In anticipation of Overture’s release of The Crazies next week, Dread Central was given the opportunity to chat with one of the stars of the film, Danielle Panabaker.
In addition to The Crazies, recent genre work you may remember Panabaker from was the Friday the 13th redux that was released in early 2009. The young actress built up quite the resume before heading to Camp Crystal Lake, starring in films like Yours, Mine and Ours and Mr. Brooks as well as television work including “Shark” and “CSI.”
The Friday remake was Panabaker’s first venture into the horror genre, and it seems as if the actress enjoyed herself so much the first time around, she stuck around to do two more genre films: The Crazies and the upcoming John Carpenter flick The Ward.
Panabaker discussed why right now horror is the best film genre to be working in.
“Working on three horror films in a row wasn’t a conscientious decision for me actually,” explained Panabaker. “Right now, though, the horror genre seems to have better movies coming out these days, and I just responded to these three scripts when I read them. There’s a great quality to horror films today, and it’s just a different feeling when you’re working on a horror set. It’s a great acting experience.”
In The Crazies Panabaker plays Becca Darling, the assistant to Radha Mitchell’s Dr. Judy Dutton, who alongside with Mitchell, Timothy Olyphant, and Joe Anderson, has to find a way out of Ogden Marsh when a chemical leaked into the water supply converts their neighbors into maniacal killers and the government steps in to contain the situation.
Panabaker spoke about how she connected to her character of Becca and what it was like collaborating with director Breck Eisner.
Panabaker said, “Becca is just your typical small-town girl. She’s very grounded and like any girl you’d see walking around in any of the places we filmed even. I wanted to make sure she wasn’t like a lot of the teenagers you see in horror films these days that you can’t stand or want them to get killed off. I wanted people to root for her.”
“We didn’t have a huge budget for The Crazies so I think the cast and the crew really banded together to make this work. Breck was great to work with; he gets so protective and involved with his actors. It was wonderful to work with him,” added Panabaker.
With The Crazies invading theaters next week, Panabaker chatted briefly about working alongside legendary director John Carpenter for his next thriller, The Ward.
In the movie Panabaker plays Sarah, one of the troubled patients inside an institution who realizes that there is something more sinister going on inside The Ward than just patients going crazy. While the actress couldn’t reveal much on the movie, she did speak about working with one of the Masters of Horror.
“It’s still hard for me to believe I was in a John Carpenter movie,” explained Panabaker. “He’s such a great director who has always had a great vision for horror films, so to be a part of this project is amazing. It’s going to be an unbelievable movie. He really is an icon.”
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