INT: Leah Pipes
I must admit that Leah Pipes was one of the only actresses cast in SORORITY ROW that I had never heard of. What I assumed was, this was just some newbie actress fresh from a successful audition, getting a shot at stardom with her first major role...
In fact, Pipes has been around for a while, mostly appearing in t.v. shows (for youngsters), like "Drake and Josh", "Clubhouse", and "Life is "Wild". Now the young lady is appearing in her first major motion picture, having nabbed a lead role in SORORITY ROW; "Jessica" is the bitchy, no-nonsense leader of the pack of young girls who commit an awful crime at the beginning of the film, leading to a series of horrific events. I sat down with Leah while she was shooting in Pittsburgh last October.
Can you tell us about Jessica?
LEAH: Jessica is a bitch! Through and through the way she thinks is so different from the way a normal person thinks. Its such a Sophist attitude, and I really respect it because its very black and white: either shes benefited by a situation or shes not benefited by a situation, and if shes not benefited then shes not bothering. Theres a certain element of intelligence to that philosophy if you think about it. Deep down we all have a little bit of Jessica in us, shes just honest about it!
Is she the Queen Bee?
LEAH: She is, shes the Queen Bee. Shes the hottest girl on sorority row, hence the raw celery Im eating right now. (laughs) She holds her own and really works hard for her reputation and doesnt want to see it go under because of some stupid prank.
So can we assume she doesnt get killed right away?
LEAH: She doesnt get killed right away, but you reeeaaaalllllllllly root for her to the entire movie. (laughs)
Have you head to do a head and body cast?
LEAH: Yeah, Ive had to get prosthetics done, which was awesome. The place we went to in LA to get it done I got to walk through and see all the prosthetic hes done throughout his career. It made my prosthetic look not as entertaining, but it was a very bizarre place to be.
What is it like shooting in basically your underwear in 30 degree weather?
LEAH: You know, at least you dont think about what you look like. Youre like, hey, Im in my underwear, Im gonna get this done as fast as possible so I can get back in my sweatpants. Its definitely mind over matter, a lot of meditating, finding my peaceful place, especially a scene this intense. It really gets you shaking, the adrenalin running its actually perfect, Id rather it be this cold than it be scorching hot for a scene like this.
Is it supposed to be this cold in the context of the movie?
LEAH: In my head I thought its the beginning of the school year, so that would be about September, and its Anytown United States, so yeah it would probably be chilly.
Do you like horror movies?
LEAH: This is gonna sound really silly, but I can only see horror movies with boys. (laughs) If I have a boy there to cling to Im fine, but I cant see horror movies alone and I cant see them with my girlfriends. I need someone to protect me from the evil killer on the screen!
Whats next for you?
LEAH: Theres a movie Im potentially doing called Three Stories About Joan which is an AMAZING script. Well see if that gets made, its really early on in the process. Bruce Willis is set to direct and play a role. Hopefully that will be next Very different from Sorority Row!
You said you cant watch horror movies, but when you watch THIS one will you still be scared watching it in the theater?
LEAH: Well Ive done a horror movie before, and when I watched that one I was really scared. I was fearing for my character and was like No, dont go in there! Wait, I know the story its fine. Im a fraidy cat, what can I say.
Do you see more horror movies in your future?
LEAH: You know, I will do whatever is thrown my way at this point. As long as Im working Im happy and if thats horror, great, if thats comedy, awesome, if its drama, cool. Whatever is in my future I will accept with open arms.
So how did you audition? Did they have you come in and read a scene or did they just offer?
LEAH: Oh yeah, they just offered, thatll be the day! (laughs) Originally I went out for Elly because Im not the hot girl, Ive never been in my career. Originally I read for the awkward, nerdy girl. I read the script and fell in love with the character of Jessica, so I was like Send me in for Jessica! and they were like No, Leah, youre gonna go in for Elly. So I read for Elly and I was like Send me in for Jessica! They finally sent me in, and I wore this short skirt and put hair extensions in and really vamped myself up and I really looked it. Then I was like oh shoot, now Ive gotta be the hot girl for the next two months, so thats really stressful. The next role I take on will hopefully be the awkward fat girl again. (laughs)
How is working with Stewart?
LEAH: Stewarts amazing. Hes so enthusiastic. Hes so not on an ego trip, which is very rare for a director. He is taking 4 young girls to be in his movie and taking us seriously, letting us explore our characters, and letting us be true artists. I so respect that, and its so rare to find a director to respect you as a young woman aspiring to be an actress, especially in a horror movie, and Im glad hes letting us do so.
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