Alex Essoe is very much a star on the rise. Horror fans may know her from Starry Eyes but she got a big profile boost last year, playing Wendy Torrence in Mike Flanagan’s sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep. She is collaborating with Flanagan again in not just one but two new projects, both of which are in the works for Netflix. Essoe is set to star in The Haunting of Bly Manor, the upcoming follow-up to 2018’s The Haunting of Hill House, as well as Midnight Mass, which recently began production.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Alexandra Essoe about her new movie Death of Me, which arrives this week. We’ll have the full interview up soon but during our conversation, Essoe talked a bit about The Haunting of Bly Manor. In it, she plays the deceased mother to a pair of orphan children. Here’s what she had to say.
“This season is based on a book by Henry James. Well, more of a novella, but It’s called The Turn of the Screw. There was a movie adaptation of a play that had been written based on that book in 1960 called The Innocents, starring Deborah Kerr. If no one has seen that, you must watch this movie. It’s one of my favorite movies. It’s a true Victorian Gothic ghost story. It’s brilliantly filmed, but I digress. I’m going on a tirade.
So it’s based on this movie, and it’s about a governess goes to this beautiful manor in the countryside to look after these two children who have lost both of their parents in the past couple years, and their previous governess in last year, who committed suicide under mysterious circumstances. So now she’s there, and she’s trying to help these children. But the children, even though they are lovely and charming, and she absolutely loves them, they exhibit very unnerving behavior at times. So the show is really about her trying to get to the heart of why that is and what it is that’s causing it. That’s all I’ll say, story-wise. I play the mother of the two children. The mother who is deceased. I think I am in episodes five and six where they kind of go more into the backstory. It was super fun. It was super fun to put her on.”
Much Like Hill House, this season will be adapting a classic piece of horror literature. This effectively turns it into an anthology series that could run for multiple seasons, should Netflix decide to do that. What is certain is that the streaming service wants to say in the Mike Flanagan business. They recently kicked off production on Midnight Mass, a new miniseries that remains largely mysterious. Alex Essoe will be a big part of the show. The actress didn’t divulge too much but had this to say about who she’s playing.
“I won’t say anything about what character I’m playing because it’s such a great surprise. I can’t really go on about that one. If I do it right, you won’t know it’s me.”
As far as plot details go? That remains under wraps for the most part. But Alex Essoe did offer a brief explanation, comparing it to Salem’s Lot with major religious overtones.
“In a nutshell, it’s kind of like Salem’s Lot meets The Perfect Storm. A sleepy little island community of staunch Catholics, and their belief is their undoing. I’ll put it that way.”
There is no word yet on a release date for Midnight Miss but it is expected to arrive sometime in 20201. For now, Death of Me is available digitally on October 2. The Haunting of Bly Manor arrives October 9 via the Netflix streaming service.