Lionsgate’s You’re Next screened over the weekend to a packed crowd at this year’s SXSW Festival. While it was my third time seeing the film (which gets better with every viewing), it was the first time I’d seen it with a big audience and I wasn’t anticipating just how much of a crowd pleaser it would actually be. One of the most important components to that success is the performance Sharni Vinson delivers as Erin, the highly capable protagonist. I sat down with her the morning after the screening to talk about her role and the fact that she flourished during a shoot that many found exhausting.
In the film directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett, (A Horrible Way to Die, V/H/S,V/H/S/2), “One of the smartest and most terrifying films in years, the film reinvents the genre by putting a fresh twist on home-invasion horror. When a gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers descend upon the Davison family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped…until an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.”
Sharni Vinson, Nick Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Calvin Reeder, Larry Fessenden, Kate Lyn Sheil, Barbara Crampton and Rob Moran all star.
You’re Next hits theaters on theaters August 23, 2013. Become a fan on Facebook and head inside for the interview!
Your character is soft and light on the outside but tough on the inside, what’s the trick for capturing that and internalizing her backstory? “At the end of the day Erin is just a very happy-go-lucky girl, she’s sweet and innocent. You see that very much in the opening scene with her. She’s young and she’s having a great time. And, as for her history, it is quite the revelation that that’s how she’s been brought up. I feel that this is the first time she’s had to use those skills, and she’s surprising even herself.”
From what I understand it was a difficult shoot with a lot of nights, combining that with the physicality of your role – were there any nights that were particularly brutal? “[Laughs] I’m not normal. It’s really hard for me to answer this one from a sound mind, I love this job so much more when it combines physicality with the acting. This was the first role where I feel like I really achieved so much and a lot of that was due to the fact that the schedule was huge and we shot a lot of the movie between 7PM and 7AM six nights a week. And the one night you have off a week you have to stay up and stay on schedule to keep your body clock correct. I just revel in being awake. I’m not a big sleeper, I love to be moving. For me the hours weren’t difficult, it was something I enjoyed. I’d love to play Erin for the rest of my life.”
What’s it like working with [director] Adam Wingard? I don’t think I’ve spoken to someone about the actor side of that relationship. “It was a new experience. Totally new. This was the first independent movie that I’d done, and it worked differently than a studio movie. Adam’s style of direction was so different from anyone I’ve ever worked with. He’s in there, in the action, sweating with the camera on his shoulder. And that initial dinner table scene, there was so much coverage. He loves to get all this footage. He loved to get right in there. And with the action stuff he would tell us, “just keep going. Keep moving. If you hit me, don’t worry about it because I can’t tell you where I’m going to end up. But just keep playing the scene.” There was this moment, on the first day of filming, where he was shooting this very simple moment of Barbara Crampton washing dishes in the sink. And all he did we dolly out. And he held it for so long. Initially I wondered what he was doing, but as he kept going it got scarier and scarier and scarier. The suspense was holding. It was in that moment where I turned to Simon [Barrett; writer] and just said, “Adam Wingard is a genius.” He’s changing this generation of horror movies right now. ”