INT: Laura Ramsey

When THE RUINS originally hit theatres, I had the opportunity to sit and talk for a few minutes with the lovely Laura Ramsey. She is becoming a genre favorite as of late with films like VENOM and THE COVENANT. But it is THE RUINS where she gives an outstanding performances as Stacy who begins to lose her sanity as she battles the evil that exists on the ancient Mayan ruins. It really is an incredible performance and hopefully will only be the beginning of her career.

Recently, I got the chance to talk with her over the phone to promote THE RUINS as hits your local DVD retailer or what have you on July 8th. It is always great to talk to her. I love her personality, and I love her honesty. I just wish I could have talked to her face to face because she is not only an absolutely beautiful girl, she really seems like a fun person to hang with. And you too can get to see a bit of her charm this coming Tuesday. Seriously, give THE RUINS a chance. I loved the film and had a great time with this man vs. nature tale. And besides, you get to look at Ms. Ramsey some more.

Well, I guess we should talk about the movie a little bit. First off, I was watching the DVD over the weekend, and I really love the film.

Thank you.

No problem. Actually my review went up in our DVD Pub today and I feel that your performances is fantastic.

[Laughing] Thank you. I tried [Laughing].

You tried very well.

I tried to do a good job you know, because to me it was the most exciting role of them all. The most interesting one by far.

Well I was watching the extras and you were saying that you took your character in the movie from both Stacy and Eric in the novel. How early on did you get to read the book?

I started reading the book on the plane on the way to Australia. So once I found out that I got the movie, it was like, ‘okay, I should probably read the book.’ [Laughing] So I took it on the plane and I read it. And then throughout the movie, I just kind of used it as notes. You know, I’d highlight things that in the book, Eric’s character went through, and Stacy also, her character, and combine them together along with other things.

It must be nice to have that tool for an actor.

Yeah, it’s perfect. It’s like having a Bible to go to, like Jena [Malone] said, an actor’s bible. You go and you have all the notes written there so you don’t even have to like… of course you put your own into the character too, but it’s also written pretty blankly right there what happens. So I just used all that. Along with my own craziness too.

And how cold was it there during the shoot? On the DVD they mention how cold it was, what was the coldest it ever got?

I would say, it got probably… I mean, wearing shorts and a tank top, like to where you could see your breath. It would be like, at night, like forty degrees, [maybe] fifty degrees.

And of course, half the movie you are in a tank top and underwear.

Yeah. Yeah. And a lot of it we got lucky with during the day. But even during the day, sometimes it would be like that crisp air, really cold. And they’d come and spray olive oil and water all over you to make it look like you were sweating [Laughing].

How did this compare to your earlier genre entries like THE COVENANT or VENOM? I mean just on the physicality of the role alone…

Yeah, for me, it was the first time that I’d ever had a character, like a developed character. Because in VENOM and THE COVENANT, I had a character, but she’s like the pretty girl and everything… all the fun stuff is the guys and their stuff that they got to do. And I was just like, the pretty girl that the story revolved around you know, she just kind of had to be there.

And so in THE RUINS, I had a character, and she actually had arcs and went through a whole… you know, a beginning and a middle and an end. And for me it was just more challenging and interesting to be able to push myself and challenge myself in ways that I haven’t done before. Not that I didn’t challenge myself in the other movies but it wasn’t as challenging a role, you know.

Yeah, and you also have to deal with the prosthetics.

Oh man. I got the bad end of the deal on that though [Laughing]. I mean, I would have to go in like three or four hours before we’d start shooting. So if we started at like six in the morning, I’d have to go in at three in the morning and get everything put on. But you know what? I’m thankful for it because it only helped me. Because I was just that much more tired and that much more hungry and that much more like… I just wanna die kinda thing. So it helped me in all those scenes, to get there, because you’re just so un-emotionally balanced.

Do you consider yourself a method actor? Or are you kind of, go there and do my job type of thing?

You know what? I think I’ve learned I’m more of a method actor… I think [Laughing]. Only because, I can’t show up to work and be like, [in a sing song manner] ‘Good Morning!’, and happy when I know that I have to go and cry for an hour. You know, cry and sob and… I’m always in my head. I’m always kind of there, emotionally, when I show up to work, if I have crying scenes and stuff.

We talked about rehearsal time last time at the junket, but how much time did you get specifically?

We had like, when we showed up there, we had I think a week before we actually started shooting. So we’d sit down with Carter [Smith] who is the director. And thankfully, we had like a whole, like the beginning, it was written but all of the actors came in and kind of improv’d the scene with what we think would happen.

And so we spent like one whole day of having this scene, and they actually rewrote the scene off of what we improv’d. So that’s why in the beginning, it kind of… it flows because it’s kind of like an improv scene we all just kind of… being in our characters and hanging out like we were, drinking at the pool, you know. And we kind of developed, showing who we are in that first scene.

And then we also had the whole week, so then we would rehearse what’s going to happen. They built this little hole, where we could imagine where the shaft was and all that. So we would do the death scene rehearsal. Of how… where the tent was and kind of imagine where it all was, and walk through it. Most of the scenes we had, we talked about where we were going to be during the time and everything so it was good. We had like a full week of preparation. And we got a chance to know each other and hang out, ‘cause we all had to be friends.

That’s definitely a luxury. It seems like any rehearsal time is a luxury in film for the most part.

It is. Because it’s hard, like I’m working on a film now and I’m in like four scenes of the movie. And it’s a small little month long shoot. And we have no rehearsals. We show up to the set, and we just shoot the scene and it‘s just so... I mean I kind of like it because it’s just so spur of the moment, on a whim. But I’m also walking into something that people have been working on already and they are in their element and it’s like weird without having rehearsal time. So it’s definitely a luxury.

Which film is that?

It’s called SHRINK.

Now do you feel THE RUINS has helped you move up the ladder at all, career wise?

Um… sure, I think any work that comes out helps people see what you can do. I mean, this movie I’m working on now, none of the… director or anyone saw THE RUINS. So I got the movie because I went in and auditioned and earned the role. They never even saw The Ruins. But I think for future things, it’s definitely helped and it helps to have like, people behind you like Ben Stiller and Spielberg. It’s good to have their production company behind you.

Yeah, how odd is that, doing basically a blood and guts horror film… and having Ben Stiller?


That seems kind of weird to me.

Well, I don’t know. I think it’s a… I thought it was a good thing that he did ‘cause he does so many comedies and stuff, and now he has a production company. He took a risk and I guess, liked the book and wanted to make it a movie and it’s a whole different thing for him, which I think it’s cool to do that. Take a step in a different direction, you know.

Now obviously, THE RUINS didn’t do as well as it could (or should have) in theatres. How did that affect you, or did it?

Not at all. I mean, it sucks that they didn’t get what they wanted. The producers and everyone didn’t make a lot of money, I guess… I don’t know. For me, I did my job, I did what I did. I’m proud of it, I think it’s a great movie. You just never know with films.

You just never know. Like, you can’t be like, ‘oh, this is definitely going to be number one.’, you’d think it’d be number one because that’s the genre right now. A lot of horror movies… I mean, PROM NIGHT was number one.


Which was surprising.

How sad is that by the way?

I know! I don’t get it. It sucks, but at the same time I don’t let it affect me at all. It’s like whatever, I just keep going on and trying to do my work.

And with all the blood, sweat and tears you put into it, you all earned the right to be proud of it whether it did well or not.

Yeah. That’s why I think it’s going to be a great DVD thing. I think a lot of people will rent it.

I think so too. I really like the special features but I was kind of bummed to see no commentary from you guys. Did that ever come up?

No. No. I just got an e-mail that, you know, there’s a commentary… of what was actually on the DVD, because I haven’t seen it yet. It said that there’s a commentary from the director. But we never were asked to do a commentary.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and/or comments to [email protected]



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