Ghost of the Ozarks is one of my favorite films of the year. It’s beautifully done. Just from the set alone, it’s obvious that a lot of care and attention to detail went into making it. To celebrate the release of the film to digital and On Demand, I chatted with star Thomas Hobson about the film, practicing his future death scenes, and what’s up next.
PopHorror: Hi Thomas! I loved Ghosts of the Ozarks.
Thomas Hobson: Oh, thank you!
PopHorror: It’s such a beautifully made film and a ton of fun, so I’m really excited to speak with you today.
Thomas Hobson: That means the world. Thank you so much.
PopHorror: So what is it that intrigued you about the film and made you want to be a part of it?
Thomas Hobson: Jordan [director Long] and Matt [director Glass]. Years ago, we made a short film of it and they basically sent me the script and said, “So you’re a doctor in 1868-like Arkansas and the Ozarks.” And I was like, “What?! Sure, yeah sure. Count me in!” Then, to watch the way that the story evolved over the years when they were writing the feature… I remember the day they called and said, “It’s happening, buddy! It’s you. We’re making this movie together.” I was in a grocery store, my very first time out in a grocery store during the pandemic, and I had a full on panic attack.
PopHorror: Oh no!
Thomas Hobson: In the middle of the grocery store. I was like, “Oh God. What happens when you get everything that you want and then you have to actually do it?” I promised myself a couple of years ago that I was going to run toward roles that scared me, and James scared me. This movie scared me. No one had ever given me this level of responsibility before. I had been craving it, and they said, “Here it is.” So, I cried some tears, and I said, “I’m terrified, but this is all I’ve ever wanted, and the answer is yes.”
PopHorror: Well, I’m glad that you took that chance, because I thought you were amazing.
Thomas Hobson: Thank you so much.
PopHorror: I spoke to both of them yesterday, and they are so delightful, so I can only imagine that they made it totally worth it and that you had a ton of fun.
Thomas Hobson: Tara has been for well over a decade now, but Matt and Jordan—over the last four years—have become my best friends. So for me, it was like, “What better version of this? To have something this momentous in my life and my career and to get to go into it with three of my most trusted and closest friends. How lucky am I?”
PopHorror: That’s so awesome! I love that. Looking through your past credits, I did not see a lot of horror in there.
Thomas Hobson: No!
PopHorror: Were you a fan of the genre before?
Thomas Hobson: I am a fan of the genre. My best friend is a huge horror movie person, and he’s always dragging me to see the movies with him.
PopHorror: Those are the best friends to have!
Thomas Hobson: Those are the best friends! I’m always convinced that I’m going to lose my stuff and not be able to make it through, and then we go see it and he’s like, “Every time you’re like, ‘I’m going to be too scared,’ and then every time, you have the best time in the whole movie theater.” And the truth of the matter is, I used to—I should probably not tell this story—I used to when I was kid and growing up wanting to be an actor for my whole life, I would practice my death scenes for my future horror movies. I guess the real question is, why did it take so long for me to be in one?
PopHorror: Oh, my. That is the best thing I’ve ever heard. I’m so glad that you added that. What would be your weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse?
Thomas Hobson: Ooh, in a zombie apocalypse? That’s a very good question. Can I have a chainsaw?
PopHorror: Yes! Absolutely! That’s a great one. I think that would be a lot of fun.
Thomas Hobson: Yeah, I think a chainsaw.
PopHorror: What is up next for you, Thomas?
Thomas Hobson That’s a very good question. I do a TV show for Nickelodeon called That Girl Lay Lay. Not a horror show. It’s a big old family sitcom, and I’m the dad on the show, and we just got our season two picked up today.
PopHorror: Oh, congratulations!
Thomas Hobson: Thank you! It’s been a very good actor day today. Feeling blessed and very grateful today. So that’s what’s up next. Also, I do a show for IFC and Hulu. It’s called Sherman’s Showcase so when I’m done talking to ya’ll today, I get to go film some stuff for that today as well. Just trying to stay busy.
PopHorror: That’s exciting! Hopefully some more horror in the future since you’ve already practiced.
Thomas Hobson: Exactly! Legit, I think my parents came home once and found me crawling down the hallway and screaming in horror, and my parents were like, “What’s going on?” and I’m like, “Sorry, I’m just doing a whole imaginary scenario where the killer had gotten my leg and I couldn’t run. Never mind, it’s fine.”
PopHorror: That is amazing. One last question for you today, Thomas. What is your favorite scary movie?
Thomas Hobson: That’s a good question. My favorite scary movie… Trying not to be a cliche but, I have such vivid memories of the first Scream movie. I remember where I saw it, I remember what row I sat in, I remember who I was with. So probably the first Scream.
Thank you so much, Thomas, for taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to catch Ghosts of the Ozarks on digital and On Demand now!