For the release of Momentum Pictures THE INSTITUTE, we spoke with actress Allie Gallerani who plays the grief stricken Isabel Porter. Her character checks herself into the Rosewood Institute and is subjected to bizarre and increasingly violent pseudo-scientific experiments in personality modification, brainwashing and mind control. She must find a way to escape the clutches of Rosewood and exact her revenge before it is too late.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Allie, thank you for speaking with us today. For those not familiar with your latest role in THE INSTITUTE, can you tell us a little bit about your character Isabel Porter?
Allie Gallerani: Isabel is an upper class woman living in Baltimore in 1893. After the death of her parents, she starts experiencing anxiety attacks and insomnia, so she voluntarily checks herself into a women’s mental institution. The mysterious Doctor Cairn begins to take an interest in her and convinces her to participate in increasingly bizarre and violent experiments – all in the name of her “treatment”.
NC: What initially interested you in the role?
AG: I was drawn to Isabel’s strength, intelligence, and curiosity. These traits were not valued in Victorian society, so she feels like a bit of an outsider. I love playing characters who are a little bit stubborn and challenge accepted norms. As an actor, I’m always intrigued by a character’s transformation and Isabel’s is monumental.
NC: What type of research did you do to get into the headspace of Isabel Porter?
AG: I didn’t watch anything specifically for this role, but I kept thinking about Eva Green in “Penny Dreadful”. The way she can convey so much while being completely still is not only impressive but appropriate for women in that era. Her performance in the scene where she becomes possessed is astonishing.
NC: You’ve had a few roles that would fall into the category of horror/thriller – is this a genre that you enjoy working in?
AG: I love psychological thrillers – it’s probably my favorite film genre to watch. Pamela likes to say “The supernatural doesn’t scare me, people scare me”, and I completely agree. And as an actor, it allows me to explore the lengths my character would go to in order to survive.
NC: Last but not least, what can fans of yours expect from you in the future? Do you have any upcoming projects you are working on?
AG: I just recently wrapped another psychological thriller called CORTEX about a small group of neuroscientists who start to turn on each other after making a breakthrough discovery. I also have a small part in the upcoming film PROFESSOR MARSTON AND HIS WONDER WOMEN starring Luke Evans and Rebecca Hall about the creator of Wonder Woman.
THE INSTITUTE will be released in select theaters on March 3rd, 2017.