Interview: Lulu Wilson Talks Teenage Angst & Beating Up Kevin James In BECKY
This may be a little premature, but is fifteen year old actress Lulu Wilson already becoming a genre icon? Here’s her resumé for arguments sake: Deliver Us From Evil, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Annabelle: Creation, House On Haunted Hill and Sam Raimi’s 50 States of Fright. With Becky out this weekend, Wilson adds action hero to her list of credentials while still staying true to her horror pedigree.
When Dread Central spoke to Lulu recently, she was an absolute delight and still seemed charged up from her experience as the titular teenage girl who avenges her family after they’re attacked by escaped Neo-Nazi convicts. With Joel McHale playing her Dad in Becky, Wilson had plenty of laughs during filming but, judging by this interview, she seemed to have the most fun embracing all the gory practical effects on set and beating up on four grown men.
Spunky and rebellious, Becky (Lulu Wilson) is brought to a weekend getaway at a lake house by her father Jeff (Joel McHale) in an effort to try to reconnect after her mother’s death. The trip immediately takes a turn for the worse when a group of convicts on the run, led by the merciless Dominick (Kevin James), suddenly invade the lake house.
Dread Central: Did anything prepare you for the violence you had to unleash as Becky?
Lulu Wilson: Honestly, I don’t think so. I remember telling myself that I had to prepare to do those angry grunts or the battle cries, all of those things. I told myself I was going to prepare but I’m a huge procrastinator. So by the first day of filming, which was actually a pretty heavy scene of violence, I wasn’t prepared at all. I remember trying to cram all this action information into my brain right as I walked out the door and it didn’t really work. But I noticed that since I wasn’t really totally prepared, it kind of paid off more because it was like action in the moment. It felt good in the moment.
DC: I pictured you doing survival training but now it just looks like you procrastinated and winged it.
LW: Yeah, I did, that’s like my thing. I like winging things though. Keeps you on the edge, keeps you on your toes.
DC: Was this as fun as it looked or was it grueling to shoot so many outdoor scenes?
LW: It was amazing. A lot of people say that even if it’s disingenuous but it really was…it was my best experience. It was just a blast. I am an angry teenager, I would say, so is Becky. So, it was good kind of harnessing all of my rage and putting it into that role and putting it into all the action that I’m doing. I just had the best time. It was hard, those days where I’d been just running in the forest all day long getting bit my mosquitoes which kinda sucked but it all paid off at the end of the day. But I mean, I just had the best time beating up four grown men. It was the best.
DC: You just maybe tapped into why I like the film so much. It really is a cathartic experience for the angry teenager that’s still inside of me. It doesn’t go away unfortunately, Lulu.
LW: It was great, it was therapeutic. I could just scream with no consequence. It’s kind of weird if you’re just in your house in your room screaming. But when you’re on set and you’re supposed to be killing people, it’s okay to scream. So, it was great!
DC: It must be nice, too, because you get it all out on set and the you go home and everyone’s like, ‘Wow, Lulu is so much nicer.’
LW: I know! I really was. It was meditative, I would go home and just be zen. Then, over the weekend I would wake up and be like, I want to go to work. I want to go back, I don’t want it to be the weekend. Which is crazy because that’s not a very Lulu thing to say.
DC: You’ve really been in more supernatural fare and this was really down and dirty with practical effects. How was the switch? Did you like seeing all those effects on set?
LW: Yeah, it was really cool. The special effects makeup, that was great. I got really close with the special effects woman, her name’s Karlee and she was just the greatest. We would listen to Lizzo in the trailer while she would apply my broken nose. We just had the greatest time. She had to make puppet versions of Diego the dog aka Mantis’ head and she actually let me keep one. And an eyeball. I have a little eyeball that I hide places around my room and then when people find it they get really freaked out.
DC: That’s great. That eyeball is definitely memorable. The dogs are, too. There are a couple of scenes that are a little hard to watch but it all works out. I saw that you were in 50 States of Fright too, I haven’t seen your episode yet on Quibi.
LW: I don’t think it’s come out yet, I think they pushed the date a little bit.
DC: What story are you in?
LW: It’s called “13 Steps to Hell.” It’s pretty scary. It’s surprisingly, really freaky.
DC: That sounds like one of the old urban legends. If you take 13 steps…
LW: Yeah, it’s all urban legends. My sister used to read me all those Creepypasta stories so I’m very into that.
DC: You got to play Kestra in one episode of Picard, are you a Trekkie?
LW: My grandpa is a huge Trekkie but I am personally not. Patrick Stewart was literally the nicest person, it was crazy how nice he was. He told me the origins of his name and how he was named Patrick. He was so sweet. I spoke a language that Kestra had made up. Every single take that I did, I would say it differently because I couldn’t remember how to say these words in this language. It was a really cool experience to do that.
DC: Back to Becky, isn’t some of the artwork that she draws…isn’t that also drawn by you?
LW: Yeah, it is. I’m a huge cartoonist, I have cartoons all over my wall. I draw these little clown devil guys. I think I was drawing them on my script and I think Jon [Milott] or Cary [Murnion] saw and said, ‘Oh, would you be up for doing that to Becky’s fort?’ And I drew on my backpack, too. I drew on that, too, which was great to work collaboratively like that with Jon and Cary.
DC: It kind of added a little bit of your personality into Becky. I liked the scenes you did with Robert Maillet, the Apex character. They’re weirdly sweet. Were those scenes some of your favorites? I almost wanted you guys to team up.
LW: Yeah, my Mom feels the exact same way. She got very upset at that final moment that I have with him. We had many debates about that, too. I think that when I was filming them, I was in more of a mindset of Becky’s mindset which is I’m gonna take this guy down. But watching it, I had a totally different perspective. There’s that shot where you can see the size difference and he’s reaching out his hand to me in the field. It was totally different, the feeling of filming and watching it. He’s one of the only guys in that movie that you feel, one of the only bad guys that you feel the most sympathy for, I think personally.
DC: Who’s taller? Joel McHale or Robert? I guess it’s gotta be Robert.
LW: Oh, Robert, he is like seven feet tall, it’s insane! I’m only five feet tall and Joel is also very tall. I’m very short to begin with so having someone that tall was fun. There is a scene where he picks me up and he picks me up with no effort. I was very impressed.
DC: I’m 6’1″ and I’ve been on set with Joel McHale before. It was pouring rain in the Bronx and he kept everyone laughing. I could not believe how large the man was. It must have been fun to be on set with him and Kevin James.
LW: Joel is obviously so funny. In the car scene, we had to be in the car together for a really long time. They were pulling the car around this long windy road so we spent a lot of time in that car. I made fun of him a lot, I just remember being very intense with the making fun of him. I actually didn’t do many scenes with Kevin because the whole movie he’s kind of chasing me. But when I did work with him, it was a great experience. He’s the bad guy but whenever he would do something bad towards Becky, he would just after the scene was over, he felt so bad. I found that very interesting and it just shows how sweet of a guy he actually is.
Becky is in Theaters, Drive-Ins, On Digital and On Demand June 5
PLAYING IN THE BELOW THEATERS AND DRIVE-INS BEGINNING JUNE 5TH:
IOWA: Superior 71 Drive-In, Blue Grass Drive-In
INDIANA: Garrett Drive-In, Tri Way 4 Drive-In
KENTUCKY: Regency 8
MASSACHUSETTS: Mendon Twin Drive-In
MINNESOTA: Long Drive-In
NORTH CAROLINA: Hounds Drive-In, Raleigh Road Drive-In, Badin Road Drive-In, Eden Drive-In
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Milford Drive-In 2
NEW JERSEY: Delsea Drive-In
NEW YORK: Transit Drive-In, Silver Lakes Drive-In, Sunset 3 Drive-In, Vintage Drive-In, Delevan Twin Drive-In
OHIO: Mayfield Road Drive-In, Skyway Drive-In, South Drive-In Twin, Tiffin Drive-In, Starview Drive-In, Springmill Drive-In, Magic City Twin Drive-In, Van-Del Drive-In, Dixie Drive-In, Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-In, Elm Road Triple Drive-In, Field of Dreams Drive-In
OKLAHOMA: Tower Drive-In
PENNSYLVANIA: Garden Drive-In, Circle Drive-In, Comet Twin Drive-In, Kane Family Drive-In, Riverside Drive-In, Silver Drive-In, Skyview Twin Drive-In
SOUTH CAROLINA: Hi-Way 21 Drive-In
TENNESSEE: Stardust Drive-In
WISCONSIN: Stardust Drive-In