A talented young actress, Katie Burgess has appeared in Object Eleven, The Lamp, and can soon be seen in the futuristic sci-fi thriller The Jurassic Games. In Gremlin, Burgess is Anna Thatcher, a troubled teen with an attitude who confronts an evil entity. In this one-on-one interview, Burgess reveals what drew her to the film, and the challenges she faced in portraying a complex teen forced to deal with a horrific presence.
What attracted you to this creepy horror/thriller?
Katie: I’ve played a lot of “girl next door” roles. This offered a new experience to creep people out and go darker. Teenagers are often portrayed as happy go lucky. I love that Anna had a lot going on in her life. She was stressed, sad and angry. And I think that all her different levels were interesting.
You play a teen with a definite attitude. What drew you to the role of Anna Thatcher?
Katie: I really liked that she had a bit of an attitude. It was a change of pace to play a girl who was kind of mean. Not quite the sweet little daughter that most parents want to have.
How are you like Anna and how are you different from her?
Katie: Anna is a very typical teenager thrown into situations that many people have not experienced. I can understand where she was coming from. By putting myself in her situation, I could see that maybe I would react in similar ways. On the surface, it’s easy to judge her. She’s irresponsible, rude and ungrateful for what she has. She’s in the throes of teen problems, which I was going through at the time. There was a lot of distance between her and her father. And it was easy for her to feel alone. I don’t think she handles certain things in the best way. I’m really close to my family and I probably would have made different decisions.
Did you audition for the role? If so what was that like?
Kate: I did. There were four people in the room. They gave me feedback and they had me try the role. I was contacted later, they offered me the role and I accepted.
What did you find most challenging about being in Gremlin?
Katie: The most challenging part was that the Gremlin wasn’t really there. It was difficult to imagine where the monster would be. There’s a scene where the monster is under the covers while I’m sleeping, so they had to actually get my mom to put her hand under the covers and act like the Gremlin. Then, when the monster is taunting and chasing me, it was difficult to be afraid of something that’s not really there.
Katie Burgess & Kristy K. Boone
Do you prefer comedies and drama to being in horror thrillers?
Katie: I love the balance. This was my first horror/thriller and I loved the experience. I would definitely do another one. But I also like more realistic stories.
Looks like Jurassic Games is coming up soon. What can you tell us about that?
Katie: It’s such an interesting story. It’s like Hunger Games, but with people on death row who are placed into a virtual reality game. My character is an antagonist, the youngest person on death row. I love that her name is Joy and she’s not the most pleasant person to be around. It’s kind of an outdoor adventure, like Jurassic Park with dinosaurs. There’s lots of conflict and interesting character revelations. It took a long time to film but it was great to be in a number of different locations.
Gremlin will be available everywhere on DVD October 3rd.