Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Goran Visnjic On The Evil Nature Of His Character In Hellraiser - Exclusive

In the new Hulu film "Hellraiser," the 11th entry in the storied horror franchise started more than 35 years ago by writer-director Clive Barker, a troubled young woman named Riley accidentally comes to possess an ancient puzzle box that acts as a conduit to the ultimate in both carnality and sadism. It opens a portal to a nightmarish realm — possibly even hell itself — where once-human creatures called Cenobites lure unwitting victims into horrific experiments in which the lines between pain and pleasure are erased.

The box, as Riley (Odessa A'zion) eventually learns, once belonged to a wealthy art dealer named Roland Voight (Goran Visnjic), who mysteriously disappeared some time ago. A depraved hedonist who spent his time looking for the most extreme experiences possible, Voight has become one of the Cenobites' subjects and is secretly orchestrating events to reacquire the box and complete his twisted journey.

For Croatian-born actor Goran Visnjic, who broke through to American audiences with a long-running stint on "ER" and has appeared on shows like "Santa Clarita Diet" and "The Boys," the character of Roland Voight is defined by his unending, insatiable appetites. "He is looking for more, and more, and more," Visnjic told Looper in our exclusive interview. "But in a really bad way."

This Hellraiser character joins a long line of franchise evildoers

As bizarre and sinister as the Cenobites are, they are in many ways not the villains of the "Hellraiser" franchise. The Cenobites merely pursue their own goals, come only when summoned, and will even strike bargains with potential victims if it's in both parties' best interests.

Instead, throughout the series, it's almost always been the human pursuit of the "pleasures" offered by the box — going all the way back to the character of Frank Cotton in the original film — that unleashes the Cenobites and unlocks the malevolent events of the story.

The new film's Roland Voight falls right into that category, as actor Goran Visnjic broke down his character's motivations. "Ultimately, this is a human story of ungratefulness," he explained, "of somebody who is never happy, never satisfied, no matter how much he achieves, no matter how much he has, how much he owns, how much he experienced ... He wants to experience more, but instead of turning inwards, he's actually going outward, and suddenly he can't do any more and he feels frustrated, until he finds the box."

Visnjic added that Voight doesn't even know what the box offers, and when he does finally find out, it's too late for him to escape his fate. "It's a typical story of going head-on into something [when] you don't know, what is it about?" he said. "Then we see what happens to him ... From that horrible situation, he is trying to do the same thing again. But this time, he thinks he's going to be smarter; he's going to be able to outsmart these Cenobites."

And does he? "It's a pretty interesting ending," was all Visnjic would say.

"Hellraiser" is streaming now on Hulu.