Gavin Leatherwood Takes a Stab at Horror

Name: Gavin Leatherwood

Sundance project: Horror-comedy “It’s What’s Inside,” directed by Greg Jardin.

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Notable past credits: HBO Max series “The Sex Lives of College Girls” and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

“It’s a very surreal feeling,” says Gavin Leatherwood, 12 hours after the late-night Sundance premiere of “It’s What’s Inside.” “I don’t really know if I’ll process what we’ve done here until I get home. It feels quick and crazy.”

The actor stars in the ensemble cast of the sci-fi-horror thriller, in which a group of college friends reunite for a weekend of pre-wedding celebrations. What could go wrong?

“There is a lot of comedy in it — which I just love that there’s a balance in there,” says Leatherwood. The actor credits first-time feature director Greg Jardin’s “clear and specific vision” for the film, which has yielded rave reviews since its festival debut.

Leatherwood portrays the friend with “a larger than life personality.” “He puts on a big, tough front to hide his deeper insecurities. He’s covered in tattoos,“ says Leatherwood. “It was quite a stretch from characters I played in the past. So I was really looking forward to that challenge.”

Leatherwood describes that sharp departure from past roles as particularly alluring.

“I feel like I had been getting into a rhythm of being cast as the romantic interest, heartthrobby kind of character. And I wanted to see if I could do something different,” he says. “I was like, I should take a stab at this.”

The actor had driven up to the festival from Los Angeles with several friends from the film, “to add to the adventure,” says Leatherwood. “So the whole [experience] has sort of felt magical. We were in L.A. and then we were in Las Vegas, and now we’re in Utah and Park City,” he adds. “I’m looking forward to meeting some more artists, creatives and being here with my friends. We’re moving into the part [of the festival] where we can kind of relax now. We did all the work stuff, and now we get to go walk around Main Street and have fun.”

Leatherwood, who has another film in post-production, has kept himself busy despite the recent strikes and uncertainty within the industry. He picked up a new hobby — motorcycling — and drove his truck across the country. “But that being said, set is my happy place — and I’m looking forward to getting back to doing what I really love,” he adds.

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