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How Rory Kinnear Prepared For His Horrifying Performance In Men - Exclusive

In writer-director Alex Garland's eerie new horror movie, "Men," Jessie Buckley ("I'm Thinking of Ending Things") plays a woman named Harper who rents a remote country house in a rural part of England to recover from the devastating death of her husband.

Soon after Harper is welcomed into the house by its owner, the awkward yet strangely intrusive Geoffrey, she is beset by a string of disturbing encounters with other men in the area: A condescending local policeman, a nasty nine-year-old boy, some thuggish young farmers, a lecherous vicar, and a naked vagrant lurking in the woods.

What the audience only begins to realize midway through the film is that all these men have the same face. In addition, they're all played by English actor Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner in the last four James Bond movies) in a brilliant piece of experimental acting that both enhances the unsettling nature of "Men" and makes its themes of primal masculinity gone wrong hit even harder.

"I wasn't staying in character in between takes — I was still Rory," Kinnear told Looper in a recent exclusive interview regarding inhabiting the multiple roles in the film. "But people behaved completely different to me, depending on basically what wig and teeth I had."

What Kinnear did to make each 'Men' character distinctive

Rory Kinnear said that he took several steps after landing the job in "Men" to create distinct personalities for the characters, including writing little biographies for each of them.

"That was the first thing I did," he explained to Looper. "I knew that there's someone who's going to be in charge of hair and makeup and there's going to be someone in charge of costume, and they're going to be working away themselves ... So I guess that was why, when I was writing biographies, it wasn't, 'He looks like this,' or 'I think he wears these.' It was, 'This is the history of this person as I see them, and this is the kind of things they're into and what they like, this is the music that they like,' and that kind of stuff."

Kinnear sent the bios to costume designer Lisa Duncan and makeup designer Nicole Stafford, and soon got images from them of various possible looks. Although some CG was involved in putting Kinnear's face on other actors' bodies, he tried to subtly change each character's visage through the use of wigs, contact lenses, and make-up. That's also when he noticed the curious reactions he was getting from the film's crew.

"A little funny, just on a personal level, was seeing how differently people behaved to me, day to day, depending on who I was playing," he said. "I wasn't staying in character in between takes, I was still Rory, but people behaved completely different to me, depending on basically what wig and teeth I had."

If you had to interact with an actor playing characters as unnerving as Geoffrey, Samuel (the little boy), the vicar, or the film's personification of the Green Man, you might behave a little oddly around him too, don't you think?

"Men" is now playing in theaters.