In the new fright flick from Trevor Matthews, GirlHouse, the lovely Ali Cobrin stars as a young woman in desperate need of cash. When she decides to move into a house that streams X-rated content to subscribers, she soon finds that a psycho fan is looking to get dangerously close. It is the kind of slasher that I miss. It is brutal and sexy, and it features a wonderful lead performance from the stunningly beautiful Ms. Cobrin.
Recently, I had the terrific opportunity to chat with this lovely actress for the Hottie Stop. During our conversation we discussed working in horror, and how she approached the nudity in the film. We talked about some of her favorite things, from working out to the awesomeness of Debra Messing and “Will and Grace.” With such comedies as AMERICAN REUNION and NEIGHBORS, it is clear that this talented young woman can do anything she sets her mind to.
What I liked about GIRLHOUSE is that is feels a bit like a return to the classic slasher with the “final girl.” Did that appeal to you?
It did. I read the script and I found that to be fun. I thought it was a total throwback. And obviously it was very current and topical as well.
In the audition process, were you a little nervous about the amount of nudity involved?
Yes. I was ready for only implied nudity and that’s what it was. I remember talking to the producer and the director right before we started, and he was like, “the idea is we are going to think we’ve seen you completely naked the entire time, but we really haven’t.” And I was like, okay (Laughs). Sure.
Did you enjoy being on a horror film where there is a heightened sense of fear? Was it a tension filled set, or was it more fun because of it?
It was totally fun. All fun all the time. But to get to that place, just so I’m ready when they call action, I used the fact that… see we were up in Canada for six weeks in the middle of nowhere. We were in a suburb an hour outside of Ottawa. Literally we were in the middle of nowhere. So I tried to use that isolation to get me into those places of having a crazed killer running after me. (Laughs)
What was the area like? Was there a chance to get off set for awhile and have fun?
Oh yeah. On the weekends I traveled around. I went to Quebec, I think, and I just hung around the hotel. (Laughs) We had fun there with friends. We were all just hanging out. It was pretty average, pretty typical for what it’s like when you are on set and on location.
Are you fan of this type of movie in general or is this kind of new to you? Do you get freaked out when you watch horror?
It’s a little bit of both. I’m a fan. I love the throwback to the old HALLOWEEN style of movie. I could see it as very much a genre piece. I just went for it. And so now I’m a little more of a fan. It depends on if I”m watching because I’m interested [in the process] or if I am watching to get scared. It think it can kind of go both ways.
Do you put the hand over the face and hide your eyes?
You are the fun type to go see these movies with.
(Laughs) I’m trying to think of what I get freaked out by… Just “The Walking Dead” can get bloody…
And this flick as well is pretty brutal.
Yeah. The sawing off of the head kills me.
What originally brought you into acting coming from a dance background?
I kind of always wanted to do it my whole life, but I didn’t really know how that would work or thought it possible. But when I was in high school, I went to theatre and different classes in Chicago, which is great area for all of that. And soon I just started to get more into acting, and less into ballet.
How long were you doing ballet, when did you stop?
Now I go every once in a while, similar to how one would go to a yoga class. Just to learn and exercise. But I quit when I was seventeen.
You live in LA correct?
What do you do for fun when not running from crazed psychos?
This morning I went for a hike. (Laughs) I hang out with my friends. Stuff like that. Nothing too crazy.
Since you’ve done comedy and horror, which do you prefer?
This is my only horror so I don’t know, but I love comedy.
You’re very good at it by the way.
Thank you. I have a lot of fun in comedy and improv situations.
Who do you look up to? Who are some of the people that inspire you?
My first ever, when I was really young and just watching TV all night long, the first time I ever thought, “I can do that” was with the really early “Will and Grace” episodes with Debra Messing. I mean, REALLY early when the show first started. I grew up on sitcoms. “Will and Grace”, “Friends”, I watched them all day, every day, over and over. Every episode. Everything.
Was Debra Messing like a ‘girl-crush’ type thing or more of an inspiration?
I guess more like an inspiration. She had really big, crazy, wild hair and I actually had really big, crazy, wild hair. I was always like, “Oh, her hair is so curly! I wanna do that!” (Laughs)
Do you ever watch the classics like Lucille Ball?
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!
It was fun to see you do horror after a comedy like NEIGHBORS. A nice change of pace I’d guess.
It was. And I like that. I want to keep doing different things. I want to do more drama. I want to do thrillers, and action. All of it.
What are your top three favorite films?
Number one is CHINATOWN.
Number two is ALL THAT JAZZ. I’m trying to think what my third favorite movie is… I don’t know what the third would be.
I always had a crush on Jessica Lange after I saw ALL THAT JAZZ on cable when I was young.
Do you still watch a lot of TV, you mentioned “The Walking Dead”, and speaking of Jessica Lange, what about “American Horror Story?
I’ve seen “American Horror Story,” but I don’t follow it. I do watch TV. I watch a little bit of everything.
Do you still watch the sitcoms?
Yes. But it’s the old ones. I just keep watching the old ones over and over (Laughs). You know, I like “The Middle,” I think that is funny. And they cancelled it, but I watched “Trophy Wife.” I thought it was funny. And of course, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Big Bang Theory” and I just saw the premiere of “Fresh Off the Boat” and I think it’s hilarious.
I’m hearing good things about it.
The kids in it are so funny! It’s so funny! “The Goldbergs” is funny. I watch them all. Clearly I have a lot of time on my hands. (Laughs)
That’s alright. Hulu and binge watching is in.
What do you do to keep in such great shape? What is your workout routine?
I do a little bit of everything. I go to yoga class. This morning I went for a run but that was like five minutes, I was like, this sucks. (Laughs) I try and do a little bit of everything and I really feel so much better when I work out. It’s like the endorphins or whatever it is, it really makes you happy.
You started off right, having been in ballet. You have to be in great shape to do that.
Yeah. Growing up as a ballerina was one thing, and I also was running a lot. I grew up competing in track and field. I was in the junior olympics and I did all that stuff. Again, I was a kid and you can do anything when you are a kid. (Laughs)