Oliver Jackson-Cohen on Building His Own ‘Bly Manor’ Villain and Those ‘Hill House’ Comparisons


Spoilers for The Haunting of Bly Manor episode 7, “The Two Faces, Part Two,” below.

The Haunting of Bly Manor has no shortage of ghosts, apparitions and otherworldly villains, most of them working both as literal threats and metaphorical representations of guilt, grief, and denial. But the most memorable and complex of all the baddies haunting Bly Manor is Peter Quint, a suave Glaswegian valet who’s hiding a whole host of dark secrets behind his rakish smile.

After briefly appearing as a frightening specter haunting the manor, Quint is introduced in episode 3, “The Two Faces, Part One,” as a fantasy of an urbane 1980s man, shopping for tailored menswear and premium whiskey in west London to the sounds of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love.” Even as the fantasy is undercut with the revelation that the luxury goods are for his boss, Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas), Peter still retains an air of effortless confidence. That easy surface charm belies a dark, singleminded determination to get ahead at all costs—and to escape his own past, no matter who he takes down in the process. That charm also enthralls Wingrave’s newly hired au pair, Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif), whose tumultuous affair with Quint ends up destroying her.

Jackson-Cohen speaks to about Quint’s toxic relationship with Rebecca, the machismo he wears as a mask, and how he compares to The Haunting of Hill House‘s Luke Crain.

Luke really goes through the wringer in The Haunting of Hill House—heroin addiction, deep grief, a near-death experience—so you had a lot of heavy stuff to play. When you were approached to return for Bly Manor, was it important to you that Peter Quint be a very different kind of character?

On Hill House, Mike [Flanagan, series creator] used to always

The Real House That Inspired Bly Manor

The Haunting of Bly Manor is Netflix’s latest hit show, currently sitting at the top of the streaming service’s top 10. The show, a sequel of The Haunting of Hill House, is inspired by Henry James’ novel The Turn of the Screw and a number of other stories from the Anglophile American author.

a castle like building in a city: Bly Manor in 'The Haunting of Bly Manor' is not a real house – but it is inspired by one.

© Netflix
Bly Manor in ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ is not a real house – but it is inspired by one.

In the show, Victoria Pedretti plays Dani Clayton, an American woman who becomes the governess for children Miles (Benjamin Eva Ainsworth) and Flora (Amelie Bea Smith, who parents may be surprised to know is also the voice of Peppa Pig). She lives in with these two children in Bly Manor, a sprawling house infested with ghosts in the countryside in Essex in the United Kingdom.

However, Bly Manor is very much a piece of TV magic. Though set in England, the Netflix series was actually filmed nearly 5,000 miles away—not in Britain but in British Columbia, Canada (Vancouver to be precise).

Sets for the house were built at the Bridge Studios in Burnaby, Canada. A number of the exteriors, in fact, are not even real buildings but CGI. The chapel, for example, consisted of an interior set, with the exterior being computer generated. The Bly Manor exterior, also does not seem to be a real house, with Refinery 29 noting it looks similar to Thornewood Castle near Seattle, where the Stephen King miniseries Rose Red was once filmed.

The Haunting of Bly Manor | Official Trailer



Thornewood Castle, however, is not the only real house that inspired The Haunting of Bly Manor and The Turn of The Screw before it.

In 1897, a year before the publication of