Today we have actress Rebekah Kennedy in to have a chat about her new horror film called Bastard. You may recognise Rebekah from Season of the Witch where she acted opposite Nicolas Cage as the peasant Turk girl who has an unfortunate run in with Cage’s character. Since then she has been in a number of independent films as well as some TV work on the side. Take a look at what she had to say about her role in Bastard…
Hello there, thanks for taking some time out to speak with me today! How are you?
Of course! Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. I’m doing well!
First of all can you tell everyone a little bit about Bastard and the role which you play in it?
Bastard is basically about 5 strangers who become both suspects and victims when a masked murderer makes their presence known in an isolated mountain town.
I play Betty, who is one of those strangers. She and her brother, Jake, are running away from an awful home. Betty has been pretty unhappy with her life, and is also carrying quite a burden on her shoulders. And like most teenagers, she’s trying to figure out who she is. She’s feeling lost and has spent most of her life as a fly on the wall. And Betty prefers to go unnoticed. But on the flip side, she’s exceptionally smart and a brilliant artist. She just hasn’t figured out how to come into her own yet.
What was it about the project which first grabbed your attention?
I loved the script and the character of Betty. The script was really great and had such fantastic nuances to it. The writer, Patrick Robert Young, did an incredible job making the script intense and funny, and the first few times I read it, I would pick out new things I didn’t catch the first time. The story also has awesome flushed out characters. I loved Betty. She has such a great arc and a variety of layers to her. I knew it was going to be a blast getting to dive into her.
She does have a great arc! In fact I would say that your character is the one who undergoes the biggest development during the film, what was your approach to her many different aspects and stories?
Well, the directors Powell Robison and Patrick Robert Young, helped immensely before we started shooting and during the process as well. They sent me a great play list, which I listened to to death while we were shooting. And we talked in depth about Betty’s backstory, her home life, her relationship with her brother Jake, and her relationship with people in general. I did quite a bit of homework before we got to set, so once I was there I could just play. One of the great things was, while I was trying to figure out who this girl is, so was Betty. Then I kept notes about where she was mentally in each scene. How comfortable she was. Her growth and strength as a person. And the directors were a fantastic team along the way. They created an extremely safe environment, and really went with me to those dark places. As did our incredible cast. By the end of shooting, I really felt like I had been through the ringer, and I know Betty felt the same way. It’s so nice when life imitates art.
Bastard is so clearly a love letter to older horror films and their quirks so did Powell and Patrick recommend you watch anything in particular when preparing for the film? To what degree did they help guide your performance?
It really is, and yes, they did! They had me watch the remake of The Evil Dead, Hesher, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Boogie Nights. Each film really provided a feeling for different aspects of Bastard. I didn’t think about copying or emulating anything from the films, but I just thought about the feelings I got from each one. Then once I got to set, you kind of forget about all that, and different things emerge.
I have heard you say in the past that you enjoy being offered younger roles than your age and it really pays off here as you bring a necessary maturity to the role whilst also being fully convincing as a young woman. How easy/difficult do you find it to act younger than your age? What’s the biggest challenge that comes with that?
Firstly, thank you! People often ask me if I get tired of playing younger characters, and honestly I don’t. One reason being, I would never have gotten to play most of the characters I have. Since I look young, it’s been a blast to go back and visit roles I normally wouldn’t get to play. But, it’s both easy and can be difficult. There’s easiness in the fact that I have been 16. I know what that part of my life was like. I know how I felt, what I wanted, and how difficult teenage years can be. In all honesty, it’s often fairly easy to slip back into my younger selves. But, what can be difficult is that now I need to respond to a situation how that young girl would. Flashing myself back to a young, vulnerable girl and forgetting about how my mind works now. But, really has that much changed? Maybe a bit more life experience haha. And the challenge of it too, is not coming across too mature. But, there’s no standard for people. People are all over the map, so it’s whatever is appropriate for that character. But that’s the fun challenge of it too. And partly what makes acting so exciting. Even though Betty is far from what I’m like, I still found so much of myself in her and I could really relate to some of what she was feeling. Maybe because I have more life experience now, it’s easier for me to find my younger self again.
I did start doing theatre when I was around twelve, and I still very much love it. I’m definitely still interested in doing theatre if the right play and role came along. I have been more focused on film the past couple years, but I haven’t lost my love for theatre. I’m hoping in the future to get back on stage.
That’s good to hear! And finally what else of yours should we be keeping our eyes open for in the coming months Rebekah?
Well, I wrapped a pilot late last year called Street Level written and directed by Sons of Anarchy’s David Labrava. It also stars Mark Boone Junior, Charisma Carpenter, Danny Trejo, Robert Patrick, and Drea de Matteo to name a few. I have another horror film called The Conduit that should be coming out this year. Crimes of the Mind is currently airing on the Lifetime Movie Network. I did another pilot called Tonight with Match and Colaborator.com (you can watch that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=894g5Lb5z8U).
Most of my previous work can be found on DVD or Netflix. And I’m thrilled to be heading to Oklahoma this month to shoot a new film!
Fantastic, thanks again for chatting with me today!
Thanks again for the fun interview!
And that’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed this interview with Rebekah, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment box below!