Jessica Parker Kennedy on ‘Deep Murder’ & Her Character’s Surprising Journey on ‘The Flash’

     June 14, 2019

From director Nick Corirossi, the raunchy horror comedy Deep Murder shows what can happen when a deranged killer starts to slash up the cast of a soft core porno. While they try to catch the killer among them, brutally murdered bodies turn up, one by one, and those who are left wonder what it will take to survive the night. The film stars Jerry O’Connell Christopher McDonald, Katie AseltonStephanie DrakeChris ReddJessica Parker KennedyQuinn Beswick and Josh Margolin. 

During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Jessica Parker Kennedy, who plays Babysitter, talked about how the pitch for Deep Murder was the strangest that she’s ever gotten, what finally sold her on the project, the fun vibe on set, the experience of working with this cast and how game they all were, how she approached her character, the wardrobe, and the most fun days of the shoot. She also talked about her time as Nora West-Allen on The CW series The Flash, what she most enjoyed about that character journey, and whether that’s the last we’ll see of her on the show.  

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Image via Screen Media

Collider:  This is essentially a horror comedy, but it’s set in this softcore porn world, so I can only imagine what the pitch must have sounded like. When this opportunity came you way, how was it presented to you? What were you told about the project? 

JESSICA PARKER KENNEDY:  Yeah, it was the strangest pitch I’ve ever gotten. It came through my agency, and it was like, “Hey, these guys wanna hire you for this film. Check it out.” And I struggled to understand exactly what the storyline was because it’s very confusing and very hard to describe. And then, when I ended up meeting with the director (Nick Corirossi) and one of the writers, and they totally sold me. It’s very stupid comedy, but it’s funny and smart, at the same time, if that makes any sense. The comedy is very Saturday Night Live, which really appealed to me. And we got an opportunity to improvise a lot. It was great. I had the best time. 

Once you got on set, what was the vibe of the shoot like? 

KENNEDY:  It was really fun. We shot it at a mansion in Bel Air. That really helped a lot because the mansion was really, really cheesy, and apparently, quite a few actual porns had been shot there, in the past, which is really scuzzy and gross, but also amazing, at the same time because it put us in the exact kind of mind-set that we needed to be in. We had a lot of motivation. It was really fun. It was just such a ridiculous, marble-clad, cheesy mansion that just fit exactly what we were trying to do. And the whole cast is really lovable and really fun. Everyone was just really happy to be there. We were cracking jokes, and we were all laughing at each other for doing this in the first place, which made for a really good time. 

How was the experience of working with this cast? Was everybody just game for anything and everything?  

KENNEDY:  Yeah, you had to be game, for sure, and I think we all were. There’s a certain level of comfort that you have to be okay with. It’s over the top, but it’s not totally gross, if you know what I mean. It was just really funny. I certainly didn’t have to do anything. I was a lot more uncomfortable with the stuff hat I had to do on Black Sails because there was such a goofy element to this. And I got to keep my clothes on for this, unlike Black Sails, so I was actually a lot more comfortable, on set, than I had been in other situations that involved sex, and that sort of stuff. We had such a good time. Everyone was just really delightful. 

It’s an interesting world because it is still somewhat serious. You guys aren’t just straight out playing the comedy of it. Were there ever times when you just couldn’t help but laugh? 

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Image via Screen Media

KENNEDY:  Oh, absolutely! We laughed all the time. We constantly broke character. That’s the joy of being able to work on a project like this. With other projects that are serious, you don’t often have a lot of time to just be really silly. With this, we were making each other laugh so much that it was crazy fun. 

When you play someone that’s just called Babysitter by everyone, how does that inform the way you view the character? 

KENNEDY:  I didn’t have to do too much deep down searching to figure out who this person was. It was more figuring out where she fits in the script, where she fits in the story, and what her reason for being in the story is, as opposed to figuring out her background, what her past was like, and who her mom and dad are. You don’t really do that. It just comes from a place of, “Okay, I’m telling this story. Where do I fit in?” She’s not the deepest or the smartest young woman of the bunch, but none of them are, and that’s the joy of it. So, I was just like, “All right, let’s just make this girl really silly, really sexy, and as stupid as she is, and we’ll have a good time with it.” 

This film also has a very specific look to it, and you guys all behave, dress and talk in a very specific way. How did you figure out how you wanted to sound and carry yourself? Were there conversations about how you would all be doing that? 

KENNEDY:  Yeah, we definitely had conversations about that. I sat down with our director, Nick, and said, “How do you want her to sound?” We just went through different ideas, and it really worked. He was really down with everything, so it was definitely a collaboration to figure out her voice. 

Was there also a process for figuring out what she would be wearing, especially when you’re in the same outfit, the whole time? 

KENNEDY:  Oh, my god, not at all. It’s so funny, I went to the costume fitting and there was one outfit, and it was like, “This is what you’re wearing.” Thank god it fit. So, it definitely wasn’t a collaborative effort, at all. It was something that the director, the writers and the costumers had already figured out. Obviously, we weren’t working with a massive budget. They figured out what they wanted, and I thought the outfit was really super cute, silly and fun, and it worked really well. 

When you have something like that, where you’re wearing the same outfit, does it help you get into character when you put it on every day, or because you have to wear that every day, are you grateful not to have to wear it again? 

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Image via Screen Media

KENNEDY:  Yeah, the second, for sure. I was definitely grateful not to have to wear it again. Anytime, no matter how awesome of a thing you’re wearing, there’s an element of getting sick of it. No matter what it is or how cool it is, it was a full two or three weeks of wearing that outfit. But it was actually really comfortable, so that was a good part. I was able to take little naps on set in it, without having to readjust things. Things weren’t uncomfortable. And I was wearing flat shoes, for once, which I never get to do on any other set, so I was grateful for that. 

What would you say was the most fun day on the shoot, and was there a most challenging day on the shoot? 

KENNEDY:  Nothing was horrendously challenging. I think my most fun day was working with Chris Redd, who is on SNL now. I got to do a bit of improv with him. It was just basically him, in character, trying to ask me out, in different ways, and me sort of blowing him off and being like, “I don’t want to,” but doing it really sweetly. He’s extremely funny and very silly, so it was really nice working with him. Also, meeting Jerry O’Connell was fun. Jerry O’Connell was a last-minute casting. He came in late. I’ve been following his work since I was a little kid, watching Stand By Me, so it was really exciting that he was on set, too. He’s a really sweet guy. 

You also went on quite a journey this season with The Flash. What have you most enjoyed about your time on that show, and what you got to do with that character, over the season? 

KENNEDY:  I think just being able to play a superhero is something that everyone wants to do. There are so many movies and TV shows out there, so I feel really lucky that I got to participate in that and wear a superhero costume. It’s the most popular show on The CW, so I felt really grateful being able to be on it. Everyone was just incredibly welcoming, on that show. I felt like a part of the family, really quickly. 

Did you have any idea what the full arc would ultimately be, or were there things that really surprised you about the journey that Nora West-Allen went on? 

KENNEDY:  I didn’t know the 100% specifics of the story, so I definitely was surprised, throughout the season. But I did know the general arc of what was going on with Thawne and my dad. So, I knew from the beginning where the story was going to go, but there were definitely details of the storyline that were a surprise. 

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Image via The CW

Would you say that the character is gone for good? Is your time on the show done, or have you talked about the possibility that we could see her and you again, in some way? 

KENNEDY:  With comic book characters, anything could happen. She’s gone for now, but I think that there’s always a way to bring somebody back, on a show like that, and I definitely would be happy to do something like that. But yeah, as far as I know, she’s gone, for the moment. 

At this point in your career, what is it that you look for in projects? What gets you excited about something?  

KENNEDY:  I try really hard to do something different, every time. That’s the biggest thing for me. I’m not really interested in playing characters that are terribly similar. I like different kinds of people from different backgrounds. I mostly enjoy playing people that are really flawed. I like going back and forth between comedy and drama. I think the biggest thing is playing different things, all the time, just to keep things exciting for myself, and so I don’t get bored. 

Do you know what you’re going to do next, or have you thought about what you’d like to do? 

KENNEDY:  Yeah, I would love to play a part where I get to be a mom. That’s not something that I’ve been able to do yet. I’d like to do something where I have kids, and that’s a part that’s a little older and more mature. I think that would be really fun. 

Deep Murder is in theaters and on-demand on June 14th. 

 

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