“Shut In” lead Rainey Qualley isn’t a mom yet, she’s not a recovering meth addict, and she’s never been locked inside a pantry while fearing for the safety of her children. But despite the differences between her and the main character in Daily Wire’s new thriller, “Shut In,” Qualley did reveal at least one thing she has in common with the character.
“I think something that is a common thread between me and Jessica, is that I think there’s a sense of vulnerability that we both share,” Qualley said during an interview on the set of “Shut In.”
“I was drawn to the hopefulness in her character, even though she’s in recovery. She’s obviously had a lot of trauma and you know, everybody has trauma.”
Qualley has acting credits already including appearances in big-name projects such as the AMC series “Mad Men” and a cameo in the film “Ocean’s 8.” As the daughter of actress Andie MacDowell and sister of “Maid” star and Golden Globe nominee Margaret Qualley, it’s clear that performing is in her blood.
This is Qualley’s first starring role. After putting her heart into portraying Jessica with such raw honesty, it’s unlikely to be her last.
“I think throughout the story, [Jessica] obviously deals with so much and she comes out stronger rather than being defeated by this horrible series of events,” Qualley said of the “Shut In” heroine.
“At the beginning of the story, she’s trying to escape the life that she has. But maybe she wouldn’t have been successful. And then through everything that happens in the story, you’re left feeling like she’s capable and she’s a much better mom. She’s a stronger person, having dealt with it.”
The film has been described as a “harrowing redemption journey” that goes to very dark places but ultimately ends with the victory of goodness. “Shut In” was in danger of being edited into a watered-down version of what it became, with the grippingly evil character of Sammy (Vincent Gallo) becoming a more palatable, less controversial figure. Then the script was rescued from New Line Cinema and brought to The Daily Wire, where it became the gritty, raw testimony to the power of a mother’s love in the face of danger.
During the on-set interview, Qualley also discussed one of her favorite scenes in the movie, the moment her character Jessica must find courage she never knew she had.
“The first major big scene that we did was with Jake (Horowitz) and Vincent and I, when they first come in and [Jake’s character Robby] throws me in [in the pantry] and that’s been one of my favorite scenes. It was pretty intense.”
The majority of the action of “Shut In” took place inside the pantry, which presented its own kind of challenges. But it also helps audiences experience what Jessica is feeling, a feeling of helplessness and being trapped, plus wanting nothing more than to protect her children. Qualley harnesses that emotion perfectly and delivers a heart-stopping performance that takes hold and doesn’t let go until the stunning conclusion.
“Shut In,” premieres at 9 pm E.T. on Thursday, February 10, 2022. Limited to viewers in the United States, the 90-minute thriller will be streamed in its totality on the Daily Wire YouTube channel. Following the premiere, it will be available exclusively to Daily Wire members on DailyWire.com.
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