The new horror movie ‘Tarot,’ which is based on the novel ‘Horrorscope’ and was directed by Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg, is scheduled to open in theaters on May 3rd.

The film stars Harriet Slater (‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’), Adain Bradley (‘Butter’), Avantika Vandanapu (‘Mean Girls’), Wolfgang Novogratz (‘Assassination Nation’), Humberly González (‘Slumberland’), Larsen Thompson (’Pearl’), and Jacob Batalon (‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’).

Related Article: Directors Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg, and Adain Bradley Talk 'Tarot'

Jacob Batalon in 'Tarot'.

Jacob Batalon in 'Tarot'. Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jacob Batalon about his work on ‘Tarot,’ his first reaction to the screenplay, his character, working with the cast and the filmmakers, the effects, improvising on set, filming on location, if he believes in tarot cards, and why it is fun making a horror movie, as well as giving an update on the next MCUSpider-Man’ movie, and discussing season 2 of his popular Syfy series ‘Reginald the Vampire’.

You can read the full interview below or click on the video player above to watch our interview.

Jacob Batalon.

Jacob Batalon.

Moviefone: To begin with, what was your first reaction to the screenplay for ‘Tarot’ and why did you want to be part of the project?

Jacob Batalon: I thought it was such a funny, also very great and relatable movie. I think that the friend group relationship is so strong that you don't want to see any of them die. The movie itself just turned out to be so great.

MF: How would you describe your character, Paxton and what was your approach to playing him?

JB: He's a great friend. He's very hard-headed, but he's one that will try to get your back for sure but is also a little cowardice. I felt that Anna and Spenser, our directors absolutely gave me the space to really play and find the places where I could be funny, but then also be serious and to take things seriously. It turned out great.

MF: Did you improvise a lot on set, or did you stick strictly to the script?

JB: I improved quite a bit and then they told me to reel it back and then they let me improv again. So, it was figuring out what was appropriate and what wasn't. I think everyone sort of gives me the space to just do things for sure, which is nice.

Harriet Slater in 'Tarot'.

Harriet Slater in 'Tarot'. Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing.

MF: Can you talk about the tarot card that your character pulls, and do you personally believe in the power of tarot cards?

JB: I would say that it can help you learn some things about yourself. I try to steer clear of anything spiritual just in case I get a ghost attached to me. But Paxton basically pulls the fool card, which means you are a little bullish on things and you should be more thoughtful about making plans and really thinking about your surroundings, and that hopefully doesn't murder him in the end.

MF: We recently spoke with actor Adain Bradley about ‘Tarot’ and he mentioned that the two of you became very close friends making this movie. What was your experience like working with him?

JB: Adain was great. I think he and I really bonded on that movie, and we would basically work out every day together and he just is a great guy. I really was spending time with him. We really got close on that movie, and I enjoy watching him and his career going the way it's going right now. I think I'm going to be at his wedding.

MF: What was it like working with the rest of the ensemble cast?

JB: I mean, everyone was so talented and so fun to be around. I think the girls were really into tarot for sure, they were really all about it. It was just a typical friend group. I think especially being the only Americans around in Serbia and Belgrade, we had to stick together. I think that really grew out the chemistry as well too, so it was a lot of jokes for sure.

Avantika Vandanapu in 'Tarot'.

Avantika Vandanapu in 'Tarot'. Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing.

MF: Did you enjoy shooting on location in Serbia?

JB: Serbia as a country is such a beautiful place and we were able to find in that beautiful place the scariest places possible. I've worked on movies where we're working late at night in some forest, but there were some places where I felt that maybe we shouldn't be here.

MF: Is it fun making a horror movie or is it emotionally exhausting?

JB: I think it's a bit of both, for sure. I think it's a fun, thrilling adventure to really do a horror movie because you're always up and something scary is going to pop out at you. It's like a haunted house. But also, you are emotionally charged all the time between the crying, the screaming, seeing scary things and all these heightened emotions. You're at a hundred percent all the time.

MF: What was it like shooting scenes with The Fool?

JB: It's a practical costume, and the guy who did it, this contortionist, he was able to really bend his body in ways that were eerie. It felt like he didn't have a spine. It was crazy.

MF: After making the Marvel movies and acting opposite tennis balls on a green screen, was it refreshing to work with practical effects?

JB: (On ‘Spider-Man’) we're just looking at a blank green screen or blue screen and you're told to scream now or run away. It's just funny. I think it makes it a lot easier to build up a natural organic reaction to something. Also, I would say that it really does add to the effect, and it doesn't feel like it's just added into something that we're screaming at.

Actor Adain Bradley and 'Tarot' directors Anna Halberg and Spenser Cohen.

(L to R) Actor Adain Bradley and 'Tarot' directors Anna Halberg and Spenser Cohen. Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing.

MF: What was it like working with the directing team of Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg?

JB: It was great. I think because it's their shared vision, they both knew exactly what they wanted. It was their first time directing something big and they did well. They're writers first and foremost, so they know exactly the story that they want to tell. They were just great to be around. They had good energy about wanting to film stuff and they really do like scary things.

MF: Are you a horror movie fan?

JB: Yeah, for sure. I love watching scary movies. I took my girlfriend to watch, we had a pre-screening of it and she was so terrified. It was very satisfying to watch her hide her face and scream at certain points. I knew what those points that she screamed at would be, and I was absolutely laughing while we were filming it.

MF: What was the experience of making the ‘Spider-Man’ films like for you and working with Tom Holland and Zendaya?

JB: It was great. It was my first job ever, ‘Homecoming’ was, and so it felt like I was being thrown into the deep end really trying to learn everything I can about the industry and being a good actor. I think that it has helped me in my life now professionally and personally. I mean, I can't say enough about the people that I've worked with. They've taught me a lot. Everyone were veterans when I first met them, working with Robert Downey Jr., watching Marisa Tomei and Michael Keaton really do their things, it was truly a blessing watching everyone else from Jake to Toby (Maguire) to Andrew (Garfield) and everyone else. I really love Willem (Dafoe). They were just so awesome to really watch do their thing because they're so good at it. It was a very special experience for sure.

Jacob Batalon and Tom Holland in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'.

(L to R) Jacob Batalon and Tom Holland in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'. Photo: Sony/Marvel.

MF: Do you feel like you became a stronger actor between making ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Now Way Home’?

JB: I would hope so, but I think for me, I learned a lot and I learned how to conduct myself. So, I guess in that sense, yeah, for sure. But I would hope other people see it in me too.

MF: Are you excited for the opportunity to return for ‘Spider-Man 4’ and have a chance to work with Tom and Zendaya again?

JB: Yeah, it would be nice to be a part of something great like that. Hopefully it happens, but we know this industry, it's just whatever happens, happens. But yeah, it'd be nice.

MF: There was recently an internet rumor that ‘Spider-Man 4’ will start shooting this fall. Is that true?

JB: I don't know. I don't know how everyone else knows this stuff and I don't. That's not a good sign for me.

Jacob Batalon.

Jacob Batalon.

MF: In general, what are you looking for when you are choosing projects to be a part of?

JB: I think you read so many things that you get the gist of basic storytelling and there's certain patterns that you realize and recognize. I think for me, if I read a story and I can't predict what happens within 50-60 pages, I'll probably see it through. But usually if I can tell where this is going and it's kind of doing the same things, I think that's probably something that I might not be gravitating towards. I mean, I'm open to anything that's cool, creative and different. I'm not necessarily looking for a particular role, I'm more like whatever strikes me as interesting. I know it was a very vague answer, but I really do like anything that I think is a good read on script. I think you would want to work with people who are well-seasoned and who are creative, but you also just want to make sure you click with people. I think that's a very big part of creativity.

Jacob Batalon in 'Reginald the Vampire'.

Jacob Batalon in 'Reginald the Vampire'. Photo: Syfy.

MF: Finally, the second season of your Syfy series ‘Reginald the Vampire’ premieres on May 8th. What can fans expect from the upcoming season?

JB: With season two of ‘Reginald’, it is like you are watching his continued growth and his willingness to be the hero. I think the first time around he was sort of reluctantly the hero, but now he really takes on that role. We're facing a bigger threat now. It's not just the community against me in terms of vampires, but we're facing the angels who are far more powerful and superior in every way, so it's up to Reginald again to really save the day.


"Your fate is in the cards."
PG-131 hr 32 minMay 3rd, 2024
Showtimes & Tickets

What is the plot of ‘Tarot’?

The plot centers on a group of college friends who start dying in ways that are related to their fortunes after having their tarot cards read. Before their time runs out, they must work together to uncover the mystery.

Who is in the cast of ‘Tarot’?

  • Harriet Slater
  • Jacob Batalon
  • Avantika Vandanapu
  • Adain Bradley
  • Humberly González
  • Olwen Fouéré
  • Wolfgang Novogratz
  • Larsen Thompson

'Tarot' opens in theaters on May 3rd.

'Tarot' opens in theaters on May 3rd.

Other Movies Similar to ‘Tarot':

Buy Tickets: 'Tarot' Movie Showtimes

Buy Jacob Batalon Movies On Amazon