Alison Lohman isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. In her first major film role, she took on Michelle Pfieffer in White Oleander. Since then, the versatile Lohman has acted alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood; Nicolas Cage, Ewan McGregor, Jessica Lange, Halle Berry, and Benicio Del Toro are just a few of them.
Now, in the upcoming Sam Raimi flick Drag Me to Hell, Lohman was faced not only with the daunting task of playing the lead character Christine, but also with having to perform in almost every single scene in the film.
Lohman said, “As an actress, I found that it was really difficult being in every scene just because I am used to having breaks in-between. But here, I just had no time to get away at all and sometimes there wasn’t even time for me to run to the bathroom.”
“The stunts I had to do were hard but I think that the hardest part for me was that the shoot was so non-stop,” Lohman added. “Even after all the hard stuff, I still loved every day on set.”
The stunts that Lohman is referring to are trademark to the Raimi style of horror – lead characters facing insurmountable horrors which lead to extreme duress on their beings. After all, a certain lead character in the Evil Dead trilogy was left with a chainsaw for a hand and that might have been the least of the tortures he faced.
“When I first spoke to Sam, he told me the story on the phone for over three hours,” explained Lohman. “At the end of our conversation he said ‘I hope you’re up for this,’ and I vaguely thought he said that because it’s a horror movie and I haven’t really done one of these types of films before. I hadn’t even seen Evil Dead at that point, so I didn’t know what he meant.”
Lohman joked, “I think that maybe Sam should have made the stunts a bigger part of the discussion.”
Even though Raimi may have literally put Lohman through the wringer on the set of Drag Me to Hell, she relished the opportunity to work with such an iconic director.
“There was this one funny thing that happened during filming the parking lot scene,” said Lohman. “It’s 6 am and I am supposed to be screaming my lungs out while I am being dragged out of the car. I guess I wasn’t screaming loud enough because all of a sudden, Sam just yells out, ‘This isn’t Barefoot in the fucking Park, this is Drag Me to Hell! Now, I want you to scream like you mean it!’”
Lohman said, “Sam was tough on me, but he needed to be because everything needed to look real. He said the scene where Lorna (Raver who plays Mrs. Ganush) strangles me didn’t look real enough. We kept doing more takes but it basically came down to me needing to actually be strangled. So, I just held my breath and let Lorna strangle me. I couldn’t be girly about it – I just had to do it.”
The one thing that Lohman and Raimi don’t necessarily see the same way is Christine, her character in Drag Me to Hell. Raimi said that Christine “has this idea that she is a good person but by the end of the film, she really is a despicable character.” Lohman found it easy to empathize with Christine’s choices and what motivated her character to deny Mrs. Ganush’s loan.
Lohman said, “I never saw my character as a bad person. Of course, she was greedy and did things she shouldn’t have done but so does everyone. Does she deserve to be tormented and dragged off to hell? I don’t think so.”
“What I loved that about my character is that she starts off submissive to her boss and tries to please everyone, but by the end of movie she decides to take charge so that she can survive. I think it’s interesting to watch that type of character development in a movie because I can see aspects of that in myself,” Lohman added.
Up next for Lohman is the action/thriller Gamer, which hits theaters on September 4th. In the film she plays the character of Trace, who is part of a resistance group that works to release people trapped in global online games who face certain death at the hands of those playing the games.
“Gamer is set in this ugly, dystopian future which is nothing but chaos and debauchery, mostly because of the game ‘Slayer,’” said Lohman. “It’s my character’s job to get Gerard Butler out of this global online gaming system and back to his family. It was definitely a lot easier of a shoot than Drag Me to Hell since I didn’t have to do any of my own stunts.”
“Working on these last two projects was just a blast for me because I’ve never really been pushed like this before and definitely not with these types of movies. I really hope that I get to work with Sam again because I’ve learned so much from him,” Lohman added.
Drag Me to Hell opens in theatres this Friday!
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