'Secret Obsession': Brenda Song reveals her character in Netflix thriller was 'something I've always wanted to do'
In Netflix's 'Secret Obsession', Brenda Song plays a newlywed woman Jennifer, who after a brutal attack at a rest stop can't remember anything. It is only while recuperating in hospital she realises that she cannot remember anything from her past, including the life-altering accident.
Her husband, Russell (played by Mike Vogel), is just thankful she’s alive and is eager to get her home. He takes her to their secluded mountain estate and things are going just fine as Song's Jennifer has only one agenda on her mind at the moment – to rebuild her life and piece as many pieces together as she possibly can.
The drama thriller is written by Kraig Wenman and Peter Sullivan, who is also the director of the film, and features Song in a role we don't often see her in. "I've always been such a fan of thriller, a true crime genre and my body of work, as hard as I've worked, never had the opportunity to be a part of a project like this or to play a character like this. So when it came about, you know, I couldn't say no," Song tells MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) in an exclusive chat.
"It's so different and something I've always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity. So yeah, there was no way I was going to say no to being a part of!"
But this is not all that is to the story. As Russell reintroduces her to their secluded mountain estate, Jennifer begins to realize that her husband may not be who he claims to be – there is a lot about him that Jennifer doesn't know. At the same time, far away from the Williams' secluded mountain estate, Detective Page (played by Dennis Haysbert) pursues Jennifer’s unknown assailant spurred by the memories of his own daughter who had gone missing years ago and was never found.
Does the same fate await Jennifer as well? It forces one to think if women are really safe in the confines of their own homes even with their loved ones around.
Now bear in mind that this entire plotline was revealed in the trailer itself (these are also pretty much the official synopsis for the movie). This means that the fact that Russell has a shady backstory was evident through the trailer itself.
So Netflix revealed a lot before the release – and Song agrees. "I actually do [think that a lot was revealed in the trailer]. I hadn't watched it before, seeing it with the world and didn't see it until the day it was coming out, but yes, it does," she says.
But here is the catch. Even the audience has caught on to the twist early on in the movie – well, technically, even before the movie begins – there is a lot more to the film that goes beyond the twist.
"[The trailer] really tells a story but the thing about the film is that is it's not necessary that one learns the twist quite early on. The movie is more concerned with how to get out of that situation. The drilling aspect [of 'Secret Obsession'] is not this crazy twist, but it's the fact that the audience knows well before Jennifer does that the husband is dangerous. So you're sort of like, pushing her along trying to like figure it out – 'don't do that, don't do this, how do you escape someone like this [Russell]?'"
But the role took a toll on Song. Working to be in the constant state of trauma, frustration, fear and intimidation was scary for Song who admits that she "hates being sad".
"I was very emotionally drained after crying all day and running around, it was really difficult to take myself into that dark place because it's a scary thought, right? That you're trapped in a home with someone that you don't know and someone so potentially dangerous. Even though we're just acting, we're still putting our body through the trauma of crying and of being scared and of running and of doing all of that and it's exhausting."
The thriller, despite the plot being out, makes for a decent watch. Because so much information is already out there, the ending plays out pretty much like you'd imagine, but would be happy to see it nevertheless.
'Secret Obsession' is out on July 18, 2019.
You can watch the trailer here: