In UNDER WRAPS, Disney’s remake of their 1997 Halloween special of the same name, 12-year-old friends Marshall, Gilbert, and Amy accidentally revive and release a mummy from its sarcophagus in the days leading up to Halloween. At first terrified, they quickly learn that the Mummy who they have named Harold, is very sweet and in dire need of assistance.
Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings’ Shannon McGrew had the chance to chat with actors Sophia Hammons and Christian J. Simon, where they covered everything about how they tackled their roles of Amy and Gilbert, what it was like to work with Phil Wright in full Mummy attire, and how their characters influenced their behavior off set.
Thank you both so much for chatting with me today! How excited were you both to find out you would be playing Amy and Gilbert? And were you familiar with the original film?
Christian J. Simon: I was super excited! I was just really blessed and thankful, and still am, and just honored that Disney wanted me to play Gilbert. I had such a great time and it was such a great experience. We did watch [the original]. We all sat down in Canada and watched it together.
Sophia Hammons: I think we all made sure that we didn’t watch it before we auditioned so that they could kind of see how we interpreted the characters. I’m also so grateful and honored that Disney chose me to be Amy. It comes with some pressure auditioning for a remake, and now being in the remake, but I’m just really grateful that I got to be a part of this, that we all go to be a part of this.
What helped in building the friendship between Amy and Gilbert? Did you have time to get to know each other prior to filming?
Sophia Hammons: We had to quarantine when we got to Vancouver for two weeks and that was the time to bond. We would spend every day virtually together.
Christian J. Simon: We were always on Facetime, even when we would eat!
Sophia Hammons: Yup, we would eat our meals together on Facetime.
Your characters find themselves face to face with a Mummy in UNDER WRAPS. What did you both think when you saw Harold done up in all his mummy attire?
Christian J. Simon: I was like wow, this is real! Like, we’re really about to shoot this. And, to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what they were going to do with the costume, so to see it in person on screen it’s just crazy.
Sophia Hammons: We all have a group chat and I think I remember [Phil Wright] sending us a photo of his prosthetic on just his face, and I remember being like, oh my gosh, I cannot imagine the full thing. We had an online table read and I remember he put on a costume for that. He just wrapped toilet paper around his body. So, to see the real deal was crazy and shocking.
When it came to your characters, was it easy to see elements of yourself within Amy and Gilbert?
Sophia Hammons: I think that more than seeing myself in Amy, I saw more of Amy and Sophia off set, which is interesting because it’s usually the opposite. Usually, you get a little peek of yourself in your character, but the character really affected me and really impacted how I act. I’m definitely a leader and I’m now more assertive. Sophia is definitely more assertive because I was Amy for like three months all day every day. I liked that though. It’s a good trait to keep.
Christian J. Simon: I’m super scared. I’m that person who needs a blanket when watching a [horror] movie and you got to expect me to be right up on you. But like, I’m okay after the movie has finished [Laughs].
Last but not least, if you had to pick a favorite Universal Monster which would you pick?
Sophia Hammons: I would pick the Mummy but I have a bias because of UNDER WRAPS [Laughs]. Besides the Mummy, I think Dracula was kind of cool.
Christian J. Simon: I would go with either Dracula or Frankenstein.
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