ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke to Clock star Jay Ali about the psychological horror movie. Ali spoke about his character’s many sides and his time in the MCU. The film is now streaming on Hulu. (Watch and read more interviews.)
“Clock is the story of a woman who enrolls in a clinical trial to try and fix her seemingly broken biological clock after friends, family, and society pressures her to have children,” reads the movie’s synopsis.
Spencer Legacy: So what was it about Clock that appealed to you when you first heard about it?
Jay Ali: Just reading the script and just it being so different and also making a horror movie out of something which women go through every day of their lives. Making a horror scene out of a woman’s yearly exam — things like that. It was just so interesting. From a male’s point of view, just seeing the pressures that they go through. We’re quite ignorant as men — we do have it easy, mate, compared to what women have to go through.
It was just so well-written and, Alexis [Jacknow] had a very clear vision of what it was that she was going through. It was just so interesting, you know? You never know how things are going to turn out, but on the script, it was interesting and intriguing enough and I was learning things about myself and my view on that whole situation. I was like, “Yeah, I want to be a part of this.”
Aidan’s a really interesting character because, at the start, he seems pretty straightforward, but as it goes on, there are more layers to him. So how did you go about balancing those different sides of the character throughout the movie?
It’s quite interesting — when me and Alexis first spoke about the character, I was like, “He knew. He knows she went to the clinic.” And she was like, “No, no, no, he just knew about this experiment.” And I was like, “No, no, no, no. I think he knew. He knew she’d gone and done it and he’s just been playing along the whole time.” She was like, “That’s very interesting.” And then we basically played around with it and went with whatever we felt worked best for the movie.
But at the beginning, I just wanted to make sure he came across as a very loving, supportive husband, but giving that hint that he does want kids, even though he’s saying that he’s happy regardless of whatever she decides to do and [that] it’s up to her. It was about having that balance. We wanted that twist to be a real twist. What did you think when that twist happened? Did you see it coming?
I was genuinely surprised. I just thought, “Oh he seems so supportive and nice.”
Yeah! Good, good. So my whole thing at the beginning was he’s just super supportive and then having that twist at the end. So yeah, I’m glad it worked. I’m glad it worked
There are also lots of intense scenes in the movie, including later ones with you and Dianna Agron. What was filming those together like?
Man, she’s brilliant. She’s in every scene of the movie and she never was low on energy. She was always so professional. She was always so kind, so sweet, so funny — it was a dream. I would work every other day, or something like that. She was in every scene all day. She was just amazing.
It’s very easy to have rapport and chemistry with someone like that because she’s so lovable, she’s so amazing. There was never a day on set where it was like, “Ugh.” Getting towards the end of a shoot, people get a little bit testy with each other. Never, mate. She was brilliant the whole time.
That’s amazing. And you’ve worked with plenty of directors in your career. What really stood out about Alexis from your time on the project?
She knows what she wants, which helps. She’s very, very clear on her vision, what story she’s trying to tell, what she’s trying to tell in each scene. This is her first feature—she smashed it, mate. She smashed it out of the park. You know you’re doing something good, but you never know. Look, I’ve done movies before where I’m like, “This is going to be amazing.” And then nothing happened from it. We all know, but for her to be so sure of her script, her vision — and you’ve seen it mate, it’s awesome. Like, I knew what happened. I know what happens, but watching it for the first time and the music she put in, the cuts, everything. There was moments when the hair was standing up on the back of my neck.
There were times when you’re like, “Ugh!” That’s really hard to do, especially when I know what’s happening. Like that bit where the tall woman’s at the side of her window. I’ve seen it in the trailer every time, but when I watched the movie, it still got me. The examination — it’s like a horror scene, when she’s doing her yearly exam. And I think that’s where like as men we are like, “Ah, women have got it easy.” Then we see that and we’re like, “Shit!” It looks like a horror scene. It’s not. It’s a normal medical procedure, and that’s why Alexis is so brilliant. Because she can make something very “normal” — like a woman’s yearly exam — seem like a horror scene. It could have been out of Saw, you know?
That’s a really great way of putting it. Another thing that you were great in was Daredevil, and now that it’s been a few years, how do you look back on that experience and being in the MCU?
It was amazing. I mean, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Being on Daredevil, as well. I mean that show was just … sometimes the plot and acting can get lost in Marvel movies, just with special effects and all this stuff. The action kind of overtakes what is being said. Daredevil didn’t miss a beat — Season 3 didn’t. It was amazing.
The acting was so strong. You’ve got Vincent D’Onofrio, you’ve got Charlie Cox, Joanne Whalley — I mean, they’re amazing actors. The story was so compelling and it was all real time, real life. So it was an amazing experience and I learned so much. These roles I’m getting now are because I did Daredevil, for sure.
With Daredevil: Born Again on the horizon and the series being on Disney+ now, have you seen a bit of a resurgence with fans?
There was a big resurgence when Charlie was in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Then everyone went back to Daredevil and watched it again and it was like the show just came out. I think it went back into Netflix’s top five again. Then, I think, a lot of people watched it before it went over to Disney+. Yeah, I still get messages.
I still get people tweeting about Ray Nadeem and how they miss Ray Nadeem and is he coming back? And I’m like, “I’m pretty sure he’s dead.” But yeah, mate, as I said, the fanbase of that is amazing and the love and support that I got for that role was … I’ve never experienced anything like it.
Carnival Row just wrapped recently. With the series having ended, how do you feel about your time on it and its conclusion?
It was amazing. Shooting in Prague, doing such a huge-budgeted show with all these special effects and flying, I was a fairy in it, and working with Orlando [Bloom] and Cara [Delevingne] and stuff like that … it was great. Did the show end at the right time? Probably, yeah. It’s a difficult show to shoot, you know? We finished shooting that in October 2021. It’s only just come out now, but it was still kind of in that Covid thing and it was just too difficult to shoot.
So yeah, it was a great experience. I loved it. It was great to do that flying and stuff. I’m very lucky. I’m very blessed and every job I get … I’m very, very thankful for everything — just like this one. I’m very proud of this one mate. Really. I really am.