Savoring the human bits: ‘FRESH’ writer, actor ground Hulu’s buck wild thriller


Preston Barta // Features Editor

Hulu’s new thriller, Fresh, is the kind of film that gets you comfortable, like slipping into a warm bath kind of cozy. And then, all of a sudden, after you’ve poured yourself a glass of refreshing bubbly and let out a massive sigh of relief, someone scratches the record by filling that bath with blood. As a result, your nerves begin to cook on high heat, and your jaw falls to the floor. So, now, you best get comfortable being uncomfortable because the rest of the journey is a wild ride that’s going to send your head rolling.

Directed by feature film newcomer Mimi Cave and written by Lauryn Kahn (Netflix’s Ibiza), Fresh stays with you. In my review (out of the Sundance Film Festival from earlier this year), we called it an “extraordinarily compelling bum-squirmer [that’ll] raid your mind and nightmares.” It stars the fantastic pairing of Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), and the duo portrays a new couple feeling out of their budding romance. They embrace spontaneity and travel out to a remote location. All seems well, but then (as our intro warned you about), the story takes a sharp turn, and the darkest of skeletons come out of one of their closets. So, strap in. Your thrill level is about to kick into overdrive.

To protect this film’s secrets and twists, we strongly advise not looking more into the plot than what’s here. This is a highly challenging film to talk about and market. So, once you’ve watched Fresh (now streaming on Hulu), come back to this article to watch our interviews with writer Lauryn Kahn and star Dayo Okeniyi (the 2020 historical drama Emperor) below.

With Kahn, we tease character traits and discuss the human aspects of this scrumptious narrative. But with Okeniyi, about halfway through, we reveal entirely the arc of his character, Paul – a bartender and friend to the central characters who’s swept up into the madness. As soon as you watch the movie, you’ll quickly discover why it’s so hard not to get into the details.

Enjoy the conversations and analyses below!

Our Interviews:

(Special thanks to Searchlight Pictures and Hulu for making the above interviews possible and supplying the footage and clips.)

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.