Tristan Riggs took some time out of his schedule to talk about his career and his independent film The Seventh Day which will be opening at select theaters and arriving On Demand March 26. Always very interested in hearing what it is like on the set of a horror film, even if we may be too scared to watch them.
Don’t let his sweet face fool you! Texas native, Tristan Riggs, has proven that he can scare an audience of all ages. He continues his streak of starring in horror projects with his latest role in the upcoming terrifying exorcism film, “The Seventh Day”, starring opposite Guy Pearce and Stephen Lang. When Tristan isn’t scaring audiences in horror films he enjoys helping to tend to chickens, longhorns and donkeys at his neighborhood farm in Austin. He loves to skateboard and can often be found filming his latest tricks in skate parks all over town.
BSCKids: Tristan, tell us a little bit about your role on “The Seventh Day” and how you got it.
Tristan Riggs: The character I play is Nicholas Miller who is a possessed boy. Nicholas is involved in an exorcism that does not go very well which ends up kind of scaring Father Peter (Guy Pearce) for the rest of his life. I got this role by auditioning through my agent. I prepared for the role with my coach and by acting out the scene physically because Nicholas is chained to a bed and had many pages of dialogue. This helped me relate to the character more and be able to get the lines and actions and what the character is feeling down. Then I taped the audition and sent it to casting. After I sent in my audition, I received a response quickly from production that they were interested in me for the role. Sometimes you book a role quickly and sometimes it takes a long time with many call backs and steps.
Do you ever find yourself being scared while filming a horror film?
No, not really. In this one, I am the person that is scaring others because my character is possessed. In previous horror films I was in, I was reacting to the crew and the camera, not the scary things. In Blood Fest the killer and I were not even on set at the same time, but we are together in the scene. In addition, they add lighting, scary music, and other things later after you shoot the scene to make it scarier.
Any funny behind the scenes things happen while filming?
I remember that they used a small child mannequin for the special burn stunts so me and my stunt double Kamryn Poole and the mannequin were all in our matching firetruck pajamas on set. Also, the only mannequin they could find did not have a face.
Who has taught you the most in your acting career?
My manager, Garrett Lindsay, at The ESI Network has taught me a ton. He has helped me grow as an actor. He has had me explore my space, become more realistic and really create the characters and the world around them when I audition. My acting coaches too like Marcie Smolin from The Actors Circle and others.
What is your favorite horror film (that you haven’t been a part of)
My favorite horror film that I have not been apart of is IT. It is my favorite because of the set design and settings are very cool. Specifically, I like the cave because it is one of my favorite sets. The actors are also very good and create specific characters that you get to know. I also enjoy the stunts and special effects including levitation.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
I have travelled all over the world and have been to 9 countries outside the US so far. Together with my parents I have had exciting adventures in Japan, Spain, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, England, and the Czech Republic. Some of my favorite adventures include trying frog legs and going up in the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Staying in a Film Director’s residence in the famous Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain. Going to the Imperial Palace and Sky Circus in Tokyo, Japan. In Nara and Kyoto, Japan I had animal experiences including bowing deer and hanging out with monkeys. I stayed at Schloss Sommersdorf, a 14th century haunted castle with a crypt in Germany, climbed the Prague Castle tower in the Czech Republic, went kayaking and snorkeling in Barcelona, Spain and so much more. I also like going to international theme parks and have been to Disney Sea Japan and Lego Land London. Although these all were amazing experiences, my favorite experience has been Rodelbahning (summer sledding) in the Alps and Black Forest in Germany. It is like a rollercoaster cart through the mountains that you control. So fun!!
What scares you?
The unknown really scares me. The first time I tried dropping into a bowl on my skateboard I was terrified, but once I knew I was able to do it consistently I was not scared anymore. To do it the first time I hesitated over 20 minutes, but my friend was really hyping me up, so I did it.
Do you have a channel for your skateboard tricks? What is your favorite skate park?
You can see some of my skateboard tricks on Instagram at @tristanriggsofficial. My favorite skatepark is Venice Skate Park in Los Angeles, California . It is my favorite because it is on the beach and there are so many different bowls. Also, there are semi-pro and pro skaters there that are so fun to watch! I want to go back soon since I have learned new tricks since I last visited.
Anything else you have coming up that you want to talk about?
During the pandemic I worked on a couple of local feature films. I have been busy auditioning over the last several months but nothing I can announce yet.
Thanks to Tristan for taking the time out to talk to us!