Exclusive - Ruby Modine Talks Happy Death Day - Dread Central
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Exclusive – Ruby Modine Talks Happy Death Day

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Happy Death Day, the new horror comedy from director Christopher Landon and producer Jason Blum, takes place on a college campus – but the movie is smarter than you might think. Still, it’s fun to rip on the stereotypes, and Ruby Modine embodies the “weird, nerdy roommate” as Lori. We caught up with the actress to find out more.

Dread Central: Even though you yourself aren’t as involved in the horror scenes as some others, it still looked like a pretty spooky set – especially the hospital where Lori works.

Ruby Modine: It definitely had a spooky vibe because when you’re on the set of a horror film there’s that little ominous layer, like a breeze floating. But because there’s an element of comedy in the film it was also extremely funny. So it was really, really great. Chris [Landon] has such good energy about him, like, you were really excited to go to set every day, everybody in the cast had a great time. So it was exciting to go to work but you were kind of on your toes because you were afraid something might pop out at you at any random point during the day.

Photo Credit: Nathan Johns

DC: In the movie, the main character lives the same day of her murder over and over again. But she’s the only one who’s aware of it. What was it like having to be Lori in the same situation every day and yet not knowing it?

RM: It had to do with a lot of memorization. Because as you saw, Lori was always writing in her journal but it was a little bit difficult – you know you have to remember your eye line and your facial expressions – it was just about staying in the same. You have the thought process every day, you’re thinking about specific things and just knowing that you just have to stay in that thought process, and then you go off of how your co-star is going to be acting. So Jessica Rothe, who plays Tree, she was aware of the fact she was living the same day over and over again and so you stay in that thought process and then you get to act of, of how’s she’s acting in the day. So it was just about memorization and then allowing yourself to act of, of her reaction to what was happening.

DC: What were your thoughts when you first read the script, not knowing how it would it all turn out?

RM: I was excited. As I was reading the script I caught myself really excited every time I flipped the page, because I just wanted to know who the killer was, and every time I thought that Tree got out of it, you flip the page and it goes, ‘Tree wakes up’. I found myself stamping my foot going ‘No way! You can’t be serious’. But it was exciting and I liked that element because it has that Groundhog Day feel, but it also still has the comedy behind it and there’s some really beautiful scenes in it that Jessica does. So I was happy about it and I knew that it was going to be really fun and I’d never done anything that was repetitive like that, so I was excited about it all.

DC: The audience reaction is going to be the same, I think. Have you seen the finished film?

RM: I have. It was so incredible watching, just at the beginning the Universal logo repeating that way and I thought ‘Oh my gosh, this is gonna be such a fun ride.’ The way that you imagine how something will be at the end is usually always going to be different from what it comes out as, because you’re not the one putting it together – it’s in Christopher’s mind. I was so happy with the end product. It kept me on the edge of my seat, I was laughing, I was screaming, and I’m not kidding when I say that. I was legitimately laughing and screaming throughout the whole time I watched it, so that was great. And I knew it was going to be scary.

DC: You have a scene or two with the creepy serial killer who is hospitalized in the movie… What’s the actor who looks so scary, actually like?

RM: Rob Mello and I have actually stayed in contact since filming. He is so lovely and so funny and just so artistic. And he and I were goofing around – he was the spookiest one not only in his character but on set he had way too much fun. Laughing around with me and scaring me, but it was great working with him. It was easy because he’s an easy-going person and you just talk to your co-worker about what the choice your gonna make works. And yes, working in the hospital was definitely creepy and that hospital in real life is just as creepy as it is on the screen.

DC: Was it actually a practical set in a hospital?

RM: Yes, but it was abandoned at the time. I’m not sure if it’s been rebuilt at this point but there were definitely areas of the hospital that were shut down and then there were other areas that had been brought back to life for the film. I don’t have any knowledge at this point as to where the hospital is at now. At that point there were areas that were closed down and there were areas that were very, very creepy.

DC: Do you remember the first horror movie you ever saw?

RM: I was in fourth or fifth grade and I went for a sleepover at my friend’s house and she put on the original IT. And it was so scary that I stayed under the pillow the whole time and I actually had to leave the room, that’s how absolutely terrifying it was. And to this day, I used to be a bigger fan of horror because I could handle it better then, I get scared much easier. But I still watch them. I just saw the most recent IT film in theatres.

DC: How did it stack up against the first IT?

RM: I think it did a really good job. And usually I feel like, ‘you shouldn’t remake it’ and probably that’s not the best thing for me to feel but
I think that the IT film lived up to the first one. And the kids were so good in it, oh my gosh, it was just terrifying. Bill Skarsgard is so terrifying in that film!

DC: Would you like to act in more horror films?

RM: It is something that I would love to do again. But I never know what is going to be happening in my future so I just put it into the universe and say hopefully I will be doing another horror film because I enjoy them a lot.

Happy Death Day is directed by Christopher Landon, who co-wrote the film with Scott Lobdell. Jessica Rothe headlines the film, which comes out Friday, October 13th.

Synopsis:
A college student (Jessica Rothe, La La Land) relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity.

Happy Death Day

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