Annabelle: Creation – Set Visit Interview with Stephanie Sigman

Stephanie Sigman is known for glamorous roles, most notably as a Bond Girl in Spectre, so her playing a nun in the new Annabelle: Creation movie might seem like a bit of a stretch – but, she’s a pro and she nails it.

Annabelle: Creation is a period piece set in 1957, and Stephanie plays Sister Charlotte, a kindly nun chaperoning six young orphans as they seek refuge in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mullens (Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto). She tries to help enforce the rules of the house, because Esther Mullens is bedridden and Mr. Mullens isn’t around much. The main rule is: Do not enter their dead daughter Bee’s room. Bee’s room is sort of a shrine, and that’s where Annabelle lives (and when we say “lives” we mean that literally).

We got the chance to talk with Stephanie on the set between takes. Here’s what she had to say.

Dread Central: Tell us a little bit about your role.

Stephanie Sigman: I play Sister Charlotte and in the story she takes care of six girls. I never thought I’d be doing a horror movie, but I couldn’t resist this. So I said yes to this character, and this story, because it’s very interesting. I think it’s not just a gender movie, it’s a round and nice story. I just love this character. She’s very caring, and her goal is to take of these girls.

DC: Does the fact a priest had to come and bless the set worry you at all?

SS: I wasn’t thinking of that at the moment, no. Now that I put it together it makes sense. When I told my grandmother I was doing this movie, she was like ‘oh my god no, it’s so scary.’ She was really worried. She is really religious and yeah, it makes sense. I put it together, but I wasn’t thinking about that. I was just thinking that it was very challenging and interesting. [I went] from playing a mistress of Pablo Escobar to playing a nun. That’s challenging. I’m very grateful to the producers and the director because they saw my tape, dressed as a normal person, I would be sexy, but normal, and they had the imagination to see me as a nun. Not a lot of people would see that. A lot of people in the industry, they only see you as the characters you have played before.

DC: Your nun outfit is not traditional, but does it still help you feel like the character?

SS: The outfit gives you everything. It’s very easy when you have everything on, and when you don’t you have to work a little bit harder [because the clothes do it for you].

DC: We heard the costume designer actually made your nun’s habit from a photo of a country sister taken in the 1950s.

SS: Yeah. I saw the photo, the actual photo of the nun. The costume is pretty much the same. It’s kind of what you would think of a nun, but in the fifties.

DC: Do you believe in ghosts?

SS: I do believe in energies, sure. I believe in good energies in the living, good energies all around. So yeah, I do believe that supernatural things happen.

DC: Talk about working with six child actors.

SS: I read the script and everything was fine there, but here doing it, it takes a different meaning. That’s because you’re working with the actor – which, by the way, these girls are amazing [and] I’m learning so much from them; my respect, I admire them so much – but yeah, you’re doing it and sometimes you have to change a little bit here, a little bit there. It’s just not as you imagined it would be. Everything changes at the word ‘action,’ at the moment, so I think it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on at the moment. I feel like one of the girls sometimes. So we’re talking sometimes, and they’re so smart and so mature. It’s very impressive. Sometimes I feel like I’m learning from them instead of the opposite, which makes sense, [because] these kids are really smart. It helps me a lot. They were actually teaching me how to play this game, I don’t remember the name, but it’s the one where you put the stones in every hole… Talitha loves that game, and she was teaching me how to play it. She’s a very conscious person, conscious of others, conscious of the world. I’m just very surprised in the best way, just to watch her work and be so disciplined and dedicated. It’s not hard to play, because she’s my favorite, she’s so amazing.

DC: How did you find the ‘in’ to Sister Charlotte?

SS: More than going for the religious aspect of the character, I listened to how parents are with their kids because I think she’s very nurturing with the girls. So I think that’s very important. I don’t have kids, and I actually don’t have children around in my family, so I’m trying to do my research on that, trying to pay attention if there’s a parent and a child around. Again, they make everything easier because not only are they great kids but they’re great actors. I probably have the same experience as the kids, [because] I started acting seven years ago, and they started acting seven years ago. We talk about how many movies they’ve made, our experiences on set, [and so] it’s sort of like artist to artist, as if you were working with a grownup.

DC: What is it like to work with David?

I would say different. I think he’s very excited because this is his second time on set, his second movie, so it’s really sweet to see him getting really excited. He also has a great and fresh vision for what he wants. I can see he knows what he wants, and I really like that because for being a second-time director he knows. He’s like ‘I got it, I got what I wanted.’ I don’t say anything because I feel as an actor you have to trust the director you’re working with, and sometimes it’s hard, but you have to trust and I’m trusting him. So if this is not good, it’s his fault. [laughs]

David Sandberg directs from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman, who also wrote Annabelle. The film stars Stephanie Sigman (Spectre), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), Lulu Wilson (Ouija 2, Deliver Us from Evil), Philippa Coulthard (After the Dark), Grace Fulton (Badland), Lou Lou Safran (The Choice), Samara Lee (The Last Witch Hunter), and Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia (TV’s “Without a Trace”) and Miranda Otto (Showtime’s “Homeland”).

Serving as executive producers are Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter, and Hans Ritter. Collaborating with Sandberg behind the scenes from his Lights Out team are production designer Jennifer Spence, editor Michel Aller, and composer Benjamin Wallfisch; they are joined by director of photography Maxime Alexandre (The Other Side of the Door) and costume designer Leah Butler (Paranormal Activity 3 & 4).

Currently scheduled for release on August 11, 2017, Annabelle: Creation is a New Line Cinema presentation, an Atomic Monster/Safran Company production. The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Synopsis:
Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

Annabelle Creation

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