We are looking for fans of film and games who want to contribute reviews, lists, or features.
The Frontier is a 70’s neo-noir thriller set at a desert motel on Route 66. Laine, a mysterious woman on the run from the law, stumbles upon a group of thieves who are hiding out at the motel, and schemes to steal the spoils of their latest heist. I auditioned for the part with the director, Oren Shai, and the producer, Dana Lustig. I later found out that Oren had written the part with me in mind.
It’s true, Laine is a very opaque character. We know conspicuously little about her. She hardly says anything and we never know if she’s telling the truth. Like a lot of con artists, she is a performer, a master of deception. She puts on emotional costumes as she interacts with the other characters, manipulating them into doing what she wants. With Luanne, she plays the victim of domestic violence; with Flynn, she plays the seductress and confidant; with Lee, she must show her strength. It’s a real gift to be given a role like this, and a rare chance to play a female anti-hero who is tough, calculating, and defiant. In our first meeting, Oren told me that his goal was to make a film about a woman who decides her own fate, who isn’t defined by men.
He was a terrific director because he new the character so well, yet was totally open to my ideas and collaboration. Oren and his co-writer, Webb Wilcoxen, also wrote an in-depth backstory for Laine, which helped me understand and justify her conniving behavior.
I love the film’s aesthetic too! Oren has great taste and such a sense of style and genre. He’s a lover of cinema and pulp and that clearly comes through in The Frontier. There is great artistry in the set design, wardrobe, and cinematography. Every element helps to tell the story and immerse you in this world. These elements also help me as an actor.
Kelly is a powerhouse and she does incredible work in The Frontier. At first, Laine plays the sympathy card with Luanne and believes she has the upper hand. But she comes to realize that Luanne is a bit unhinged and poses a real threat. Without giving away too much, I have to say that our fight scene was one of my favorite days on set. I love working with stunt people and we had a great team on this film.
Thank you! Anthony Scott Burns, the writer and director of the piece, reached out to me about the role. From our first meeting, I could tell what an intelligent and capable person he was. He has a background in VFX, and I love the haunting and minimal sci-fi aesthetic of Father’s Day. It’s a simple premise with deep themes.
I was very fortunate that my first lead role was in Ti West’s The House of the Devil. That movie caught the attention of other filmmakers in the genre, including James Wan. Ti and James are great examples of horror filmmakers who focus on the psychological aspects of fear. They create nuanced relationships and characters to heighten the audience’s connection to their plight. Horror is a fun genre for actors because the stakes are always high.
Interestingly, horror is a genre that has a lot of strong female leads. While there has been a history of exploitation and victimization of female characters, I think that’s become distasteful and boring to modern audiences. People would much rather root for a brave, resourceful heroine. My goal is to find roles that reflect real women’s experiences and capabilities. I’m happy there’s a trend in independent film and new media towards representations of women that are complicated and diverse.
Next year Dead Awake will be coming to theaters and VOD. It’s a supernatural thriller that deals with the real-life phenomenon of sleep paralysis. I play twins in the movie, which was an exciting new experience for me! I also have a role in film called Browse starring Lucas Haas. The script reminded me a bit of Black Mirror because it deals with paranoia, alienation, and the darker aspects of technology in our lives.
I’m a big fan of Gus Van Sant and I still remember when I first saw his film, Elephant about a school shooting in Oregon. The long tracking shots, where the camera simply follows the characters through their environment really stuck with me. Those shots underscored for me how powerful it can be to just watch a scene unfold, without edits or cuts.