Eaoifa Forward stars in the recent horror film, The Snare, a complex psychological thriller that put her and her two co-stars through an unusual and often troubling production. A transforming experience for the young actor, she talks with us about the film and what it was like to prepare for the role.
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Let’s start with your new film. Tell us about The Snare.
“The Snare is a psychological horror about three friends who head to the seafront for a drunken weekend, only to be imprisoned on the top floor of their holiday apartment by a malevolent paranormal force. I play the lead role of Alice – without wanting to give too much away Alice has suffered years of abuse from her father and as a result is an extremely troubled character.”
She’s is a terrific character and your performance is truly memorable. Certainly a challenging role, tell us what drew you to her?
“Thank you. It was one of the most challenging roles I’ve taken on so far. I was drawn to Alice from the moment I read the script, she’s the polar opposite of me and as an actress that was something I was hugely excited by. I was taken completely out of my comfort zone and pushed on an emotional level like I’ve never been pushed before.”
The film is written and directed by C. A. Cooper. How much freedom did you have in creating and bringing her to life? Was this a completely scripted character or did you have some involvement in her development?
“Chris (director C. A. Cooper) and I spent a huge amount of time working on Alice, developing who she was and her background. I did extensive research into child abuse, depression, what it’s like to lose a mother and even created a series of diary extracts that tracked back to when she was 4 years old detailing very specific moments in her life and what she’d gone through – even down to a crack in a tile in her childhood bathroom. I kept these with me at all times, they were my life line when I had to do the heavier emotional scenes. I was given free rein on creating this emotionally unstable, extremely troubled character and I loved it.”
The film is really more of a mystery than a horror film, despite some positively frightening moments. That’s not an easy balance, especially given the unconventional approach. Which aspect do you feel was the more important in telling the story?
“I like the fact that this film challenges the audience as it’s not your simple straight forward horror. There are parallels with Alice in Wonderland and how far my Alice had descended into madness. Was this all a figment of her imagination, an escapism to take her away from the abuse she has suffered from her father or did it all actually happen? Again, this is very much down to audience interpretation. I think the mystery is what keeps this story alive and is certainly something we spent a long time working on and trying to get the right.”
There are some truly disturbing themes at play in the movie and Alice gets extremely dark. Not to spoil the film, but there is a very distressing scene in which you have a violent encounter with another character that leads to a series of shocking moments. I know filming was difficult, but could you tell us what did you do to prepare for the part overall, and how affecting were these scenes on yourself in becoming so committed to the role?
“As previously mentioned I spent an enormous amount of time in the pre-preparation for Alice. For me it was about creating strong vivid memories that I could then draw on. The scenes you refer to were extremely difficult and draining and went on to haunt me for weeks after we finished shooting however by the time we got to filming those scenes we seemed to be ready. Chris (the director) decided to shoot the film in chronological order. We were forbidden from leaving the apartment, having any interaction with the outside world and eventually were forbidden from interacting and speaking to each other. Chris wanted to create an atmosphere that was claustrophobic and stifling. He wanted to make us feel as isolated and alone as possible. As it turns out we were going through exactly what our characters were going through. A very clever approach!”
Then let’s talk about that spider. Most will assume the one you appear to eat is a trick of CGI, but it isn’t, is it?
“Unfortunately, the spider was real! This was a deeply uncomfortable scene and one that I won’t be repeating! It was genuinely horrific and was decided early on that we would do it for real to provoke a genuine reaction – I was petrified as I have a huge phobia to spiders!”
Talk a bit about working with your cast-mates Rachel Warren and Dan Paton.
“Both Rachel and Dan were fab to work with – from the moment I met them we had a really strong chemistry and there was a real sense of excitement and unity with this project. We were all in this together and knew the challenges that lay ahead and actually despite not being able to talk much in the later parts of filming we built a trust, so going into those tougher scenes we weren’t afraid to really let go.”
We devote a lot of our writing to women in film and as such, The Snare is a provocative movie, both in its casting and themes. How important are roles for you in giving women strong voices?
“So important! There are two sexes in this world and are voices are equally important. We need to keep pushing forward and creating films that showcase strong female roles as we have so much to say. I read an article the other day and was really excited to see that there are 15 movies to look out for this year that are all directed by woman! Change is certainly happening!”
What’s next for you? Anything you can or would like to share with us?
“I have a short film called “Home” coming out this year directed by Darius Norowzian which will also do the festival circuit. I am also in talks to star in a few more feature films and am hoping for some TV and theatre work as well!”
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 special to you?
“It’s not so much moments but the whole film! I am huge fan of films based on true stories and in complete awe of Brie Larson in Room – she gave such a truthful but also an uplifting performance on an agonizing subject. Charlize Theron in Monster blew my mind, she embodied everything about Aileen Wuornos, it’s a film I’ve watched a number of times. Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry is one of my all-time favorites she gave such a tender and considered performance, I felt everything she was going through, it was so impacting. Lupita Nyong’o in Twelve Years a Slave, Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine my list could go on and on – All these women gave absolutely breathtaking and inspiring performances.”