We Are Still Here: A Conversation with Legendary Actress Barbara Crampton ahead of Horror Channel Premiere Broadcast | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

We Are Still Here: A Conversation with Legendary Actress Barbara Crampton ahead of Horror Channel Premiere Broadcast


09 January 2017

The producers of THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and CHEAP THRILLS serve up a tense ghost story in the Italianate Lucio Fulci/Pupi Avati tradition. After their teenage son is killed in a car crash, Paul and Anne (Barbara Crampton) move to the New England countryside to start a new life. But the grieving couple unknowingly becomes the prey of a family of vengeful spirits that reside in their converted funeral parlour home. And so begins a terrifying fight back against the living hiding a terrible secret, and the malicious dead demanding a sacrifice that threatens to pull their cursed souls into hell.

Ahead of Horror Channel’s UK premiere broadcast of WE ARE STILL HERE on Sat Jan 14, legendry actress Barbara Crampton talks exclusively on the revival of her career, her approach to challenging roles and why she loves the genre, but not the over-used label ‘Scream Queen’!

 

Suddenly you are back in the genre spotlight after many people thinking you had retired. What happened between your 80s heyday in movies like REANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND and the more recent YOU’RE NEXT?

I had retired. But it wasn't really intentional. I was in my late 30's and hadn't been offered anything significant in quite a while. Roles in my age bracket for women were slim. Around the same time I met my husband Bob, got married and became pregnant. He had a career in a more stable business and was offered a great opportunity in San Francisco. I suppose I was ready for a change and a chance to build a family life with him, so off we went.

Soon after our first son was born, I was consumed with motherhood and then was also expecting my second child - a girl. I embraced this new chapter in my life and was not thinking about acting or movies, except as a spectator, for a long time. I'm glad though that I had the break to focus on my kids and be there to help out at their school and build a life I had dreamed about but seemed to elude me for many years.

The offer for YOU'RE NEXT came literally out of the blue and I was grateful my agent hadn't lost my number as we hadn't even spoken in something like six years. I believe I was really lucky to return in a film that was really successful and seemed to receive a lot of attention for the film makers involved. So once people knew I hadn't keeled over, I began to get a few more inquires for work. I think being older has helped me also. I'm playing mothers, caretakers, doctors and soon a woman running for Governor.

 

WE ARE STILL HERE receives its UK premiere on UK’s Horror Channel on Jan 14, 2017. What attracted you to the project?

Firstly, I’m thrilled the Horror Channel is broadcasting the film. They really are dedicated to the genre in a passionate and intelligent way.

What attracted me to the project was that I responded to the depth of misery Anne was experiencing. She lost her only child in an auto accident. How does someone recover from that? The challenges interested me as a performer and I wanted to bring as much truth to the role as possible. It also felt very 80's to me with a Lucio Fulci vibe. How could I possibly turn a gift like this down? That's what this part felt like to me - a gift.

 

You met WE ARE STILL HERE director Ted Geoghegan because he was the publicist on YOU’RE NEXT. Were you flattered he wrote the part of Anne for you?

Of course! Although he didn't tell me initially he HAD written it for me. I think he was nervous about that, for whatever reason. When I first read it I was immediately drawn to the character and felt a connection to Anne. So after a time I was thrilled he had secured the financing and knew we'd be on our way.

 

To prepare for the role of grieving mother Anne, you talked to two women who had lost their sons in car accidents. What were the most important things you learned during this research process?

Interviewing these two women was pretty difficult, yet thankfully they both were more than willing. It was important for me to understand their grief as much as possible and do them justice in portraying their pain. Both ladies are very strong and not surprisingly this loss is the most devastating and significant thing that has ever happened to them. They told me how their relationships with their husbands suffered. How they themselves wanted to die. How tired they were all the time. Grief is really exhausting. They each talked about moments when they felt ok and could even share a light or fun moment with someone and then would feel immediately guilty for having done so. The pain was always there and is always there. It becomes absorbed in your DNA forever. I carried their answers with me every day on pieces of paper. I would read them each morning before filming and talk to Ted about these feelings on set as if they were my own to put myself in their head space. Ted would sit with me and he was such a calm and gentle presence and he would sometimes hold my hand. I think we created a space not unlike what those two women may have experienced when they would speak to a confidant about their sorrow.

 

Many critics have pointed out the Lucio Fulci inspirations in WE ARE STILL HERE. Did you know who he was? Were you, and have you remained, genre savvy?

I had seen Fulci's THE BEYOND and HOUSE BY THE CEMETARY and rewatched HBTC a number of times when Ted told me it was one of his favourite films and wanted a similar feeling for our movie. I think I've become more genre savvy since my return to acting with YOU'RE NEXT. I realised that I wanted to rededicate myself to my career and specifically to the horror genre so I'll confess I've become more educated of late, watching movies I may have missed along the way. I try now to watch a few old and new movies each week to keep up with what's happening, trends and influences. Even so there are movies I've missed. GREEN ROOM has been queued up about five times only to be interrupted by another movie or a family crisis. I've become more of a genre fan recently. I've always liked horror movies but now I love them. You can tell any story in a genre movie.

 

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

 

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We Are Still Here is broadcast on Horror Channel, Sat 14 Jan, 10.50pm.

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