Interview: Jeté Laurence for PET SEMATARY

This past Tuesday, I got the chance to attend a screening of the new PET SEMATARY movie at Koneko, a cat cafe in the Lower East Side in NY. Members of press and movie-goers gathered in the cafe to sip lattes, have a candy bar or some popcorn to munch on, and to snuggle with shelter kitties before watching PET SEMATARY.

Attending the event was Jeté Laurence, the 11-year-old who has previously acted in Sneaky Pete, Gotham, The Ranger, and Night Comes On. I got the chance to speak with her about her experience playing Ellie. 

Jeté Laurence

I’m speaking with Jeté Laurence who is starring in the new PET SEMATARY movie directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch. Thank you so much for speaking with me today. I’m so excited for PET SEMATARY, I watched it this morning and I loved your acting in it, it was fantastic. 

Jeté Laurence: Thank you. 

So, just to start from the beginning, could you tell me a little bit about what your process was for auditioning for the film, and working with the directors?

Jeté Laurence:  Well, I did, first I did two soft tapes, one a year earlier and one a year later and then I did a Skype with the directors. And then I went to LA and met Jason [Clarke] and the directors and did like a read with them.

Could you tell me a little bit about your character Ellie?

Jeté Laurence: Well, it was really cool to play her. I got to play like both sides of her. Like she was very sweet in the beginning and then, later on, I got to like put myself in her shoes after she resurrected. And it was really cool to see like how she like, I could see like in her head how she felt. 

Yeah definitely. There’s a big difference between Alive Ellie and then Dead Ellie for sure. What scene was the most fun for you to film? 

Jeté Laurence: Well there was a really fun active fight scene, and it was really fun. It was with Jason [Clarke] and it was really fun cause we got to, we did like pushups and burpees in between scenes to get pumped up and ready for the scene. I just remember that being really fun.

Jeté Laurence as Ellie in PET SEMATARY, from Paramount Pictures.

 How was this acting experience different from your previous experiences like when you acted in Sneaky Pete or The Snowman? 

Jeté Laurence: Well I guess I was like kind of a villain in this one, for part of it. And so it was cool to see like how she thought differently than Alive Ellie and other films that I did.

What upcoming projects are you working on? 

Jeté Laurence: Well my dad actually finished writing a script and he wanted to make a film out of it and it’s about like magic in New York City and stuff like that. All three of my sisters would get to be in that.

Very nice, I look forward to that. My final question is, do you have any horror books or movies that you enjoy?

JL: Usually I’m really scared of horror movies, So this movie actually helped me get over that fear. So like I’m excited to see more with like now knowing behind the scene stuff. 

Yeah absolutely, well thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate it. 

PET SEMATARY is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital and you can read Shannon’s review of the film here

Remy Millisky
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