Allie MacDonald is a Canadian actress and musician who up until this point might be best known for playing Jennifer Lawrence's bestie in HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET. But that will surely change after people get a gander at STAGE FRIGHT, the wild new horror movie/musical in which Allie stars as a girl who just wants to sing her heart out but might get it cut out instead thanks to a deranged killer. This is one entertaining-as-hell flick, folks, and Allie knocks it out of the park with a performance that contains singing and screaming in equal measure.
Allie was good enough to take a few minutes to talk to The Hottie Stop about her new role, being a drama geek, pretending to be drunk and what she'd do if she could no longer act.
STAGE FRIGHT is a weird blend of comedy, musical and slasher film - are you a fan of all three genres?
Yes, I am. It was actually kind of amazing that it was a mixture of those three, because those are my three favorite kinds of movies, and also what I'm good at and what I want to do. It was really awesome, a really good opportunity for me.
What was more fun, singing the solos or getting splashed with buckets of blood?
They both have their challenges. The music isn't super difficult for me, but singing the soprano-y stuff was a challenge because I've never done that before. But also running through the woods and being covered with blood, grass and dirt has its own problems. But it was fun; sometimes you go to set and you do the same thing every day, but when you do something like this it's, "What's it going to be today?" Always something crazy and fun.
Was your audition process much like it was in the film?
No, I didn't have to make out with the director! (Laughs) I think I did two auditions and then a meeting, but they weren't sure if they wanted to cast me because I had done a big Canadian musical before, so I was nervous I wouldn't get it. But I'm really glad they took a chance on me.
Do you have a musical theater background?
I've been doing musicals since I was little, I did Annie when I was like 15. That was ten years ago, oh my god, I feel so old. (Laughs) I went to musical theater college, so I've been doing it for a long time.
There's a great song in the film about how the kids feel "normal" one time out of the year when they're in this camp. Did you have an experience like that, or could you relate to feeling like an "outsider" because of your passion?
Yeah, feeling kind of at home with my drama group in my high school. I actually moved to a different high school out west. I grew up in Nova Scotia but moved to British Columbia for my last year of high school and went to this more artistic high school. They had this great drama program, a lot more creative stuff. The town I grew up in was really small and had nothing, so it was really good to get involved in something artistic. Then after school I went to musical theater college, then I moved to Toronto. That's my life story for you. (Laughs)
Did it feel like all of the actors were actually attending camp together? Any fun experiences while shooting?
Yeah, it definitely felt like that, because we all stayed at the camp. We would leave once a week and go into town, but mostly we were stuck at the camp the whole time. It was actually a lot cooler to shoot a movie that way, because you get totally immersed in it, you really get to know the other people. You can just walk out of your bunk and go shoot, you literally could wake up like five minutes before your call time. It was beautiful there, we shot at Camp Manitou in Ontario.
That must create some interesting dynamics on set, did it ever mirror some of the relationships or tensions that are in the film?
No, everyone was super cool and professional. There was no drama or anything. I think Jerome, the director, had a really good eye casting people. I mean he chose me, so obviously. (Laughs)
It must have been fun working with Meatloaf...
Yeah, he's awesome. So, so nice. I was a little intimidated because he's got such a large presence, but he's super sweet, always down to talk and hang out.
What do you like to do when you're not working?
I make music. I go by Sureilla, you can check me out on YouTube. That's what I do on my downtime.
So your life is pretty much consumed with music and acting?
Yeah, that's pretty much it. Auditions, working, and making music. Hanging out with my dog, Matilda. I usually bring her to set, she hangs out in the trailer. She's the perfect set dog, she doesn't bark or anything.
Are you a go out to the bar or club kind of girl or more stay at home with a movie?
I don't actually go out at all, ever. I'm a total grandmother. I don't drink, so I don't really go out. Usually I'm staying home, I live in a really awesome area in Toronto, so it's really busy during the day and quiet at night, so I just stay in and watch movies or TV.
When your co-stars would go out on the town during STAGE FRIGHT, you wouldn't join them?
Not really! I mean, we did have a really fun wrap party, there wa a lot of dancing. If I do go out, I'll get crazy and dance and have fun. I like to pretend to be drunk, which is actually a lot of fun. Then you can remember what happened the next day.
You're putting your acting skills to use.
Yeah, it's like improv or audition. For a role that I've yet to book. But yeah, I'm kind of boring.
What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't an actress or singer?
You know what, I was asking myself that the other day. I couldn't think of anything, because I've been doing this since I was a kid. I'm not good at anything else, I don't really have any other talents or skills. (Laughs) If all of a sudden movies became obsolete, I'm not sure what I'd aspire to. I would probably start a dog walking business, or maybe open up a cafe. (Pause) I would probably be a vagrant. (Laughs) I don't think I would keep a real job, let's be real here.
What's the one thing you'd like to accomplish in your career, your biggest goal?
I think just being able to make a living is good enough for me. I really like acting, I think it's the coolest job in the world, so I would just like to be comfortable doing that. My goal in life is happiness, I think that's more important than a career goal. I just want to work, and hopefully when STAGE FRIGHT comes out people will see it and like it and I'll get another job from it! That's all I can really ask for.
Amy Adams. Or… let me think. I'm trying to think of who I like.
Amy Adams is fine, there's nothing wrong with that!
Yeah, I really like her. I want to get married. I'm just going to end on that.
That's a perfect way to end. Thank you very much for your time.
Thank you so much, I really liked this.