We spirited her away recently for a brief chat to talk about her first leading role, the challenges of acting scared and previously sharing the small screen with a ‘Hamm’ actor.
HeyUGuys: The Pact is your first starring role. Did you find that a daunting experience at all?
Caity Lotz: It wasn’t too scary. I like the creative liberties you get when you’re the sole star in a film because everything revolves around your character. You get to make lots of choices and try a variety of things. There’s a lot of creative freedom in that situation.
It’s quite a demanding role physically. What were the challenges in that respect?
It was definitely a demanding role, especially because you don’t have any downtime when you’re shooting, and my character is in every scene in the movie. It would be a quick wardrobe change then straight on the next scene. As you’re probably aware, everything was shot out of sequence so I’d always have to familiarise myself again with where I was in the movie’s timeline.
It was also exhausting to be in that constantly terrified state of mind for long periods of time. It’s very high energy to act that way and it gets really tiring. The stunt side was ok, though. I’m from a dancing background and I’ve done stunts before so that to me was the easy part. I didn’t mind being hooked up to wires and thrown around the house. That was really fun.
The main location is incredibly effective in drawing out the claustrophobia and tension your character experiences. Was that a set or an actual house?
It was a real house. We shot part of the film there and we set up everything else in an unused church next door.
It was amazing what our art director did to the house. The rooms were pretty small and they had to take out some of the walls in order to shoot it in the style they were going for, but the place also looks really homely, Granma house, which adds to the spookiness.
Do you believe in the spirit world? Have you had any supernatural encounters?
I really do. I’m not sure if I believe in shadowy figures walking around and things like that, but I believe that’s we’re more than just our bodies and that when we die, it’s not the end.
I think there are other dimensions, and even most physics agree that there are different planes of reality. It must be possible that at some point, our reality becomes intertwined with the other, and I think some people are more attuned to that than others. It’s like an instinctual thing where they can sense and feels things and I find it interesting how people are open to that world.
One of the biggest strengths of the film is that it delves into the spirit world but there’s also a real-world mystery too.
Yeah, I love that. When I first read the script that was one of my favourite parts as you’re not expecting it either. The way that real events can be just as messed up as spiritual ones is pretty fascinating.
As you mentioned earlier, you were a professional dancer for a number of years. How did you break into acting?
The dancing brought me into the world of show business. It was never a conscious intention to become a movie star. I always thought I’d remain a dancer as it was something I really enjoyed, and the opportunity to get paid well.
With acting, I wanted to experience life a little more which is achievable through that profession. You can really feel all the range of human emotion, even the darker stuff. I feel like it enables you to get more out of life. When I started taking acting lesson I still wasn’t sure if that was the path I wanted to follow, but I fell in love with it and having that opportunity to do it was a dream come true.
Moving away from ghosts for a moment, you appeared in the third and fourth seasons of Mad Men [during Don Draper’s return to his past life]. That must have been a fantastic early acting experience?
It was awesome. My character had quite an important part in portraying the evolution of American history and the way that era ushered in a new type of liberated, idealistic woman. Don [Draper] is seeing and experiencing that change for the first time via my character.
Working with Jon [Hamm] was great. I was a really nice guy and just to watch him work and act alongside him was an incredibly gratifying experience.
You can read our review of The Pact here.