Interview with THE DROWNSMAN himself, actor Ry Barrett

the drownsman

Last week, I reviewed a slick little horror film titled THE DROWNSMAN (click on the title to read my review). I enjoyed it a lot, and I think horror fans should definitely give it a look. Actor Ry Barrett, who plays The Drownsman, was kind enough to visit with us for a bit earlier this week.

Hi, Ry…thanks for speaking to us today. I reviewed THE DROWNSMAN last week, but some of my readers might not have seen it yet. Tell us a little bit about the character of Sebastion Donner (aka The Drownsman).
He’s a very tortured individual, and he came from a sordid past. He abducts woman and drowns them. He has this thing about putting them underwater so he can feel their heartbeats, kinda like being in a womb. There’s a lot of mystery about him, though. I don’t want to say too much because the plot revolves around his background and who he is.

Was there anything special you did to get ready to play the character?
I’m a huge fan of horror films and different genres and franchises, like Elm Street and Candyman. I went back and rewatched everything I could find. I watched all the characters I loved as a kid and made notes: how they carried themselves, how they moved, how they spoke. I used all of that to create The Drownsman onscreen and make him as real as possible.

Did you have a particular bad guy in mind that you used for inspiration when you were thinking of how to play The Drownsman?
I definitely had specifics from all of them, but I have to say three big ones stuck out: Pinhead, Candyman, and Jason Vorhees. These guys are obviously icons, and they each have individual traits that make them who they are. So, I tried to learn from them and style The Drownsman in a similar manner.

How did the production team make you look so evil in the film?
It was a three hour makeup job, which consisted of a body suit, to bulk me up, and a pair of latex-covered pants, and a cowl which went over the top which had the hair and skin on my shoulders. And a facemask on top of that. Then, I was painted all over by the Gore brothers. After that, they covered me from head to toe in goop and gore. (laughs) It felt weird, but it looks great onscreen.

The basis of THE DROWNSMAN is an intense fear of water…any fears or phobias you have?
I have had sleep terrors where I can’t move and was paralyzed, but I’ve only had that happen once in my life. Other than that, I don’t think much scares me. I can’t think of any specific phobias.

You’ve worked with director Chad Archibald on a couple of projects before, including DESPERATE SOULS and KILL. Any plans to collaborate again in the future?
I think there’s kinda no question about it. Me and Chad go way back. We consider each other best friends at this point. When it comes to filmmaking, I can say with confidence that I’m sure we will be working together again in the future.

I see on your IMDB page you have several things in the works…anything in particular you are especially proud of or super excited about?
I have two films coming out soon that I’m very excited about and proud of because the roles are so different: THE DEMOLISHER, appearing at Fantasia this summer and SAVE YOURSELF. THE DEMOLISHER is a psychological thriller, while SAVE YOURSELF is straight up horror.

And lastly, any final thoughts on The Drownsman?
I’m just super excited about the film, and I can’t wait to get it out there for people to see.

Ry, thank you so much for your time.

THE DROWNSMAN is available now in a variety of formats, so check it out!


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