An interview with
Jeri Jacquin, Movie Maven
Jenise Jacquin, Film Brat
Opening in theatres this Friday from director Drew Goddard and writer Joss Whedon is a horror film with a few twists about “The Cabin in the Woods”.
The premise of the film is five college friends go away for a weekend at a friend’s family cabin. What these friends don’t know is the cabin has a dark secret and they have little time to discover what the truth is about this cabin in the middle of nowhere.
One of the films’ stars is Kristen Connolly, an actress with quite a resume of her own. From her time on the soap “As The World Turns” playing Josie Anderson, to her roles in “Nurse Jackie” and “The Good Wife”, Kristen is keeping busy! She came to San Diego to talk with us about her role in the film “The Cabin in the Woods”.
MM: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today Kristen.
FB: Yes, thanks for taking time!
MM: So tell us how you got this unusual role for the film “The Cabin in the Woods”.
It was just like any other audition in a lot of ways. I put myself on tape when I was in New York and then flew out to Los Angeles to meet Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and I read with Fran. The thing that was a little unusual about this audition was that they usually give you scenes that are actually in the movie and you can read the script and prepare based on knowing what the story the is. In this case we didn’t have the script at all, we didn’t have a script to read and the scenes were kind of crazy. One of the scenes I was crying through most of it. The other one was with Kirk, Chris Hemsworth’s character, and we were running away from terodactyls and looking for tunnels to get into. I kept thinking, ‘this film is called “The Cabin in the Woods” so what are terodactyls doing in the woods?
MM: Thank gawd right?
Yes! I think Anna had a crazy scene where she got pulled out of a hot tubs by the angry molesting trees, crazy stuff like that.
MM: That was one of our favorite things – the angry molesting trees!
FB: Got to love the angry molesting trees.
MM: So part two of this film will be “The Cabin in the Woods with Angry Molesting Trees”!
We love the Angry Molesting Trees as well. We watching “The Evil Dead” to prep for the movie and I couldn’t believe there was an angry molesting tree in that. The girl comes in and says, ‘I was just molested by a tree’ and everyone looks at her and says, ‘what-ever man!’. It was crazy!
MM: How was it working with Joss? He’s the kind of normal looking guy and then he shows up at Comic-Con. He said of the film that it was going to be unusual and unexpected. Did you meet him and think this came from him?
I’ve never been to Comic-Con! Joss is the nicest most regular guy in the world and then you read the script and think whaaaat? Drew too, they are both these guys that are so nice and in love with their wives and families. Then there is this crazy movie and wonder where it comes from. I think they both love horror movies, comics and love all this stuff. They wrote the movie in three days, checked into a hotel and on different floors and I think the goal was ‘lets write the movie that we want to do that no body would let us do’ and I think the movie came out of that. It was amazing.
MM: How was working with the cast?
They were terrific and we had such a good time. The five of us got to be really close which was wonderful. In the movie it seems like we really like each other and we do.
MM: It’s an interesting mixture with the beauty queen, the jock and the brain etc. Did you explore that character or did you just go with it?
That was very deliberate. Drew said to us early to not worry about that. He said he wanted us to play the scenes as truthfully and as real as we could. The archetype stuff was for him to worry about. You can see in a way that the costumes do a lot of it, the writing does a lot of it, the way it was shot does a lot of it. The audience’s knowledge of horror movies is also a lot of it. We weren’t playing that as much as we were trying to be truthful in the moment.
MM: So it’s grounded in a sense with reality television in some ways?
I don’t know if it’s so much that as its college students in a crazy situation.
MM: What are you working on now?
I’m working on a Barry Levinson film called “The Bay”. They are so secretive about it that I only have my scenes. It’s supposed to be terrifying. I’m also working on a new NetFlix series called “House of Cards” and David Fincher is directing it with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.
FB: Oh yea, Kevin Spacey is my father.
MM: She’s been saying that for years.
That’s hysterical. I’ve been lucky to work with such great people and work on different projects. I’ll be in D.C. and Baltimore all summer shooting “House of Cards” first season.
MM: This is a web series?
Yes, they were in a bidding war between HBO and AMC and Netflix wanted to do their own original program so they bought the series and are producing it. It’s amazing because we have a lot of freedom being it’s the internet. The script is wonderful and Beau Willimon who co-wrote “Ides of March” and its really smart and about politics with interesting scandal so its fun.
MM: With the way program is now audiences are starting to expect more from television.
Yes, this feels to me like a cable show.
MM: Do you like the idea of doing a steady show?
Yes, its great to work for a longer period of time but its also exciting to stay with a character and see how it develops. That’s really exciting to me and I’ve never got to do that before. So I’m looking forward to spending time with the character. We shot “The Cabin in the Woods” in three months.
MM: Was it a non-stop shoot?
The woods where you see us running around was really out in the woods. It was really exhausting because a lot of it is at night. We’d be shooting from 6 p.m. doing hair and make up and then be shooting till 6 a.m. That’s day after day and its kind of like being a vampire. It really messes with your brain.
MM: And it’s very physically challenging because you’re running and jumping a lot!
We had a lot of stuff to do and it was really hard, really hard.
MM: Did you like the zombies?
Oh yea, loved them. They did a good job with the affects. You’ll be talking to someone and look over and freak out because they don’t have pupils or hair. It’s kind of horrifying.
MM: We are going to ask the 5 “For Your Life” Questions.
FB: These are very, very serious questions so prepare yourself, you ready?
FB: First question – what is your favorite movie candy?
Probably Mike & Ikes but they don’t have them everywhere so it would be Junior Mints.
FB: I got that one, I called it! But if you want Mike & Ikes do you want the tropical or the regular.
No, I like the regular.
FB: What was the first film you ever saw in a theatre?
MM: We didn’t say we would make these easy.
I’m trying to remember! It might not have been the first movie that I saw but it’s the first I remember seeing very young was “Labyrinth”.
FB: So good.
David Bowie scared me! I mean now I think he’s so cool but back then, I was little and it scared me.
FB: Who did you go with?
FB: Okay, what was your first onscreen kiss?
Let me think, I did an episode of a show called “New Amsterdam” and I think that might have been it.
FB: Who did you kiss?
His name was Nicholi. Jesse Williams and I had an awkward kiss from the movie and the first time we did it Drew said ‘that was the least intimate kiss I’ve ever seen’. We were buddies at that point so it was kind of weird.
MM: It’s like kissing your brother right?
FB: So on a candy scale, lets say Junior Mints, Starbursts, Sugar Daddies how would you rate that kiss.
Oh my gosh that’s hard. Maybe Starburst? Maybe I’m just wanting Starbursts. I don’t know, it was more awkward than anything else so maybe Starbursts isn’t it.
FB: More like a peanut butter cup because its one for you one for me.
Yes, that’s it!
FB: Who is your film crush?
Probably the entire cast of “Downtown Abby” right now. I love that show. Every single one of those people is like ‘I want to make out with you’ all. They are awesome, including Maggie Smith.
FB: Okay, this is the last question and it is really serious, I need you to focus.
MM: Clear your mind.
FB: Who would you rather take on a movie date
That’s not fair.
MM: You have to answer.
It’s like “Sophie’s Choice”
FB: Her cars in the shop and I have a car so I’m just saying.
I don’t know how to answer this, its too hard. I would bring both of you!
MM: Save answer but since you’re the first to play the game we will let you get away with that.
FB: After this no one gets to get away with that.
MM: You have cornered the game market!
There you have it, another cool interview with an actress who has a sense of where she is going and still keeps her sense of humor. See Kristen in “The Cabin in the Woods” opening in theatres this Friday!