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From Pizza Cravings to Alien Invasions: Michael Sarnoski Talks A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE

Sarnoski gives Lupita direction
Lupita Nyong'o as "Samira" and Director Michael Sarnoski in A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE | Paramount Pics

By Shannon McGrew

In A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE, the third installment in the A Quiet Place series, a young woman named Sam (Lupita Nyong'o) finds herself trapped in New York City during the early stages of an invasion by alien creatures with ultra-sensitive hearing.

For the release of A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE, Creepy Kingdom's Shannon McGrew spoke with Director/Writer Michael Sarnoski (Pig). During their chat, they discussed everything from immersing themselves in New York City to capturing its unique environment to how pizza represents a desire for normalcy.

Hello Michael! Thank you so much for speaking with me today. I was blown away by this film and its emotional hold over me. Can you talk about the process of creating the film and how you expanded this world to such huge heights?

Michael Sarnoski: The starting point for that was when I got this job. I rented an apartment in New York for a month and wandered around a lot to try to soak in the city. It was as simple as going around and saying, oh, that would be pretty scary if there was a creature over there [Laughs]. It was thinking about the kind of playground New York City offers and what's different from the rural environment. There were simple things like the verticality of the buildings and the scope of the number of creatures attracted to all this sound, from the subways to the parks and all these different places that could be a fun environment to wander through. That was one of the most fun aspects of it.

Then you get a whole team together, and you have these incredible VFX artists at ILM who have been working with these creatures on both of the movies so far, and they throw out crazy ideas. Everyone had a blast coming up with how we would approach this. You just try to stay open to as many cool ideas as you can and have fun with them.

Samira and Eric stand at the base of an escalator looking in horror
Lupita Nyong'o as "Samira" and Joseph Quinn as "Eric" in A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE | Paramount Pictures

As an East Coaster now living on the West Coast, I would kill for a piece of New York pizza right now, as it is arguably the best. One of the main plot points of the film is Sam's desire to have one last piece of pizza. Can you talk about its importance and what it symbolizes?

Michael Sarnoski: People will have to watch the movie to understand what it gets into, but on a basic level, I think there was an element of coming out of the pandemic. I think we all experienced what it felt like to feel like the world was falling apart around us. Sometimes, you need to focus on those little mundane things that are a part of you and that you have a history with in order to connect to your humanity when it feels like the world is ending. In some ways, there's a sense of agency and a sense of I can't do anything about all of this but I can at least bake bread, or what have you. That's something I think that we can all relate to.

A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE is now playing in theaters.


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