One of the many films to play at this year’s SXSW was Them That Follow, the feature directorial debut of Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage. The extremely well-considered film focuses on a snake handling church deep in Appalachia, led by a pastor played by Walton Goggins. If you’re not aware, some people believe that by handling extremely poisonous snakes they prove themselves before God. Unlike others films that might portray people that believe in religious extremism with contempt, one of the many things I dug about the way Poulton and Savage told their story is the film doesn’t judge the religious beliefs of its characters. Them That Follow also stars Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Thomas Mann, and Lewis Pullman.
Shortly after seeing the film I sat down with Thomas Mann, Alice Englert, Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage. They talked about working with Walton Goggins and how he helped set the tone for the film, how the film doesn’t judge its characters, what drew the actors to the project, the film’s themes, how the editing process shaped the film, memorable moments from filming, and more.
Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about and the official synopsis.
Finally, I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, A-List Communications. At the Supper Suite venue in Austin, libations were flowing courtesy of El Tesoro Tequila, Blue Moon Belgian White, and Hint Water. Without these fine folks, we wouldn’t be able to share conversations about movies like Them That Follow with all of you, so another big thank you to our partners for their support.
Thomas Mann, Alice Englert, Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage:
- They talk about how the film doesn’t judge the religious beliefs of its characters.
- What drew the actors to the project?
- Working with Walton Goggins and how he helped set the tone for the film.
- Talk about the film’s themes.
- How the editing process helped shape the movie.
Memorable moments from filming. Talk about working with snakes on set.
- Random questions. What TV show would they like to guest star on or write and direct? Favorite sci-fi or fantasy film? What do they collect?
Here’s the Them That Follow synopsis:
Snake handlers are spiritual renegades belonging to an obscure, but growing, sect of American Pentecostalism: part of a century-old tradition of worshipping with venomous snakes during church services. Seeing themselves as the vanguards of salvation in a morally bankrupt world, these fundamentalists put their lives on the line — each and every week — to prove themselves before God. “Them That Follow” is a dramatic thriller that explores this dangerous and unseen way of life, deep in the wilds of Appalachia, telling the story of a pastor’s daughter who holds a secret that threatens to tear her father’s church apart.