Until now, Briana Evigan may be most recognizable to teenagers as the street-smart "Andie" from the hit STEP UP 2 THE STREETS. Genre audiences, however, are more likely to remember her from Darren Lynn Bousman's "FEAR ITSELF" episode, "New Year's Day", or from the recently released S. DARKO.
It's likely that both groups will soon mark her as the spunky, down-to-earth heroine Cassidy in Summit Entertainment's SORORITY ROW. I and a handful of other journalists had the pleasure of sitting down with Ms. Evigan while on the set of the film last October.
WARNING: Spoilers about SORORITY ROW follow.
Are you finding it hard to work in the cold?
BRIANA: You know what? Not really. I mean, certain parts of last night was getting real difficult, doing the whole scene through since its like a seven minute scene. But, other than that, they keep us warm afterwards so its not too bad. It would be awful if we didn't have all the heaters and heat packs on us but it gets us through I think.
What can you tell us about your character?
BRIANA: I play Cassidy and she's kind of... well, I like to call her a little bit of the "Debbie Downer" because all the other girls are always so funny and joking around and kind of silly about everything. But she is very strong and confident and kind of wants to step away from the whole sorority thing and wants spent more time with her boyfriend and isn't really into the whole "I'm a girl, let me dance around in my little lingerie outfit" and all that. I think she joins the sorority because she kind of wants to have a little of that side, rather than the tomboy she kind of is at heart, and tries to open up and make all these friends with girls that aren't the nicest in the world but she finds a way to love them.
Is she the only one thats not on board with dumping her in the mine shaft?
BRIANA: Yes, I'd say that Ellie's character, who is always just kind of freaking out, goes along with everything so much because she doesn't feel like she has a say but Cassidy absolutely disagrees with almost everything they do in the entire movie, including the beginning sequence especially, and they frame her with her jacket to make it like it was my fault, of course, because I'm the one thats gonna tell. And now if I tell, I'm screwed because my jacket is in there.
What about the script did you like?
BRIANA: When I first read the script, I heard it was going to be a I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, SCREAM, FINAL DESTINATION, MEAN GIRLS; all that stuff combined. That wasn't my interest for my next movie but I'm not trying to be picky right now either. What I did like about the script was the character they offered to me was kind of the strong girl who wasn't a part of all this because in real life, I've never been in a sorority. My brother and my dad grew up with me more and got me into sports and hiking and camping and all that so I liked that the character was a little more like me and stood out as a very strong girl throughout the entire movie.
Have you seen the original?
BRIANA: No, I haven't. I just put it on my Netflix though. I'm waiting for it.
Do you get to witness lots of murders?
BRIANA: I witness every murder basically. She has to deal with watching everyone around her die.
She's gonna need therapy.
BRIANA: Yeah, she's going to need a lot of help in the sequel.
Have they mentioned a sequel at all?
BRIANA: Yeah, I mean everyone has been joking around about it and talking about funny, silly ideas for a sequel and even a third one. I would imagine with the way they left the script, they're going to have a sequel for sure. I don't know what role Cassidy would play in it.
Would she be the killer?
BRIANA: Yeah, maybe. We were thinking by the third, she would be the killer.
Did you get any good kicks in or anything? Have you shot that yet?
BRIANA: No, we haven't done any of that yet. Last night and the night before were the biggest scenes that I've gotten done so far. But I get dropped in the mine tomorrow night, down the mine shaft, and I crack my head real nice and get back out and I'm fine.
Can you tell me about bonding with your cast mates before the shoot?
BRIANA: Well, they put us all on the same flight out here. On the plane, we got to talk and tell each other about ourselves. Its been like living in a sorority for me. I've never been around as many girls in my life, at the same time, for this long. To be honest, they're five or six of the coolest girls Ive ever been around, which is really nice. A few of them I would definitely remain friends with, who are really cool girls. We've gone out for Salsa night and partied every Saturday together. Slumber parties in the room and just stuff I've never done until now.
It's going to be tough when they start leaving one by one...
BRIANA: The good thing is everyone lives in L.A.. Usually, everyone parts ways and says they're going to talk but I think, this time, we really are going to hang out.
Do you love the genre in general?
BRIANA: I love watching every kind of movie. I love horror films, they scare the crap out of me. I love jumping, I love laughing at the stupid stuff that happens. Like I said, it wouldn't be my number one pick for the next thing that I'd want to do but now that I'm doing it, I can say that I've done it. Its been so fun already and we still have a month left. I can't wait to see the whole outcome and its looking awesome from the dailies and stuff that I've seen.
Any favorites from the genre?
BRIANA: I just recently watched HEATHERS because of this movie and I did like it. It was different from all the others ones so I did like it. PSYCHO and all those old school ones. I just watched SCREAM again. I'm not as crazy about those, like I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. I know they're hokey-funny but I like the classics.
The movie is very much in the Scream vein. Are there a lot of comedy moments? Some that lend themselves to improve?
BRIANA: All the time, that's why I'm saying I feel like the Debbie Downer sometimes because all these girls are non-stop. The stuff that they say would just crack anyone up. You can't even believe they would say some of these thing. I give the writers mad props for some of the comedy stuff they came up with for the girls.
So no sarcastic one-liners from you?
BRIANA: They mostly come from Jessica because I think she's so retarded. I think its as simple as that.
Any particular scene you're waiting to shoot?
BRIANA: I'm excited for the mine shaft. I like action stuff. I've always wanted to do serious action movies. I just love being crazy and doing really fun, more dangerous kinda things like that, even thought they're going to be safe, of course, on set.
Are you going to do that? We saw a stunt girl out there.
BRIANA: The stunt double, Jody. I'm pretty sure she'll doing most of the crazy, crazy drops but I'll definitely be doing a lot of it.
Have you met the actor who plays your boyfriend yet?
BRIANA: Yes, we already did some scenes together. Our make-out scenes and our bedroom scene. Got them out of the way in the beginning so it was good. He's a really cool guy. We get along and have great on-screen chemistry for sure. I did a chemistry read with him before he was cast and I got good vibes from him when I first met him.
Can you talk about working with Stewart? What's he like as a director?
BRIANA: I love Stewart. He's great. He's very open to come talk to you about anything. There are so many of us and I'm sure its difficult for him to keep his head on what he was trying to say or what he thought watching the last take. Since he's made it so comfortable for us, its nice that we can go ask him and make sure he's happy and we're all on the same page. He's fun and funny. He starts laughing behind the camera during the scene, which is awful for us because I'm trying to be all serious but its all good.
Since your character is sort of the odd duck among the sorority girls, is there anything that you're willing to try to make your character blend in more and not very obviously be the standout?
BRIANA: I think clearly, she stands out by the way she dressed, by the way she looks and her tone with everything. My number one thing is to try and not be whiny, because it can come off very annoying because everyone is being so funny. I'm trying to approach it from that whole "I'm the only one who has it together here and I can't believe these girls can even speak like this. This is why I didn't want to be in a sorority to begin with." So I keep trying to go back to that so it doesn't turn out whiny and that I'm a complainer, because she's not really. She's really the only one that has some sense and knows everything they're doing is wrong.
So at the beginning, is she also against the death thing they do?
BRIANA: Oh yeah. She says to call the ambulance right away and I realize that they are kidding and I'm like "This is retarded." But, at first, I'm going along with it because there are seven other people going along with it. The minute Matt's character, Garrett, starts crying in the car, I'm not cool with it.
Have you ever in real life played a prank that was a little too intense? Not to this extent obviously...
BRIANA: Not with people. I let out like 300 mice and rats in the gym during my senior year for a prank. We loaded them up in backpacks. That was my biggest prank I think. That and I freaked my friend out in the shower because we were living in a seriously haunted house in college.
BRIANA: I came back from school early that day and there were four of us living in this house. It was an old marine base and everyone was talking about how it was haunted. We all believed in it but we had never seen it or anything, anywhere before that. Now we all believe it because crazy stuff started happening there, right after I did this to my friend. I got home early and no one was home and she had been freaking out over everybody. I heard the shower on upstairs and I was like "Its on!" I go upstairs and I'm laying down on the side of the bathtub and she has her hand on the shower curtain. You know when you hear the water on somebody and then you hear it hit the floor? So I took my fingers and put them right up to hers and pulled back and I could feel her stop and then dead silence. You could hear the water hitting the floor. I was still laying there and trying so hard not to laugh and she put her hand back. So I put it back up against hers and she fell and ripped the curtain open, freaked out and jumped out of the tub. I'm laying on the floor and she hit me so hard. She was like "I hate you!" It was really awesome, she was scared. Then afterwards, that stuff really started happening so I left.