INTERVIEW: Christian Sellers
How did you first develop a taste for acting and what was your first introduction into the industry?
“I’ve enjoyed performing for as long as I can remember. When I was ten I got involved in Coast Kids Theater in San Diego, and started commuting to LA for auditions with my mom shortly after.”
Would you describe yourself as a fan of horror and were you familiar with The House on Sorority Row prior to your involvement in the remake, Sorority Row?
“It takes a lot to scare me or make me jump in a movie theater, so I’m definitely a fan of a good horror film. I had never heard of The House on Sorority Row before auditioning for Sorority Row.”
What can you reveal about the plot of Sorority Row and what part your character plays in the story?
“It’s about a group of girls who play a prank on Garrett, my character’s brother, by faking his girlfriend’s death. He, thinking his girlfriend is already dead, drives a tire iron through her chest and really seals the deal. We agree to keep it a secret so we can continue with our lives, and a few years later start getting picked off one by one, never knowing who is doing the horrific killings.”
How did you first become involved in the project and what kind of things did you have to do during the auditions?
“The sides we read in the audition were taken from the script, which is always a treat because you can really prepare and know what’s going on in the character’s world at any moment.”
What was it about the script that made you want to play the character and how did you prepare for the role?
“The script kept me guessing until the very end. I never named the killer, which really makes for a good thriller. I liked ‘Chugs’ so much because she’s a funny girl. Crude at times, yes, but funny. I saw her as having an extremely dry sense of humor attached to serious deep-seated issues, so that made for some fun character development.”
What kind of directions did you receive from either the director or writers on how they wanted you to play the character and how much were you allowed to improvise?
“We didn’t improvise much because the script was so well written. I did get a few DVD alternate lines which were disgustingly funny, and improvised a little on those, but the original of those lines were great too. Stewart, Pete, Josh, (the director and writers, respectively) and I were all on the same page with who we thought Chugs should be, so we would chime in anytime with another bit of her past that might cause her to do and say the things she did. There were definitely a lot of laughs during those outbursts.”
Has there been any pressure to compete with other recent slasher remakes (Halloween, Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine) and what do you think it is about these type of films that appeal to fans so much?
“Luckily for me, I only had to create a character and had an awesome time in doing so. I never heard any discussion before, in, or after our time in the Burgh about any project but the one we were making. I don’t know if that pressure was felt by anyone else making the movie, but I think I’m pretty safe in saying that everyone on the crew was working with Sorority Row in mind. The DP, Ken Seng, has an amazing eye for colors and light and worked efficiently and cohesively with Stewart to bring whatever was in their minds to life. I think horror fans just want a good story, well executed, and that’s what they’ll get here.”
Were you hesitant about starring in what could have been ‘just another remake?’ How would you compare it to the other horror movies that have been released recently and why will this stand out among the pack?
“I never hesitated. I think this script called for nothing less from everyone involved. I guess if I had to compare Sorority Row to other remakes, I would say we’re in pretty good shape. Everyone’s heard of Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, etc. Maybe it was only me, but I wasn’t familiar with The House on Sorority Row. Maybe people expect a certain something when they go see a better known remake. With Sorority Row, people won’t know what they’re getting themselves into, and I believe they’ll all be pleasantly surprised (and jumping out of their seats).”
How violent will Sorority Row be and should fans expect to see a gruesome or more suggestive movie?
“Well, it is an R-rated horror film, so it’s not for the faint-hearted. The violence is so twisted and sudden at times, I think fans will either laugh out of discomfort, cover their eyes, or sit with their jaws dropped in silence. I know I did all three. What’s great about Sorority Row is the combination of the gruesome acts and never knowing who is really involved.”
What kind of effect has this role already had on your career and do you think that you will be attending conventions to promote the film?
“Because nobody outside of the movie has seen it yet, there hasn’t been a noticeable change in my work. But, after getting to know Chugs so well, I now have more to draw from if I ever come across a role that’s even remotely similar to her. I’m actually leaving with the other cast members for Vegas in a week to promote the film, and hopefully Summit has conventions in their agenda.”
What plans do you have for the future and do you have any interest in returning to the horror genre? Can you shed any light on the rumoured Sorority Row sequel?
“I just want to keep working. If I’m lucky enough again to be involved with a production as awesome as Sorority Row, whether it’s a horror or not, I wouldn’t hesitate. As per a sequel? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…”