The Boogeyman Star Nearly Turned Down Stephen King Movie Over Personal Demons

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The Boogeyman star David Dastmalchian recently revealed he nearly turned down his role in the upcoming horror film over personal demons. Based on Stephen King’s 1973 short story of the same name, the actor portrays Lester Billings, a man struggling with trauma caused by the mysterious deaths of his children. Rounding out The Boogeyman cast are The Mindy Project‘s Chris Messina as Will, Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s Vivien Lyra Blair as Sawyer, and Yellowjackets‘ Sophie Thatcher as Sadie.

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Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Dastmalchian opened up about how his personal demons nearly had him decline the Lester role in The Boogeyman. During his time at DePaul University, the actor struggled with a heroin addiction that left him homeless. After five years of rehab that included a stay in a psychiatric facility, he landed a small part in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, leading to a new direction in his career with roles in both the Marvel and DC cinematic universes, Blade Runner 2049, and Nolan’s highly-anticipated film, Oppenheimer. When offered the chance to star as Lester in The Boogeyman, Dastmalchian balked at the opportunity due to his troubled past. Read his response below:

“I’m someone who nearly took my life a number of times and that’s a theme which this story plays with. So, I actually said, ‘I don’t think I can do this,’ the first couple of times they came round. Then I thought a lot about what Stephen King means to me, and I thought about this director, [Rob Savage], and what his vision meant, because we met and talked. And then I said, ‘Okay, let’s see what happens.’ And it was hard, man. It was really hard.”

What To Expect From The Boogeyman

Directed by Dashcam‘s Rob Savage, The Boogeyman follows Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair) as they attempt to return to normalcy after their mother’s unexpected death. During that time, their father, Will (Chris Messina), struggles with the tragic loss of his romantic partner and dives further into his work as a psychiatrist, inadvertently neglecting his children’s needs. When Lester arrives as a new patient, carrying a similar pain but a darker past, Will and his family come face-to-face with an unimaginable horror.

King’s original short story was first published in the magazine Cavalier before being added to his 1978 collection Night Shift. Due to the narrative’s length, The Boogeyman will likely expand on many plot elements and characters to give the adaptation enough story to sustain the duration of a feature film. Although the original source material is well-known, it is unclear how much of the story has been changed for the upcoming film.

Ahead of The Boogeyman‘s summer release, the latest King adaptation has received early praise following an early screening at CinemaCon 2023. Savage recently revealed that Stephen King also thoroughly enjoyed the movie after a private screening for the author in Maine. With The Boogeyman set to hit theaters soon, audiences do not have to wait much longer to see if it will rank among some of Stephen King’s best-adapted works.

Source: EW

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