July 23, 2015 Interview – Emily O’Brien
Sometimes, for an actor, taking on a genre out of their element is the biggest and most welcomed challenge. English-born Soap star Emily O’Brien radically changes gears with 2014’s Pernicious, a ferociously frightening scarefest from acclaimed Horror Director James Cullen Bressack. While not a complete stranger to the genre, having a role in 2006’s Séance, O’Brien looked to broaden her acting career more as she makes her way as a budding young star. As Pernicious approached it’s VOD release, we caught up with the Emmy Award nominated actress to talk about her time on the set of the film, her opinion of Horror films, and more.
CrypticRock.com – Being primarily known for the Soap Opera genre with The Young and the Restless serites, what attracted you to take the role of Julia in the 2014 Horror/Thriller Pernicious?
Emily O’Brien – Honestly, I had not done a Horror film before and I knew what a challenge it would be to pull off both the role of victim and murderer in one role, which is exactly why I wanted to do it.
CrypticRock.com – That is quite a challenge. Having chemistry on set can sometimes be crucial to a new role. How long did you and your co-stars have to build up a rapport before filming started?
Emily O’Brien – I was the last role cast and the two other girls had already been in Thailand when I arrived. I was a bit worried about how we would all get along for one month in Thailand, but I could not be luckier. We had such a balanced and great dynamic together, I love those girls.
CrypticRock.com – That is great that you got along so well. That is always a plus when working on a project. In what Thailand locations was the movie filmed? It is an all-Thai production, is that correct?
Emily O’Brien – Yes, it is all Thai. We shot a lot in Bangkok and Ayutthaya at the floating markets as well as in a studio outside of Bangkok in the countryside.
CrypticRock.com – Those locations make for some breathtaking scenes. Being in a foreign country, did the Thai cast/crew work any different to how you were used to working in The States?
Emily O’Brien – Absolutely, I do not think I have seen a quicker, more tenacious group of people. They were on alert, ready to grab a gel for the light, or maneuver a marker, or whatever it may have been that we needed instantly on set. They were so efficient, extremely kind, patient, and very ambitious about being on set.
CrypticRock.com – That sounds like a great experience. What was it like to work with Pernicious film writer/director James Cullen Bressack?
Emily O’Brien – James is so difficult! (laughs) No, I am joking, actually he would probably say that about me because we love to tease one another and give each other a hard time whenever we can. James was a very understanding director. I had a scene where I had to be emotionally available in a short amount of time and he really took the time to talk to me and get me to a vulnerable place in order to capture something genuine, I was so appreciative of that .
CrypticRock.com – That is great that he took the time to help put you in that mindset. Horror films have always seemed to done well in the mainstream. Why do you think that is?
Emily O’Brien – After being in my first Horror film, now I have learned that it really has a cult- like following. People love to see blood and gore, it never gets old nor does it go out of style. No matter what, you can find so many ways to deliver a Horror film that will still have a demographic as long as there is that major scare factor.
CrypticRock.com – That is very true. Now, as CrypticRock.com does specialize in Horror movies as well as all forms or music, we would like to know, if you are a fan of Horror, what is your favorite Horror movie of all time?
Emily O’Brien – I do not like Horror very much, it is hard to watch, but I would say The Exorcist (1973) is really one of those classics that gets me every time. Her head spinning and the projectile vomiting?! I will never forget it!