Parents just don’t understand – the horrors hidden in their own house.
Veteran actors Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace) and Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings) star in Annabelle: The Creation as a married couple who lose their daughter in a horrific car accident. They invite six orphans and a caretaker into their home as a way of replacing their stolen joy. Suffice to say, very bad things happen. Almost immediately.
Both actors bring a grit and world weariness that anchors the text. When they’re on screen I feel comforted, if not a little disturbed by their mysterious and secretive relationship. This marks LaPaglia’s first foray into horror following a career playing hard-nosed yet affable tough guys. Otto, who is no stranger to green screens and VFX, will scare the sh*t out of you with the way she works the at-times gory green screen effects in this film.
We sat down to talk acting with special effects and working the film’s bright teen actors.
So this is your first horror movie. How is it different from say, Happy Feet?
A: Well I’m on camera. For one. It is different. One’s more comedic, the other one’s definitely not comedic. The horror genre is not something I’ve ever done, but since the Exorcist I’ve been interested in it. I don’t know why, but I never thought I would be in one. Not because of any judgement, I just didn’t see myself in a horror film. Other people would disagree. But I’m so glad I did it. I loved it. There’s a real fine line that you walk doing them. You have to keep everything super real. Cause everything around you is not. Things like the set. It’s so beautiful and so broken down and creepy in a way that it does the job. You don’t have to act on top of that. Your environment is doing the work for you. Your costars are doing a lot of the work for you as well. I found it kind of a unique experience that way.
Miranda you’ve worked on Lord of the Rings and other movies where you have to do a lot of CGI, but what is it like seeing yourself with blood all over the place, or certain effects on your face.
M: I think all those things are a real gift as an actor to get to explore different things. Anything where you can turn yourself into something else. Keep reinventing yourself in different ways is always fun to do. I got a kick out of doing all the makeup stuff. That was a big key to signing up for it. I thought it would be fun to play a really mysterious character.
What was it like working with all of these fresh faces?
A: They were great. Seriously those girls are more professional than I’ve been in my entire career. They’re very smart and knowledgeable, kind of advanced for their age. I think being around show business can do that to kids. They’re such polished actors at such a young age. There was no coaching needed. They nailed it on every take.
M: I wish I got to work with them more, but their work in the film is so great. I just love all their different characters.