Goosebumps EP Praises Series Star Justin Long’s “Gifted” Performance

While the new TV adaptation of R.L. Stine’s iconic Goosebumps books focuses on a group of five teenagers, it’s one of the veterans of the show’s cast that is generating the most conversation. Justin Long, who has become well-known for his roles in both horror and comedy, plays perhaps the wackiest and wildest role in Disney+ and Hulu‘s new Goosebumps TV series.

In Goosebumps, Justin Long plays Mr. Bratt, an English teacher who gets possessed by the ghost of a vengeful 16-year-old just after moving into town. The duality of Mr. Bratt and the ghost requires a wide range of abilities, and has given Long a lot of freedom with his performance. In a recent interview with US Weekly, Goosebumps executive producer Pavun Shetty heaped praise on Long’s talents.

“We were super lucky to get Justin for this role,” Shetty explained. “He has done a lot of comedy, a lot of adolescent comedy and coming-of-age comedy, too. But he has also done real horror. He did Jeepers Creepers, which is a super scary adult movie. He was [also] just coming off Barbarian too, where he got to be goofy but also was super intense.

“He [can do] comedic stuff and horror at the same time. And luckily he’s a really gifted physical actor too. That played a lot into this role.”

Shetty went on to explain how Long’s history with both horror and comedy proved vital to this specific role as Mr. Bratt.

“He’s literally haunted by the ghost of a 16-year-old kid that takes over his body. So a lot of [the acting involves] that mental strain,” the producer said. “But it’s also his body learning how to act while it’s being possessed. He really jumped in. He threw himself against lockers as he was banging his head on things. He was transforming between a kid and an adult trying to fight himself.”

“[That] was the key for this role and for every role really because we were trying to tow that line of scary and funny,” Shetty continued. “It was important to us that the kids — but also the adults — were able to land a joke [and] to have comedic timing. But also [they had to] be able to really lean into the drama as well.”

Goosebumps is available to stream on Disney+ and Hulu. New episodes drop every Friday on both services.