Ryan Phillippe And Kat Graham Talk Their Intense New Movie Collide - Exclusive Interview

If you're searching for edge-of-your-seat excitement, the new thriller "Collide" has you covered.

Late one night, three sets of strangers arrive at a local Los Angeles restaurant with completely different intentions. Husband and wife Peter and Angie are in the middle of exposing their unraveling relationship. Hidden away in the kitchen, a waitress and busboy are about to make $1 million selling illegal drugs out back. However, at a nearby table, Tamira (Kat Graham) and Hunter (Ryan Phillippe) have just met on a blind date that's about to end horribly.


"Collide" paints a picture of how one person's decision can have far-reaching effects — and the story left quite an impact on its stars as well. In an exclusive interview with The List, actors Kat Graham and Ryan Phillippe shared the impression the script left on their lives, described what it was like working only with each other on screen, and revealed what was really in those wine glasses they were drinking.

They mostly only worked with each other in Collide

For a majority of the movie "Collide," you two are acting off of only each other. What was the process like working together?

Kat Graham: [It was] so awesome. I have been telling anyone who will listen what a beast Ryan is, his chops — he's amazing. He was professional. He was coming off another film right into this one, but he knew all of his lines. He was on time and everything. He has ruined me for other actors now.


There's a reason I took a break after "Collide" and haven't shot anything, because I'm like, "How do I get better than this?" I had the best experience working with Ryan as an actor, especially right off the bat. Usually that takes — if you're on a series — a few episodes. [It] takes time.

Ryan Phillippe: The way we came into it ... Absolutely. [We were] definitely aware of each other. I respected her work and was excited to work with Kat, but we didn't know each other. You're getting to see us meet in some regards the way our characters do on screen, and we let it unfold in as truthful a manner as we possibly could. Kat's work is incredible in this, in my opinion. It's really exciting to see how this all plays out.


The co-stars were 'forced to be raw with each other'

Did either of you feel limited in any way while you're portraying your characters since you had to remain seated?

Phillippe: Yeah, but it didn't feel like that, because what was going on was so dynamic in regards to the emotion and the text of what we're dealing with that I didn't have as much a sense as ... It felt like we were doing a movie, and I know we were — but in my mind, the stuff that we're talking about and that we're relaying to each other emotionally felt very alive. As static as it may seem we were, it felt more dynamic than that to me.


Graham: We were forced to really lock in with each other. Sometimes when you're on these big sets and you've got to travel, it's like you're trying to act with a bunch of tennis balls being thrown at you, and you're trying to concentrate. Whereas we had in a lot of ways a luxury of being forced to connect and forced to tell the truth of our experience.

You can't fake it. When you're looking into somebody's eyes, you can tell if it's going to work or not. We were forced to be raw with each other, so it was a great exercise — a little terrifying, but definitely, we supported each other a lot in this.

Phillippe: We did.

Your characters got to enjoy lots of glasses of wine over the course of the night. What were you really drinking in those cups?


Graham: Was it grape juice?

Phillippe: I think so. Yeah. [Laughs] Although once you start getting super intense, I don't think I drink anything. I'm frozen at that point. You were the one drinking the prop.

Graham: I was like, "Let's keep it going, another round." I was all grape-juiced out by the end of the movie. I haven't drank grape juice since. I'm good.

Why Kat Graham was drawn to her role in Collide

Kat, what was it that drew you to your character, Tamira?

Graham: I liked where she was from. I'm biracial. I could have easily been born where she was born and had experienced — or my parents could have experienced — very similar things.


In the late '80s, my parents were running around, and my dad was dealing with racist cops and all of these difficult situations, running around with my mom. I know what racism looks like. I know what intolerance looks like. I wanted to do something for my family. I wanted to do something for me, my own experiences with discrimination, and how it's affected my journey as a person and my career.

I loved the script. I loved Ryan's work for forever. I thought we could do something amazing here. I was also super intimidated by it because I'd never done a film like this before, and it scared the s*** out of me. I was like, "Okay, it must be a sign I should do it."

Ryan Phillippe on the acting advice he gave his son Deacon

Ryan, your son Deacon is following in your acting footsteps. He's going to be on "Never Have I Ever" in the new season. What kind of acting advice or show business advice have you shared with him?

Phillippe: Well, he's watched his mother [Reese Witherspoon] and me his entire life, so there's a great understanding there already, but his primary focus is music. He does like doing acting a bit here and there, and he'll decide how full-on he wants to go in that regard. But music is his main thing. I can't wait for people to hear what he's got coming out. It's really exciting.


Graham: It comes out on Friday — same day as our movie "Collide."

Phillippe: It's going to collide.

Graham: Was that a dad joke? [Laughs]

Phillippe: I think so, yeah.

"Collide" is in theaters Friday, August 5. It will be available on demand Friday, August 12.

This interview has been edited for clarity.