‘Overlord’: Pilou Asbæk & Julius Avery on the Practical Effects Behind the Mutant Nazis

     November 7, 2018

J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot is back in theaters this weekend with their latest genre mashup, Overlord, the World War II action-horror that pits a troupe of US soldiers behind enemy lines against mutant zombies. Director Julius Avery (who’s been tapped to direct the new Flash Gordon movie since the taping of this interview) makes an impressive debut in the realm of big budget action with a series of killer set pieces kicked off by a spectacular aerial combat sequence. But when it comes time for the monster action, it’s Game of Thrones actor Pilou Asbæk who takes center stage as a grotesque, villainous Nazi.

Following the film’s world premiere at Fantastic Fest, I sat down with the filmmaker and actor to discuss their bonkers war horror and pulling off some of the film’s technical elements. Avery discussed the challenges the film’s big opening aerial sequence and the importance of keeping the effects primarily practical. Asbæk also had some thoughts on the practical effects — the actor wears extensive prosthetics on his face throughout the film — and talked about adding an extra-evil Nazi to the ranks of his villainous roles. Check out what they had to say in the player above, and see a list of what we discussed in the index below.


Image via Paramount Pictures

Julius Avery and Pilou Asbæk:

  • What was the process of planning and executing the big aerial combat scene?
  • Asbæk talks about playing his most evil villain yet.
  • How did they create the gruesome effects for Asbæk’s character?
  • Avery discusses the importance of having practical effects on set whenever possible.
  • Asbæk discusses the challenges of acting under extensive prosthetics.

Overlord arrives in theaters nationwide on November 9. Here’s the official synopsis:

“With only hours until D-Day, a team of American paratroopers drop into Nazi-occupied France to carry out a mission that’s crucial to the invasion’s success. Tasked with destroying a radio transmitter atop a fortified church, the desperate soldiers join forces with a young French villager to penetrate the walls and take down the tower. But, in a mysterious Nazi lab beneath the church, the outnumbered G.I.s come face-to-face with enemies unlike any the world has ever seen. From producer J.J. Abrams, Overlord is a thrilling, pulse-pounding action adventure with a twist.”

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