Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid Of The Dark? Cast And EP Interview At NYCC

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Can you believe that Halloween is tomorrow!? As a kid I loved going Trick or Treating. Now as an adult, I love gathering with my friends for drinks and scary stories.

With the reboot of the 90’s series, we can dig into our kids candy late at night and relive the nostalgia on Nickelodeon. At this years New York Comic Con I sat down with two of the stars of the retooled series, Miya Cech as Akiko and Jeremy Ray Taylor as Graham Raimi. And Executive Producer Matt Kaplan.

Are any of you literally afraid of the dark?

Miya Cech: I used to be.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: I think everyone is a little afraid of the dark. Cause you know the dark is the unknown. So everybody is a little afraid of the unknown.

Miya Cech: I used to be really afraid of the dark where when I went to bed, I wouldn’t turn my lights off.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: I used to keep Christmas lights in my room during Christmas and convince my Mom that I shouldn’t take them down and I would just keep them on all the time. I didn’t care if it was Halloween or Thanksgiving, I just kept it on.

Miya Cech: That’s not too bad. That’s a little less extreme than mine.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: Right, but it was all around my room.

Miya Cech: I think that would be really cool though to have a bunch of lights around your room.

Matt Kaplan: And you would just sleep with the lights on?

Jeremy Ray Taylor: Yeah. I was terrified.

Matt Kaplan: Fair enough.

Since the original has a really big following how does it feel to be in this version for a new generation?

Jeremy Ray Taylor: It’s a little surreal. It’s a little nerve wrecking rebooting something that has such a cult following already you want to hit their expectations and you don’t want to let them down. That’s a lot of pressure. But I think we did a pretty successful job at keeping the same campy feel and keeping the chemistry between the Midnight Society, but also making it our own thing. So it’s a little surreal and nerve wrecking but I think its awesome being apart of the Midnight Society and being a part of this group was really cool.

Miya Cech: Yeah it’s really an honor

Were there any scenes that you filmed that you were actually a little afraid of doing?

Miya Cech: Yes. There were two. I’m not going to spoil too much, but there was one in the carnival that you will see in the trailers where I’m running from these really big clowns who are on stilts. I don’t like clowns, that was one of them. And then there is one in episode two where I am in the bathroom which is quite spooky. But I’m not going to say anything, you’ll just have to watch it.

So you didn’t watch the movie IT?

Miya Cech: I did. I don’t know why I decided that was a good idea. I watched it and I thought ‘Aw Jeremy is so cute!’ And then I thought Pennywise, not so much. Not the most okay clown that I’ve seen. It was quite terrifying.

So since this has a paranormal feel to it, do any of you believe in the paranormal or strange?

Jeremy Ray Taylor: I believe in demons. I don’t believe in ghosts.

Miya Cech: I believe in things just happening. I believe in paranormal things. There are some where I’m like Eh and then there are some where I say yes I believe in.

Have you ever had any experience to believe?

Miya Cech: There have been some. Maybe this is just because my closet door was broken, but in my bed when I’m laying down I can see my closet from where I’m sitting and every night it would do this weird thing where it would be closed shut. Maybe it’s just because I put so much stuff in there, but one of the doors would slowly creek open and then I would shut it.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: Paranormal!

Miya Cech: Okay! I know what you’re thinking ‘What the heck!’ that doesn’t seem paranormal, but it would creek open every time I shut it. And then in the morning I’d wake up and both doors would be open, which I don’t like that!

Jeremy Ray Taylor: My mom worked at a psychiatric unit so I used to see crazy things. Peoples voice changing and eyes rolling backwards.

Miya Cech: Uhh okay let’s not talk about that please! The scariest thing I’ve seen was filming in an insane asylum. There was a room downstairs that had scratches in the walls, you could see the inside of the walls. Clothes thrown everywhere. There was a piano in it and half of the ceiling light was down on the floor.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: And there was a door that opened!

Miya Cech: He (Jeremy) cannot take me seriously on this! But it wasn’t set decoration, it was just how it was. Me and my cast just shut the door and ran away as fast as we possibly could.

Are there any storylines from the original popping up in this one? Or are they all original?

Matt Kaplan: I think it’s less about the storylines and more about us wanting to tell a deeper version of the Midnight Society and we bring back some of the iconic characters from the original show.

So there will be little winks to the original?

Matt Kaplan: Yeah, totally.

Are there any scenes that were physically demanding on you that you can talk about?

Miya Cech: Yes. There were 2. They tie together and there’s a reason for that. In my first introduction scene you will see me jump off a table. I was wearing these really tall shoes and when I jumped off of it, I rolled my ankle and I fell. I ended up spraining my ankle, which I didn’t know. I just thought ‘Oh it’s fine I just rolled my ankle and fell, how embarrassing’ I ended up having to wear a brace for the entire carnival and I had to run in the carnival from the clowns and that was very demanding.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: The director liked very random jumping moments. There were random times where people would run across tables, vault a sidewalk or something.

Miya Cech: There was one where Sam’s character was walking on the table for no reason!

Jeremy Ray Taylor: There’s a lot of random walking on tables in the show.

Miya Cech: Which I think is really cool but I feel like it was a lot.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: It’s cinematically beautiful, we didn’t understand it at the time.

Miya Cech: It looks so cool, but it was very confusing.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: It looked cool at the time.

So you all have already seen the finished product?

Jeremy Ray Taylor: We’ve seen most of it, yes.

Miya Cech: Yes

Jeremy Ray Taylor: We’re so excited.

Matt Kaplan: I’ve seen all of it.

Jeremy Ray Taylor & Miya Cech: Well of course you’ve seen all of it!

Since the original was in the 90’s, does newer technology come in to play in this one?

Jeremy Ray Taylor: It does! There’s actually a big joke about it, I’m not allowed to tell it because if I tell anything about it, it’s a giant spoiler. But I think that’s one of the reasons the original was such a cult classic is because it was so ahead of it’s time with the CGI and how scary it was. But there is some modern nods to kids are spoiled these days.

In between filming what did you all do to bond on set? Did you have a lot of fun?

Jeremy Ray Taylor: So much fun.

Miya Cech: We hung out so much.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: We spent the summer in Vancouver and Vancouver is a beautiful place. It has amazing food so we just ate all the time.

Miya Cech: Yeah we ate all the time and also when we would finish filming night shoots which would finish pretty late. We would go down to the gym for like an hour.

Matt Kaplan: You guys would go to the gym after set!? That is dedication!

Miya Cech: We would get to the apartment about 1. We would all go get ready in our rooms and then go to the gym for like an hour just messing around.

At 1 AM!!??

Miya Cech: Yeah. Cause we finish shooting pretty late but I feel like all those crazy moments are what brought us closer together in the end.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: We bonded over eating and working out.

Miya Cech: Sometimes we didn’t even workout though. Sometimes we’d just sit there.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: We’ll just say for the record we did rapid gains. It was fun and stress relieving.

Miya Cech: And all those crazy moments we were able to talk about what happened on set.

Jeremy Ray Taylor: We were having deep moments while lifting. We bonded a lot.

Matt Kaplan: I didn’t get invited to these things!

Why did you all leave people out!?

Jeremy Ray Taylor: I apologize. We’ll invite you to the gym next time.

Miya Cech: You want to come to the gym at 1 AM with us!!??

Matt Kaplan: I’m sleeping at that hour.

So I also run a book site, do you all have any favorite books?

Jeremy Ray Taylor: A Separate Piece is my favorite book.

Miya Cech: I like romance books and fantasy books.

Matt Kaplan: I make a lot of YA content. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, the book I’m involved in. We’re doing all three of them. Well doing two of them now.

I’ve read all the books but haven’t checked out the movie yet

Matt Kaplan: Check it out. The next one comes out on Valentine’s Day.

Miya Cech: The first one is really cool

Let me know what you think!

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