By PETERSON GONZAGA
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Although best known for her comedic role on Disney Channel’s “A.N.T. Farm,” Stefanie Scott had no reservations auditioning for the role of Quinn Brenner in director Leigh Whannell’s horror suspense film “Insidious: Chapter 3.”
Luckily for Scott, she just finished wrapping up the filming of the live-action version of “Jem and the Holograms.” With only a few days left to audition of the third installment of the “Insidious” franchise, she decided to give it a shot. Her interest in paranormal television shows drew her to rush to the audition before it closed. The 18-year-old actress/singer says she’s had only one paranormal experience that she’ll never forget. It was while she was staying in a hotel, and late one night all the lights just suddenly came on. She slowly calmed herself down and turned the lights back off trying to sleep off the incident.
She plays an aspiring teen actress named Quinn in the third installment of the popular horror franchise. She feels that her recently deceased mother is reaching out to her. Quinn searches for a psychic to help make that connection, and finds Elise Ranier (Lin Shaye, reprising her role from the previous “Insidious” films), who is reluctant to help the young girl out after dealing with her own tragedy that has made her afraid to use her psychic abilities.
During a recent press day, Scott spoke about venturing into the horror genre and joining the popular “Insidious” franchise.
Q: You’re fans mostly know you from Disney Channel’s “A.N.T. Farm,” and doing comedy, so was it scary for you to delve into the horror genre?
Scott: I was really excited. I love dark films and I mean it’s really a dark film, minus even all the horror. It’s just what the family is going through. I like just any kind of authentic story.
Q: How did you get involved in this project?
Scott: I got an audition. I was just wrapping up filming “Jem and the Holograms” and I wasn’t able to audition for a long time and I came in just at the last second. I auditioned twice and had a meeting with Leigh to talk about the character.
Q: What was that one thing that drew you to the “Insidious,” franchise especially since it’s become a hit with the previous films?
Scott: I think it opens up a lot of questions. What I love about it is that it’s not totally gory. It’s purely psychological. It really gets you when you’re home alone at night because when you combine “The Further” and the real world it makes you think about what can be on the other side and are the people and energy surrounding you. It’s the whole overall tone of the movie. You can see it’s shot with cool filters.
Q: After doing this film, do you have a different take on paranormal activity or do you believe in paranormal activity?
Scott: Yeah. I always loved paranormal things. My dad and I would watch “Ghosthunters” and stuff. I love to go on ghost tours when I go visit new towns so I’m always very interested in it and reading books about it. I really think it brings up a lot of questions too.
Q: Have you had any type of paranormal experience while filming on set?
Scott: Nothing like that happened on set. I think was an overall creepy place to work because it was dark and cold and they definitely kept a mystery atmosphere on set.
Q: How exciting was it to work with co-star Lin Shaye?
Scott: I really feel like she was a mentor to me throughout the movie because I never have done a horror film before. It was a delight to work with her.
Q: Dermot Mulroney plays you father in the film. Tell us a bit about how were you both able to connect with each other playing father and daughter?
Scott: You know, I have a dad and (Mulroney) has a son, so with both kind of know about the kind of relationship someone has with a daughter or son. I think we had to make sure it was authentic as possible and not an “Oh Dad,” with a knee slap. I thought our relationship on the film was very real even though there’s not that much happiness with the family. You can see at the beginning of the movie how they act normally as a father and daughter and the brother dynamic, because I have a brother in real life.
Q: You and some of the select cast members had a movie night watching “The Shining” with Leigh Whannell before filming “Insidious.” Tell us more how did that dynamic work for you?
Scott: I think it was really helpful for all of us because we were working from 15-17 hours a day on top of each other for six weeks. So it was helpful to get to know everyone in a happy environment before we got to work.
Q: Have you ever watched “The Shining” before?
Scott: Yeah. It’s my favorite scary movie.
Q: What’s the scariest part or your favorite part of that movie?
Scott: I think it’s kind of seen through a little kid’s eyes not only in how simple it is but how scary it is—the overall tone of the movie. While (the boy is) riding his bike, you never know what’s coming around the corner, and sometimes there’s nothing.
Q: Did you feel like that when you filmed “Insidious?” You know what’s coming up in the film but did you get scared, especially when the director calls action?
Scott: Yeah. It’s nerve-wracking because you only have one take and you have to be on your toes.
Q: Just working with the characters in “The Further,” did that scare you?
Scott: Oh, for sure. It was weird because you’re working on set and see dead people while you’re eating lunch.
Q: How was the mood on the set?
Scott: I had so much fun on this set. Leigh was amazing. He was a dream to work with.
Q: Do you plan on doing more horror films and maybe become a scream queen?
Scott: No one has said anything. I would love to do another one. I had so much fun in this movie; I’d be a scream queen no matter what.