Filmmaker Interview

by Shannon McGrew

Bastard

DCP reviews Bastard and talks to Rebekah Kennedy

 

DCP 

What inspired you to go from stage to film?

 

Rebekah Kennedy

When I was younger I kind of always wanted to do film, it was something that I was interested in.  At the time I was really into theatre and being in Texas there wasn't a lot of film work was going on there.  I put the idea of doing film on the back burner and continued doing theatre.  In college I took a couple film classes to learn more about the industry and after I graduated I moved back to Texas to get my bearings and figure out what I wanted to do; though initially I wanted to move to New York to pursue theatre, I ended up meeting my husband in Texas. Things took a different turn and I thought to myself, let me see if I can do film. I started auditioning for short films and I was able to get an agent in Louisiana and Texas and things kind of took off.  At the time I was still doing theatre along with film but after my husband and I got married (in 2010) I decided to just focus on film.

 

DCP

Would you like to eventually go back to theatre?

 

Rebekah Kennedy

I would love to do a show, a show that I would be passionate about.  Theatre work can be time consuming with long hours but it's also an awesome experience and something I really love.

 

DCP

A lot of your movies have been in the horror genre.  Do you want to continue in the horror genre?  Is it something you are passionate about?  Was it accidental?

 

Rebekah Kennedy

It was definitely accidental getting into it.  I love horror movies, I've actually always loved horror movies.  Actually, at my friend's 11th birthday party, I convinced them to rent Stephen King's "IT" from Blockbuster.  I have no idea why her parent's let us do that haha.  So now my friend is like scarred for life.  I've always loved horror movies I just never saw myself being in one of them. The first horror movie I did was "House Hunting," and it was awesome and I had so much fun.  Obviously, I would like to continue doing other genres as well; I love dramas and comedies can be so much fun, but what matters is a good script.  I like smart horror films.

 

 

 

 

"Bastard" tells the story of five strangers - newlywed serial killers, a suicidal cop, and two runaway - who become a target for a masked murderer in a sleepy mountain town. The plot seems simple enough, but the movie is more complex and grabs a hold of you from the opening shot to the rolling credits.  To me, "Bastard" is the sleeper hit that everyone needs to see. 

 

What I really love about "Bastard" is how uncomfortable this movie made me at times.  When you get used to watching so many horror movies, it takes a lot to elicit an uncomfortable reaction (or any type of reaction) and this movie was able to do that perfectly.  I wasn't turned off from the movie, if anything I wanted to see the end results.  Directors Powell Robinson and Patrick Robert Young knew when to push the envelope when it came to gore and subject matters but they also had the notion of when it would become too much.  For this I am grateful because it's a fine line to walk. 

 

In order to make a movie work, you need to have great directors and an amazing cast, and I have to say, the cast for "Bastard" was spot on.  Each character was believable and as the movie progresses you find yourself becoming more immersed in their lives.  At times I was even rooting for the newlywed serial killers which makes not sense because they are serial killers! I actually found myself caring about all five characters and I wanted so badly for them to make it out alive.  Robinson and Young made sure that each character had their own story to tell, that the characters weren't just one dimensional, and that there was much more to them that what was on the surface.  I know for me I felt sadness when the cop was on the screen, anger with a touch of humor when the newlywed serial killers were around, and confusion, disgust, and hope when the runaways appeared.  The actors and actresses played their parts spectacularly and really made this movie come alive. 

 

Of course, this movie has a lot of gore, which I'm typically not a fan of.  However, Robinson and Young paired up the gore with humor which caused it to not be such a hard blow.  Sometimes you need to be able to laugh when people are getting ripped apart.  Another thing I noticed was that the gore wasn't on the screen for the sake of gore.  There was a reason and a purpose and it went along with the story.  Sure there were times when I thought about looking away from the screen, but I'm a trooper, and I watched it all. 

 

All in all, I loved this movie and it remains one of the best horror movies I've seen this year.  I loved the directing style, the cinematography, the acting, the twists and turns, and the questions that arose.  I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time and not once did I hope the movie would end.  I became emotionally attached to the characters and I was rooting for them all to survive.  "Bastard" is a prime example of how movies should be made today - instead of remakes and sequels we need more original content and movies that have passion and drive.  Lastly, what makes this movie so wonderful and unique was it didn't need a trillion dollar budget to succeed.  "Bastard" relied on the amazing directors and actors to keep us glued to the screen and scared out of our wits, and we sure as hell were

And now the review

 

DCP

Well now I need to ask, do you have a favorite horror movie?

 

Rebekah Kennedy

Oh gosh there are so many! Some of my favorites are, "The Shining," "The Exorcist," and "The Sixth Sense." 

 

DCP

In the movie "Bastard," your character Betty is very complex and we see her go through a huge transformation.  What made you want to take on the role of Betty?

 

Rebekah Kennedy

Patrick Robert Young's script.  I think he's brilliant.  He wrote a great script and a great character.  I read it and I was like man, I would love to play Betty.  They were still trying to cast a few characters and reading the script for Betty, I was just drawn to that.  She has a great arc in the movie and an awesome transformation. 

 

DCP

Was it difficult to play Betty?

 

Rebekah Kennedy

Yes and no.  I'm not as introverted as she is, I'm a lot more outgoing, but I understand her character.  I understand the insecurities, especially when you are a teenager trying to figure out who you are.  The hardest part was you don't shoot in order, we actually shot some of the very last scenes first so you have to make sure that the arc is there, that Betty's transformation is there.  Everything that is happening with her needs to feel palpable.  So that's really the hardest part. 

 

DCP

There's a lot of tough scenes in that movie and a lot of tough subjects so what was the toughest scene for you to do? 

 

Rebekah Kennedy

A lot of the shack scenes were pretty hard.  I don't want to give too much away for anyone who hasn't seen it yet but a lot of that stuff was pretty difficult because it was a long sequence and multiple takes and just continuing to be in that place.  Basically we spent the whole day at the shack. Patrick and Powell, the directors, were really great about making sure we were in the right headspace and if I needed some help they were great about just doing small things that would get you right back to where you needed to be. 

 

DCP

It seems that the whole cast and crew is a tight knit family, even after the movie was done.  What do you think has kept everyone close?

 

Rebekah Kennedy

It's interesting, most of them already knew eachother prior.  Patrick and Powell went to school together and they knew the DP Ryan and Ryan knew Dan Creed and they also knew Ellis Hooper.  Then myself, Burt Culver, and Tonya Kay came in and kind of filled out the cast.  So you are trying to figure out how to fit into that family, but they were awesome because they were so welcoming and you didn't feel like you were on the outside looking in. 

 

DCP

What was your reaction when you found out that "Bastard" was going to be part of the "8 Films to Die For."

 

Rebekah Kennedy

I was really excited!!  When we went into filming we really didn't know what was going to happen, so it was really an honor to be a part of the "8 Films to Die For" and to be part of that legacy.    

 

DCP

What can we expect from you in the future? 

 

Rebekah Kennedy

I did a couple of projects last year, one is called "Let Me Make You a Martyr," where we filmed in Tulsa, Oklahoma and it has Mark Boone Junior (Sons of Anarchy) and Marilyn Manson in it - and that's a drama, it's very much a gritty and intense drama.  I have another project called "Street Level" which is a drama about a bunch of drug addicts and their drug dealers and their lives and I play a 19 year old meth addict. I seem to be drawn to characters that are more messed up.  I would like to think my life is relatively normal so it's fun to do these roles that I would never get to do in real life.  There is something about characters that are deeply flawed that are struggling to get back to the surface that I'm more drawn to then the "happy go lucky, nothings wrong, the world's great" character. 

 

DCP

With Halloween being in a few days, do you have any Halloween traditions?

 

Rebekah Kennedy

Well, we have to get our pumpkin to carve it, but in our defense last year we carved it too early and it fell apart before Halloween.  Other than that, we will probably go to a few Halloween parties over the weekend - I am going to be dressing up as Wednesday Addams.  

 

DCP

That's incredible and I can't wait to see pictures!  Thank you so much for sitting down with Dark Comedy Productions it's been such a pleasure.  For all our readers make sure to check out "Bastards" which is available to own on DVD and VOD.  

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