In the supernatural drama The Girl In The Woods, monsters are real, kept at bay behind a mysterious door in a cult-like colony. Teenage runaway Carrie’s (Stefanie Scott, “Insidious: Chapter 3”) job is to guard that door, but when strange occurrences begin to shake the sleepy mining town to its core, she must enlist the help of new friends Nolan (Misha Osherovich, “Freaky”) and Tasha (Sofia Bryant, “Blue Bloods”). The group becomes an unlikely trio of monster slayers, determined to save their loved ones. As they fight back, Nolan and Tasha can’t help but wonder…can they really trust Carrie? Small towns sure can be Hell.
I had the opportunity to speak with Krysten Ritter to discuss the work she did as a director. She spoke about why she wanted to get this job. In addition to how she managed to juggle horror, suspense and mystery for The Girl In The Woods series.
Nancy Tapia: Well, hi, we got the memo. Haha…
Krysten Ritter: Haha…Yeah. All black everything.
Nancy Tapia: Congratulations on this project, The Girl in the Woods. Now you are behind the camera this time around. How exciting is that?
Krysten Ritter: So fun! I had such a great time. This was like a creative piece of candy for me. I’m getting to create these worlds in the show and play in this heightened plane with the monsters. Our wonderful young cast and these characters. It was just heaven.
Nancy Tapia: You are taking a big role because I mean, we had seen you as a director, co-directing. But this is a full on series. So what are the advantages in this case that you feel facilitates directing?
Krysten Ritter: Yeah, so for me, this was the gig to get. Because it’s not just directing a half hour show where you’re just throwing up a camera and shooting some lines. This was an opportunity to make big visual choices and world-building of the cult. Making that look different and taking our character into a modern world and having that be very different. Then you have the fun things that you could do with horror and suspense and mystery. Finding ways to cue to the audience that something scary is coming. So all of that is just really fun and we hired amazing people to come out and play with us and just have the best time doing it. We all loved the characters so much, and we all loved the creative and we had a great time doing it.
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Nancy Tapia: Like you said, you had horror, suspense and mystery. Which element was the hardest one to juggle and direct?
Krysten Ritter: Ah, I think that… Here’s the thing, the stuff that’s hard about directing or production is actually what makes it the sexy rock and roll fun that it is. It’s challenging and things change hourly. There’s always tons of things to navigate and juggle and that’s the fun of it. But for me, the elements of the show were kind of all of my favorite things. It was a little bit of everything, almost that I’ve done in my career in one opportunity.
I really connected to the reluctant superhero origin story, which I’ve done in playing Jessica Jones and also directing a Hellcat episode of Jessica Jones. I loved the setting of a small town. I’m from a small town, very similar to the one in the show. I know what it’s like, and I wanted to have an authentic representation of that. What it’s like to be young and want to get out of your small town, but not know what that means and show a part of the country that is struggling. Then the monsters and that stuff that makes the stakes really fun and scary and the blood and the guts and the fight sequences. That’s all just so fun.
Nancy Tapia: What was one of the scenes that you found really challenging?
Krysten Ritter: I mean, anytime you have blood and monsters, you want to make sure to show it in a way that’s flattering. Make sure it feels real and work with the prosthetics. Less is more, kind of with monsters. Some of my favorite stuff that we shot was at this place called Camp Namanu in Sandy, Oregon. Which were all big, beautiful trees. Like trees you’ve never seen in your real life and waterfalls. Anytime I got to be there, it added so much to the production value and made it look huge, but it also just felt good. For me, I love being in that nature.
Nancy Tapia: Speaking of nature, do you see camping and hiking in the forest the same?
Krysten Ritter: I’m from a farm in Pennsylvania. So I grew up with nature and being in the city for so many years. I always find myself dying for a creek or dying to get out in nature. So for me, this was perfect. I was craving it so much.
Nancy Tapia: I was telling the kids, I just spoke to a little while I go that I’m questioning how I see the forest now. Because you never know what’s out there, haha….
Krysten Ritter: You know what is out there? Mosquitoes.,haha…Mosquitoes are out there. I don’t know what it is about my vampire skin, but they really come for me.
Nancy Tapia: That is funny. That’s a souvenir from hiking, right?
Krysten Ritter: Yeah, exactly. They make patches that you can wear like little stickers that are citronella stickers. So you can smell me coming a mile away.
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Nancy Tapia: I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of your work, right?
Nancy Tapia: Great. We’ll be seeing you.
Krysten Ritter: Thank you. Bye
Nancy Tapia: Bye-bye.
The Girl In the Woods will be streaming on Peacock October 21, 2021
Source: LRMExclusive, Peacock