Why Ti West Knew Mia Goth Was Perfect For That Surprising Role In X

Ti West makes his triumphant return to horror after nearly a decade with the slasher "X," which channels lewd '70s exploitation for a delightfully gory, sexy, and very funny film that may just be Ti West's best yet. Out of the film's premiere at SXSW Matt Donato reviewed the film for /Film and called it "an enormously enjoyable slasher boasting all the thrills and chills promised."

A big part of what makes the film work is its cast, led by the fantastic Mia Goth, who pulls double duty as both protagonist and antagonist. Thanks to some makeup magic from WETA Workshop, Goth introduces us to a new horror villain icon. Indeed, Goth is so good she's not stopping at "X," as Ti West revealed that he already shot a prequel film in secret that is all about Goth's nasty villain, "Pearl." If that's not all, he is also teasing a potential sequel to the A24 film.

In an interview with Letterboxd, Ti West discussed the casting of Goth in the film. According to West, he was initially afraid to send out the script to actors that may not connect to what he describes as "a weird, oddly optimistic movie rather than a nihilistic one" about horror and porn. Read what he had to say below. 

'She understood the duality of Maxine and Pearl'

"[Goth] understood the script in a way that was very on-point to what I was writing. She understood the characters really well, and she understood the duality of Maxine and Pearl. And I was like, 'Well, my ultimate goal is to have whoever plays Maxine play Pearl, because I always thought of them as different characters but the same person.' There was this total pause on Zoom, and I could see the wheels spinning in her head and she was just like 'I could kill that.'"

It was her enthusiasm for playing both characters that convinced West to cast her in the film. "I just believed in her confidence, so much that I thought she was the right person for this," West added.

Of course, it is one thing to play two characters, and another to play two characters when one of them involves heavy makeup and prosthetics. As West describes it, he was looking for actors with the right energy to be in the movie. He continued:

"I found that in spades with Mia. To take that on, people have to realize that it involves six hours in the makeup chair before a ten-hour day. Absolutely gnarly, you know, and it needs to work because, if it doesn't work, we're doomed."

"X" is in theaters now.