Ellie Cornell [Interview]

Welcome to Day 27 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Month of Horror Showcase. Every day during the month of October, we will have a horror related interview and/or film review for your fright-filled reading pleasure! The set up will be the same as usual, but the topics will be far more terrifying. Enjoy!

It wouldn’t be a Month of Horror showcase here at TWS if we didn’t get the Halloween franchise involved! And do we ever! Today we are featuring the lovely and talented actress, Ellie Cornell. Ellie brilliantly portrayed Rachel Carruther in the 4th and 5th installments of this legendary franchise. Ellie also played a huge role in films like House of the Dead II and Room 6, which happened to be directed by our first interview subject of this month, Mr. Michael Hurst! Just another example of brilliant minds coming together to make something wonderful. P.S. Another great example of Cornell working with geniuses in the world of film may be coming very soon, just a head’s up!

So let’s just jump into this fantastic collection of answers we received from the brilliant actress Ellie Cornell. We are honored to have such a legendary presence join our family, and simply can not say enough good things about her. With that, I shall stop saying anything at all, and get right into it! Ladies and gentlemen, Ellie Cornell!

You are by far one of my favorite actresses to take on a role in the legendary Michael Myers saga we all know and love known as Halloween. What was it like to dive into such an established franchise very early in your career as the starring role in Halloween 4?

Thank you, Ron! I was so honored to be a part of this franchise – to go through the casting process and to land the role. I had no idea how well the project would be received when we all got cast – we had big shoes to fill from 1 & 2…to work with Dwight Little, Donald Pleasance, Danielle Harris – we were in such good hands, beginning with a good, smart & scary script. It still amazes me what a large and loyal fan base the Halloween series attract.

And when it comes to reoccurring roles, what was it like to jump back into the role for Halloween 5? Did you feel the urge to do something different with the character? Whatever you did turned out incredible as we all know, but I am curious to know what sort of thought process might have went into re-engaging this character?

I knew before I had even received the script for Halloween 5  that Rachel Carruthers’ days were numbered – it’s just part of the horror genre formula. I had the writers re-do Rachel’s demise to get a little closer to the dignified end I thought she deserved. I just thought it was too bad, in the end – and I know that the late Moustapha Akkad agreed with me, because we talked about it – that it was sad to knock off a good character without a redeeming or logical storyline, but things happen for a reason – it must have been time to move on.  With regard to reappearing as Rachel, I just tried my best to maintain her integrity and smarts that were established with director Dwight Little in H4.

You also appeared in the terrific film Room 6, directed by fellow Month of Horror interviewee Michael Hurst. What was it like working under the guise of a filmmaker like Michael, and being a part of a top notch cast? 

I’ve had the good fortune to work with Mike several times…he’s an intelligent director and maintains an on-set even keel, which is important when work days are long and challenging. He always had a point of view and respected the actors – another feather in his cap! I always learn from other actors, directors, the creative forces behind the scenes. If you want to learn about maintaining laser focus on any set, just hang with a script supervisor for a few hours. Their eye for detail is relentless.

In 2008 you had plans to get behind the camera to direct the anthology thriller Prank, featuring fellow horror legends Heather Langenkemp and Danielle Harris. What made you decide to move from actress and producer, to full blown director? What kicked off this decision, and how did you enjoy it?

Prank never came to fruition, for reasons out of my control. I had a cool script from Tommy Hutson, but it never got to the shooting stage. It was a joy to meet Heather. I don’t have a strong desire to direct a film at this point – I’m having too much fun doing theatre again, studying, and doing the best I can in my auditions.

While you have worked in several other genres, I do have to ask what you believe it is about the horror genre that makes you want to keep returning to it?

I was working closely with a production team that kept asking me to play small roles in the films they were making…so in that respect I was lucky. I got to be a stay at home mom while I continued to work in films. I learn something each and every time I show up to audition, to shoot, to get fitted for wardrobe, whatever it is – I try to be respectful of all the long hours and work that goes into make a movie or TV, regardless of the genre…it’s not for the lazy or faint of heart. We all just need to be kind to one another, everyone’s working hard.

What is your favorite scary movie?

Rosemary’s Baby : a classic

What are your plans for this coming Halloween? Any traditions you trey to uphold each year?

Costumes, costumes, costumes! Did I mention costumes?

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers? 

Keep an eye out for Altar Rock, the incomparable Andrzej Bartowiak directing…working with K.J.Apa, James Remar and Scott Adkins was a blast!

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

Scalloping with my family on the last weekend of summer

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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