The Horror Revolution: First off, what’s your favorite horror movie? What movie scared you the most?
Rebekah Kennedy: Favorite is always so hard because I have so many. But one I think will forever stand the test of time is The Sixth Sense. Even after watching it recently and knowing the twist, there are still so many little things you pick up on. It’s just a brilliant film. From the story, to the sense of tension and dread, to the incredible performances. It’s not the scariest movie I’ve ever watched, but I’m filled with so many emotions when I watch it. It’s rare that you cry during a horror movie, but Haley Joel Osment was just so convincing. It’s a beautiful performance. Strangely enough – not much actually scares me. But I would say the first Conjuring movie is pretty frightening.
THR: Two Witches was fantastic and you were genuinely terrifying in your role. What inspired you in your performance?
RK: Thank you so much! I really appreciate that. It’s not the same character by any means, but I did think about Carrie and the title character of May as well. I didn’t try to copy their performances, but just thinking about how Sissy Spacek and Angela Bettis were not afraid to completely throw themselves into their roles. They were so brilliant in they didn’t hold back. I was definitely inspired by their commitment and willingness to dive into the deep end and I hope I brought a bit of that to my own performance. Pierre, our director, and I also worked quite a bit on faces and trying different ones to see what would work and what I could pull off. I also was inspired by the trust he had in me to find those as we went.
THR: How long have you known you wanted to be an actress? Were there any films in particular that you saw that made you know this was the career for you?
RK: I’ve wanted to be an actress since I was about 4 when I saw my first stage play. I’m not sure at the time why I was so engrossed in what the actors were doing, but I just knew I wanted to be up on the stage with them. I didn’t start doing theater until I was about 12 and tv and film came much later once I was an adult. So there wasn’t a particular film that did it for me, more so I’ve just always loved movies and been completely fascinated with the acting part of it. I definitely feel really lucky that I’m fortunate enough to still be doing what I always dreamed of doing as a child.
THR: Your performance as Masha was completely unhinged. How different was the role from your real life?
RK: Thank you! Ha, well I hope I’m nothing like Masha in real life! At least in terms of how evil she can be. But no character sees themselves as the villains. They are always the heroes of their own story, and Masha always did what she felt necessary to make a better life for herself. That being said, I can’t relate to her powers or the need to take over someone’s life, but I can relate to her loneliness and feeling like she is on the outside. I can understand her desires to be seen and to be noticed and how they can drive someone crazy. It was a wonderful question that I asked myself. If you were given the ability to make people acknowledge you, how far would you go? And once you have powers, could you stop? From the outside looking in Masha is a master manipulator, lacks real remorse, and turns quite evil. But I think there parts of all of us that can understand the deep need to be accepted, just not quite the lengths that Masha takes to get there.
THR: Two Witches is killing it on the filmfest circuit. Have you had to do a lot of touring and press with the film?
RK: Thank you! Yeah, we’ve been really fortunate to play at some amazing festivals. Sadly, I didn’t get to attend most of them, but Pierre (our director) and Max (our producer) went to most. I did get to join for FilmQuest in Utah last October where we were nominated for 8 awards, including a nomination for me for Best Actress, so that was really exciting to be there. We got to meet a lot of other filmmakers, and it was fantastic to be able to screen for other people who love the genre as much as we do. Since the release, we are just starting to do promotion and interviews for the film and I’m really excited to talk to people about it. I’m so thrilled to be a part of this movie and so glad that Pierre and Kristina Klebe brought me along for this incredible ride. It was a real treat to work with them and I think they are so very talented. I can’t wait for you all to see everyone’s tremendous work.
THR: Is horror your preferred genre to work in? Is it your favorite genre of film in general?
RK: It’s not necessarily my preferred genre; I love all genres and enjoy working in many different ones. But horror movies happened to be the first ones I booked and that sort of stuck. I do love horror movies in general though, so it’s been great fun to be a part of quite a few. And it’s always exciting to see what will come next.
THR: I gotta be completely honest: I’m a huge fan of Law & Order: SVU, and I KNEW I recognized you when I watched Two Witches. What was your experience like being the focus of an episode on SVU?
RK: Oh that’s wonderful to hear. I am a big fan too, so you are in great company. My experience was simply fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better one. The cast and crew are so generous, kind, and immediately made me feel at home. They also made it a safe place to work especially when you’re dealing with heavy subject matter. Mariska Hargitay is as amazing as everyone says she is. She was so sweet and encouraging and she’s a terrific actress. She was so easy to work off of. I also worked closely with Kelli Giddish and she’s truly extraordinary as well. Not only a lovely person, but also a tremendous scene partner. She made going to the dark places not so difficult and her in the episode was stunning. Playing Esther will forever be one of my favorite experiences due to the people, but also role I got to play. She was just an incredible character and I will forever be grateful to the writers for that.
THR: If you could work with anyone in the industry, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
RK: Oh, that’s another tough one. There are so many people on my list I would love to work with. But I will choose two for this purpose. One would be Meryl Streep. She is just one that truly transforms no matter the role. If I could just sit close enough to watch her work that would be enough. And the other would be Heath Ledger. He is one that took great risks in his work and to be able to play off him would have been a real joy. His work, especially as the Joker, will forever be something that stays in my mind.
THR: The ending of Two Witches make it clear that there is an entire universe in which more movies could be made. Do you know if there are any plans for a sequel?
RK: I can’t say too much yet, but expect that the new Queen will be back for another movie. I would really love to play Masha again and see where a new story would take her!
THR: What’s an interesting piece of trivia about you that fans of the film would be interesting in learning?
RK: In my spare time, my husband I love to go backpacking and camping. I just started getting into backpacking over the pandemic and I have been really enjoying it. It’s a challenge, but I am always proud of myself after we are done.
THR: Every artist reaches a point where they have serious doubts that they’re heading down the right path. Tell me about a time in your life where this happened and how you dealt with it.
RK: For a long time I was trying to do theatre and film at the same time which was really difficult. I had booked a play at a theater I was dying to work at. Then because life has a funny way of working out, I also booked my first big movie, House Hunting. I couldn’t do both and I had to decide. Theatre had been my constant for so long that I was terrified about turning down the play. Ultimately, I chose to go do the movie and I’m glad I did. But it wasn’t an easy decision at the time. I had no idea if more films were going to come and I was giving up an opportunity at a prestigious theater. I just had to take the leap of faith and go. In all honesty, I’m not sure the doubts ever fully stop. There are times when things are incredibly slow – maybe months – maybe years go by – with little work and you think ‘Well this is it. It was a good ride.’ And then out of the blue a project pops up and then another and you think ‘Well I’m back!’ and then the auditions are dead. All that to say, for me, I just have to stay in it. As my husband reminds me when I’m feeling down – ‘do you think is the last audition you’re going to have? Or the last booking?’ and the answer is always no. Even if it feels like it in the moment, everything could change tomorrow. You just have to keep going. Keep stepping. I also deal with it by doing other things I enjoy. Acting isn’t everything there is in life and sometimes things come when you’re busy living your life. The main thing is, to not give up.
THR: What’s next for you? Anything interesting coming soon for your fans?
RK: I have a several movies in post production. I filmed a movie in Pennsylvania
earlier this year called “The Veil” with Sean O’Bryan. I play a young Amish woman and it’s mystery thriller that I am really thrilled for people to see. I filmed another horror movie called The Unseen with RJ Mitte in Chicago over the summer. That movie is in post now and I’m looking forward to everyone meeting my character. She’s a fun one! I also have an exciting sci-fi movie called The Otherkind that should be playing the festival circuit next year as well. I am looking forward to being able to talk more about those projects and the roles in them. They are all quite unique and I’m so lucky to have worked with such fantastic casts and crews! Up next I have a drama called Never Strangers that I am really eager to be diving into and a couple of other projects I can’t talk about just yet!
THR: And finally, what’s your favorite thing to order from Olive Garden?
RK: Oh, that’s a great question! Fettuccine Alfredo with salad and breadsticks. Now you’re making me want to go and order some!