Actor Danny Ramírez (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) was already hard at work building his character even before he stepped onto the set of his latest film, the thriller No Exit.
In Auckland, New Zealand, to shoot the movie during the pandemic, Ramírez and the rest of the cast followed protocol and quarantined alone for two weeks before production began. During that period, Ramírez wasn’t about to let the time in solitary go to waste.
“I was basically locked in this room with windows that wouldn’t open,” Ramírez told Remezcla during a recent interview. “I started getting into the headspace of [my character]. I was building a nuclear reactor in my belly to be able to access it as the story got more tense.”
In No Exit, Ramírez plays Ash, one of five strangers trapped inside a mountain rest stop during a blizzard. Along with Ash are Ed (Dennis Haysbert), Sandi (Dale Dickey), Lars (David Rysdahl), and Darby (Havana Rose Liu), a young woman who was on her way to visit her mother before the weather stranded her.
For Darby, the four strangers she meets become suspects when she discovers a kidnapped child inside a van parked at the rest stop. Not knowing which of the individuals is behind the abduction, Darby is forced to wait out the storm in hopes that the kidnapper doesn’t find out she’s aware of the crime that has taken place.
Directed by Damien Power, with a screenplay by Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, No Exit was adapted from a 2017 novel of the same name by author Taylor Adams. Ramírez said it was unlike any script he had read in a long time.
“It felt like a play on Broadway – five people in one space,” he said. “You turn up the heat and it kind of pops off. It really engaged me right away.”
When speaking with his director about the narrative, Ramírez was excited that not only did he want to develop an intense thriller, but he also wanted to build a strong character piece for all five of the main actors to explore. It’s one of the reasons Ramírez started molding Ash into the complex character he would introduce to everyone on the set.
“During the creation of [Ash], I was making him more than just this idea,” Ramírez said. “As we started filming, it became a really fun playground because everyone else brought their own tools, too.”
Ramírez said that after a while, shooting a movie in only one location became second nature. The cast, as Ramírez puts it, “became accustomed to the space” in the same way a real group would be if they were stranded together for a night. For Ramírez and his castmates, they got two whole months to acclimate to the setting before filming was wrapped.
“If you were in a place waiting out a storm, you’d know the textures and the smells and the energy,” he said. “[The pandemic] was like that. I think everyone will resonate with that kind of stir-crazy feeling.”
No Exit, starring Danny Ramirez, debuts on Hulu on February 25, 2022.