Amelia Brantley is an actor working in film and television, currently seen in the Christmas horror film Krampus Unleashed, playing a character named Bonnie. Recently, we had the chance to ask her a few questions about the movie and her experience while making it. A bright young presence in the film and the industry, we’d like to thank her for taking the time to speak with us.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Boston, but have been living in LA for the last ten years, pursuing an acting career, which has been really wonderful and scary and exciting all at the same time! I’ve been acting since I was a kid, but really started to take is seriously and develop career goals in high school. When I’m not pounding the pavement in pursuit of my next job, I love being active either hiking outdoors or taking a new, trendy fitness class. I also love to write and am currently working on a few projects of my own.
Tell us about your latest film, Krampus Unleashed.
Krampus Unleashed was on my actor’s bucket list. I’ve always wanted to do a horror film, mainly because I’m completely terrified of them and I thought being in one would help me get over that fear (it didn’t). The film takes the classic Krampus folklore and twists it into something a little more gory and also, a little more humorous. I think that’s my favorite part about the film, that layer of humor underneath all the blood and guts.
How did you become involved in the project and what drew you to the character?
I auditioned for the project with a self-tape actually. The casting director (Tami LaRovere – who is AWESOME!) was in Arizona and I was in LA, so they sent me the audition sides and I made my roommate put me on tape and I sent it off. A few weeks later, Robert called to offer me the role!
I really like how Bonnie seems set up like one thing in the film–the typical hot girl who gets offed early–but ends up being a lot more impactful. She is kind of a mix of the early victim and the Final Girl trope. Was that written that way or was there some evolution to the character as the film progressed?
She was written that way and that’s what really sold me on the part. Growing up, my role models were Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Pink Power Ranger. I love characters that embrace a woman’s femininity and sexuality and then give her a weapon and let her save the day. It’s really empowering and I’m so grateful for writers and directors like Robert who are willing to stray from the cliches and write a strong female character like Bonnie.
A lot of the film was shot at night. Are you afraid of the dark and was it ever scary during actual filming?
I’m afraid of EVERYTHING and for the first few days EVERYTHING scared me on set! I couldn’t even sit next to Travis in the Krampus costume for the first couple of days, it took a lot of getting used to. In fact, it wasn’t until I saw him drinking a bottle of Pedialite with a straw, dressed in full Krampus, that I started to warm up to it and calm down a little. Cat Bernier-Sowell and Marcus Koch are responsible for making Krampus and I think they did an incredible job!
There’s a great scene where Bonnie comes out of her house in a bathrobe and witnesses something frightening and you get to do the classic horror movie girl scream. How cool was that?
SO COOL! That wasn’t written in the script, but Robert and I were talking right before we started shooting the scene and we realized that if there was a ever a time to do the classic scream, that was it.
I also like how you follow that up with a shotgun. Thoughts?
I felt pretty badass with that shotgun! I’m not a gun girl, but Robert was really patient with me and made me so comfortable with the weapon, and I think it plays really well in the movie. I love that one minute, Bonnie is taking her top off and the next she’s charging at Krampus with a shotgun!
What was it like working with director Robert Conway?
Robert is one of the kindest directors I’ve ever worked with. He also works his butt off! He had so much to do during filming, but was always the first to check in with everyone and make sure we were all okay. He’s also super funny, so even at 4am in the middle of a desert, work was always fun!
I wrote in my review of Krampus Unleashed how you seem so comfortable on camera (naked or otherwise). Is acting your real passion?
Thank you for saying that! Acting has always been my number one. I love what I do and yes, it can be really hard and really draining and really unstable, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Any projects you have lined up you’d like to share with us?
I have some really exciting stuff coming up . . . but I’m not allowed to talk about any of it! I will say, I’m really looking forward to what 2017 has in store!
Part of our site is dedicated to discussions on great moments in movies. What are some films that you hold as favorites and are there any moments you would like to tell us about that are dear to you?
Oh gosh! So many come to mind! There’s a movie called The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby starring Jessica Chastain (my favorite actress/role model, right now) and James McAvoy, and there’s a scene between the two of them that every time I think about or try to talk about it, I start crying (like, I’m crying right now because I’m thinking about it). Explaining it won’t do it justice, you just gotta see the movie. But, my favorite movie of all time is Gone With The Wind, mainly because Scarlett O’Hara’s dresses are incredible, and also because of that line Rhett says when he’s about to storm out on Scarlett because she’s pissed him off for the 100th time, “and put on plenty of rouge, I want you to look your part”. Every time I watch that I’m like, “Ohhhhhh burrrnnnnn!”. I love it!