The new face of horror talks about Drag Me To Hell and Gamer
In Drag Me To Hell, Alison Lohman stars as a young woman whose life becomes a living hell when she’s placed under a merciless curse. Fortunately for Lohman, this initiation to the macabre comes courtesy of horror maestro Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead; Spider-Man), whose new film, coupled with Lohman’s performance, is already generating considerable buzz. Acting since the age of nine, Lohman first made her mark in Hollywood in 2002 with the drama White Oleander, opposite Michelle Pfeiffer, Renée Zellweger and Robin Wright Penn. Here, the Hollywood actress talks about being the new face of horror and upcoming pic Gamer:
Did director Sam Raimi warn you he would be ripping out your hair and pouring things in your mouth?
Lohman: It’s funny because when he told me the story on the phone, it was about three hours long. He could have had time to tell me all that but then at the very end, he said, “I just want you to know, I hope you’re up for this.” I vaguely just thought, oh, does he mean because it’s a horror movie? He must mean because it’s a horror movie.” So I hadn’t seen Evil Dead so I just didn’t know what he meant, but yeah. So it turned out to be that it should’ve been a bigger part of the discussion.
Did you agree with Sam that your character is a bad person?
Lohman: He said my character’s a bad person at heart? He and I disagree sometimes. Is he taking Lorna’s side? I never saw my character as a bad person. It was always hard to, oh, when do I make the decision that my character finally repents? Yes, of course, she was greedy and she did not give her the extension when she should have but does she deserve to be dragged to hell? No, I don’t think so.
Tell us about your car attack?
Lohman: It was very exciting every day. I did have one funny thing that happened I remember. It’s six in the morning, I had to scream my lungs out, being dragged out of the car, whatever moment it was. Sam on his megaphone screamed, ‘This isn’t f*cking Barefoot in the Park. It’s Drag Me to Hell, so scream!’ And I was like oh my god, he means business. He’s in his suit and it’s on. He’s very tough on me but he needed to be because he wanted to make it look real and I’m glad that he did that. At times I’m being strangled. I’m not used to these kinds of films so obviously I’ve never been strangled or dragged out of a car. So in this one part of it, I’m being strangled and he said it didn’t look real. And then I would do it again, ‘Well, does this look real? Does this look real?’ ‘No, it doesn’t look real.’ So I thought: are you trying to say that I have to really be strangled. And he just stood there looking at me like well, yeah. So I had to hold my breath and make Lorna strangle me. We had to get nitty gritty about it. It wasn’t like I could be girly at all. Not girly but you know what I mean.
You’re in almost every single scene in the movie, was it a tough schedule?
Lohman: It was difficult because a lot of the time doing a movie, you go to your trailer or hang out, do something else, so you have a little bit of a break to get away and just unload or sleep. There was no time for that on this, barely time to go to the bathroom so that was probably the hardest part of it for me, was nonstop.
Talk about going from a timid banker to kicking ass?
Lohman: I loved that about my character. I loved that part. My character’s submissive to her boss, wanting to please everyone and then just takes charge, trying to survive. I love seeing that dynamic. I find that interesting to watch on film and I think I see aspects of myself in that and I kind of wanted to draw on that a little bit.”
Isn’t what she does forgivable for a woman in the work place?
Lohman: Exactly and her boss is pretty much telling her that she has to fill a quota and not give her the extension to save money probably for the bank. My character has her own agenda so she definitely has enough rationalities to justify why she does what she does. I definitely think you can sympathize with both characters really.
Did you ever have a job like your characters?
Lohman: I did. Not an office cubicle but the closest was I worked at Roasty in Brentwood when I was 17 when I moved here. My boss at the time was very sexist and I said, “Look, if you touch me again that way, I can’t even tell you.” I was not as submissive as my character but I know those feelings of just feeling helpless, that you just don’t have any control. That’s why I really liked the transition towards the end. She’s just no holds barred. I don’t give a sh*t what anybody thinks. I’m just going to do what I want to do and she doesn’t care what people think anymore.
Have you seen your new movie ‘Gamer’ yet?
Lohman: Yes, and it’s amazing. It’s a really good movie.
What is your role in ‘Gamer’?
Lohman: I play Trace. She’s part of the resistance. I try to get Gerard Butler back to his family. It’s this dystopian future where humans are playing humans on a global scale through video games. So that’s my character.
Did it turn out like you expected?
Lohman: It turned out better than I expected to be honest. I read the script and a lot of the time, reading the scripts, it doesn’t even give an idea of the tone of the movie or a lot of the other different aspects. So when the director gets involved, they have such their own take on it and both Mark and Brian are very strong, just like Sam. So they do their own thing and it’s great, that the scripts couldn’t do.
Are you squeamish? What’s your tolerance as a viewer?
Lohman: I’m like that but it has to be psychological for me. If it’s like a slasher movie, I can sit and stare at it and not care because I know it’s fake and they didn’t get me involved in the characters at all so I don’t really care whether they live or not.
Were you able to watch ‘Drag Me To Hell’?
Lohman: This one actually I get involved, I got really involved in it. Funny enough, a lot of the movies I do I think oh, I know what scene is going to come next. Uh oh, God, I hope I did a good job in this scene. All the thoughts of that but this one, I kind of just went along with the ride and I had no idea what’s going to happen, so I loved that.
Would you do a sequel?
Lohman: No, but I would work with Sam. I don’t think so.
Is there a Spider-Man character you’d like to play?
Lohman: I don’t know, like a ladybug? No. I don’t know. I would love to be in another Sam movie definitely. I don’t care what I am really. Just don’t torture me again.
DRAG ME TO HELL is now showing at Irish cinemas everywhere.