With a warm and welcoming Southern drawl, it’s easy to see why Andie MacDowell is such a ray of sunshine. Known for her roles in films such as Groundhog Day, Sex, Lies and Videotape, and Four Weddings and a Funeral, MacDowell has now stepped foot into genre that was previously foreign to her in the upcoming horror/comedy, READY OR NOT.
MacDowell plays the role of Becky, the refined and distinguished matriarch of the eccentric Le Domas family who have made their fortune off of board games. When her son Alex (Mark O’Brien) marries Grace (Samara Weaving), the family insists that they participate in the time-honored tradition of a midnight game. Upon picking the rare “Hide and Seek” card, Grace soon learns that what she is participating in is a game of life and death as the Le Domas family have until sunrise to kill her.
For the release of READY OR NOT, I had the esteemed pleasure of speaking with Andie MacDowell about her latest role. During our chat, we discussed everything from her excitement about her first role in a horror film to her experience in wielding a bow and arrow.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but is READY OR NOT your first foray into the horror genre? If so, what made you want to do it?
Andie MacDowell: It is! Well, the script, to me, was much more complex. I have to say, I haven’t been a person that goes to like every horror movie – I’ve seen some but now I’m a huge fan, more so than I was before after doing this. I loved the script, I thought it was amazing and the humor, that’s what appealed to me the most, as well as the psychological thread that goes through the whole movie.
What I loved about your character Becky was the way that she commanded dominance and control with just one word or one sentence. Can you elaborate more on how you brought that character to life?
Andie MacDowell: I really searched for who this character was in so many ways. And the fact that they are supposed to be this blue-blood family, there’s supposedly talk that my father’s family is from this “blah-blah” family, so I pulled a lot from him because he really was like that. He was very dignified and regal, so I pulled a lot from him. It was also in the writing, the humor is in the writing and the lines were great, but I brought my own spice to it. I think everybody did in their own right, which made the movie that much fuller, it just came alive. I think everybody showed up 100% and were very special in their own creative right.
Becky is very proficient when it comes to using a bow and arrow. Was that something you had training in prior to the film?
Andie MacDowell: Actually, oddly enough, I had done a commercial with a bow and arrow and was really good at it, so this was not my first bow and arrow experience. It wasn’t that uncomfortable to use but it’s hard to pull and it takes a lot of strength. You have to do it in a very particular way for it to be done correctly. It had a special arrow as well but I was always very conscious about not aiming it directly at Samara [Weaving].
Along with the bow and arrow, I’m sure there was a lot of physicality to the role. Did you have to do any type of training?
Andie MacDowell: No, I’m a yogi so I do yoga all the time and I hike all the time so I’m in pretty good shape so that wasn’t a hard switch to flip for me. Oddly enough, the [fight scenes] were fun and exciting and exhilarating. You have to be really careful though, in-between every take I kept asking [Samara] if I was hurting her while making sure she was okay.
Speaking of Samara, what was it like working so closely with her considering you were trying to kill her?
Andie MacDowell: I feel like when you commit to a character you carry a little piece of that around with you, you can’t help it. I didn’t really want to kill her, but the whole time I was trying to find the spirit of who Becky truly was, which was not all a good person. [Becky] is supposed to be ingratiating and welcoming [Samara] into the family, so I can’t come off as a super evil person but if you notice, I do blow smoke in her face right away.
Now that you’ve done READY OR NOT, do you think you would do more films within the horror genre?
Andie MacDowell: I would love too! I’m a huge fan now and I think it’s so much fun. It’s funny cause someone was asking me how scary it was working on the film. You don’t get scared working on it, you’re behind the scenes and it’s completely different. It’s a highly creative genre and I think it allows for exploration for so many different kinds of feelings that you don’t always get. This one was so multi-layered because it had a psychological aspect to it as well as great humor and great lines.
READY OR NOT arrives in theaters nationwide on August 21, 2019.