ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to Lisa Frankenstein stars Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse about the horror comedy movie. Focus Features will release the film, which is Zelda Williams’ directorial debut, in theaters on Friday, February 9.
“A coming of RAGE love story from acclaimed writer Diablo Cody (Jennifer’s Body) about a misunderstood teenager and her high school crush, who happens to be a handsome corpse,” says the synopsis. “After a set of playfully horrific circumstances bring him back to life, the two embark on a murderous journey to find love, happiness… and a few missing body parts along the way.”
Tyler Treese: Kathryn, I’ve got to ask about the performance of “Can’t Fight This Feeling” in the movie. It was such a great scene. How was it performing REO Speedwagon?
Kathryn Newton: Oh, my gosh. Well, let’s just say my hotel room got some really good performances outta me that nobody saw [laugh]. I did practice that song. I’m sorry to my neighbors at the hotel. Well, it was exciting. I didn’t know that song. I know another REO Speedwagon song, so I had to learn it. And Universal Music set me up in the booth. We recorded it. I was feeling like I should start a band. What do you think?
I think so. You’re a natural
Newton: He’s trying so hard not to laugh.
Cole Sprouse: I think you should.
Newton: Stop it. But it was so fun. I think that it was the biggest challenge for me ’cause I was nervous, but it was awesome. We played music really loud on set, and I was singing. I think that if we did it again, I think I could probably do it better. But I loved it. It was really cool that I got to sing in a movie. The only other movie I sing in is in Ben Is Back. Yeah, also live. So you’re welcome [laugh]. Add it to the soundtrack.
Cole, this isn’t a nonverbal role. You’re doing plenty of grunting throughout, but there’s not much actual dialogue to be said. How is it navigating that challenge? It’s very unique.
Sprouse: It was new, definitely. I mean, it was new for me. Kathryn, do you mind singing REO Speedwagon while I deliver this answer? [both laugh]
No, I thought at first it would be a walk in the park because I’m arrogant. Then I got into set, and I realized it’s not more challenging. It’s just a brand-new way of doing this. And I was, I think, accustomed to leaning on some dialogue, crutches that I didn’t have anymore.
But I had the pleasure of working with a movement coach that helped me out quite a bit. And Zelda and I had really discussed what we wanted to feel like, but it was fun. I mean, it was fun to kind of develop a character physically. And I was just worried about not giving Kathryn enough. She carries so much of this movie that I just didn’t want to make her feel like she was left hanging at all. So the grunting kind of came about from that, just as a joke for one take. And then we ran with it, and I think it helped a little bit.
Kathryn, I love the style of this movie. Everybody looks great. What do you like most about this, this mashup of gothic and eighties style? The costumes were amazing.
Newton: My favorite part about my costumes is that I feel like the cuter she gets, the more monstrous she is. The bigger the hair, just like real life, the more insane she becomes.
Cole, what was the makeup process like early on? Because you’re initially in pretty rough shape in the film.
Newton: That’s how he looks normally. This is what took a while.
Sprouse: Yeah, I just showed up to work without any makeup on, and they just said, go right on camera [laughs].
That was the fun part for me. The very early stages of pre-production was they had to make a cast — a silicone cast of my head, which was essentially entombing me in silicone for 45 minutes with a single nostril to breathe. And that was nice.
Then we built prosthetics on for the earlier phases of creature, which took about five to six hours […] and then an hour, or an hour and a half take down. By the end of it, I get more human. So it was a little less.
But it was a lot of fun. I got really close to the makeup guys, the special effects dudes. We were just chatting movies for hours. And I got to play a monster, which was a lot of fun.