I recently had the privilege of chatting with actress Lauren Beatty for her new delicious thriller, Bloodthirsty (read our review – HERE). I’m a huge fan of Lauren Beatty’s and I love that she’s become a rising star in the horror community. We talked about her love for films, her newest features including Bloodthirsty (check out the soundtrack – HERE), how she relates to her character, and much more!
PopHorror – Hi Lauren. It’s amazing to finally talk to you after reviewing two of your most recent films during the festival season. How is 2021 treating you so far?
Lauren Beatty – Pleasure is all mine! Thanks for having me. 2021 needless to say has already been a whirlwind of ups and downs – but these films doing their festival circuits and coming out the same year is really the light at the end of the tunnel for me. I’m so proud of them, and having things to look forward to is what’s keeping me sane!
PopHorror – What inspired you to become an actress?
Lauren Beatty – I remember watching My Girl as a kid and being so deeply affected by that movie, it made me feel true sadness for the first time. I went into my room, sat in front of the mirror, and started reenacting the funeral scene and screaming ‘He can’t see without his glasses!!’ I wanted to see what I looked like in that much pain, what my face did, what my body felt like… From a very young age I was an emotional sponge, and through the years that has manifested as a deep desire to experience the vastness of human emotion and human experience. Humans have the capacity to feel so many different and complex feelings, and I hope to experience as many of them as I can while I’m in this human form!
PopHorror – Yesss! Do you have any actresses you look up to or aspire to work with?
Lauren Beatty – My list of actresses that inspire me or that I aspire to work with is always growing, ebbing, and flowing… but at the current moment, they would be Michaela Coel, Alia Shawkat, Sarah Paulson, Kate McKinnon, and Kristen Stewart (so I can ask for her hand in marriage). Also, an actor that I’m constantly in awe of if is Elliott Page, I’ve been following his career for years. As a Canadian from a small town, he really inspires me, and the work he’s done for the queer community at large just blows me away – it would be a dream to work with him one day!
PopHorror – That’ so awesome. I love that you mentioned that! Some of your work is in the horror genre. Do you enjoy this genre and if so what is your favorite horror film?
Lauren Beatty – In school you don’t have acting classes rooted in ‘Horror’ in the same way that you do with ‘Drama’ and ‘Comedy’… so it never crossed my mind as a possibility. When I was cast in Pay The Ghost and then Jigsaw I realized, there’s something incredibly special here… Now, after having some amazing horror films under my belt I can safely say it is my favourite genre to work in! The worlds that are created are so deeply rooted in fantastical ideas and constant uncertainty and chaos – it’s incredibly fun to exist and explore in those worlds!
My favourite horror film, or the one that affected me most growing up, has to be Rosemary’s Baby. It was the first horror film I had seen that was deeply rooted in the psychological trauma of the female lead. It really affected me because I realized that something like this could actually happen to someone in real life – gaslighting and manipulation. Those are the scariest kinds of horror films to me!
PopHorror – Great choices! In your own words, can you tell us what Bloodthirsty is about?
Lauren Beatty – Bloodthirsty is about a young indie-songwriter experiencing the pressures of writing her sophomore album. It’s about the sacrifices we make for our art and the value and power that comes from discovering and accepting our true selves – werewolf or not!
PopHorror – How did the casting process come about for you? I know you also starred in the director’s other film, Bleed with Me (read our review – HERE).
Lauren Beatty – Yes, I had such an amazing experience working with Amelia on her film Bleed With Me one year prior. It was clear that we worked well together, so when Amelia was brought on to direct, Bloodthirsty and approached me about the role – I was over the moon (pun?). Grey is a queer musician and songwriter, and I’m both of those things in real life… add the werewolf element and you essentially have my dream role!
PopHorror – Wow that makes this character even more special. Can you tell us more about Grey?
Lauren Beatty – Grey is an artist. She’s queer, she’s a singer/songwriter, she’s incredibly talented – and she’s standing in the way of her own greatness. When we first meet her, she’s riddled with anxiety about her sophomore album and is incredibly self-doubting. She’s been ignoring and pushing her true self down for years, and through the film, we see her literally ‘transform’ into a powerful artist… with some casualties along the way.
The parallels between Grey and myself were constantly highlighted for me while shooting… I was constantly having imposter syndrome about if I could pull this role off if I could carry the film if I could do the music justice… etc. As an artist myself, and especially as a female artist – this is why this story is so fascinating to me because it’s rooted in a very real and relatable place. The writer’s block, the self-doubt, the quieting yourself, etc. These are all things I’ve dealt with in my career and still deal with daily. As Grey was learning to stop ignoring those voices and embrace who she really is – I was learning to do that as well.
PopHorror – I love it and you were amazing! Do you have any favorite scenes?
Lauren Beatty – The transformation scene was the coolest for me. We shot it on the 3rd day of filming and I loved just being thrown into it and seeing/experiencing myself as this ‘monster’ right off the top, it was helpful to know what was lurking underneath the surface in every scene. What I’ve learned is that I LOVE doing the bloody bits – I love creeping people out and scaring them, there’s a power in that.
All of the music scenes where I was singing were completely amazing as well. I would feel out-of-body sometimes when I was singing those songs. Helps when they’re all bangers! Also, doing two scenes with Michael Ironside was pretty surreal!
PopHorror – Hell yes!!! Are you happy with the positive feedback for this film?
Lauren Beatty – Yes, incredibly happy! And so proud of our entire cast and crew. This film has a lot of women at the helm, which I think really deepens it and sets it apart from the norm. I’m also just so honoured to be a part of a film where the queer couple is the central couple, but in the same way as a straight couple would be. Their relationship is just ‘there’, it just ‘is’, it’s not the central plot point – and that to me is progress.
PopHorror – Anything else you’d like to talk about?
‘Lauren Beatty – Bleed With Me the first feature I did with Amelia will be released later this summer – anyone who appreciates slow-burn psychological thrillers needs to check it out, I’m so proud of that film as well! Then this June I’ll be filming a short I co-wrote and am co-producing called Soap, it’s about the value of platonic intimacy in the queer community, and I actually just found out that later this summer I’ll be shooting another indie-horror feature that I am incredibly excited for – but sadly can’t say much about yet! So please stay tuned for that, the script is epic. You can follow me on Instagram @laurenlynn19 for updates!
PopHorror – Thank you again for chatting with me, Lauren. I look forward to all your upcoming projects! Bloodthirsty is now available on VOD, so make sure to check it out, everyone!