The Stepfather is a new film that portrays a family whose lives are threatened by the new addition of an unhinged stepfather.

This recently released thriller movie stars Penn Badgley and is giving the Gossip Girl cast member his first chance at a lead role in a major production. Badgley took the time to talk to a few colleges about the experience.

How will this film be different than other thrillers?

Well, there are actually, I think, a surprising number of differences between The Stepfather and a lot of modern thrillers or horror films.

First off, it is a thriller. It’s not straight-up horror. It’s not a slasher the way that I think maybe the original was in 1987. It’s a simpler, story-driven thriller.

It isn’t full of twists and turns. I think for that reason, people might not be getting what they’re expecting going in, but they’ll be pleasantly surprised.

What personal touches did the writers made to separate this film from the 1980 version?

First off, I think the biggest difference we had was that I thought it was an eerie, creepy slasher film, like much more in that ‘80s vein of the cult genre picture. This is a broader thriller. I think there’s more of a story that will draw you in and keep you invested as opposed to relying on gimmicks.

Also, a huge difference you have in this one from the original is my character was a girl. I think they changed that to make the relationship between the stepfather and my character to be one where you can only see one of two ways for it to end, and that’s probably one of them dying. So it has to end in a battle. It’s a different kind of tension and it’s a different kind of rapport that they developed, a different kind of interaction.

What are the similarities and differences of playing someone who is alienated in their own home as in The Stepfather and someone who is alienated in their socioeconomic setting as Dan Humphrey is in Gossip Girl?

I think Michael, who is the kid in The Stepfather, he comes from a very different place I think mentally [and] emotionally than Dan . . . because I think most of his life he’s had the acceptance, he’s gotten the girl and things have sort of come easily to him, probably too easily, which is why he became disenchanted or whatever it was that drove him to act out and rebel and then they sent him off to military school.

Are you a fan of horror films yourself?

You know, I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a fan of horror films. Everybody likes a scare, and around this time of year, I’m always game.

I saw the first two Saw films and then after that I thought it got kind of silly. Yes, I think it’s really fun, and that’s the whole point of these movies.

Yes, you want to terrify the audience for a bit, but the whole reason that anybody does that is because it’s fun, especially during the time around Halloween.

What was my most memorable experience working on the movie?

You know what? I don’t want to give away too much, but there’s a sequence that takes place outside on a rooftop where we were shooting in the rain, in movie rain. Movie rain is really heavy in order for it to read on camera. So the second it turns on, you’re soaking wet. We shot this over a three day night shoot which happened to be scheduled on the only three days where it was below 50 degrees in L.A. I think it was about 40 degrees and they had to make the water cold, otherwise it would steam and would read on camera.

So I was in this thin cotton t-shirt and jeans all night for three nights under these rain machines in freezing cold weather. It came to this point where I couldn’t get dry in between takes. For 12 hours, 14 hours at a time I would just be wet and either cold or hot because I’d be standing in between these body heaters. It was physically – I wouldn’t even say it was a challenge; it was just miserable. At the time it was really close to unbearable, but I look back on it fondly. Honestly, the whole movie was an incredible experience for me. I’d never done a big picture like this, let alone a lead in a big picture. So it was just, in so many ways, an awesome time.