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Wyatt Russell Plunges Into Darkness in ‘Night Swim’: A Sinister Tale Beyond the Pool

Dare to take a dive when "Night Swim," distributed by Universal Pictures International, opens in cinemas February 21.

Wyatt Russell, celebrated for his roles in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters,” brings a unique perspective to his latest role in the supernatural thriller “Night Swim.” Directed by Bryce McGuire, this film not only captivates with its spine-tingling premise but also showcases Russell’s personal connection to his character, Ray Waller, a former baseball pro grappling with a life-altering illness.

Russell’s journey as a professional athlete, transitioning into acting after a sports career cut short by injuries, echoes the narrative of Ray Waller. “There are aspects of this character that obviously I’ve felt before, or seen in people I know, where you’re sort of losing your ability and sense of identity to injury,” says Russell, who played hockey on the amateur and professional levels for six years, until injuries forced him to quit. “I know the feeling of wanting to do anything, even if it’s detrimental to yourself or your family, to keep playing; it’s a hard drug to let go of. There was that element of it that I know Bryce wanted, and I was able to do that because I had lived aspects of that life.”

In Night Swim, based on director McGuire’s acclaimed 2014 short film of the same name, Ray Waller (Russell) is a former major league baseball player forced into early retirement by a degenerative illness. Secretly hoping, against the odds, to return to pro ball, Ray persuades his wife, Eve (Kerry Condon), that their new home’s shimmering backyard swimming pool will be fun for the kids (Amélie Hoeferle and Gavin Warren) and provide physical therapy for him. But a dark secret in the home’s past will unleash a malevolent force that will drag the family under, into the depths of inescapable terror. 

Besides his personal connection to his character, Russell says he was drawn to Night Swim because of the thematically rich story that McGuire had built from its fiendishly simple swimming-pool premise. 

“I just love everything that the swimming pool represented – how it gives life and takes it away; how it holds both good and evil – and how it made for a refreshingly different approach to a genre story,” Russell says, adding he also appreciated the trajectory of Ray’s increasingly dark arc and how the true evil that threatens Ray and his family isn’t supernatural but his own flaws. “I liked how his selfishness and his misguided strategies for dealing with everything that comes with M.S. [multiple sclerosis] ends up being the forces that drive him. He’s a nice guy with a nice, normal family dealing with very real human dilemmas, but there’s this little kernel of narcissism that leaves him vulnerable to corruption that can take over his soul. It was just a fun part to play.”


Director Bryce McGuire praises Russell’s fearless approach to the role. “From our first conversation, I saw how deeply he understood the psychology of an athlete and an athlete’s struggle to move on from the sport they’ve dedicated so much of their life to,” he says of Russell. “Wyatt was a joy to work with for me because he was completely fearless. Without saying too much, he has to go to some extreme places in the movie and he was never self-conscious. He understands how to connect to an audience and he’ll try five different versions of something to give you options. That’s a dream for a director. He was game for anything, very selfless and always thinking of the movie.”

Prepare for a cinematic plunge into the eerie and suspenseful world of “Night Swim,” distributed by Universal Pictures International. The film opens in cinemas on February 21, offering audiences a gripping tale of psychological and supernatural terror.

Don’t miss any updates on this thrilling journey into the unknown. Follow Universal Pictures PH (FB), UniversalPicturesPH (IG) and UniversalPicsPH (TikTok) for the latest news on “Night Swim.”

Embrace the thrill and suspense as “Night Swim” unfolds a tale of a family caught in a terrifying web of supernatural forces and personal demons. This film promises to be an unforgettable addition to the thriller genre. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NightSwimMoviePh and brace yourself for a dive into the depths of this haunting story.

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