Scottish actor Thomas Doherty (HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot) stars as Walter, the lord of the manor holding court over the wedding events in Columbia Pictures’ terrifying horror-thriller The Invitation (now showing in Philippine cinemas).
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In the film, after the death of her mother and having no other known relatives, Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) takes a DNA test…and discovers a long-lost cousin she never knew she had. Invited by her newfound family to a lavish wedding in the English countryside, she’s at first seduced by the sexy aristocrat host but is soon thrust into a nightmare of survival as she uncovers twisted secrets in her family’s history and the disturbing intentions behind their generosity.
“At first he seems like a charming, sweet man who doesn’t fit the aesthetic of what Evie’s just been brought into,” says Doherty of his character. “When he and Evie first meet, there’s a lot of chemistry – a spark. And as that relationship evolves, it intensifies pretty quickly. It seems that because he doesn’t fit into this very conservative world and he sees her as a strong, independent woman from New York, and for that reason, he wants her to stay, to run away with him. Of course, he has his own agenda.”
Playing a character who holds those secrets was a process for Doherty. “To try to embody the character, the best thing to do is to have the weight and heaviness in my eyes. Everything comes from that,” he says. “Obviously, there’s a confidence and a knowingness. It was useful to me to know the character always has a knowing thought at the back of his head.”
“Thomas has that X factor,” says director Jessica M. Thompson. “You can’t not watch him. Part of it is the way he looks – he has these incredible features, so sharp and defined. But the way he commands the space and handles himself… he brings a lot of layers to the role. It’s almost like he’s playing two characters – the charming romantic Lord of the Manor, our leading man… and then he reveals who he really is. That could have been difficult to balance, but Thomas commands the space and makes it look easy.”
Doherty stars in the highly anticipated reboot of Gossip Girl for HBOMax, which premiered in 2021 as HBO Max’s most-watched original series over launch weekend. It has been renewed for a second season. He was previously seen in Hulu’s High Fidelity opposite Zoe Kravitz. He is a graduate of The MGA Academy of the Performing Arts who at the age of 27 has gained a huge following from his starring role as Harry Hook in Disney’s hit franchise Descendants, which garnered nearly 21 million viewers in the most sought after demographic. Doherty has amassed over 4 million social media followers. He can also be seen in HBO’s Catherine the Great opposite Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke.
In Philippine cinemas August 24, The Invitation is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Connect with the hashtag #InvitationMovie