For all the horror gurus out there, have you watched The Offering yet? If so, then you’ll recognize who this is! We are very excited to announce that we have an exclusive interview with Emily Wiseman, who stars as Claire in the horror film! We can’t wait to talk to Emily about her role as Claire, her thoughts and experience with the film and cast members, and more. As a heads-up, this article will mention and describe the folktale that inspired the story of The Offering and will contain some content that will be very uncomfortable to some. Please be aware of this and take care of yourself if you wish to read any further! And now, onto the interview and its refresher.
For those who haven’t watched the film or did not know, The Offering came out on January 13th of this year. The Offering stars a family dealing with loss, only to find themselves haunted by an ancient demon trying to destroy them from within. This horror-thriller film was directed by Oliver Park, whom you’ll recognize as the Director for the 2015/2016 film Vicious–a film that won many awards for Best International Film in the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, including the LA Horror Competition and the Northern Frights Film Festival. Hank Hoffman was in charge of the screenplay for The Offering, but there’s more to it. The story was written in collaboration with Jonathan Yunger, and the inspiration for the story was based on the folktale of Abyzou. With the cast containing Nick Blood, Allan Corduner, Paul Kaye, and our interviewee Emily Wiseman, the film was ready for production. With the tagline “No soul is safe” and its unique take on the demonic possession trope, this movie borrows elements of Hasidic faith to construct a story that offers a throwback to early horror movies but also blends it well with the human drama that accompanies it. For those who love these elements, we recommend watching the movie!
For those curious, here’s a summary of the Abyzou that was mentioned earlier. The Abyzou is a female demon whose roots originate from Near East and Europe. The Abyzou were to blame for miscarriages and infant mortality, and the motivation for it was envy as the Abyzou were infertile. The Abyzou went by many names that ranged from Egyptian culture to Byzantine culture, and she is shown to have either fish or serpent-like features. This demon was mentioned in the Testament of Solomon, and they were often inscribed on healing amulets for magico-healing practices in Near Eastern and Graeco-Roman traditions.
Here’s a small refresher on Emily Wiseman! Emily was born in America, but spent the majority of her childhood in South Africa and soon moved to Australia. Afterward, she landed a television production job after finishing school and branched out to different agents in Australia, which eventually led to her winning a role in Winchester. From there, Emily made her film debut in the gothic-thriller film Winchester and continued to branch out toward television and film roles. For those who recognize her from Australian television, she has appeared on Channel 9 Network’s remake of Seachange as Jules Jelly, The Gloaming as Adele Gowdie, Eden as Tallulah, and the feature film Celeste as Cindy.
We start the interview by asking Emily a question about the audition process. Emily mentions that the audition process was happening right in the middle of when COVID-19 happened, and so when she received the role, she had to apply to leave the country (as she was in Australia at the time). She had to wait for the approval, and as soon as she received it, she was off on a plane to Bulgaria within 4 days and went straight into filming. When asked about her prior experience, she mentioned that it was the first time she had so many scenes just with herself and the demon. She expressed that in some of the other films she’s been in, she hasn’t necessarily worked with the technical aspects of the genre, and she considers this the first time playing Claire where she was directly working with an imaginary demon that she had to cultivate by herself. She believes that the most challenging thing was executing the technical aspects of the genre, while also making sure she was honoring the story and drama under those circumstances.
Thank you, Emily, for spending some time with us! You can follow her on her Instagram @its_emily_wiseman. Please also watch the interview below where we ask Emily even more questions about her time in The Offering, her character Claire, and a few other things about the film. While you’re there, be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to our channel for the latest news in young entertainment!