I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with “Jug Face“, “The Woman” and “Premium Rush” star Lauren Ashley Carter. She was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to talk about her work and her life. This up-and-coming star proves to be as personable as she is talented.
WC: What was it about the script for “Jug Face” that made you want to be a part of it?
LAC: I read it first without knowing I was being considered for the role of Ada. I sat down with the intention of reading twenty pages or so and I ended up reading the entire script. I was captivated by the characters and I had no clue how it was going to end. When I finished it, I called Andrew Van Den Houten and I told him I thought it was really a special piece.
WC: What sets “Jug Face” apart from other similar films?
LAC: I think that the ensemble sets Jug Face apart from other films in its genre or in neighboring genres. It isn’t only Ada’s life that gets turned upside down, it’s the entire community’s. Also, there isn’t a villain within the community. There’s the monster, but within the community, this is a group of desperate people trying to survive in the small world they’ve created. And it’s falling apart.
WC: Do you think that it would be possible for a community such as that in “Jug Face” to exist?
LAC: Absolutely. Chad and I spoke a lot about our experience with similar types. He and I both come from small towns, and quite honestly some of the stories I have are a helluva lot more disturbing (apart from pit monsters). Also, going “off the grid” is something that more people are seeking out as the conversation of personal privacy is happening every day. But I don’t want to get into that, ha ha.
WC: Can you tell us about your work with writer/director Chad Crawford Kinkle? Did you have any creative input on your character or the story?
LAC: Chad was great as far as all of us having creative input. We all spoke often before we were in Tennessee, and it was very important for him that we were all on the same page.
WC: In “Jug Face,” you have a very different relationship with Sean Bridgers, who played your abusive father in “The Woman.” Was that a nice reversal?
LAC: Ha ha ha, yes, it was fantastic. During The Woman, I didn’t really get to see Sean other than when we had our bits together. I was floored by his performance when I saw it premiere at Sundance in 2011. He was so funny and so disturbed, I couldn’t have imagined it turning out better. When Andrew told me that he would be playing the role of Dawai in Jug Face, I was thrilled. He’s the best scene partner you could wish for.
WC: Ada is a unique and complex character. What was she like to play? Do you have any similarities to her?
LAC: Ada is a very complicated woman, to take a line from Sean Spillane. Because so many of the scenes are emotionally and physically difficult, I had to take one scene at a time and not get ahead of myself. As I’ve said before, we just had a kick-ass ensemble and all of them had incredible focus that’s quite contagious.
I find a lot that I can relate to inside of Ada. I think the balance of self-preservation and self-destruction is key to Ada, and I’ve found myself in situations where it’s difficult to see what the right thing is. The racing thoughts with endless possibilities all ending negatively. The biggest difference between us is that she is impulsive and indecisive.
WC: With your performances in both “Jug Face” and “The Woman,” you have proven yourself to be able to handle difficult roles in horror films. Are you looking to stay in the genre, or trying to branch out to other genres? If so, which genres would you like to act in?
LAC: Well, I’ve brought up my childhood in many interviews because of my early introduction to horror by my father. I have nothing but fond memories of watching horror and sci fi as a kid with my dad. It was my dream to be one of the scream queens, so I’m honored to have had the opportunities to be in such fantastic horror films. Listen, if I live to be eighty-eight years old and my executive summary is that of a scream queen, I’ll be more than happy with my life. I love doing comedy as well. My creative partner, Lukas Persson, and I have been making these videos on our YouTube channel DOSEYTV called “Tea Time with Lauren Ashley Carter” and “Under the Covers with Lauren Ashley Carter” to raise awareness about our company and also to test out our wacky writing with audiences. I would love to do more comedy as well as horror. Put them together, and I’m in heaven.
WC: Were you expecting such a violent reaction to “The Woman,” or were you surprised by it?
LAC: I was very surprised by it. I shouldn’t have been, people have violent reactions to Superman movies, so who knows what to expect?!
WC: If you could play any role in a movie remake, who would you like to portray?
LAC: This one is tough because I usually lose my lunch when I hear anything is being remade: good or bad.
I would want to play the role of Helen originated by Kitty Winn in Panic In Needle Park. I think we are completely different and I wouldn’t take away from her original performance. Too bad I couldn’t get the Al Pacino from 1971 to co-star with me: Shwing!
WC: Which actors would you like to work with?
LAC: I would love to work with many actors in comedy Brenda Blethyn is one of my favorites of all time, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Rowan Atkinson. Uma Thurman pulls at my heart strings, ha ha. And I wish that Ruth Gordon and Madeline Kahn were still with us, they were brilliant women.
WC: I have heard that you are horror fan. What are some of your favorite horror films?
LAC: AH!!! This is such a horrible question for me. I need to make a list and carry it with me at all times. Ha ha ha. Okay,
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Sleepaway Camp (yes, all of them!)
Don’t Look Now
The Shining (I rewound the scene where Jack Nicholson is walking down the hallway having a hissy fit over and over when I was a kid until I could imitate it perfectly)
The Evil Dead (1,2, and of course Army of Darkness)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (I was convinced my mother was a pod)
Phantasm (I still don’t really know what the f– is going on, but I’ll never get down with anyone in a cemetery!) Videodrome fits in here as well
Halloween (Jamie Lee Curtis rocks out loud)
WC: What are some of your favorite recent horror movies?
LAC: The Conjuring
*to riff off Contracted* Teeth
And unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Big Bad Wolves, yet. But I can’t wait! Also, Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson’s All Cheerleaders Die, I’m really anxious to see that as well.
WC: Can you let us in on any future roles/projects that you have coming up?
LAC: I’m currently producing my first feature that I’ll also be starring in called DOSEY. It’s a dark comedic thriller about a masked woman who seeks revenge after she is wronged by a group of careless, privileged guys.
LAC: We’ll be updating on my website laurenashleycarter.com and you can watch our wacky videos Tea Time with Lauren Ashley Carter and Under the Covers with Lauren Ashley Carter on DOSEYTV, our YouTube channel. We also have a Facebook page Dosey Strikes.
WC: Do you have any upcoming appearances for any conventions where fans can catch up with you?
LAC: I will be attending a convention in March in Cincinnati, Ohio: Horrorhound Weekend. I’ll let you know if there are any others coming up.
WC: What message would you like to leave your fans with?
LAC: The fans of horror are the best in the world, I should know because I am one! When I go to these festivals, I’m as excited as everyone else. I feel so honored to be an actor in this genre. I love being in the theater with everyone screaming, laughing, groaning, fainting! The support and the love is palpable.
So, I guess the message is: I love you guys!
Lauren Ashley Carter Acting Credits:
2013 Jug Face – Ada
2012 Jack’s Not Sick Anymore (Short) – Naomi
2012 Premium Rush – Phoebe
2011 Mantua – Noir Novie
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series): Pursuit (2011) – Lisa Banks
2011 The Prodigies – Liza Everton
2011 The Woman – Peggy Cleek
2010 Rising Stars – Natalie
2008 Waiting Room (Short) – Julie / Alison