Originally Posted on: November 11th, 2013
Charlie JJ Kruger sits down with Lauren Ashley Carter, the actress who plays Ada in the film 'Jug Face'.
H-P: First off, I really want to state how believable and powerful your performance in 'Jug Face' was. You were very effective and a perfect choice for the role. So, with that said, how did you land this role?
LAC: Thanks so much for saying that. Andrew, the producer, called me and asked me to read the script. He hadn't told me that there was interest in me, but approached me asking for my opinion of the script. I thought it was really a great piece, and told him so. Then he asked what I thought about the role of Ada and that Chad was interested in me after having seen The Woman. He told me that Sean Bridgers was interested in the role of Dawai, and that Sean Young would be playing the role of Loris, my mother. I was thrilled. Chad and I spoke over the phone, and then we really just dove into the script after that point.
H-P: What about the character of Ada was easiest for you to identify with? And of course, what was hardest?
LAC: The easiest attribute to identify with was the feeling of being stuck. Growing up in a small town in Ohio with these seemingly ridiculous and impossible dreams of being in show business (I am saying those words out loud with a cigar clenched between my teeth, by the way), I felt absolutely STUCK. I felt like I look left, right, up, and down, and it was just nothing: nowhere. I never felt like I had a voice because there were so many thoughts, so many questions always racing through my head that I couldn't articulate anything. The big difference between Ada and I would also be the most difficult part of the character to identify with. I was determined to get UNstuck. Ada always had one foot in the door and one foot out of it.
H-P: I felt so much hope and bitter desperation from Ada in the film, her struggle seemed to be not only against the looming sacrifice, but also the inherent cruelty of her role as a woman in the small town. To show that, you had to be put into some ferociously uncomfortable situations, was the shooting of the film physically grueling for you?
LAC: I wasn't alone in all the physical labor, and that was always in the forefront of my mind. The entire cast and crew were in some very difficult situations, and as the leading role, I think that it's important to try to remember that. All of the people surrounding me were so strong and capable, and I want to match them. It was so important for me to do it right, and to give as much as I absolutely could. I hope that the rest of the cast and crew felt that I did, as I felt that from them. It's really the weeks when filming is completed that it caught up with me, ha ha.
H-P: Piggy-backing on that last question, were there moments where it felt hard to face some of the psychological elements of the film? Was it ever mentally grueling for you?
LAC: The mental stuff is the most fun! It's critical for me personally to always differentiate between myself and the character. This is why I don't use personal experiences, not literal experiences, to summon an emotion. It's not healthy for me, and it doesn't often produce the best result. The tough parts are actually the conversational parts, for me anyway. The "undramatic", I guess. That's not quite the word I'm looking for. I just love the high stakes and the terror.
H-P: Were there any actresses/actors/roles that you used to inform your performance in this film? Any great inspirations?
LAC: I think that the great performances that I've seen in my life will always mark what I do. Just like a writer is probably marked by his favorite authors. I could go on for hours about performances and performers that really rock me, but at the end of the day I want to be as truthful as I can be. I want the audience to be taken away and to not have to think about the authenticity. I expect the same when I go to see a movie.
H-P: How has your family (or friends) reacted to your performance in this film so far?
LAC: My friends have been so kind, and my family has dealt with it well, ha ha. The nudity on film was a first. I've done nudity in theater before which is different for several reasons, the big one being that it's not "out there" forever. My mother is definitely my biggest critic. I think she thought I was okay. My father was very sweet about it. He rocked back and forth for a night or two looking at my baby pictures, but he's starting to eat solids again.
H-P: How was it, working with Sean Young?
LAC: Fantastic. It was quite seriously a dream come true. Everyone on set was such a professional. She's really a fascinating woman; a great woman. We work in very different ways, but we have the same goal, so we clicked from the beginning. It was super fucking cool, man :)
H-P: What was it like to work with Larry Fessenden? Have you ever seen any of the films he has directed? (i.e. Wendigo, The Last Winter)
LAC: Yes, I have seen his films. Larry is such a hero, and a living legend, really. I was talking about this a week or two ago, that sometimes with actors who have produced or directed, it's very difficult for them to just do the one job: to act. But when he was on set, he sat back, did his job, and just made everyone else's job easier. And I think he was definitely the funniest of all the cast members. We'd go to the Cracker Barrel almost every day and play that stupid golf tee game and go crazy over it. He actually got it a few times: said it was because he changed from the chicken and dumplings to the fish. Said there were magical properties in the fish that were helping his brain function. I almost pissed myself laughing every day at that Cracker Barrel.
H-P: Both Jug Face and The Woman were brilliant films, and very within a specific type of horror sub-genre. Is that something that attracted you to them, their style? Do you have a favorite type of horror film?
LAC: I really love most types of horror, except for torture porn. That one is tricky for me. I am definitely attracted to familial story lines in horror films. Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of 1000 Corpses, Devil's Rejects, Sleepaway Camp (and whatever THAT was going on there), The Conjuring, and so many others. The deeper the story is with a horror movie, the more horrific everything becomes.
Like I said, I grew up in a small town, and most people I know that have similarly grown up in small towns have a LOT of fucked up stories about them. Many involving murder, incest, and often these families come from a long line of bad seeds. These horror movies: they happen. So many are based on real events, that quite honestly are much more gruesome than the dramatic narratives that we retell.
For instance, the film Dahmer about the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is a film I just cannot get through. Knowing that those events happened precisely as they filmed it, I literally almost passed out and had to stop watching. I like the fantasy. The pretending. As I get older, the home invasion films and random torture films become very difficult for me to watch.
H-P: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. I’m glad to get this insight into both you and Ada. It is an honor. Is there anything else you want to add?
LAC: Thank you! Yes, please stay posted on my new feature Dosey that I'm starring in and producing. It's a dark-comedic thriller and I'll be posting updates on my website laurenashleycarter.com. Everyone can follow me on twitter @LAC_voyager, my facebook, and our YouTube channel DoseyTV. I've put up a couple videos we call "Tea Time with Lauren Ashley Carter" that are pretty kooky and I answer questions about film, myself, or any other random silly thing.
Get 'Jug Face' on Amazon: amazon.com/gp/product/B00DTP3HIA