Black Christmas Interview: Actor Brittany O’Grady On Making The Horror Remake

Brittany O’Grady is one of the more seasoned young actors in the remake of Black Christmas, coming out this week. Having starred for three years on the hit TV show Star, she has no problem holding her own alongside the likes of Imogen Poots and Cary Elwes in her new film.

LRM Online sat down with her recently and discussed her Olivia Hussey fandom, shooting in Kiwi country and what she wants young women to get out of this movie.

Black Christmas starts scaring up audiences starting Friday, December 13th.

LRM Online: I saw the movie last night and, I really enjoyed it. I’m a big fan of the original film, and it was cool to see this new updated take on it. Were you familiar with the original or the remake, before you came onto this project or was it all new to you?

O’Grady: No, I wasn’t familiar with it. I got really excited. I am a big fan of Olivia Hussey in Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, so, I was really excited to see that she was in the movie. That was one thing I got excited about, but I wasn’t familiar with it before.

LRM Online: Olivia Hussey’s great in it. Margot Kidder, too. Andrea Martin. If I could say there was anything missing from this movie, the only great thing about the remake, was Andrea Martin playing the house mother. I’m sure most horror fans are looking for some little cameo, but other than missing that, the film itself was great and really confronted some major social issues that are important. What did you think of that aspect of the film? That it’s so socially conscious. Was that welcome to you?

O’Grady: It was incredibly powerful, and we all felt a responsibility to fulfill that. Sophia made an incredible statement by being a director of the film, and having her co-writer, April, also a part of it. Having females behind the scenes made it even more powerful. I was really excited about that aspect.

LRM Online: I can almost guarantee that the particular story they chose to tell, a male filmmaker or filmmakers wouldn’t have chosen to do. It’s really interesting to get that perspective, and it’s something different in horror. Somebody else’s view of the world, or gaze. How was the shoot for you? I hear it was in New Zealand, which was a surprise to me. How did that go?

O’Grady: Oh my gosh, it was beautiful there. It was such a unique experience to have with other actors. There’s this beauty and peace to New Zealand. I’ve never been over to that side of the world. I’ve been around that side, but not as far as New Zealand. That was really exciting. The shoot itself, all of us actresses got to do exercises where we bonded with one another, and they were guided by Sophia. It created comfort with our choices as actresses, how we wanted to portray our characters, and what we wanted our camaraderie to look like on screen as sorority sisters. Creating girls that are in our lives every day, and experience something as horrific as demon frat boys.

LRM Online: When you were reading the script, were you surprised at all by that turn that it takes into the supernatural?

O’Grady: I wasn’t surprised by it. I felt the most excited about, in the script, was how realistic and relatable the script was when it comes to everyday actions of a female, and how it was written and described. Like having the keys in between your fingers, or I remember in one of the original scripts, Riley is looking for something and she puts a book in between her knees. I’ve never seen that in a script, but it’s something that I felt like I did often in my everyday life. It’s the little details where I was like, “Wow, this is gonna be really amazing,” because it’s actually from a female director and a female writer. It’s not someone trying to portray the perspective of a female in this environment and in this experience. It’s even the little details that got me really excited about the script.

 

LRM Online: Well, that’s something you wouldn’t probably expect to read in a horror script. I was talking to Aleyse earlier, I don’t know if you had the same experience, but she was saying that they had everybody audition for the lead of Riley first and then split off into the other characters. Did you have that same experience?

O’Grady: Yes. I think that we all auditioned for Riley first, just to show emotional range, and then from there I think Sophia found the best match for each of us. I auditioned for Riley, or with the Riley material, and then I auditioned for Kris, and then I was offered Jesse.

LRM Online: That’s interesting.

O’Grady: I was just so excited to be a part of the film, and I knew that it was going to be something that was deeper than just another horror movie. If people have the patience to want to see it and not judge, I think that people will be really touched. I’m really excited.

LRM Online: Especially young women. There was that whole thing about the rating, but the PG-13 is going to facilitate the ability of more young women to be able to see it, since it’s not rated R. I was wondering, what you think young women will take away from it, or what you hope that they’ll take away from the movie.

O’Grady: I think that women will, and then people will see, that this is the reality of our society. It’s the reality of women’s first experience leaving home, going to college. This is just the start of a life where, we as women have to protect ourselves and live in a limiting society when it comes to the perspective of a particular demographic that wants power. I hope it brings awareness and validity to the issues that, young women especially, face at such an impressionable time that can follow you the rest of your life. We’ve seen that in the ‘Me Too’ movement, we’ve seen it with Brett Kavanaugh, and we’ve seen it with Brock Turner. We’ve seen it in a moment like that, and college can scar you for the rest of your life. Part of the healing process, if we’re lucky to even get any healing at all, is to be validated, to be heard, and to speak up.

LRM Online: The movie definitely exemplifies those ideas, and you hope you have people that are open to it, especially the other side. That they don’t just shut down because they’re like, “Oh, I don’t want that seriousness,” because it’s voices that should be heard. The fact that this is all being said in a big studio horror film, maybe it will help the message go down better.

O’Grady: Totally.

LRM Online: That’s very powerful and I think that’s a good place for me to stop. I just want to say thank you so much for talking to me, and I wish you luck with the release of the film, and a happy holiday.

O’Grady: Thank you so much

Black Christmas is out in theaters now!

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