You would think that if you’re stuck somewhere with no exit, and you’re fighting for your life against sinister forces, that the best place to be stuck besides a grocery store, would be a hospital. You’ve got food, water, bandages and first aid, places to rest. Yeah, it doesn’t always work out that way. If the new film Disquiet teaches you anything, it’s that abandoned hospitals are pretty freaking scary. To celebrate the release of the film, I chatted with star Elyse Levesque about bringing her character to life, her love of horror movies, what’s up next, and more!
PopHorror: Hi Elyse! Disquiet was a lot of fun so I’m super excited to speak with you.
Elyse Levesque: Oh, awesome! You’re ahead of me. I haven’t even seen it yet.
PopHorror: I’m also a huge fan of yours from Cedar Cove.
Elyse Levesque: Oh my god, no way! That’s so random. That’s awesome, and hilarious. This could not be more different. These two things could not be more different!
PopHorror: Right?! I get a lot of flak for some of the stuff I like to watch. So what intrigued you about the script for Disquiet, and made you want to be a part of it?
Elyse Levesque: I actually had to put myself on tape for it, about a year ago at the end of January, early February. I don’t think I was sent the script originally; I just had the sides. I had such a good time taping the character of Monica. I think they wanted me to read for Rachelle’s (Goulding – Wifelike 2022) character, and I was like, “No, this other feels way more right, way more fun!” So honestly, that’s what grabbed me first, was this character. I thought it felt to me like an opportunity to really step outside myself. Also a challenge because I think it would be really easy to lean into caricature with her, so I was up for that challenge. When I found out that they were interested, they still didn’t send me the script. I heard that Jonathan Rhys Meyers (read our interview HERE) was attached and then I was extra excited because I was a big fan of his work.
PopHorror: What I liked about her was when she was like, “Am I too pretty?” And he was like, “No, too extra.” That was hilarious.
Elyse Levesque: Trezzo (Mahoro – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 2018)! That’s Trezzo’s line. He loved that line. I feel like that sums her up. That’s a nice sound bite to describe Monica.
PopHorror: Yeah, I thought so too. Was there anything you were adamant about bringing to your character?
Elyse Levesque: Yeah. I wanted her to not be completely helpless in the situation. I didn’t want her to be entirely a damsel in distress, so it was important for me, a couple of times, that instead of running, or screaming, or crying, that she was fighting back. It’s been a year so unfortunately, I can’t entirely remember, but I remember having a conversation with Michael (Winnick) the director, for this one scene. I was like, “I don’t think I should scream and run. I think I should kick back, or I should fight in some capacity.” And he was all on board for that. So that was something that was important for me.
PopHorror: I love that so much because we need more strong female characters at the front of the movie. We don’t want to be damsels in distress. I appreciate that’s what you wanted to bring to it. That’s what we need.
Elyse Levesque: Thank you. And one other thing that I felt was important was that there’d be some levity with her, because everything else in the script is so serious. The other characters are quite serious. It’s such a terrifying and intense situation that if we could find moments, Monica was the character that allowed for these moments of levity.
PopHorror: This role is pretty active. How did you prepare for shooting?
Elyse Levesque: Well, I got my nails did. That was actually really important to me. I was like, “She has fake nails.” I ideally wanted them, and we didn’t have the budget to make me look like I’d had more plastic surgery done to my face but the makeup artist, Brandon Wou, is amazing! He was able to create some things that I felt anyway, made me look like I had been slightly enhanced. But other than that, I just was working out a good amount, partly because I knew I was not going to be entirely clothed in certain scenes, so I was like, I’ve got to be fit. I’ve got to keep it tight. It was mostly that, but also, I watched a lot of Pam & Tommy, because I was so inspired by Lily James, who played Pam Anderson in that. So I was using that as a bit of inspiration.
PopHorror: Getting your nails done is very in line for the character and perfect. You have a few horror credits on your resume, most notably is one of my favorites, Ready or Not. That movie is just fantastic.
Elyse Levesque: That’s a good one!
PopHorror: Would you say that you were a horror fan before?
Elyse Levesque: Always, yeah! I got it from my mom. Growing up, she shouldn’t have let me watch things. I was like nine and she was like, “Watch The Lost Boys!” And I was like, this is art. I love it. Halloween is my favorite time of year. I grew up being intrigued by the darker side of things, and I really love this renaissance of horror that’s happened with filmmakers like Ari Aster. The elevated horror and the things that we’re seeing now, in the last five or six years. It’s cool to get to be a little bit a part of that. And obviously, Ready or Not was such an unconventional horror because it’s so darkly comedic.
PopHorror: I love that because my mom also let me watch a lot of things that I probably shouldn’t have been watching at that time. I credit her for seeing a lot of great horror, action, and sci-fi.
Elyse Levesque: To this day when I go home, any time of year, my mom always wants me to watch some obscure horror movie. She’s really fostered my love for it.
PopHorror: That is amazing. What is up next for you?
Elyse Levesque: Actually, I have been writing something with a friend of mine. We just finished it and we’re in the process of taking it around. Very, very, very early stages. Interestingly, it’s a western horror!
PopHorror: That is interesting!
Elyse Levesque: Yeah, yeah. I’m a bit intrigued about behind the camera. Doing all of it. But I’ve always felt like that’s something I would love to try, so we’ll see. It’s hard to get stuff made and it’s a long haul to get there, but hopefully next time, if I do talk to you again, I’ll be like, “We made it!”
PopHorror: Yes! That’s so exciting. I will definitely keep my eye out for that.
Elyse Levesque: Thank you!
PopHorror: I have just one last question for you. What’s your favorite scary movie?
Elyse Levesque: Oh my gosh. For years, I loved What Lies Beneath, but then I watched it a couple years ago and it didn’t quite hold up in the way that I wanted it to. Maybe The Devil’s Backbone? It’s so good. It’s so creepy and so well done. I also really loved The Orphanage.
Thank you so much to Elyse for taking the time to speak with us. Disquiet is now on digital and On Demand!