Lauren Ashley Carter Talks Jug Face and More
If you’re a fan of backwoods cults, incest, and homemade ceramics, then Chad Crawford Kinkle’s debut, Jug Face, just might be for you. As the daughter of Sean Young (Blade Runner) and Larry Fessenden (The Battery, Satan Hates You), you’d probably be a little messed up too...
...but actress Lauren Ashley Carter (The Woman) seems to have her head on pretty straight, even after being subjected to the kooky antics of all the truly misled characters in the film. I spoke to Lauren earlier about her emotional performance in Jug Face, an intimate tale of sacrifice gone horribly wrong.
Dread Central: So, I just finished the film and I really love the end credits song done by Sean Spillane. I think he did all the music for The Woman as well, is that right?
Lauren Ashley Carter: Yes, yes, that’s right.
DC: I’m going to have to get that soundtrack and jam it on Spotify.
LAC: I’m so glad! Yeah I love it, too. I really do; I still listen to The Woman [soundtrack] all the time.:
DC: Yeah, it’s really raw. I like it. So, without getting too personal, where did you grow up? Was it a big city or a small town? And did that kind of upbringing give you something deeper to draw on, you know, in being a part of this small community in the film?
LAC: Yeah, I grew up in Ohio in a small town called Massillon. Go Tigers! And I can definitely relate to a lot of those things and Chad [Crawford Kinkle] could as well, we talked about that before. In my town, it was kind of, you know, you stay there and have a family and they go to the same high school that you did or you stay there and don’t have a family and you end up on heroin. Or you get out. And there really wasn’t room to do much else. We got out. You hear the same stories from people that did the same things that their parents did and their parents before that. There is a very isolating factor in those towns and the way that people think and the way they don’t change how they think. That’s a very big part of Jug Face obviously on a much larger scale with this community.
DC: Well, I’m glad you broke the circle and got out. Did you come from a religious background or have any eccentric characters in your family like Larry Fessenden growing up? I love Larry to death.
LAC: (Laughs) Ya know, I… personally, I was very religious when I was young. It was something that I sought out even though my parents weren’t. My parents weren’t together and I spent a lot of time with my grandmother who went to church and I went with her just to be around her. And then I really got into it because it was a community. It was a community that I didn’t have in my home. It was a place I could go to where people wanted you all the time. It wasn’t until my adolescence that I started questioning this blind faith. But it is very attractive, and it’s very appealing and it’s very comforting for sure. But it is very tempting to stay in that safety net and to not want to see the dangerous things or the dirty things.
DC: Yeah, my family was religious but I never really subscribed to it that much. In this film you have a very innocent, likable, almost Pollyanna quality on screen. Did you study acting and have you ever been told that you have Disney eyes? Because it makes you a lot more likable. You have these big, huge eyes!
LAC: (laughs) Yeah, um, I did study acting. I went to a conservatory for four years and then I just jumped into New York City. But yeah, I obviously got the eyes… you know, when I was a kid everyone called me 'Wednesday' in gym class. People would come up to me and say, ‘Yo quiero Taco Bell!’ because they thought I looked like the chihuahua from the Taco Bell commercial.
DC: Oh, that’s wrong.
LAC: Yeah, that was a fun one. And in New York I get… it’s funny, it’s either a love it or hate it thing. I’ve had casting directors just insult me to death about the size of my eyes and just try not to make them so big and all this ridiculous stuff! But, it’s something I’m very proud of now and I embrace it fully.
DC: Well, you look a lot like Sean Young in the film. It’s good casting. You obviously have some intimate and disturbing scenes, to say the least, with her. I was just wondering if you grew up watching her? Did you guys grow close on set or maybe purposely stay away from each other given the nature of your relationship on screen?
LAC: Oh sure, that’s a great question. Actually, yeah, I’m a huge fan of Sean Young. Likewise, I worked with Catherine Mary Stewart before as well who I was also a big fan of. But yeah, Sean Young and Blade Runner was one of the first movies that I had seen growing up. My father is a huge cinema fan, especially of sci-fi and horror so I started watching horror very young and sci-fi as well. And it was just in general that I was a Sean Young fan. One of my favorite movies, which is one of the silliest movies in the world, was Fatal Instinct which was the mock film of Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct which she co-stars in. I used to just die over that movie, I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. Anyway, when I found out Andrew van den Houten … we had done this film together, this family film was the first thing I ever did with him. And he randomly mentioned Sean Young. Just an off the cuff kind of thing just, ‘Oh by the way, Sean Young and I are ...’ and I said, ‘Excuse me? Sean Young? Like the Sean Young?’ and I flipped out. And that was back in 2010, wait, 2009 actually. And he says he called her and said, ‘We’re gonna get you guys in a movie someday. Sean Young’s going to play your Mom, it’ll be perfect.’ So this became a running joke that Sean Young was my Mom. So, I was just absolutely thrilled to work with her, of course. She’s very nurturing. All the scenes with us … every time we cut she was the one that was making sure I was okay.
DC: If the roles you land continue to be character studies and quieter films like this, is the horror genre something you’d like to be known for or are you just going where the work is like any actor would?
LAC: To me, this is a dream come true to be in horror films. And if that became my career, I would consider myself to be a very blessed, lucky, happy … all of the above. After this, I’m co-producing and starring in a dark comedic action thriller which is kind of in the subgenre of the rape/revenge category, so I’m kind of working with the fan base that I have. So, I find it so much fun. I love working in horror. I don’t think there’s anything quite like it.
DC: What do you think the pit represents to you? Is it fear of the unknown?
LAC: I think the pit can be very literal and people can get consumed by it and become transfixed in it. I think that it can be a false idol in a lot of ways, in that they surrender their own choices, their own powers, their own decision-making to the unknown because it’s easier. And also incredibly dangerous at the same time. It very quickly spins out of control when you surrender all responsibility.
Jug Face is now in limited release theatrically and also available on iTunes, Amazon, and VOD.
Read our Jug Face review here!
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The pit has spoken. Dawai, the potter of a backwoods community, has crafted a face on a ceramic jug of the person that the pit wants sacrificed. Ada, pregnant with her brother’s child, has seen her face on the jug and hides it in the woods, determined to save the life of her unborn. If she does not sacrifice herself, however, the creature from the pit will kill everyone in the village until she does.
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