Emma Roberts And John Gallagher Jr. Talk Abandoned And Their Love For Horror - Exclusive Interview

Emma Roberts' stunning transformation in the entertainment industry has seen her glow up from kids' programming to being a resident "American Horror Story" actor alongside Sarah Paulson — and everything in between. She's proven time and time again that she can handle any role: serious, comedic, witchy, powerful — the list goes on. Her latest project comes in the form of "Abandoned," a horror film centered on a married couple with a newborn that moves into a new home, only for unexplainable things to begin happening.

This film sees Roberts starring opposite John Gallagher Jr., who also has experience in the horror genre. As noted on his IMDb page, the actor's credits include "Hush," "Come Play," and "10 Cloverfield Lane," to name a few. As in any good horror film, the house into which the couple moved has its fair share of secrets, and it will take not only love but plenty of resilience to survive their mysterious circumstances.

We had the chance to chat with Roberts and Gallagher Jr. ahead of "Abandoned's" release, and the two told us not only what viewers can expect from the film but also why they love horror, how being a parent impacted Roberts' role in the film, and how their chemistry formed while playing a married couple.

John Gallagher Jr. details Abandoned

What can you both tell us and tease our readers about "Abandoned"?

John Gallagher Jr.: Well, it's a psychological thriller, a drama-horror film about a couple with a newborn. My character, Alex, the husband, has this fantasy of getting out of the big city where they live and starting fresh with a new life outside of the city in the countryside. The family moves into this farmhouse, and much like a lot of classic horror movies, they find once they get there and take a tour that the reason that it's so cheap and it has been on the market for so long is that it has a very tragic and checkered history. In spite of those warnings, they move in anyway, and then some scary stuff starts happening.

You both have done some of my favorite suspenseful horror work. I love "American Horror Story." I love Netflix's "Hush." Actually, "Hush" is really interesting. One of my best friends, her aunt is Kate Siegel — so amazing.

John: No way — oh, how funny.

It's an interesting connection. But whether "Hush" or "American Horror Story" or any of your other experiences, how would you say those helped prepare you for this film?

Emma Roberts: I love the genre. I love horror. I love thriller. I love horror-comedy. I always find myself gravitating back towards it. This one, when I read it, I felt like it stood out because ... Having done other things in a similar genre, I now want to be thoughtful with the things that I do in the genre. [With] this one, I couldn't stop thinking about it after I read it. The characters were interesting, and I like that everything was very nuanced. There's definitely some scares in it, but it's nuanced to where you can go back and watch it and see what's underneath. That makes for a compelling thriller.

How being a mother affected Emma Roberts' role in Abandoned

I know you, Emma, are also a mother. How did that affect you in this role as a new mother in the film?

Emma: It was funny because my son was probably five or six months old when I read it, and they were scared to send it to me at first. They were like, "We don't know how you're going to feel about this, being a new mom. It might freak you out." But I read it, and I don't mind a little haunting or that vibe. No, I thought it was a really well-told story. I don't know. I would never let something get in the way of a well-told story.

I didn't take it home with me, and my son would come and have lunch with me every day. John got to meet him. It was actually a really nice atmosphere on such a scary set, but we all were in North Carolina together every day in this house. It became close-knit and nice and cozy. When you see the movie, it's crazy to think that we were all having fun, all eating lunch together, sitting outside on a blanket, and then that's what we were filming.

That's so sweet. I love that.

Emma: Yes. It was fun.

With you two playing a married couple, how did your chemistry form on set? Had you worked together, or what was that like?

John: We had never worked together, nor had we ever met, but ...

Emma: The first day we met, they dressed us up in a wedding outfit [and] made us take a photo outside, and we were like, "Nice to meet you." Literally, I'm in a wedding dress.

John: Exactly.

Emma: My mom has that photo on her fridge, and I'm like, "Mom, don't you think it's weird that you have a wedding photo of me and John on the fridge?" [It's] a little much.

Emma Roberts and John Gallagher Jr. on their chemistry in Abandoned

John: It's a great shot. They sent me home with a nice big framed copy of that photo that I have. I'm going to put it on my fridge. It'll be a little big.

That's the weird thing about making movies sometimes. I got off the plane and they picked me up. They took me straight to set. I walked on. I tried on some clothes, and the next thing I knew, I was sitting in the kitchen with my wife and my baby, who I had just met. That's the way it goes sometimes on these movies.

I like that because you can try to prepare and build up your chemistry, but sometimes it's great to get there and say, "Well, now we just have to look in each other's eyes and trust this material and go for it." That can be terrifying and scary but liberating. But we fell right into it.

Emma: Yeah, we did.

John: We fell into it.

Emma: We get along really well. We were chit-chatting nonstop. I realized today, though, that I didn't have his number until today. I don't know what that was about. I went to text him, [and] I didn't have his phone number. I was like, "Have we never texted?"

John: I think it's because we'd spent so much time together on set the whole time that we never needed to text each other.

Emma: Well, we had dinner. How did we have dinner if we didn't have each other's number? I don't know.

John: Somebody coordinated. I don't know.

"Abandoned" lands in theaters on June 17 and on digital and On Demand on June 24.

This interview was edited for clarity.