Earlier this week, we interviewed Timothy Granaderos and Ryan Hansen, the male leads of Shudder’s sharp dark horror/comedy, Who Invited Them! We actually first caught the movie back at 2022’s Overlook Film Festival, where it immediately shot up as one of the most entertaining movies we saw all year. Don’t miss our deep dive into the crazy twists and turns, major spoiler talk, and character motivations as we unpack Who Invited Them!
After moving into their stunning new house and careful to remember that “a home is only as good as the friends who fill it,” Adam (Ryan Hansen, Friday the 13th, Veronica Mars) and Margo (Melissa Tang, A Good Day to Die Hard, The Kominsky Method) throw a massive housewarming party. It is so huge, in fact, that who can possibly keep track of the guest list? They realize neither of them know the random young couple that came to the “super curated gathering,” and weirdly enough they are last to linger inside the home. Introducing themselves as the neighbors, this sexy duo almost immediately seem to be playing mind games. The mysterious male with the perfect cheekbone structure is Tom (Timothy Granaderos, Monty in 13 Reasons Why, Hulu’s Plan B), and his alluring blonde girlfriend is Sasha (Perry Mattfeld, In the Dark, Shameless). But who invited them? Read on for our exclusive interview with Timothy and Ryan!
We’re so excited for more people to see Who Invited Them now that it’s coming to Shudder! For our first question, we were wondering what pulled you into Duncan Birmingham’s orbit, and what was it like filming on location in L.A. post-Covid?
TIMOTHY GRANADEROS: I think this script kind of just came to me through my reps. At that time, Duncan and I didn’t really know each other. But we set up a Zoom meeting like this, and kind of chatted about the script. The rest is history.
RYAN HANSEN: Yeah, mine’s very similar. I kind of knew of Duncan because he was doing the Marc Maron show, and all that stuff. I was eager to work with him, because I’m a fan of Maron, the IFC show. Yeah, I’ve seen a few episodes. I met with Duncan over Zoom. It’s hard not to fall in love with that guy. He’s super sweet, and he had a beautiful vision for this movie. It looked like a lot of fun, and it shot in LA, so sign me up!
TIM: We shot in Burbank, and as you see in the film, it’s all one location, basically. It was like a two week long slumber party, kinda!
RYAN: It got very weird. In the movie, and off camera. We were all kind of zombies. Maybe it brought out good performances? I don’t know. We were very silly the whole time, that’s for sure.
In Who Invited Them, Adam absolutely hates anyone “touching his wax.” What are your thoughts on vinyl vs. digital—do you have a music collection of your own, and who are some of your favorite artists?
RYAN: We have a couple record players in the house. My daughters have one, and we have one in our room. We love vinyl so much. I don’t have a beautiful setup like in the movie, but I spin some wax. I spin Polo & Pan, and The Parcels, and the list goes on, but those are my favorites right now. The Sheepdogs… How about you, Tim?
TIM: Well, I just found this country singer named Zach Bryan. So just ordered that. Incubus, “Make Yourself.” You know, big time Incubus fan!
RYAN: Shout out to Brandon Boyd!
How do you think Sasha and Tom are so good at blending into the background when they have such explosive personalities?
TIM: I think that’s part of their charm and charisma, is that they can be thrown into any social setting, and kind of just be a party crasher in a way that’s like not too stand out-ish. But they’re chameleons, right? They are people that I would want to party with.
From here on out, you can feel free to talk spoilers. The conversations felt very organic and natural, especially since the majority of Who Invited Them hinges on this vibe between the two “couples.” I spoke with Perry last week, who mentioned that there was a lot of improv on set. Can you elaborate on the process?
TIM: Well, I mean, you’re when you’re working with Ryan Hansen, you really never know what’s gonna come out of his mouth. You gotta be on your toes, which is a good thing—I think it was very natural, and fun, and seamless. Honestly, our conversations from the director’s chair off-camera to being on-camera were almost seamless, even though we were going from being ourselves to the characters. It was fun to improv and play.
RYAN: You know, when you do a smaller budget movie like this, where there’s no trailers, really… there were, kind of far away. We’re all just kind of camping out together the whole time. So it really bonds everybody, especially those late nights at four in the morning, or whatever. So we all became really close really fast. It’s basically just the four of us for most of it. So it really creates this beautiful, natural vibe, which allows you to improv because you’re comfortable with everybody. We would just throw out little zingers, and weird improv-y things through the shoot, and a lot of it worked. Most of it didn’t work.
TIM: Duncan really facilitated an environment for us to play and be free, which was great. Then we’d have to go back to the lines at some point.
So this one is for Tim. From explosively channeling your emotions as Monty in 13 Reasons Why (one of our favorite shows, actually) to now playing a murderous psychopathic twin—why do you think you are so drawn to these morally complex, deeply flawed characters?
TIM: That’s a good question that I should probably go to a therapist for. But like you said, they’re just complex. There’s so many layers to them, right? If you play them, it’s obviously easy to lean into like the craziness, but there’s got to be a reason for the craziness. I think for Monty and his character, it’s like, they both have what they give you on the surface, but there’s so much going on beneath that. It was fun. It’s definitely similar in some ways, but vastly different. So super fun. My mom’s waiting for me to play a nice guy.
Where Sasha encourages Margo’s darker side, Tom schmoozes Adam to stroke his ego. What about Tom do you think think makes Adam so obsessed with matching his energy?
TIM: Tom, is this younger, far more handsome fellow. I think when you reach a certain age, you kind of look back and envy the youth a little bit—the freedom! Not necessarily being young, but the freedom of being that age. Tom claims to be successful and all these things, and he dresses a certain way. Adam’s drawn to everything that Tom wants him to be drawn into.
RYAN: Adam looks at this young couple who’s hot for each other and they’re so cool. Adam wants that, and he think that’s awesome. Even though they were creepy at first, but then they’re like, ‘Whoah, these guys are cool. I want to be like them, I’ll do whatever!’
What was your first reaction when you read the big twist in the script?
RYAN: I was all “WHAT?!”
TIM: I think it all came together in a really fun way. I’m excited to see if people watching can put it together. Once you’re on board, it’s fun watching it from that angle, too. It’s fun to play with Perry—it was like our little secret, until it wasn’t.
The end teases a sibling manhunt, then the record doesn’t skip, and a glass of alcohol seems to indicate Sasha and Tom could be lurking nearby. We asked Perry this same question, and her answer was promising. Any hopes of a Who Invited Them 2? Would you want to be involved?
RYAN: Heck yeah! But with trailers this time. Working with Tim, Perry, and Melissa… We just had so much fun. Duncan’s such a great director, but a good vibe on set and stuff. We just had a blast. How can we not want to get together again and do this?
TIM: Yeah, I agree. It was so much fun. I think we were all bummed when we didn’t get to hang out anymore. So yeah, I’d go back.
That whole weird couples sex thing was pretty intense, with Tom making that comment about Adam wanting to be “the only meat in the sandwich.” Do you think if Adam or Margo actually went with it, that Tom and Sasha actually would have followed through?
TIM: Oh, they would follow through for sure. It’s all a game. How far would they go? I think if one was in, the other naturally would follow. So we’re talking about sex, right? All right. Cool.
Sasha and Tom discover retro board games at Adam and Margo’s house—what are some of your favorite board games?
RYAN: Catan, hands down. Oh, it’s the best it’s so fun. You got to try it. I mean it’s a long game but worth it.
TIM: I’m more like I’m more like board game-adjacent. I actually bought Settlers of Catan, and it’s still wrapped in plastic here so I’ll play anything but I’m not like I’m not the one hosting the game night.
RYAN: If you have it in the box and you’ve never played, forget it. You’ve got to play with someone who’s played before, or else it’s gonna take forever.
Between Ryan’s role in Friday the 13th and Tim’s role in Untitled Horror Movie, you are both no strangers to the world of horror. What would be a dream genre director or co-star you’d love to work with on a future project?
RYAN: What’s that guy’s name? You know? The Pan’s Labyrinth dude?
TIM: Guillermo del Toro!
RYAN: Yeah, one of those! It’s so cool—he creates these beautiful fantasy/horror type movies. I think that would just be incredible.
TIM: Ah, well, I agree. That’s what I was gonna say dude, shit.
Before we close out, do you have any projects, current or upcoming, that you would like to put on everyone’s radar?
RYAN: Party Down season three! I am so excited about that. I got to shoot that right after we did this. I’m very excited about that. I don’t know when it comes out. But that’s coming out!
TIM: I actually did another horror film. Yeah, hopefully you guys bring me back for it! It’s called Devil’s Workshop. Lionsgate film, shot very indie style, but that’s hopefully coming out sometime in the very near future. We just don’t have exact dates or anything. With Radha Mitchell and Emile Hirsch! Super fun.
Catching up with Timothy and Ryan was one of the highlights of our week, and provided some major laughs that were seriously lacking in our lives. We are so excited to see where they go from here! Who Invited Them is now streaming exclusively on Shudder!
We reviewed the film as well back at 2022’s Outlook Film Festival.