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SYFY WIRE Knock at the Cabin

'Knock at the Cabin's M. Night Shaymalan on talking movies with Sir Paul McCartney

A random encounter gave the Beatles icon a chance to pick the ‘Knock at the Cabin’ director’s creative brain.

By Benjamin Bullard
M. Night Shyamalan During An Interview With Host Jimmy Fallon

Bruce Willis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Samuel L. Jackson, Joaquin Phoenix, Dave Bautista, and more: When it comes to working alongside celebrity A-listers, let’s just say M. Night Shyamalan is seasoned enough at this point to be mostly immune from smitten-fan syndrome. Mostly, that is, unless the celeb in question happens to be a certain famous Beatle.

As Shyamalan recently shared with Jimmy Fallon, Sir Paul McCartney officially left him speechless when the Knock at the Cabin director accidentally bumped into the iconic music master while vacationing with family. It’s fun enough watching Shyamalan mimic his stammering reaction at meeting the living legend on his Feb. 8 guest spot on The Tonight Show — but it’s even cooler to see how the whole encounter played out…once Shyamalan had finally found his tongue again.

Check it out:

“Not often do I see someone that I’m, like — speechless,” Shyamalan admitted. “And we were on vacation, and I got up from the table and went down the hall — and Paul McCartney bumped into me in the hallway! And I’m like, ‘Hi, Sir…I’m a…’ — I’m never like this! — And I’m like, ‘Hi, Sir. I’m, you know, I’m M. Night Shyamalan, I’m a filmmaker, I’m a big fan!’”

RELATED: M. Night Shyamalan movies, ranked (including Knock at the Cabin)

Not one to be left quite so gobsmacked, McCartney warmly melted the ice, said Shyamalan, at this point gushing out the tale with all the wordy, mile-a-minute fervor of a lifelong fan:

“He’s like, ‘Oh, wow! You tell stories. You’re great!’ And then he was so gracious and he was so beautiful. And we sat there in the hall, and we talked forever in this hallway! And he was asking me everything about filmmaking, and ‘why’ and ‘how’ and ‘what’ — you know, ‘how’ do I tell stories? And then his grandkids kept coming up, and they were like, ‘Grandpa, where are you?!’ — And he was like, ‘You know, this is a very important filmmaker!’ And he was introducing me to his grandkids. It was so beautiful.”

Joking that he’d set himself a four-page writing goal for an unnamed new script before he’d allow himself to make his Tonight Show date, Shyamalan didn’t share too much about the project — or projects — that he’s working on next. “The next three movies, like I know the next three movies in my head,” he teased, confessing that he “hoards” story ideas for fear that “one day I’m gonna wake up and not be inspired.”

There’s no such dearth of fast-flowing creativity with Knock at the Cabin, Shyamalan’s current apocalyptic horror film that recently, ahem, knocked Avatar: The Way of Water from its lengthy perch at the top of the box office. The psychologically tense thriller stars Bautista alongside Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn, and Harry Potter fan favorite Rupert Grint in a freakish hostage standoff whose outcome might just have the final say in bringing about (or averting) the end of the world.

Knock at the Cabin is now playing in theaters everywhere. Click here to purchase tickets.

Looking for more horror to make your spine tingle and blood curdle? You can currently catch Jordan Peele's NOPE on Peacock. Plus, don't miss SYFY's hit horror series Chucky, which was recently picked up for a third season.