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  • Rev Horror

April Consalo Interview (Actress, Cannibal Mukbang)

The Horror Revolution: First off, what’s your favorite horror movie? What movie scared you the most?


April Consalo: The Shining always comes to mind. I’m a huge King fan, I probably have over fifty of his books on my shelf. Alien. A Tale of Two Sisters. Cam. I tend to lean towards horror blended with other genres, like Antiviral, which is a freaky little sci-fi horror by Brandon Cronenberg. Rose Glass and Julia Ducournau are two of my favorite directors and biggest inspirations. Saint Maud and Love Lies Bleeding, and Raw and Titane have so much going on in them, such a strong undercurrent of emotion alongside the excellent gore and psychological horror. 


But honestly, the movie that has scared me the most is Requiem for a Dream. When I saw that for the first time, I was fifteen, and I cried so hard I threw up and stayed awake all night convinced my arm was going to rot away.


THR: I really loved Cannibal Mukbang, and it’s quite possibly my favorite indie horror of the year so far. What drew you to the film?


AC: Thank you! That means a lot to hear. 


Well obviously, the title is attention grabbing. And then I read the character description for Ash. She seemed to have a lot of contradictions inherent to her - from a sweet, fun, fiery girl of your dreams to a manipulative, ferocious killer. Getting to play such a wide range in one role is incredibly exciting. And the circumstances surrounding Mark and Ash’s love story are so out there! It seemed like an amazing challenge to understand them as people and inhabit that love within the dark circumstances. 


Also the ending. Without any spoilers, the ending hit me like a truck when I first read it. Huge kudos to Aimee for giving such emotional weight to a story that also has a ton of fun.  


THR: Your performance as Ash was enthralling, delivering perfectly this quirky girl with a terrible (and delicious) secret. What inspired your performance in the film?


AC: Every contemporary scary-but-sexy horror heroine owes something to Jennifer Check. I watched a lot of 90’s/2000’s rom-coms as a reference for the “dream girl” aspects of Ash. Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight. The romantic scenes in that movie are so horny! Like just the way they breathe around each other. Aimee sat me and Nate down to watch Bella and Edward’s first kiss scene as inspiration for the… charcuterie scene in Mukbang


I also just thought very deeply on my own girlhood. The performance of it all. The fear. The sheer number of hours I have spent in front of a mirror applying glitter and eyeliner and lipstick only to have a man leer at my face and not even see me. Ash has all this rage, all this grief, and she deals with it as best as she can. She just wants to be loved! I can relate. But she’s also still operating under the system of patriarchy and male power, so she has to present in this very specific, hyper-feminine, male-gazey way to get what she wants. I think a lot of women and fems feel that push and pull - what about my presentation is natural to me, and what have I just internalized over time? 


THR: You got to be a total badass in the film, something that so many actors don’t really get to do. What was your favorite part of playing Ash in the film?


AC: God, I know, I’m so lucky! I loved all of it. Ash is always on 10. She generated this incredible amount of energy inside me that was super fun to play with. I loved all the stunts and gore. I think we used like seven different types of fake blood over the course of filming? Filming the finale was probably my favorite day on set; it was a long night shoot but everyone was just at the top of their game. It’s so cathartic to get to scream and cry and snarl and just be this feral creature! 


THR: Is horror your favorite genre to work within, or are there other types of film that you would enjoy exploring?


AC: I love horror, and I’m lucky to have done a lot of it recently, but as an actor, I want to do everything! I want to do an indie drama, a coming of age. I’m deeply interested in doing a period piece. Or a queer western! 


THR: If you could work with anyone in the industry, alive or dead, who would it be and why?


AC: Greta Gerwig, Andrea Arnold, Amy Seimetz, Jordan Peele, Rose Glass, Celine Song, Emma Seligman, Kristen Stewart. They’re all geniuses. I don’t speak much French, but if Céline Sciamma or Julia Ducournau wanted me, I would be on Duolingo every hour of the day! I wish I could have worked with Robin Williams. A dream of mine is to play Jessica Chastain’s daughter. And of course, I want to work with Aimee again as soon as possible! 


THR: What inspired you to become an actress? Were there any films or roles that made you know that this is what you want to do with your life?


AC: I’ve just always loved movies and theatre so intensely. When I was a kid, I did a scene from Merchant of Venice in front of all the other third graders, and it was like the highlight of my life at that point, haha. I was hooked. I mentioned Robin Williams earlier, and he was a huge part of the reason I wanted to be an actor. Kristen Stewart, too, I’ve looked up to her since Zathura and have basically seen every movie she’s been in. The empathy, stamina and imagination it takes to be an actor has always moved me. 


THR: Do you have any desire to branch out from acting into other roles on a film set? If so, what would you like to do?


AC: I would, and have! I’ve done quite a bit of costuming work. I’ve PA’d. And I directed my first short film last year, as well as being the writer and star. I write pretty compulsively, and I’d love to make more of my scripts a reality. The idea of being a writer-actor really appeals to me, and a writer-director, but doing all three at once is a little overwhelming! I’ll probably do it again, but I’d rather collaborate with people who inspire me and bring their own perspectives and experience than do it all myself. 


THR: What’s next for you? I’m now a huge fan after Cannibal Mukbang, what else can the fans see you in?


AC: I have a short film coming to the festival circuit called ’77, directed by Chris Perna. It’s a gritty horror, so that’s good for Mukbang fans! And my directing debut, Like/Subscribe, is in post, so hopefully that will be available soon. And I have a few other exciting things coming up this year that I can’t share yet…


THR: Finally, if you absolutely had to eat an entire person… do you start with the head or the feet? Or maybe somewhere in the middle and then eat your way out?


AC: I think maybe I’d start in the middle? Gotta go for the heart. 

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