A NEWLY-MARRIED couple find themselves facing an early and unplanned pregnancy in the horror thriller “Devil’s Due” starring Zach Gifford and Allison Miller. Miller is Sam McCall in the movie who suddenly finds her life turned upside down when they found out that her unexpected pregnancy may be the devil’s work.
Miller, 28-year-old and was born in Rome, Italy, but raised in Kentucky and Florida, had paid her dues as a guest on “General Hospital,” “CSI: NY,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Boston Legal.” On the big screen she starred as Zac Efron’s girlfriend in “17 Again” and as Alice McKee in the live action version of “Blood: The Last Vampire.”
In the following q&a by Tony Horkins, Miller shares on the audition and the unprecedented filmmaking process of “Devil’s Due.”
Q: How do you think your audition went?
A: “Good, and I never feel that way. Even other jobs that I’ve gotten, I never feel good about my performance in the audition. For this one there was a lot of improvisationand it all felt very natural and that was a lot easier for me, that style.”
Q: Your directors, Radio Silence, say that you set the standard from your first audition, and that with subsequent actresses they found themselves saying, ‘Well, she’s not Allison.’ Were you aware of that?
A: Ha ha! No way! I really was not. Though the first time I met with them I’d had an audition earlier that morning that I felt so awful about, and after their audition I drove home and just felt so good. I had the windows down, I was blaring classical music, and I felt that that was it, that was my best stuff. Though I had to do two more auditions after that!
Q: Did you have any concern about their relative lack of experience and the unconventional route they’d taken to helm a movie?
A: To be honest, yeah. Because I’m not an established actress I feel like working with a director that knows what they’re doing is one of the most important things. But really the first time I met them I started getting notes in the audition room, and I felt like these notes were really insightful and they just seemed to have a really clear idea of what they wanted. Any fear I had quickly disappeared. I could see that they were really creative and inventive and ambitious – I liked what I saw.
Q: Your chemistry with Zach was particularly impressive – did you know him?
A: We’d never met before. He came in and did a ‘chemistry’ read and I immediately felt that he was the right guy for the job. His style is very laid back and he never seems like he’s acting to me. When I found out he was going to do the part and I was going to be playinghalf of a married couple with a total stranger it felt a bit daunting, so I needed to feel I had some kind of connection with him. So I started watching Friday Night Lights and that did it for me.
Q: The chemistry seems as though it’s there at the beginning, or did it develop?
A: It developed, but developed pretty quickly. We really got along, and the first week we went into production we went out to dinner one night, found out about each other’s lives, and then working on set for so long we got to know each other pretty well. Then we had a lot in common – we’re both actually newly-weds in real life, so there was a lot to talk about.
Q: Did the fact that you were both newlyweds help in actually playing a newlywed? Were you able to bring that experience to the role?
A: Definitely. We haven’t gotten to go on a honeymoon yet, but the wedding and the preparation and what it’s like to be living with someone you know you’re going to be living with for the rest of your life… that’s very much a part of my day to day. Knowing what the arguments are going to be like, and that kind of high you get when you’re newly married and it’s so exciting. That’s happened in the past year for the both of us so we knew all about that stuff.
Q: Your dialogue seems very much improvised…
A: Well we would do a couple of takes completely scripted, and then a few takes doing whatever we felt within the realm of the scene, finding the through-line. It was very liberating.
Q: Things get pretty dark in this movie – did it feel creepy filming it?
A: It never felt that creepy – for me it almost felt fun. There were times we had to go to really dark places and really hard emotional places, but just the way that our crew was and the way that everyone on set was, it was very easy to come out of that. It always just felt like we were playing and having fun, even when I was covered in blood and freezing. Looking back on it it kind of creeps me out, but when we were shooting it I was really enjoying it.
Q: Were you much of a fan of the point of view style of movie making?
A: I am – I think it’s really interesting. I really like how they used it in Chronicle, though I haven’t seen any of the Paranormal Activity films. I know it’s such a trend right now, but I really like what it does for the naturalism of the movie.
Q: In which way do you think Devil’s Due veers away from the Rosemary’s Baby story?
A: The dynamic of the couple is incredibly different and the style that it’s shot in is different; Rosemary’s Baby is not so much a horror movie, it’s more of a psychological thriller. I think Devil’s Due has more shocking moments and there’s a lot of humor in it too.
“Devil’s Due” opens March 19 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.