Later this month, Syfy will be premiering another entry in everyone’s favorite shark franchise, SHARKNADO (humorously subtitled as THE 4TH AWAKENS). With Comic Con only a couple of weeks away, I was afforded the opportunity to chat with actress, Caroline Williams, about the film before its huge media blitz at the mega pop culture event. Not at all a stranger to horror films (having starred in such iconic horror franchises as THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE), I asked the actress about how she got involved in Syfy‘s wildly successfully monster franchise as well as her thoughts on approaching the 30th Anniversary of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2. Check out what she had to say in our interview below…
BT: I’ll start first, by asking, how you got onboard this latest SHARKNADO installment?
CW: Well, I would say that it was Anthony C. Ferrante who reached out to me. We had been Facebook friends a long time-since my kids are HUGE fans of the SHARKNADO franchise. Also, I think he would always see my posts about Shark Week-since I love Shark Week-in the month of July….Because, let’s be honest, many shark attacks seem to consistently happen around that time of the year.
CW: (Continuing) Aside from all that, Anthony-being a big horror fan himself-had always talked about working together [with me] on something. Therefore in knowing that this year marked the 30th Anniversary of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2, he thought of a creative way of referencing the film by having me feature in it.
BT: Gotcha, gotcha… Now, to jump off of that, you’ve had an opportunity to be apart of some iconic films; particularly, those of the horror variety. So, with that in mind, what would you say it is about the genre that initially attracted you to it and has kept you coming back?
CW: Well, Tobe Hooper once said that “horror films are nothing more than modern-day westerns.”
CW: (Continuing) Meaning that they deal with the eternal struggle of good and evil-be it the good and evil in society, the good and evil within ourselves, the struggle between God and the Devil… which, quite frankly, spells out what audience see in films like the THE CONJURING. Films like these, highlight what’s at the core of horror films, which is, allowing people the opportunity to have that feeling of rescuing others or being rescued from evil. Conversely, it also highlights those that perpetrate evil as well. Now, given my “final girl” status, my mention before [regarding rescuing others or being rescued] speaks not only to my character from THE TEXAS CHAINSAW franchise, but also to Marilyn Burns’ character of Sally Hardesty. Previously, women in horror films rarely escaped, and if they did, it was because they were rescued by a man. TEXAS CHAINSAW marked the first time in which “the girl” had to rescue herself. Personally, I am a very active girl, who enjoys a lot of movement and action…So those qualities, I think, also landed me a role in the SHARKNADO film as well…
BT: I see, I see…It’s funny that you brought up the phrase, “final girl,” because there was recently a movie out called THE FINAL GIRLS – which played with the whole horror movie trope of the heroine who is left to face the monster/killer at the end of the movie. So I have to ask: a) Have you seen it? and b) What were your thoughts on it?
CW: I actually have not had a chance to see it. Being the mother of two teenage boys-one of whom is just starting to drive-it can be tough having that job [of being a mom], along with my job of being a working actress, to allot time to go out and see a movie. However, I am a fan of certain filmmakers, such as Adam Wingard, Ti West, Sean McGarry, Mike Flanagan, Eric England, and B.J. McDonnell. Therefore whenever they have films out I make it a point to check out their films. In addition, I am fortunate enough to get invited to a lot of screenings here in town – which is great, because there are quite a few talented filmmakers here. In fact, many of those folks out here call themselves “The October Society,” which is headed by “old-timers” as well as some “up and comers.” With all of that said, I’m also a huge fan of James Wan; particularly, the manner in which he handles Christian themes in his films, because they’re not themes that typically go over well in Hollywood. Oftentimes, those themes are typically hating on. However, James has somehow turned those themes on their head and made them resonant for movie audiences; so much so, that people came in droves to see films like INSIDIOUS, THE CONJURING, and ANNABELLE.
BT: Absolutely. So in keeping everything you have said in mind, where do you see the horror genre going in the next 5-10 years?
CW: I see the settings going international rather than staying stateside. There are so many places not yet discovered that would make great settings for horror films. One good example of this can be found not too long ago when Japanese horror films were big. Because of the setting, the folklore, and mythologies introduced in those films, audiences were entertained in a way that they happen been before. More recently, I would say that Europe is changing quite a bit, so that place may be the next frontier for horror films.
BT: Awesome! Well Caroline, thank you so much for your time and good luck to you in the films you have going forward!
CW: Well, thank you for your time! I really appreciate it!
Interview by Brandon Troy
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