These two young actresses are definitely rising stars due to their acting range and maturity in the Hollywood business.
Talitha Bateman marks her major studio debut with Annabelle: Creation as a polio-stricken girl, who is haunted by a demon possessed in a doll. And Lulu Wilson plays her emotional and vulnerable best friend at the orphanage. Wilson was previously known for her terrific performance in another horror film Ouija: Origin of Evil.
The two girls star in Director David F. Sandberg’s Annabelle: Creation alongside Stephanie Sigman (Spectre), Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings), Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace), and Alicia Vela-Bailey (Lights Out).
The film is a prequel to 2014’s highly successful Annabelle. It tells of the origin story on how the creepy doll was created and possessed. The doll ends up haunting a group of orphan girls.
LRM participated in a roundtable interview with a few reporters and the two young actresses. The fun discussion talked about their favorite scenes, being in a scary movie and being in character.
Annabelle: Creation is currently playing nationwide in theaters today.
Read the interview transcript below:
Was it scary for either of you to be in such a scary movie?
Talitha Bateman: Not really. There are so many people on and off set looking after you and protecting you. You’re really not that scared unless you have to be in character. Then we’ll have to be freaked out, but honestly, when we wrapped a scene–it wasn’t that scary. [Laughs]
Lulu Wilson: Also, there wasn’t really a demon on set. [Laughs]
Oh, you’re going to ruin this for me. [Laughs]
Lulu Wilson: There’s not really a ghost or anything. Any ghost or demon is with the director saying, “Ghost!” [Laughs] Or even imaginary footsteps. You’re reacting to really nothing.
It’s all up to your imagination. It’s what acting is all about. Can you talk about how you got interested into this project? How old are you now?
Talitha Bateman: I’m fifteen.
So you’ve been doing this since…
Talitha Bateman: Three years.
Only three years? [Turns to Lulu Wilson] You’ve been doing this for seven?
Lulu Wilson: Yeah. [Laughs]
Talitha Bateman: Oh, my Gosh! [Laughs]
So what made you both say, “Let’s go! I want to act.”
Lulu Wilson: When I was little, I always pretend to be these different things. I pretended to be mermaids, fairies and similar things like that. My sister was actually a model.
Lulu Wilson: Yeah, older sister. I used to go along to everything with her. One day, I was like, “Wait, a second. I can do this. Why am I not doing this?” Mom was like, “Well, you’re too young.” I told her, “Mom, please!”
She started looking into this. I started first with some modeling. Then I started doing some commercials and then TV shows. Now I’m here doing movies and stuff.
Are you based in LA?
Lulu Wilson: I’ve moved from New York two years ago. Well, two years ago in August.
And you, Talitha?
Talitha Bateman: My sister actually started before me.
Your older sister too?
Talitha Bateman: My older sister too. I was interested in it. I never tried to pursue it honestly until a little bit later. I read a [scene] once and I realized I wanted to act. I got so lost into this character. I don’t even think it was a good scene. [Chuckles] It was a comedy, but I realized that it was really fun. I had to be sad, mad and happy. There were all these different emotions for this one page scene. It was a blast. That’s when I asked my mom if I could start acting.
My sister was already doing it. So she said, “Sure. Why not?”
For this movie, you are part of a group [of orphans], but yet you’re not really part of that group. Did that work out when you were actually filming? They were like the mean girls and they were excluding you two from during the whole movie basically.
Lulu Wilson: At first, we were separated as you said. There’s the mean girls, but we each had our own little family. Towards the end, we all mushed together to this strong, powerful group of females. We’re all fighting for our lives. Fighting for our family. Fighting for our orphanage.
I feel like our bond–Janice’s and Linda’s bond–is very different from the bonds you’ll see on TV or movies now. We’re not mean to each other. We’re not bickering constantly. We’re not fighting. We’re not picking at each other.
We’re always nice to each other. We’re like sisters. I feel like that’s cool, because you don’t get to see that a lot.
We had Anthony LaPaglia in here and he said he made a conscience choice to be distant from you guys. To be aloof. So you can be afraid of him. Did you make any conscience choices like that? Was it fun? Was it tense? How did you approach towards your role?
Talitha Bateman: It depends on the scene and the day actually. Sometimes when we are in a scene together that’s emotional…we take a minute to not being rude. Oh, can I have a minute to really feel this character? In some scenes when we’re laughing and goofing around, we’ll be goofing and playing Uno or even putting together a puzzle.
It really depends on what scenes we are doing that day and how we want to prepare for the role.
In preparing to be a young woman who is afflicted with polio and the effects–how was that?
Talitha Bateman: Two weeks prior to filming, I was walking around with a cane or a hiking stick. I’ve limped around the house. I would walk like this across the street to my friend’s or to grocery stores–trying to use my leg.
I was embarrassed at first. It felt kind of weird, but I really wanted to fully feel on what Janice felt. I wanted to know on where she was and how this would be. I didn’t want this to look fake on camera. I wanted to feel the limp. It really helped me before we started shooting, because the limp actually felt real. My leg wasn’t being used very often. I also researched polio beforehand too on what it would be like.
The two of you both had transformations during the course of the movie. Can you talk about that without giving anything away?
Talitha Bateman: My transformation went from this sweet girl, who was very emotional, vulnerable and sensitive, to this demon who wants to kill my friends. It was definitely a flip. Honestly, it was like two roles in one. That’s the best kind of project when you get to play this character that flips towards the end.
One of my favorite parts is when I was talking to Lulu’s character and stabbing this doll. I was like, “She almost looks just you.” [Laughs] It’s such a flip from the other scene that I also said, “She looks just you.” We loved each other and cared for each other in that scene. Now I’m stabbing the doll and saying that to her. I’m saying it the same way, sort of, but my eyes are different. I think it seriously helped. We were both in character and that was my favorite scene to film.
Lulu Wilson: I feel like Linda’s transformation is going from the youngest and most vulnerable to almost this strong, heroic figure, who is trying to save her best friend’s life.
Was that easy? She talked about her favorite scene. What was yours?
Lulu Wilson: My favorite scene? [Laughs] That’s a hard one. I think I do have a couple. One of my favorite scenes was when I was under the stairs. That was probably the scariest scene too, because I was actually under there. With nobody else except for the doll. [Laughs] They left the doll in there. And it’s probably on purpose. [Laughs] It was so much fun sitting under there. When I stick my eyes and hands into the grate, I felt like that was so much fun.
My other favorite scene was the well scene. Looking down into the well, it was complete darkness. You couldn’t see on what was in there already. Or if anything was in there. You couldn’t tell if a pair of eyes would pop up or even six eyes would pop up! You don’t know on what thing could crawl out. It was creepy.
Was someone really trying to pull you over?
Lulu Wilson: There was someone. Yes. [Laughs] That was a lot of fun. It was kind of like a last-minute thing. They were like, “Oh, we forgot. We have to hook you up into this thing.” I was hooked into this thing and I had to be pulled nearly all the way in.
So you had to be hooked in so you wouldn’t fall in. It was a safety thing.
Lulu Wilson: Yeah. [Laughs] It would be really, really bad if I fell. [Laughs]
Did you both keep an Annabelle doll?
Lulu Wilson: No, I wouldn’t want to. [Laughs]
Talitha Bateman: [Laughs] We have different personalities. I would want one. That would be awesome. I would totally scare my siblings by leaving it somewhere.
Lulu Wilson: [Laughs] I would do that too. But, I just don’t like dolls. I don’t like having them. Especially after this movie, I won’t. [Laughs]
They sell them.
Talitha Bateman: I’ve seen them! They sell the small [version]. Actually, the little girl Samara Lee, had one. She brought two [dolls] to set.
Lulu Wilson: I think she gave one to David.
Talitha Bateman: She did, yeah. I think the mini-Annabelle ones are kind of cute.
So what’s next for both of you?
Lulu Wilson: Right now, I’m towards the end of shooting an HBO series called Sharp Objects. It’s based on the book by Gillian Flynn. She’s the one who wrote Gone Girl.
I’ve read that book actually. Is it about the girl who got the reputation and sort of the drunk. Are you playing the young girl?
Lulu Wilson: I’m playing her sister. Amy Adams is in it.
Wow. That’s awesome.
Lulu Wilson: It’s really cool working with her. I always wanted to meet her. When I met her, I was kind of star struck. Then I was like why am I treating her like she is a celebrity? I should just treat her like a normal person. We got into normal conversations rather than, “Oh, my God! I love you so much.”
So not a fan. But, as a co-worker.
Lulu Wilson: Exactly. I’ve treating her like that.
So what’s your friends’ reactions when you told them you’re doing a scary movie?
Lulu Wilson: All of my friends don’t really watch scary movies. Which is kind of “Why now?” Scary movies are my favorite genre.
Were you fans of The Conjuring?
Talitha Bateman: I was
Lulu Wilson: I was a fan of it too. I watched all of them. They were so scary. I felt like Annabelle, the first movie, was the least scary.
Talitha Bateman: I definitely feel like that was a soft horror. It’s still creepy. It’s still pretty scary.
Thank you very much.
Annabelle: Creation is currently playing nationwide in theaters today.