Toni Collette opens up about creepy role in 'Hereditary': 'It was undeniable'

PHOTO: Toni Collette in a scene from "Hereditary."PlayA24 via the EPK
WATCH Toni Collette not into horror movies, why she's starring in 'Hereditary'

Toni Collette’s new horror flick “Hereditary” will scare the living daylights out of you, but the actress said she isn't usually a fan of the genre.

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Collette, who plays Annie, a grief-stricken mother, in "Hereditary," has previously starred in some 70 films, with only a handful focusing on horror.

Despite her own horror film fears, she said playing Annie was a role she just couldn’t pass up.

“When it was sent to me, I was not looking to do anything like this," Collette said in an appearance on "Popcorn with Peter Travers." "But it was undeniable. I had to do it. I had no choice. It was that feeling. I think as an actor, you really long for an opportunity to go for it. And those jobs are very rare. And this is definitely one of them."

PHOTO: Toni Collette in a scene from Hereditary.A24 via the EPK
Toni Collette in a scene from "Hereditary."

Collette said the film is a "beautiful look at something quite painful, this family grieving."

She added: "I guess it’s the story of an awakening. My character’s mother has just died. And things start to happen within the family. And she learns a lot of bad stuff. It’s a hopeless situation. You can’t categorize it. You will assume you have an idea of what’s happening and you just don’t. And I think that’s really exciting."

PHOTO: Milly Shapiro, Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne and Alex Wolff in a scene from Hereditary.A24
Milly Shapiro, Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne and Alex Wolff in a scene from "Hereditary."

The psychological thriller has supernatural elements, but much of the fear comes from the family's uncontrollable grief rather than violence.

"I don’t watch horror films. I don’t need those images in my head," Collette said. "I can't handle violence, let alone gratuitous violence. That’s the thing about this film. All of the scary stuff comes from something very real. It’s an extension of something very real. It’s not just being scared for fear's sake."

Travers added that her performance in "Hereditary" could be Oscar-worthy.

PHOTO: Toni Collette appears on Popcorn with Peter Travers at ABC News studios, May 10, 2018, in New York City.Maryellen McGrath/ABC
Toni Collette appears on "Popcorn with Peter Travers" at ABC News studios, May 10, 2018, in New York City.

“Hereditary” is in theaters everywhere.

Be sure to watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Toni Collette in the video above.