Interview on Laura Allen by Dread Central
Laura Allen and Peter Stormare - Film Clown
Jon Watts has got some balls. A few years back, he directed a short horror film called Clown, posted a fake trailer online for it, and at the end put: “Directed by Eli Roth.”
Can you spell “lawsuit”?
But guess what? Jon’s bold tactic paid off. Eli saw the trailer, and rather than being ticked off a complete stranger tacked his name onto his film, he was flattered because the story was so smart and intriguing. Eli called Jon up and said, “Wanna make a feature of Clown?” And the rest is history.
The feature is set to come out on June 17, and the buzz in the horror community is super-strong. Those few who have seen it, love it.
Here’s the skinny: A beleaguered construction manager named Kent (Andy Powers) has one more thing to add to his already stressed schedule when the clown he hired for his son’s 7th birthday pulls a disappearing act. Kent can’t let the little tyke down. As luck would have it, in the basement of one of the empty houses overseen by his company, Kent finds a dusty old jester suit in a trunk and puts it on. It fits like a second skin… and guess what? It is a second skin! After the entertainment at the party goes off without a hitch, the costume won’t come off. His wife, Meg (Laura Allen), tries and fails to help; and as things get more desperate, the horror intensifies – and an expert folklorist named Karlsson (Peter Stormare) comes in to help. What happens next is, well… a carnival of carnage.
We got the chance to pick the brains of Laura and Peter recently, and here is what they had to say about Clown and being in it.
First of all, Laura is a mom. We wondered if she had any trepidation in regard to being in a movie in which so many cute, innocent kids are killed in the most horrible and vicious ways imaginable. Of course from the standpoint of a parent she had some thoughts, but as an actor she was “all in. The story is just so unusual and so incredibly original, and there’s a heart to it too.”
She first read the script in “my hotel room in New York, where I was snowed in for the weekend” and found the story so chilling and at times scary, it stuck with her. What appealed to her especially was the body-horror aspect. “It reminded me of The Fly, what Kent has to go through… the suit literally takes over his body, then his mind.”
Peter says, “I’ve always loved to do experimental things. I wanted to meet Jon first, but I did like the script a lot. I had a couple of opinions on my character, and meeting Jon I could spot that he had a lot of talent [and would collaborate].”
Peter Stormare is a big name – you probably remember him from Fargo, Minority Report, Get the Gringo, etc. (and next up he will be in John Wick II), so he must get a ton of scripts. And it’s not like he needs the money or credits, so we asked him what is was about Clown that appealed to him. “I do read a lot of scripts. I meet a lot of young directors, and the first thing they want to do is cut down our salaries to make a better movie. I would say seven out of ten are bad, but this is a good script. It had really good potential, mythical things from the old country, and Jon’s idea was to the have the movie open up so the audience could fill in the blanks to what’s really going on, to gently invite the audience along to come on the journey and use their imagination to what’s really going on. From my point of view, I tried to take a very, very simple story, not complicated, and I think it works. I’ve heard opinions that it’s about a serial killer, a pedophile, but it’s not that at all. It’s a very reasonable story.”
Laura agrees that that’s what makes the story so scary: its reasonable and well-thought out approach to the supernatural subject. Also, she and Andy had a really good working relationship. “He and I worked well together.”
Peter said Clown is a horror movie through and through, but what set it apart for him is the intelligence of the writing. “There are so many horror movies around. I like horror, but I can’t stand those movies that don’t care about me as an audience; they just become splatter movies. I want to climb on board the mystery train and travel down to the depths of the dark side and then have my opinion on what it’s all about. It’s rare today, but Clown has that.” He says it feels like something The Brothers Grimm would have written.