This writer hit the set of director John Suits’ upcoming feature The Scribbler last week and brought back a teaser image as well as an interview with actress Ashlynn Yennie. Read on for word on her clothing-challenged character and more!
An adaptation of the 2006 Image Comics graphic novel, The Scribbler, with a screenplay by Daniel Schaffer, was being lensed at the soon-to-be renovated filming spot Linda Vista Community Hospital in downtown L.A., and upon arriving to the night shoot, I immediately encountered the properties’ bordering neighbors engaged in a display of cacophonous fireworks. Over the years this has become standard protocol for the residents of the apartment structure, who do so in order to extort money from productions leasing in the nearby Linda Vista. Their ploy worked apparently (as it has done many times before) as upon entering the hospital, producer Gabriel Cowan confirmed the production’s yield to their machinations.
Starring Katie Cassidy (“Supernatural”, A Nightmare on Elm Street), Garret Dillahunt (The Last House on the Left), Michelle Trachtenberg (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Eliza Dushku (Wrong Turn, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Gina Gershon (Killer Joe), Michael Imperioli (The Lovely Bones), Billy Campbell (“The Killing”), Sasha Grey (The Girlfriend Experience) and the previously mentioned Yennie, The Scribbler (according to the flick’s PR) concerns “Suki (Cassidy), a young woman confronting her destructive mental illness using ‘The Siamese Burn’, an experimental machine designed to eliminate multiple personalities. The closer Suki comes to being ‘cured’, the more she’s haunted by a thought… what if the last unwanted identity turns out to be her?”
Shooting Day 18 of the 20-day shoot, the production was in full swing filming scenes with Cassidy, Dushku and Imperioli, and after watching the action on the monitors, I found my way with the help of unit publicist Shannon Sonnier to the room of The Scribbler to have a look at the “The Siamese Burn” contraption before sitting down with Yennie to discuss her role in the film.
“It’s been really fun,” said the actress, whose previous turns include that of the tail end of the surgically conjoined human monstrosity at the center of Tom Six’s The Human Centipede, as well as the head of the same in his ‘ATM’ sequel The Human Centipede 2. “I’ve had some really intense shooting days, but overall it’s been amazing to work with everyone here.”
Yennie, who had already wrapped The Scribbler and arrived to set that night in order to do press, engagingly revealed of her role: “I play ‘Emily,’ and all of us are kind of like in this halfway house for the mentally insane, but we are not allowed to live outside in the world yet. I play a girl who has a condition called ‘Vestiphobia’, which is the fear of being trapped in clothing. So I run around naked a lot in this movie!”
Commenting on the decayed interior of the circa 1933 structure, Yennie laughed, “Yeah, it’s great to be running around Linda Vista naked and barefoot. I was actually really scared that I was going to catch something. But they did end up putting me in a dress so I was like ‘yes,’ but my character was screaming ‘no!’ I had to do a very intense scene where I have a mental breakdown because they put clothes on me. Yes, this is real. This is my life.”
“So they put me in the dress,” continued Yennie, who earlier this year completed her role in Adam Gierasch’s upcoming feature Schism, “and then I have a mental breakdown. My character actually hates everyone else’s clothing in the movie, too, and I comment on what they are wearing. At one point I make fun of Michelle Trachtenberg’s outfit, and then she…” (Note: As this article will remain fairly spoiler-free, I’ll refrain from communicating what Yennie revealed. Let’s just say the scene will be a narrative and visual treat, more than likely).
As for how Yennie became attached to The Scribbler, she stated, “When I found out they were looking to cast the role, they had already cast the entire film so I emailed the casting director, and I was like, ‘Hey, here’s my reel, can I read the script?’ And she was like, ‘Oh my god, you need to come meet the director,’ because John knew me from The Human Centipede films, and they pretty much knew that I wasn’t afraid to be naked or whatever, but they also knew that I could kind of handle the heaviness of someone who has a condition like this because she’s really serious about it, like it’s not a laughing matter. She has a fear of clothing. I did a scene with Katie where I actually really do make fun of everything that she’s wearing, too, because I am so offended by it.”
Stay tuned for interviews with The Scribbler stars Cassidy and Dushku coming nearer to the film’s release, and in the interim check out the exclusive teaser photo below as provided by the production.
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