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

Gael Garcia Bernal Reveals What Scares Him Most About M. Night Shyamalan's Old - Exclusive

People are scared of a lot of things: heights, clowns, dentists, and being the main character on Twitter, just to name a few. However, most human anxiety filters out of one main fear: the fear of death. What if I die suddenly? What if no one remembers me after I'm gone? What if nothing I have ever done matters? Yes, clowns are scary, but mostly they're scary because they might unhinge their jaws and devour us before we're ready to go quietly into the night.

Most people's fear of death was exacerbated in the last year and a half because of a global pandemic — and naturally that has bled into the stories being told through film and television. M. Night Shyamalan seized on our cultural anxiety by adapting the graphic novel "Sandcastle," which tells the story of a group of people trapped on a beach where time moves so quickly that they'll all be dead inside of a day.

The movie "Old" was the result and it isn't just about how scary the fast approach of death is, it's also about how individuals fail to cope with the sudden, acute certainty of death. Looper sat down with actor Gael Garcia Bernal to talk about what it was about "Old" that scared him and the impact the story has on his character Guy.

Wibbly, wobbly, timey wimey, but make it evil

Time traveling is a thing we are all doing, all of the time. Cause and effect, a linear progression from moment to moment; even if it sometimes feels like a watched pot will never boil, it still will at the same rate as the one we ignore. That is our reality, but it is notthe reality in "Old," where the watched pot is boiling so fast that there's no way to prevent it from spilling over and burning our hands in the process. It's this change that Gael Garcia Bernal points out as the scariest part of "Old."

"For me, it's all of a sudden losing control of time," Bernal said. "That is incredibly scary, and if we think about it, that's the most scary thing that can happen to anyone. Like it's all of a sudden time travels, either faster or slower, but you have no understanding of how that goes. And that is really complicated. That is something that is like, whoa, you can't believe it. So that for me is the most scary thing."

Bernal is also thinking in this moment in terms of his character, Guy, who he feels is especially prone to weakness in the hyper-paced circumstances in "Old.

"When [time] gets lost, then Guy gets completely out of control of everything and there's no logic that can make him understand what's going on," Bernal explained. "So he is like exactly the wrong person that this can happen to, the worst person that this can happen to, but at the same time, we see an outcome and something different that occurs because of that, and that's what's kind of interesting."

"Old" is now playing in theaters.