Ben Aldridge praises 'progressive' gay relationship in Knock at the Cabin (exclusive)
Ben Aldridge and Jonathan Groff play gay parents to a young girl in M Night Shyamalan thriller Knock at the Cabin
Watch: Ben Aldridge on the LGBT+ representation in Knock at the Cabin
Ben Aldridge says the portrayal of a gay relationship in new thriller Knock at the Cabin is "nicely progressive" in how the character's sexuality is not the centre of their story.
The film, directed by M Night Shyamalan and adapted from a novel, follows a gay couple — played by Aldridge and Hamilton star Jonathan Groff — as they attempt to defend their daughter from home invaders.
Aldridge's character initially thinks their motives are homophobic, but it soon becomes clear that the mysterious group believe they are on a crusade to stop the end of the world.
Read more: Tom Hanks on whether he could do Philadelphia role now
The star said that, while the characters' sexuality affects their view of the world and their experience of danger, it isn't the centre of the narrative.
"I think it feels nicely progressive in that way. It places a single-sex parent family at the centre of the film, but Night treats them like the normal family they should be treated like," Aldridge told Yahoo Entertainment UK.
He added: "I think it adds a really interesting element to the film and there's interesting detail in there, but it isn't the crux of it.
Read more: Keke Palmer praises representation in Lightyear
"They just happen to be this family with gay dads. I loved that. It felt great that that was at the centre of a big studio blockbuster."
Aldridge was also able to bring a unique perspective to the spiritual side of the story given the fact he was raised as an evangelical Christian, only to move away from the church as an adult.
He added: "Just like the year before doing this film, I started to think about that a little bit more in a kind of like 'oh no, maybe I do believe in something'.
"But then I was playing this super atheist cynic. He's a human rights lawyer and, not only does he not believe in religion, he kind of doesn't believe in humanity as well. He's pretty cynical about that.
Read more: M Night Shyamalan explains his obsession with cults
"It was a really interesting experience to be someone who was so definite about that, and he's the only voice in the cabin who feels that way. Everyone else believes in something more than he does.
"It was a bit weird because I was the only actor that had the perspective that I had. Everyone else was a bit more spiritual about the film, but I was a bit more sceptical about the whole thing I think."
Aldridge said the experience of filming Knock at the Cabin was an intense one, with production taking place partly in a real woodland cabin and partly in a 360-degree replica built in a studio.
"You'd walk in there, get tied to a chair and the fear would begin," said the 37-year-old British actor.
Read more: Rupert Grint admits he found Harry Potter "suffocating"
He added: "I'd start sweating, my heart would start racing. Even before we'd say 'action', it was super intense. We were doing 12 hour days in the cabin for eight weeks, so cabin fever was real."
Knock at the Cabin, which also stars Dave Bautista and Rupert Grint, is out in cinemas across the UK from 3 February.
Watch: Trailer for Knock at the Cabin