Garrett Hedlund and Victoria Justice Learn Twisted Life Lessons in The Tutor
Mar 22, 2023
At its core, The Tutor is a psychological thriller through and through. Ultimately, it seems to ask whether somebody’s troubled past can ever really stay in the rearview mirror of their life. It’s bound to intrigue audiences with its curious premise.
The lowdown: Ethan (Garrett Hedlund of Tulsa King and Tron: Legacy) is an in-demand tutor for rich East Coasters. When he lands a high-paying gig to instruct a billionaire’s son, Jackson (Stranger Thing’s Noah Schnapp), at a remote New York waterfront estate, he suddenly realizes that his student’s interest in his life borders upon obsession. Jackson, in fact, grows oddly creepier as the story unfolds. Twists, turns, and accusations of perceived dark secrets relating to Ethan all threaten this tutor’s budding new life with girlfriend (Victoria Justice). Can Ethan get out of the mess unscathed, both emotionally and physically?
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Directed by Jordan Ross (Thumper, True Life) and Ryan King (Platonic), it should be noted that Schnapp delivers a captivating performance in the film and Hedlund intrigues as Ethan, who slowly unravels throughout the movie. The Tutor also delivers a swirl of surprises in its final act, which may divide audiences, but it will certainly generate buzz. Stars Garrett Hedlund and Victoria Justice share more about the film with MovieWeb.
On That Wild Story Premise
Hedlund says he was immediately impressed with King’s script. He had not been offered or been a part of that many psychological thrillers, and when he said yes to The Tutor, that fact became one his first “obstacles” to overcome.
“For me, personally, the pandemic was a massive contributor to me becoming a big fan of thrillers and true crime,” Hedlund said. “Nobody around me was really watching them until COVID. There were certain elements revealed in The Tutor script that intrigued me, and reminded me of films that inspired me, like Primal Fear; something that didn’t just have the kind of beat-by-beat conveyance of a thriller, but that would also invest the audience. There are remarkable, dramatic performances displayed as well. So, I was really inspired by Primal Fear, and other films like Mystic River, and what all the actors gave to those movies.”
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Other intense “obsession” films, such as Obsessed, Single White Female, and Cole Creek Manor immediately come to mind while watching The Tutor. Overall, Hedlund says he was “honored to jump on set with Victoria and Noah.”
Justice was eager to be involved with the project, too, mainly because of the genre. “I love a good thriller, especially a psychological thriller. It’s one of my favorite types of movies,” she shared. “And I loved the script. It was a real page-turner, and I was on the edge of my seat. I really didn’t know what was going to happen next. And that rarely happens. Mostly, I was very surprised by the ending. I did not see it coming.”
On Working with Noah Schnapp
Schnapp has become a media darling of late. The actor rose to fame on Stranger Things—the final episodes of the hit series begin filming this summer—and during the last year, he’s garnered more headlines. For starters, Schnapp was inundated with an outpouring of support after coming out. Flash forward to this month, and Schnapp won accolades for teaming up with Nextbite, a virtual restaurant company. Why? To give birth to TenderFix, which features a unique, delivery-only menu of chicken and plant-based sandwiches, sliders, and tenders.
“Noah is a phenomenal young actor,” Hedlund beamed. “It was a treat for me to be there in this kind of tit-for-tat situation we were positioned in in the story. Just getting to watch somebody who is a professional—a wonderful actor—do what they do, and to do it great… all I had to do was sit back and watch and listen to him.”
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Sure enough, Schnapp delivers a tour de force performance here—twisty, unsettling, and edgy. His character, Jackson, is definitely complex. But Hedlund sings Victoria Justice’s praises, too. Justice plays Annie, Ethan’s pregnant girlfriend. In the film, Ethan must leave Annie temporarily to tutor Jackson in a mega-mansion. It sets the pace for the drama to come.
“Working with both Noah and Victoria was memorable. Jordan, the director, essentially gave us a good blueprint of the scenes, and because the environment was so comfortable, all the acting felt organic. It didn’t feel as if we were ‘performing,’” Hedlund noted. “To know you’re in the great hands of a great captain… well, this dude is just great.”
“I’m really proud of this film,” he added. “When I watched it for the first time, I was looking to my left and to the right—it was a private screening—and it was one of the first times where I was like, ‘Man, I wish all my friends were here, and I could hear what they thought.’ I was really proud of jumping on this psychological thriller, with the hope of really committing to something that offered a dramatic jugular, and to make it relatable for others out there, and to also throw everybody a curveball. It has a wonderful twist, felt pretty damn original, and was very Hitchcockian, so I’m excited to see what audiences think.”
Catch The Tutor, from Vertical Entertainment, in theaters on March 24.
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