EXCLUSIVE: ESCAPE ROOM Star Deborah Ann Woll Talks About One Of Her Most Badass Roles To Date - SPOILERS

<font color="red">EXCLUSIVE:</font> ESCAPE ROOM Star Deborah Ann Woll Talks About One Of Her Most Badass Roles To Date - <font color=red>SPOILERS</font>

Adam Robitel's psychological horror hit, Escape Room hits Blu-ray today and ahead of its release, Sony Pictures granted me an exclusive opportunity to sit down with star Deborah Ann Woll!

Sony's Escape Room was one of the first releases of the year and was also one of this year's first hits, grossing over $154.3 million on a modest $9 million production budget, which was more than good enough for the studio to begin development on a sequel.

Ahead of the Adam Robitel-directed film's arrival on Blu-ray today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment granted me an exclusive opportunity to sit down with star Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil; The Punisher) and chat about arguably one of her most badass roles to date.

We also talked about the shocking cancelations of her two hit Marvel series, but you'll have to check back in later today for that story. 
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ROHAN: The movie goes from 0 to 60 pretty quickly, as soon as everyone's in that first room, it's just game on.

What do you think it is about escape rooms that people all over the world find so endearing?

DEBORAH ANN WOLL: Well, I think, for one, we live in a world where there are a lot of screens and things like that and we don't often, especially once we leave school, we don't often challenge our brains to solve puzzles and use logic to work things out, so I love combining those two things here.

You're going to be face-to-face with other individuals, in a physical setting, and you're going to have to use your brain and have to figure this out and solve these puzzles. I mean I'm a games and puzzle person and that's a very exciting idea, so I think combining all those elements into one setting, in an escape room, is a very hot idea right now. 

ROHAN: Before filming, did you and the cast get together and visit an escape room just to prepare for the shoot?

DEBORAH: We tried, but this business moves so fast. First, you're cast and then a week later you're flying out and then another week later, you're shooting. So, we did try, but with our schedules, we weren't able to make anything happen, as a cast. 

Interestingly, Nik Dodani, who played Danny Khan, the escape room expert, he coincidentally was the person who had done the most escape rooms out of us, so he was already set for his role. It was kind of fun to just get to it, meet everybody and then 'here we go.'

ROHAN: When developing your character, Amanda, who is suffering from PTSD, did you draw any inspiration from your time on The Punisher, which also had several characters with PTSD or did you look elsewhere? 

DEBORAH: I think, probably on a gut level, I did. I had some contacts from that show, people that I could speak to while researching, so I did get to speak to some people in person.

I also found that because I was asking questions and curious about things that were traumatic for people that sometimes they were reticent or I felt badly that I was dredging stuff up, so I ended up actually going online and finding some chatrooms for veterans and others who were experts on post-traumatic stress and I found that everyone there was remarkably open and sharing and maybe because it was anonymous they felt that they could share more than they would feel comfortable sharing face-to-face. 

That was what ended up being a fantastic resource, to really hear people's stories and start to empathize and take into my own body. It was important to me that that part of the story feel authentic and the main thing that I learned from all of that was post-traumatic stress can exhibit as diversely as the people who experience it. The commonalities, everyone had really specific different triggers, specific different demonstrations of anxiety and stress.

So, as long as I was really true to Amanda's experience, whatever happened to me in that moment was honest. I was sort of happy to see that it could be organic. 

ROHAN: I thought you did a really excellent job. I know veterans with PTSD and that scene, where you're in the aftermath of the IED blast, feels very authentic and you do a great job of conveying your character's trauma.

DEBORAH: I appreciate that so much. It was hard and I really wanted to go there and see what my body did, what my voice did rather than control it. Just see what happened when I let myself go.

ROHAN: It was a very different character from Karen Page.

Out of the three rooms you got to do, which was the most enjoyable to film and which was the most difficult? I'd imagine the billiards room was pretty difficult with your death scene and all.

DEBORAH: The billiards room was my favorite, mainly because it was kind of a hero set for me and I got to run around and do all of these fun physical stunts and even for the character, I got to feel like a hero character and that's a rewarding feeling and by then, the cast and everyone had really bonded. It was definitely a very enjoyable experience, interms of relationships and friendships that I'd made during that last week.

The hardest room was the ice room. It had a lot of little parts, we couldn't really shoot it in sequence because everything had to come and go and then, just physically, there was literally smoke that they pumped in. They couldn't make it actually cold because you'd run into a lot of other problems with that, but the smoke was - it's safe - but after two weeks of being in there, just inhaling smoke, I mean all of us just had sinus infections. We were pretty ready to get out of there. 

ROHAN: So, I'd say your character was definitely the resident badass of the group and you make that big sacrifice in the billiards room, solidifying your place as a hero. Did you see her decision as her knowing that there was no chance of survival or did you see it as her making the decision to sacrifice herself so that the others could live.

DEBORAH: We talked a lot about this and ultimately, Adam told me to go with whatever I thought would be the most impactful for myself and for the story. I didn't want it to be giving up or resignation. Amanda's not that type of character, so I think every step of the way, it was her fighting to get as many people out of that room as possible. That includes herself, so I don't think it was right from the beginning.

The goal was to get everyone out or at least as many people as possible, but once I'm hanging from that cord and there's just no way I'm going to be able to reach that stick, I think something comes over her and the idea of acceptance, not giving up, not resignation, but saying okay, I did everything that I could. You all are going to be safe. I'm okay and you're going to be okay and Taylor and I really fought for that moment.

We wanted that last moment to be about these two women who bonded, who meant something to one another, kind of saying goodbye, but also taking care of one another. I didn't want her to be upset and not make it because of my being gone. I wanted her to know that she was tough enough to keep going, so we really wanted to play that last moment and when that cord finally breaks, Amanda knows that she's a hero, she knows that she saved their lives. It's scary and you don't want to go out that way, but it's okay. 
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Check back in later for more from Woll as she shares her thoughts on the shocking cancelations of Daredevil and The Punisher


Escape Room is a psychological thriller about six strangers who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to find the clues or die.


Bumblebee features:
Director: Adam Robitel
Taylor Russell as Zoey Davis
Logan Miller as Ben Miller
Deborah Ann Woll as Amanda Harper
Tyler Labine as Mike Nolan
Jay Ellis as Jason Walker
Nik Dodani as Danny Khan
Kenneth Fok as Detective Li
Yorick van Wageningen as The Gamemaster


Escape Room is now available on Blu-ray and Digital HD!
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