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The Surprising Thing Stephen Moyer Had To Do On The Set Of Last Survivors - Exclusive

Best known for his starring role on the wildly popular HBO series "True Blood," Stephen Moyer is no stranger to playing complex bad guys. His latest film, "Last Survivors," could be Moyer's most devious character yet.

As Troy, Moyer plays a survivalist father who has hidden his son Jake (Drew Van Acker) deep in the mountains for 20 years, due to World War III leading to the collapse of civilization. There, they live off the land, hunt and forage for food, and kill anyone who comes near their secluded cabin. It's pretty much the only life Jake has known — until his father is badly wounded and needs "outsider" medication. When Jake leaves camp for the first time in decades, he meets Henrietta (Alicia Silverstone), who inadvertently turns his world upside down.

See, Troy has been lying to his son for all these years — there was no war or disintegration of society. Everything is still pretty normal in the outside world. With the help of Henrietta, Jake quickly discovers a dark secret about his father and his life — Troy had actually tried to murder Jake's mother and then kidnapped Jake all those years earlier. It's a revelation that leaves Jake reeling, and Troy desperate to get his reclusive life back.

It's a nuanced story that left Moyer with a difficult choice as an actor: Approach the film as "I'm in a post-apocalyptic world and I'm a survivor," or have the mentality of a fugitive on the lam the whole time? It's a question the English actor answered for Looper during an exclusive interview.

Stephen Moyer had to 'believe' in his character

With "Last Survivors" going in an unexpected direction midway through the plot, Moyer was left with a tough decision to make at the beginning of filming, would he approach Troy as a post-apocalyptic survivalist trying to protect his son from predatory outsiders or as a man who's actually on the run from law enforcement for kidnapping and attempted murder?

"Great question," says Moyer. "I feel like in order to live in the present, to be in the moment, when you are working, you have to believe what you are doing. You have to believe in your character. You have to believe in your character's worth. Nobody's good or bad. You are living your normality."

So, when it came to Troy, Moyer decided the most important aspect of the character was him being a father: "In his world, this horrific thing has happened 20 years before, and he is protecting his son. So, for me, it was all about creating a world in which Jake felt held and comforted and nurtured and respected, but also, my character is the father, so he is the father figure and Jake has to do what I say."

However, the most difficult part of portraying the character for Moyer wasn't the physicality or deviousness. "In a way, he doesn't quite believe that Jake has grown up and can do things for himself," says Moyer. "It's a lot for him to let go of, to allow Jake to become that. For me, the trauma, the obstacle was the pulling apart, letting Jake be the adult that he had become."

"Last Survivors" is now playing in select theaters and is available on demand.