[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the season finale of The Haunting of Bly Manor, “The Beast in the Jungle.”]
How good is Benjamin Evan Ainsworth in The Haunting of Bly Manor? Not only does he play a kid struggling with the loss of his parents, but he’s also playing someone who’s often possessed by a ghost, Oliver Jackson-Cohen’s Peter Quint. What might have begun as a form of possession by consent, ultimately turns into Peter tucking Miles away in memories so that he can take control as often as he’d like. So not only is Ainsworth playing Miles in Bly Manor, but he’s also playing Peter Quint at points, too.
With The Haunting of Bly Manor now available to watch on Netflix, Jackson-Cohen took the time to join us for an episode of Collider Connected which included a spoiler-heavy conversation about Bly. During that portion of the interview, Jackson-Cohen detailed how he and Ainsworth went about nailing the portions of the show when Miles is possessed by Peter. Here’s what he said:
“We right from the beginning had a discussion and I asked Ben, I said, ‘Do you want us to sit down and talk about it?’ And he said yes. Before we even started filming, [we] talked about mannerisms. And it’s quite a hard thing, you know, specifically with what Peter does and asking a kid to do that. He’s just an incredible actor and was incredibly receptive. But what would happen [is] that we would be handed these specific scripts that were all the scenes where Miles is possessed, and so I would sit down with Ben and I would read the Miles lines as Peter, and then he would sort of copy what I did. And then we would go to set and I would come to set on the days when it was those scenes, and I would sort of stand just off camera. So it became a sort of collaboration between his ideas and my ideas. I think when you’re that age, which is why it’s kind of so incredible working with kids of that age, is that their imaginations are so great, and I mean great as in the size of them. He was incredibly receptive and I think he does such a phenomenal job with it.”
The Haunting of Bly Manor is now available to watch on Netflix. If you’re looking for even more Bly Manor talk, watch our newest episode of Ladies Night with Hannah Grose herself, T’Nia Miller. Also, be sure to keep an eye out because our full Collider Connected with Oliver Jackson-Cohen drops on Sunday, October 11.