works on, he always sort of reinvents the genre, whether it’s I HEART HUCKABEES or this film, and it was so special to be a part of that.
FANG: Can you talk a bit about working with Dane DeHaan and your other co-stars?
GUBLER: It was marvelous. Dane’s great; he’s such a unique actor, and I also feel that we actually do look like brothers in real life, so that was a lot of fun. Everyone in that cast was terrific, really—comedy is something I love dearly, so to be able to get to work with them all was just a dream come true; they were just so much fun. I had a great time on both LIFE AFTER BETH and SUBURBAN GOTHIC. They had that magical quality I always look for in films, which is, when I was young I would make movies in my backyard, and it felt like we were doing that, but obviously with a little more money and a little bit better casting [laughs]. I’m so proud that they’re playing here at the same festival.
FANG: Are you specifically a devotee of zombie movies?
GUBLER: You know, it’s funny; I love everything in the genre world, and I like the Romero films, but I’m more of a ghost and monster fan. If I had my druthers, I would do more movies like that.
Watch for words with Gubler on SUBURBAN GOTHIC in a future issue of Fango.