Interview: Actress Liesl Ahlers for FRIEND REQUEST

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For the release of the horror film FRIEND REQUEST, Craig had the opportunity to speak with actress Liesl Ahlers about her role as Marina, working in her home country, as well as stepping foot into the horror genre. 

Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Liesl, thank you so much for speaking with us today. To start things off, what attracted you to the role of Marina in FRIEND REQUEST? 

Liesl Ahlers: What immediately attracted me to the character of Marina was that she was described as “the kid you would avoid on the playground.” I could relate to her. We don’t realize how quick we are to stereotype others as “social outcasts” before getting to know them. It fascinated me to think that I could delve into this character and play not only her shy and lonely side but also her mysterious and powerful side.

NC: As a fashion designer, did you have any input on your or other character's wardrobe? 

LA: This is such a great question! (I applaud you for your research!). No, unfortunately I had no say in any of the other characters’ wardrobe including my own. It’s quite a funny story because, I remember the first time I stepped into the wardrobe department and saw all the fashionable clothes hanging on rails. I walked over to the rails to admire the clothes and then saw it was Laura, Olivia and Isabel’s wardrobe. Let’s just say that Marina’s wardrobe was not quite as fashionable!

NC: What was your experience like with filming in your home country? 

LA: It was truly a remarkable experience. It’s not everyday you get to do an international film in your home country. I loved every second of it. Since we shot in Cape Town and I live in Johannesburg (which is a two hour flight apart). I usually only visit Cape Town on holiday so it was a terrific experience to get to know Cape Town better with the amazing cast and crew. It was a great adventure!

NC: What is your take on the negative way social media is portrayed in this film? 

LA: Personally, I like that Friend Request is a dark take on the way in which users of social media blithely feed every aspect of their lives into the internet. I feel it’s very important that people should be made aware of the downside to social media and the negative effects it can have on our lives. I think it’s relevant and eye opening and most importantly it makes you think...

NC: How has it been stepping into the horror realm? 

LA: In the beginning it was quite daunting to think that I have to portray the main horror element in the film and that horror fans around the world will be watching me closely and I didn’t want to disappoint. But, it’s been so exciting. I love Horror movie fans; they are so passionate about the genre, it’s amazing. I never knew that acting in a horror film would bring me so much joy and excitement! 

NC: Any chance we will get to see you show off your martial arts training in future projects? 

LA: I sure hope so! I have been doing martial arts for five years now and I have been hoping to find a project where I can show off my training. I am excited to announce that I will be portraying the lead in a new drama-thriller series: The Crossing (working title), which will be shot in South Africa and released internationally in 2018. It seems that I might finally get the chance to show off my martial arts training!

FRIEND REQUEST is now in theaters nationwide from Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures.