Hannah Emily Anderson [Interview]

Welcome to Day 9 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 6 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

If you all can think about to close to 3 years ago, during a previous rendition of our Month of Horror, we may have gotten a slight tease about a “new” addition to the saw franchise that was “coming soon”, from one of the film’s screenwriters, Pete Goldfinger. Well, much has happened since then. Jigsaw hit theaters almost a year later, and out of it we learned about the brilliance of one of the film’s stars, of which we are so excited to have with us here today! It’s Hannah Emily Anderson, Everyone! Hannah is an absolute star, especially in the world of horror having not only amazingly entered the Saw franchise, she can also be seen on the first season of the television adaptation of The Purge, in which is she is also so brilliant in. She is an absolute gem of a human being and has even managed to work in the world of comic book movies that are all the rage right now, appearing as Elaine Grey in this year’s hit film Dark Phoenix.

Yes, Hannah is all over the place and doing incredible work and we are so excited to see what the future has in store for this incredible actress. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the absolutely brilliant Hannah Emily Anderson!

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment and filmmaking? Was it an early aspiration you can always remember having since your youth, or did you just find yourself in this world one day? 

I grew up wanting to be a surgeon, which makes sense, because I was just fascinated by the inner workings of people. I found myself ever curious, wondering why people were the way they were, where did they come from, what drove them, what made them different. 

My parents also fostered a love of the Arts in me. We went to the Ballet, the Symphony, and the Theatre. I remember seeing my first real play when I was 12 and it absolutely thrilled me.
I did also love to perform but didn’t think I was good enough to do it for a living, or that an acting career was even possible. I was in college for Creative Communications (PR, Advertising, Journalism, Broadcast) when I got an opportunity to be a stand-in for actress Clemence Poesy. I was so close to the action, watching great actors like Forest Whitaker work their magic. I loved it so much that I quit college and moved to Toronto to audition for Theatre school. I got in. 

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work today? 

My first gig was a one line part on the show The L.A. Complex. I had NO idea what I was doing. All I had to do was step onto my mark, say my line, then step off, but I was terrified I’d forget what to say and fuck it all up. I got through the day by watching the other actors and basically copying everything they did. They seemed comfortable, at ease, speaking in their natural voices, but they also made mistakes. That job taught me how to push through my nerves, that I’ll never really feel like I know what i’m doing, that it’s okay to make mistakes, and that being able to stay relaxed on set is key. 

In your own personal opinion, what do you believe it is that makes the horror genre special? What sets it apart from other genres you have worked in? 

The horror genre makes it safe to explore any topic freely, especially if it’s political (I stole that from a conversation I had with Jigsaw writer Josh Stolberg, but it’s true!) The Purge series, for example? Race, politics, status, the faults of America in general…it challenges you, it makes you question what you believe. Horror is also a full body experience. Whether I’m watching it or acting in it, It gets my blood pumping and my imagination working in a way that no other genre 

does. It tends to be more physically demanding. Acting like you’re terrified out of your mind is one of the hardest things to do. And how do I learn to do that? By watching horror movies and literally being terrified out of my mind. 

In 2017 you appeared in the latest addition of the Saw franchise, co-written by our dear friend and past guest Pete Goldfinger, entitled Jigsaw. I am curious to know what drew you this project? Were you previously a fan of the franchise? And how was your experience working in the world of Jigsaw? 

Saw is such an iconic franchise. I watched Saw 1 and 2 when they first came out and couldn’t believe how twisted and gory they were. When I actually got the part (off a last minute tape) and I had the chance to be part of this franchise, I just couldn’t say no to that! To go from watching this iconic villain when I was in high school, to suddenly sitting next to him in the makeup trailer?? I was pinching myself.

 

Photo by Brooke Palmerÿ

I had SO much fun on set. I enjoyed playing that cat and mouse game with the audience. Am I the killer? Am I not? And being in a separate story line from the victims, I got off pretty easy. The other actors were always covered in blood and screaming. I escaped all of that. Plus, Matt Passmore-who plays Logan, is such a goof. We’d be singing, dancing, and joking around, right up until “Action!” 

The following year you appeared front and center in the wonderful television addition to one of my personal favorite modern horror/thriller franchises, with The Purge. So what drew you to the beautiful bit of madness that is this franchise? 

This was the opposite experience in that I knew nothing about The Purge going in. I’d never heard of or seen the films. (I know, crazy). Reading the script sent shivers up my spine and I didn’t understand what The Purge was until the end of the pilot, so the concept was a surprise. I thought it was brilliant. 

I was attracted to this character trying to do good and desperately hold onto her own morals on a night of pure evil; driven by a pure intention to help others, but then being forced into making life or death decisions. Jenna is also privileged, and most people in privilege don’t have to think about what they’d be willing to sacrifice to protect the ones they love, to protect themselves. The show is constant high stakes and a lot of action. Pretty much an actor’s dream. But man, was it ever a marathon. 

What is your favorite scary movie? 

Ooooo tough one. It’s a toss up between The Shining and The Babadook, two of the only films I’ve never been able to properly finish out of pure terror. 

Do you have any plans for this coming Halloween? And fun traditions that you try to stick to every year? 

I plan on trying, once again, to convince my partner to dress up and coordinate costumes. Good luck to me.

My family and I used to turn off all the lights and pretend we weren’t home (my parents’ idea) so we could watch a spooky movie in the basement in peace. I will not be continuing that tradition. I’ll be eating boatloads of chocolate and hopefully handing out what’s left to the kids. 

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

I’m trying to get through Toronto’s top 100 restaurants, so I have a lot of eating to do. I’d also love to do more travelling.

Work wise, a really cool horror/thriller film I’m in called The Ballad of Audrey Earnshaw will be coming out sometime in the next little while. I’m also writing a comedy web series with my writing buddy and actress Elyse Levesque (her latest film: Ready or Not), that we hope to make in the not too distant future. 

What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you? 

I had a terrible nightmare I was being attacked by a strange man. I tried to scream and nothing came out. I woke up shouting and sweating, in a total panic. I thought I was going to have a heart attack! 

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

A baby boy smiled and waved to my partner and I as we walked by. It was so genuine, innocent, and sweet. 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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