Opening this weekend is The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia. The sort-of sequel is not a continuation of the Campbells’ story from the first film, but follows a new family, the Wyricks, as they confront the supernatural. Andy (Chad Michael Murray) and Lisa (Abigail Spencer) move their daughter (Emily Alyn Lind) to a historical Georgia home, joined by Lisa’s free-spirited sister Joyce (Katee Sackhoff) the Wyricks soon find themselves face to face with the ghosts of the Underground Railroad.
At the recent Los Angeles press day I got to talk with actresses Katee Sackhoff and Emily Alyn Lind. They talked about what kind of horror movies they like, playing characters based on real people, staying in a haunted house, and surviving the elements on set. Check out the interview after the jump.
Emily Alyn Lind: You’re kidding me right? That’s my favorite genre ever; I watch them all the time. I actually like older horror movies more than newer ones because when I’m watching newer ones, like Chucky or Saw or whatever, I’m like come on, really, this isn’t even good, all it is is blood and knives. I like when it has a story line, you know? When it’s actually a movie.
Katee Sackhoff: Yeah, there’s psychological elements to it.
Lind: When you actually can think about it.
Sackhoff: I hate horror movies, with a passion. It’s like the last movie that I would ever choose to watch.
I’m always so curious what drives an actor who hates horror movies to want to act in one.
Sackhoff: Because it scares me, I think, but part of what I loved about this and the first Haunting in Connecticut is that it has this family element, there’s an emotional component to it. It’s not just blood and guts. I call this the family heavy kind of horror film that I can sit down and watch and get their heads chopped off. You know, I don’t want to go to bed and have horrible, horrible nightmares, and for me ghosts are like- I can handle it.
Lind: It’s more like a thriller I would say.
Sackhoff: I can handle ghosts, unless they take my body over or something.
Lind: Yeah, well they kind of did.
Sackhoff: [Laughs] They did a little bit, you’re right, they did. Wow, alright, I totally forgot.
Lind: Not really at the time. The house was haunted. The real Wyrick family came to the set and in my room, especially just my room of the house, there was a weird presence. They were saying it was a mad presence that didn’t want us to be there shooting, it was like, “This is my territory.” They stayed away from that and I was always in there so I was really creeped out by that. But everything else it doesn’t really freak me out because I know its fake, I see them putting it up, I see them putting blood in my mouth, you know?
You mentioned that the family visited you; did the fact that your characters were based on real people affect your approach to the characters?
Sackhoff: I didn’t really have an opportunity to meet the Wyrick family before we started shooting, but I did see the haunting in Georgia documentary on discovery. So I knew that it was loosely based on the family I think at that point you just take what’s on the page and you just have some fun with it. When you don’t have an opportunity to do a lot of research and actually meet somebody and know their quirks and personality, when you don’t have time for that you just take some creative license and have fun.
Lind: I was kind of able to read the book, skim through it, so that was pretty cool. I also saw the documentary and I met them, they were just so nice. Heidi was in her mid-20’s, it was different. I could definitely see her through the book more. Also it wasn’t the exact same. We definitely put our take into the script, it was a little different than the book, but I really like the story.
Is that story what drew you to the project?
Sackhoff: I liked the historical element to the story, which I believe is a bit of creative license, but I really enjoyed that. The Underground Railroad was really interesting to me, that time period, and then to have this family that is dealing with this inner turmoil and struggle within the family as far as whether or not to accept certain aspects of each other was really interesting as well. So it was the family component that really drew me to the story and then the historical aspect as well.
What was it like playing characters that have these visions and experience the world so differently than the rest of us?
Sackhoff: I decided to, with Joyce, she sees the world through rose colored glasses even if the worst thing is happening to her because she’s in complete denial about her life, who she is, what’s going on, what’s happening, and she sees everything bad as a positive. To somebody that could possibly be a good thing, but to somebody who’s in denial about their entire life that’s probably not a good thing. I chose to have her have this kind of pep to her, this kind of youthfulness that her sister didn’t have.
Lind: She called what we have, to see people that are dead, more of a gift and my mom called it a disease, so she would take pills for it and try to make it go away, but you would embrace it and say that its good, it’s cool they’re coming to you for help. So she was very different than the mom who was very uptight about it and the reason that I didn’t talk to my mom about what was happening with me, [laughs] I mean with Heidi, my character, was because she would just yell at me or get me medication. Joyce would actually talk about it and embrace it.
Sackhoff: I think it allowed Joyce to be who she was; I think it was an excuse. You know like these things are happening, I’m embracing it, it makes me eccentric, therefore I’m allowed to be this way. So it was for different reasons, but I do believe that she really embraced it until it went bad.
Do you guys have any fond memories or crazy stories from set?
Lind: Good memories or bad memories?
Either way, surprise me.
Lind: There were actually bees that flew around and stung everybody; there was actually a bee that stung me right in the middle of a scene. There were ants, red ant farms. Everybody had running scenes, we were running, running, running through the woods and you had to make sure you didn’t step on them because stepping on them would be the worst thing ever. There were a lot of bugs.
Sackhoff: There were a lot of bugs. There were. It was Louisiana.
Lind: You would smell bad everywhere from bug spray.
Sackhoff: We were covered in bug spray, and patches, taking garlic pills, it was pretty interesting. We were definitely subject to the elements. I thought we were going to go get a tan, little did I know.