We spoke with Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings and Stephen Curry about “Hounds Of Love” at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of their film at Regal Battery Park.
The film directed by Ben Young, tells the story of seventeen-year-old Vicki Maloney. She is stuck inside an unhappy home with parents on the verge of divorce. Feeling rebellious, she sneaks out of their house and is accosted by neighbors John and Evelyn White, a mentally unhinged couple who lure her with marijuana before tying her up to a bed inside their squalid home as their own personal torture subject. Pushed to her limits, Vicki soon realizes that her only hope for survival is to play on the Whites’ instabilities in order to drive a wedge between her unhinged captors and escape by any means necessary.
Tell me about your role in the film.
Ashleigh Cummings: I play Vicki Maloney, who is, as we quickly find out, the victim of the serial killer couple that we meet early on. She’s this kind of rebellious teenager who’s trying to find her independence within her family structure, but also find stability in it and she runs away from home and ends up getting picked up by these two people who turn her life upside down.
Obviously, the subject matter is kind of dark. Can you speak about the challenges of diving in and going to those dark places.
Ashleigh Cummings: Definitely. It was something I was very conscious of from the beginning, that I would need to learn or find a process to extract myself from the material, because despite the fact that it is based on fictional events, these things do happen to people, and so knowing that that kind of trauma occurs is really upsetting, but I’d have these different rituals in place, like I’d go to the beach every morning before shooting or meditate or do yoga or something and try and focus on creativity in the face of such destruction and pain, I suppose.
How did you get your start in acting?
Ashleigh Cummings: It’s kind of a long story, but I ran away from home and I came to America, actually. I came to New York, and it’s the first time I’ve been here since my little runaway adventure. I met an actress … She is kind of like a mentor to me out here, and then I got home and enrolled in a diploma of film and that’s kind of how it happened.
Is there anything coming up that you’d like to share?
Ashleigh Cummings: I just moved to L.A. to try and work in a career out here.
Tell me a little bit about your role in it.
Emma Booth: I play Evelyn and basically, she’s a part of a serial killer couple. They basically take young girls and do pretty horrible things to them, end up murdering them. So it was a very, very challenging part to take on for me, but I think creatively one of my favorites, for sure.
Tell me a little bit about the challenges of going to those dark places as an actor?
Emma Booth: I think it’s never easy. I’m one of these people who can click into it and then click out of it fairly easily, which is very fortunate, because some people can’t do that. But it was really three weeks of going to the darkest places of my life, all day every day. I have to say, it’s probably the most exhausting film I’ve ever shot, but again, so worth the product we’ve got and we’re so happy with it.
Speak about collaborating with the director.
Emma Booth: Ben’s one of my oldest best friends, and he’s so brilliant. He’s such a genius. He had such a vision in his head that we didn’t quite all see it until we saw the film all put together and we were like, “Oh my God. This is what he saw.” The amazing thing about Ben is that there’s not one little thing that he hadn’t thought of. He came in with a 135-page bible that he’d all hand-written notes regarding the film. There’s nothing he hadn’t thought of, and I think that’s why we ended up with what we did, because he really didn’t leave any stone unturned and gave really fantastic direction and is such a kind, amazing person. I think we were all just super comfortable with each other and that’s why the film’s turned out so well.
How exciting is it for you to be here in New York presenting the film?
Emma Booth: So exciting. And for the first time ever, we’re all actually together, which is quite rare for all of us. We haven’t had that yet, and we’ve been to a lot of amazing festivals but never all been together, so this is the most exciting time.
Emma Booth: I know, it is. It’s literally since the rap party of completing the film, this is the first time we’ve all been together.
What other projects do you have in the works that you’d like to share?
Emma Booth: I actually have Glitch season two. The first season is on Netflix already.
Is it cool to be in the Netflix family?
Emma Booth: Absolutely. Yeah, it is huge. It is huge. They’ve made it now a Netflix Original and taken it on as their baby, which is another huge compliment. For us, we’re really happy with that and we love the show, so that’s exciting that that’s coming out, too.
Tell me a little bit about the role you play.
Stephen Curry: John White. He’s, I guess, a sociopath is the best way to describe him. Very much a departure from what I usually get to play. I’m usually sort of play a lot more comedy stuff in Australia. It’s been a very interesting departure for me. Yeah, a person that I hope to never meet in my life ever.
Tell me about getting into the head space of someone like that.
Stephen Curry: Well there’s endless kind of documentation about that kind of personality. It’s about the psychology of the character. These two characters, John and Evelyn, husband and wife serial killing couple. That in itself is a really confounding … There was lots to read on it. Ben Young, who wrote and directed it, is very experienced. His mother is actually a crime writer. He’s sort of been obsessed by this sort of stuff from since he was a little boy. Yeah. There was plenty to draw from.
Since you said comedy is sort of your wheelhouse, what’s it like making the transition to something more serious?
Stephen Curry: Fun’s probably not the word. Pretty challenging and rewarding, you know? It’s one of those things you can’t really, you don’t just wash it off like you do with a comedy performance. It sticks with you because you realize that these things do actually happen to innocent people. Therefore, it kind of gives you a sense of importance about telling the story in the right way. It was a very very rewarding, yeah, experience.
Do you have any other upcoming things you want to share?
Stephen Curry: I’m writing some stuff on my own. Hopefully in the next year or so there’ll be some material coming in hitting the screens.