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Beau Is Afraid's Nathan Lane Couldn't Watch Ari Aster Movies Before Starring In One

When it comes to certain directors, the stars that join them know exactly what they're signing up for. In the case of Ari Aster, it was Nathan Lane who had some rather terrifying preconceptions before signing up for his new film, "Beau Is Afraid."  

It's understandable. When it comes to Aster's past work, he's made a reputation for leaving audiences a little shell-shocked and flat-out petrified. In between angry mothers climbing along walls and boyfriends in bear suits, his work has made for the sort of viewing experiences some people would stay clear of. For a long time, Lane was one of those people until a meeting with the man behind the movies changed his mind. Now the filmmaker he feared is one he believes holds a "masterful" and "confident" talent in his craft.

In an interview with Den of Geek, Lane revealed that he had held off from seeing both "Hereditary" and "Midsommar," Aster's previous and critically-acclaimed outings, and was only going off what the rest of the world was saying. "I had only heard, heard, how extraordinary 'Hereditary' was, and then 'Midsommar,'" Lane revealed, skimming over both scare-fests when they crossed his path. "It was one of those things where I would see 'Hereditary' on my pay-per-view or whatever it was, and I'm like, 'I have to watch that, but I'm a little scared.' And then the other came on, and I'm like, 'I should really watch this 'Midsommar,' but that scares me too.'"

Nathan Lane and Amy Ryan both had find some courage to watch Ari Aster's early works

It was only after a call from Aster himself about "Beau Is Afraid," a film the director called a "twisted 'Lord of the Rings,'" that he eventually dared to venture into uncharted territory and quickly learned what all the fuss was about. Watching both films across a few evenings, Lane had his lightbulb moment about what his potential collaborator could do. "He is so masterful and so confident and yet takes this genre and adds this psychological twist to it that's really unique and extremely well thought out, and terrifying." Amazing what you can experience when you eventually face your fears of pressing play on a horror film.

Lane wasn't the only cast member who thought he had Aster figured out, either. Speaking to IndieWire, Amy Ryan, who plays Lane's on-screen wife, Grace, also had to brave her director's previous efforts only to be surprised by what she saw. "I watched them in the daylight hours before I was going to work with Ari," she admitted before having an epiphany. "I'm watching these films now through the lens of 'I'm about to go work with this man, and I am struck by how well he works with the actors. He seems to like actors,' is what I'm taking away from it." See, there's nothing to be afraid of, after all.