For his holiday horror movie Thanksgiving, director Eli Roth brought the cast together very quickly – and first to join the film was Patrick Dempsey – McDreamy himself and People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2023. In the slasher movie, Dempsey plays Sheriff Newlon, who has the unenviable job of investigating the gruesome deaths that pile up like food on a Thanksgiving plate in his town.
Dempsey had two main reasons for wanting to join the cast: “My son wanted me to do a horror film,” he explains, “and I wanted to wear a uniform.”
In the movie, a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the infamous holiday. Picking off residents one by one, what begins as random revenge killings are soon revealed to be part of a larger, sinister holiday plan. Dempsey is joined by younger cast members who play local high schoolers, including Nell Verlaque, Milo Manheim, Jalen Thomas Brooks, Tomaso Sanelli, Gabriel Davenport, Jenna Warren and TikTok star Addison Rae.
Dempsey notes that after coming of age as a heartthrob in teen movies like Can’t Buy Me Love and Loverboy, he’s now “on the other side,” as he puts it. With that experience, he knows what makes a teen cast tick. “It was fun to watch them blossom and come together as a company and as friends,” he says. “That chemistry makes the film fun and enjoyable and gives it authenticity.”
Meet the cast of Thanksgiving in the “Crazy Good Chemistry!” featurette:
Dempsey’s castmates have only nice things to say about him too. “He’s a class act,” shares Verlaque, who plays Jessica. “I wish I could talk badly about him but I can’t.”
“Patrick really heightens this movie,” says Manheim, who plays Jessica’s boyfriend Ryan, and who stars in another upcoming holiday film, Journey to Bethlehem. “There’s nobody else that I’d rather have be our fearless leader.”
A starstruck Warren, who plays Yulia, shares a fun behind-the-scenes story about her heartthrob costar. “On our first day, Patrick Dempsey scared me in a clown costume twice,” she recalls. “I screamed and dropped to the ground. It was the weirdest phone call I’ve ever made to my mom. ‘You can’t repeat this to anyone, and I shouldn’t even be telling you this right now but Patrick Dempsey just scared me in a clown suit twice in front of everyone on my first day. So I’m really excited to be here.’”
It’s been quite an experience for Dempsey too. “I haven’t done a horror film in a really long time, so for me it’s been really fun,” he says.
This November, a new horror legend will emerge. Thanksgiving, starring Patrick Dempsey, opens in cinemas November 22.
After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the infamous holiday. Picking off residents one by one, what begins as random revenge killings are soon revealed to be part of a larger, sinister holiday plan. Will the town uncover the killer and survive the holidays…or become guests at his twisted holiday dinner table?
Directed by Eli Roth, and written by Roth and Jeff Rendell. Produced by Roth, Roger Birnbaum and Rendell.
Starring Patrick Dempsey, Addison Rae, Milo Manheim, Jalen Thomas Brooks, Nell Verlaque, Rick Hoffman and Gina Gershon.
In Philippine cinemas November 22, Thanksgiving is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Connect with the hashtag #ThanksgivingMovie