An interview with :

Lauren Ashley Carter

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DGE : I guess the first question is one you will have been asked countless times before, but what got you into acting in the first place?

Lauren : Since I understood the idea of acting and that the people on TV and in films were pretending to be these characters, I knew that's what I wanted to do. In Primary school, I thought about becoming a surgeon or a doctor, but unfortunately, I discovered that I faint when I see blood. Even now as a thirty-something it's still true!

DGE : You're CV makes for fabulous reading with The Woman, Jug Face, Pod, Darling, The Minds Eye and most recently, Imitation Girl - that’s a great list of movies to be involved in and each role seems to be different from the last. So how hard is it to keep portraying different characters for these differing roles?

Lauren : The characters are different from the way they were written, and that's what I look for in a script. I never want to repeat a performance with a new character.

If I read a script and think that it's too close to a character I have played before, I will turn it down. And I think that's best for the project as well. The role should go to someone that is excited about it and has something fresh to bring to it.

DGE : I first remember seeing you in The Woman (an incredible movie) but this movie seems to be a difficult one to watch for some people. How would you describe the movie and did you find it difficult to be in or watch 'certain' scenes?

Lauren : I tell people before they watch The Woman that there is a rape scene and some intense gore so they are prepared. I know that filming the rape scene was very difficult for both Pollyanna (McIntosh) and Sean (Bridgers), as you'd imagine.

It's difficult for me to watch any rape scenes, and especially with two wonderful actors and people, knowing how that must have been for them.

And Sean's death scene is also hard for me to watch because it's done so well.

I would have fainted at Sundance when I saw it for the first time if a woman didn't faint on top of me right before! We had to turn all the lights on and Lucky (McKee) was trying to get them to stop the film. It was so close to the end, so the film played out before he could find someone to shut it off. She was okay!

I did the same thing at a screening of The Last King of Scotland in Cincinnati. Passed out, alone, on the floor. Woke up, and got back in my seat to watch the end.

Lauren in The Woman, alongside Sean Bridgers and Angela Bettis

DGE : Wow! People passing out sounds a bit too intense haha.  So I have to ask - the horror genre seems to appear quite regularly on your CV.  I personally love horror movies but I also find rape scenes (or real life abuse) really hard to watch. So I guess my question is - are there any scenes or sub-genres you don’t like or would act out for a movie?

Lauren : Yes, rape scenes and senseless torture/torture porn (torture for shits and giggles) are difficult/impossible for me to watch. And anything based in truth where someone was murdered, I don't think I could make.

DGE : Ok enough of rape and torture porn *shudders* lets talk about something a little more light-hearted.  You have worked alongside some great actors in your career so far but I have to ask - what is it with you and Larry Fessenden appearing in at least four movies I can think of - Jug Face, Pod, Darling and The Mind's Eye

Lauren : It is a small world, and an even smaller world within film, and then break that down to horror, and break that down one more time to horror actors on the east coast and you'd find Larry and myself every time!

I wish he could be in every project I work on, horror or not!

He's such a wonderful, funny, caring, energetic, smart guy: don't have enough words!

Lauren in Jug Face with Larry Fessenden

DGE : He does seem a great guy to work with and now you mention it, it does appear a small world in the horror business! 

If I can, I'd like to talk about 'Darling' - quite a strange movie in some ways and yet an incredible movie to watch. There are a lot of moments when silence plays a key-role in the film. How different (and difficult) was it to portray the role of 'Darling' with limited lines to read?

Lauren : Oh, it's fabulous when I don't have to speak! That silence allows for loads of new ideas and inspirations to come.

DGE : I love how 'Darling' is filmed - the use of the monotone or black and white - which makes the movie even more terrifying than it probably would be in colour. Do you think there is a place or market in today’s movie industry for more movies to be made this way?

Lauren : I've been seeing a lot more black and white films and also the occasional black and white tv episode within a season of a series. I think there's an undeniable beauty that most everyone appreciates. And everyone looks gorgeous in black and white.

DGE : Indeed. I think black and white gives some, maybe not all, that little bit extra in terms of tension, mystique and like you say, a beauty that sometimes colour misses. 

Ok, here is one for you - 'She's the Audrey Hepburn of the indie horror' is one quote i've seen regarding your performance in Darling - that’s some praise indeed!

Lauren : Yes, that was very cool!

Lauren in the dark and disturbing, Darling.

: Now I've read that you are a big fan of comedies! Is this a genre you would love to do more of or is horror/sci-fi where you feel most comfortable at?

Lauren : I love comedy, yes. In my theater career, I typically am only cast in comedy. I love extremes, being big, which is why I love horror and comedy equally. I never got into a comedy troupe or the stand-up comedy scene, as a participant during my years in NYC. After being in an intense conservatory environment for four years, I needed a break from all devised theater.

DGE : Personally, I think you would be great in a movie similar to, say, My Cousin Vinny - playing a role similar to that of Marisa Tomei. That is one hell of a funny movie haha

Lauren : I agree!

DGE : So Lauren Ashley Carter, the lady outside of work - what do you get up to when you’re not busy filming or producing?

Lauren : At the moment I'm writing a couple of features. Both dramas. One is a personal project that I am writing with Natasha Kermani in mind to direct, and the second is an adaptation of the memoir Listening for Echoes by Pam Saffran.

I'm trying to get out of my shell and get involved in my community as well.

DGE : That sounds interesting and I can't wait to see what you do with these. 

Now I believe you are a northerner from Manchester (like me) but I also read elsewhere you now live in New York? How hard is it being away from family a lot of the time and do you get to see them as often as you wish?

Lauren : I am actually an Ohioan!  I grew up in Ohio and went to uni there, then lived in NYC for nine years. In my ninth year, there was an exodus in NYC.

A handful of my friends moved to LA to get more work. It's become impossible to make a living in theater and indie film in NYC. I was walking dogs for seven hours, running home to shower, getting a bus to my theater gig for eight shows a week.

Living hand to mouth is alright if the work is steady, but living hand to mouth and working two months out of the year, I couldn't maintain it anymore.

Well, I didn't want to.

A friend of mine had moved to Manchester, UK and needed someone to watch her house for a few months while she came back to the states. So I left everything and went to Manchester to write.

I fell in love with the UK when I visited for the first time in 2012, and it was no different returning.

So now I am based in Manchester, yes!  But I don't think that I'll be considered a Mancunian for a while.

DGE : Before we finish, one of your latest movies, Imitation Girl is currently gaining a lot of attention and from what I've seen it looks like its possibly one of your hardest roles to-date?

Lauren : I had such a fabulous time filming with Natasha, the cast and crew.

I wouldn't use the word "hard".  It's a treat for me to be given so much information about a character, it actually makes it easier.

The learning, learning new skills like Farsi, movement, a skill, is the fun part. If education were free, I would probably have gone back to uni several times since graduating.

DGE : For those yet to see Imitation Girl, how would you best describe the story?

Lauren : Julianna Fox is the daughter of a talented and well-known classical musician from NYC. She was a pianist, but lacked the natural talent and discipline.

After her father died, she gave up all musical aspirations, floundering without purpose and without money. She turned to amateur porn for a quick buck, but ended up trapped on the hamster wheel.

Imitation is an unearthly life form that clings onto and becomes the first likeness it finds, which happens to be Julianna's.  It can take on a human form for a number of days, and in that time she is able to be a part of a tiny bit of the human experience feeling wonder, joy, pain, pleasure, and sadness.

When she discovers she is the imitation of a living woman, she is determined to find this other half.

Lauren starring in the excellent, Imitation Girl.

DGE : Imitation Girl is a brilliant movie which I personally feel everyone most watch at least once in their lifetime! 

This next question is a toughie, you ready?

If pushed to answer, which is your favourite movie of all time?

Lauren : I honestly couldn't. There are certain films that I re-watch dozens of times like Death Becomes Her, Frankenhooker, First Wives Club, The Witches, Practical Magic.

Then there are films that rip out my heart like Pan's Labyrinth, Life is Beautiful, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest that I can't watch without years in between. It doesn't mean that I love the first batch over the second.

I wouldn't even know what scientific method to use to figure out what my favorite film is!

Same with food, or songs, or wine! BUT, if you put on Death Becomes Her and gave me a platter of sushi, a decanter of red wine all whilst humming Dreaming My Dreams by The Cranberries, we'd probably end up being good friends.

DGE : haha sushi is a no from me but red wine and The Cranberries is a definate!  Ok, we are near the end now so my final question is this - you have some great sounding titles upcoming - Gags, Artik and Black Site just three I could mention - it seems you have been very busy of late but are there any other projects in the pipelines you can mention for people reading this?

Lauren : As I said earlier, I have two features in the pipeline at the moment, we'll see which one gets off the ground first!

My personal project will be set in Ireland, and the adaptation will be back in the US.

And there are more that are wee dreams at the moment, but I'll come out of my little damp cave when there's any news to announce!

I just want to thank Lauren for being a brilliant interviewee and taking the time out to spend time with me answering the above questions.  Please give her all your support and check out her profile over on Imdb and other media platforms (links above). 

Imitation Girl is out now on Amazon and iTunes.



Imitation Girl (2017)

Synopsis (IMDB) : A mysterious young woman materializes in the middle of the southwest desert, where each step teaches her about her new world and her new body. As she assumes a new life, she discovers she has a twin with whom she shares more than just an outward appearance.

Directed by : Natasha Kermani

Written by : Natasha Kermani

Cast :  Lauren Ashley Carter, Neimah Djourabchi, Adam David Thompson, Catherine Mary Stewart, Stefanie Woodburn, Sanam Erfani, Kevin O'Rourke,

My Rating :

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