Interview with August Maturo – the star of Slapface

In our last interview before Grimmfest 2021 kicks off, we were lucky enough to speak with August Maturo, the astonishing star of the movie Slapface which is screening at Grimmfest. The film is a deeply moving modern-day Grimms Fairytale and one of the highlights of the fest. Certainly, audiences will be talking about August’s sensitive performance for days…

How did this project come about for you?

For this role, I was very fortunate as the casting director reached out and offered it to me. I read the script and knew I had to play Lucas. I had previously done a supporting role in the horror film The Nun, and after that experience, I became obsessed with the horror genre and really wanted to play the lead in one. When I was offered Slapface I jumped at the chance.

Tom and Lucas have a loving but troubled relationship. What was it like working with Mike Manning?

Yes, Tom and Lucas are really dysfunctional, but in their warped way, they think it’s very loving. I don’t think they’ve had a very good example since their dad was abusive and now that their mom is dead they are trying to figure things out on their own and not doing a very good job.

Working with Mike Manning was great, he instantly felt like a big brother to me. He never treated me like a kid actor but as an equal. Our scenes together were my favourite. If you’ve seen Slapface you understand how intense our scenes were, and because Mike gave 100% it was easy for me to give 100% as well. He always had great advice for me and really was a mentor. 

Lucas & the Virago Witch have a twisted mother/son relationship. What was it like working with Lukas Hassel and how did you see their relationship?

Lukas Hassel is amazing. He is so much more than just someone in a witch costume. His performance really made the relationship between Virago and Lucas feel real. He’s such an incredible actor! He was so good at being a sweet mother figure but was also really really scary when the monster needed to be. In real life Lukas is a super tall imposing figure, he’s so tall that his head reached the top of the door jams in the house scenes. In those scenes, I feel like it was very easy to be scared of the witch. But in those quiet moments when we bonded it felt very real because in real life he really is very kind and sweet. 

I saw the relationship of Lucas and Virago very much like a mother/son relationship. The monster is the best friend that Lucas craved and really needed and was missing in his life. 

Lucas goes through so much in this movie and your performance is superb. How did you deal with the darker themes?

Thank you! When I filmed this movie I was in middle school. At the time I was in a very sports-oriented school and all of my classmates were joc If you remember middle school, it really sucks in general and I was dealing with being bullied myself. It’s tough to be an actor in a sports school! So I used my experiences with being bullied when I was playing Lucas. Even though I wasn’t bullied the extreme way Lucas was, I put myself in that position mentally and really connected with my character and used it as a jumping-off point for my performance. 

Related – Interview with Jeremiah Kipp writer/director of Slapface

What’s next for you?

I have a short film called BOYS that is just beginning the festival circuit that I’m very proud of. It just won best short at Hill County Film Festival and will be the opening film at Hollyshorts festival. Other than that I’ve been doing some television roles and looking for my next film role. It’s my dream to use my background in comedy television and my horror film experience to do a horror/comedy film or series. The bloodier and funnier the better!