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Lee Pace Talks Bodies Bodies Bodies, The Film's Gen Z Satire, And His Time On Pushing Daisies - Exclusive Interview

"Bodies Bodies Bodies" is like the little cousin of "Scream" for the next generation. With a heavy dose of satire regarding Gen Z, the film is a whodunit just as much as it is a slasher movie — and Lee Pace is thrilled to be a part of it. Pace plays Greg, a much older guy dating a 20-something-year-old, while he navigates the ins and outs of ritzy Gen Z culture during a hurricane party.

Pace has been in the acting game since 2002 when he got a guest role on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Not long after, he scored the lead role in the cult classic show "Pushing Daisies" along with movies like "The Fall" and "The Good Shepherd." Of course, Pace is arguably most known for his roles as Ronan in the MCU and Thranduil in "The Hobbit."

During an exclusive interview with Looper, Pace discussed his role in "Bodies Bodies Bodies," playing the only non-Gen Z character, and how the film defies the horror genre. He also recalled his time on "Pushing Daisies" and whether he thinks "Bodies Bodies Bodies" might one day score cult classic status.

Hangin' with Gen Z

You were a bit of an odd man out in the film as the only adult in this teenage-led movie that shines a satirical lens on Gen Z's elite. What was this dynamic like for you in working with cast members like Maria Bakalova, and were there any references or tropes that anyone had to explain?

Well, one thing I want to be clear is that they're not teenagers, because [my character is] dating one of them, so I want to be clear that I'm not dating a teenager and that she's a Gen Zer. They're early twenties, mid-twenties, coming out [of] college. They're that very specific force of nature in our world right now.

Greg is a lot like me — the character I play, Greg — in that he's down for the experience. He knows he's a little different than them, but he also is curious about them and eager to meet them where they are [and] not try to interfere with the vibe that they've got going. He's happy to get on the page that they're on — which is, for the beginning of the movie, he's having a great time. He's got this sexy new romance with Alice. They've known each other for two weeks, which, as we all know, is the sexiest time of any relationship. There's nothing to complain about. He's enjoying learning the TikTok dances and the carefree environment of being young and without worry.

Defying the horror genre

The unique setup and satirical nature of this campy horror movie remind me of what "Scream" did back in the '90s. Do any genre-defying movies come to mind when you think of this film, and what other fan bases do you think will gravitate toward it the most?

I definitely think Gen Zers will like seeing it no matter what kind of movies they're generally into because it's my impression that they like watching themselves. But I can't say that definitively, obviously. [Director] Halina [Reijn] says that it's a mix of "Mean Girls" and "Lord of the Flies," which is a really funny middle ground for the film. As slashery as it is, it's really a satire, in a way, of Gen Z people — of self-involvedness and an inability to avoid [the] chaos that we can see in our culture now. All you have to do is open your Twitter.

You're no stranger to genre films, having done "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "The Hobbit." What are some of the biggest differences between those kinds of movies and this one? Did you have any standout moments from the cast with those films?

This movie is unique in a lot of ways for me. One of the big ways it was unique was the very ... Halina Reijn, our director, is an actor. It was such a great example of what it's like to have an actor take the helm of something. Her understanding of the subject matter, and particularly all the characters in this story that she's telling, was so complete that she was able to give everyone such specific notes, so what the movie becomes about is the very unique dynamics between all of these individuals. 

That's a very immersive experience as an actor, when you have a director who is so interested in character [and] that understands the same language that you understand as an actor in approaching a character. That was a very unique experience in a lot of not just genre movies, but genre movies in particular — and [also] in a lot of movies that I've done — to work with an actor behind the helm.

Becoming a cult classic

Your brilliant but short-lived "Pushing Daisies" series has received a passionate cult-like following over the years. What has that been like, and do you see "Bodies Bodies Bodies" becoming a cult classic down the line as well?

I'm awfully proud of "Bodies Bodies Bodies." I find it very entertaining and intelligent, so I hope the audience has a good time with it. We'll see what happens. It opens this weekend. I think it has every shot [of being] a popular thing, but we shall see.

"Pushing Daisies" is something that I'm so proud to have been a part of. What a unique project it was. What a unique cast. What a unique experience it was. It marks a very special time in my life, so I couldn't be more proud to have been a part of it.

Your MCU character Ronan has come back once before in the "Captain Marvel" prequel. Would you be game to appear again in either an alternate universe, another prequel, or "What If...?"

Who knows? You must know something I don't, because I've heard nothing about them doing another Ronan thing.

"Bodies Bodies Bodies" is now playing in select theaters with a nationwide release coming August 12.

This interview was edited for clarity.