Interview by Paul Salfen
Just in time for Halloween, horror fans are in for a treat with a surprise sequel to Along Came the Devil, the possession movie from husband and wife team Jason and Heather DeVan that became quite the hit on VOD. Now the story continues, which follows Jordan (Laura Wiggins, “Shameless”) returning home after getting a strange voicemail and finds her estranged father, the local reverend, and several other people not quite right. And, of course, the audience knows why: the Devil is back and possessing anyone and everyone in town in his path. Shot in Georgia, which is where Wiggins is from and currently lives most of the time, the actress spoke to us from her home about the production, her fear of horror films, and why “Shameless” was more of a leap for her than you might think.
AMFM Magazine: We’re always excited to get another horror flick in time for Halloween. Are you a big fan of scary movies?
Laura Wiggins: Uh, sometimes I can be a little bit of a wuss with too much violence but then I’m like, “Freddy Krueger is back? OK, let’s go for him again!” [Laughs] I have a really bad habit of cheering on the wrong person, too. It’s the monster’s movie, really.
AMFM: So are you cheering along the devil in this one?
LW: I might as well. What do we have in store without the devil?
AMFM: But this must have been fun to make. It looked like it, at least.
LW: It was, especially with the DeVan clan. Rolling with them and the family was extreme. One scene with Cassius [DeVan], who plays my little brother, is where he has to cry and he comes in like, [yells]“No! No! I can make my own tears!” I’m not kidding you – he made his own tears. It was beautiful. It was really fun and funny but watching Jason work as a director and Heather playing coach on the sidelines was a good dynamic.
AMFM: So were you a fan of the first film or were you afraid to watch it?
LW: Oh no, I really enjoyed the first one. I think people watching it will have to understand that it’s from a grassroots effort and it’s amazing they made that movie. It’s actually quite scary but they cut out some of the storyline. I feel like you have to watch the director’s cut of that one. Anyway, ours is more streamlined towards having a theater audience. I haven’t seen this movie yet but the DeVans have said they haven’t had to cut anything out of this movie yet.
AMFM: What would you say is the most memorable moment from the set?
LW: A lot of the days where we had the special effects like when Mark [Ashworth] or whoever the monster was at the time because, you know, the devil gets incarnated through different people. But no matter who it is, just seeing George Troester’s work – he’s our special effects guy and won some kind of competition I think – his effects were so scary that when you heard that call of “Action,” you could really feel that movie magic. You could see the veins and smell it even though it’s just a mask. And then seeing Jay Ruggieri, our DP, and how he was using the coloring of the camera to really make an otherworldly feel.
AMFM: We always ask people their Hail Mary Moment – the moment in their life or career where they just had to go for it and it worked out. What do you suppose that was for you?
LW: I would definitely say it was the most notable one and that was with “Shameless” mostly because of the subject matter and where I come from in the Bible Belt and in the suburbs…”Shameless” is not about the suburbs or the Bible Belt. [Laughs] I may not have had the support from the community that I was expecting but when I figured out what the writing was about, it was controversial itself, but it also talked about humanity and the state we’re in so I was really glad I took a chance on that show.
AMFM: So what would you say to aspiring actors that are looking to get in the business because it’s not easy.
LW: Right. I mean, I really think you just have to find other ways to express your creative energy before you’re making money at it so you don’t get too burned out on it and then just realize once you’re on the business end of it, you’re gonna have to make changes based on what other people want to do with what you’re doing. It’s learning to be flexible…and it takes a lot of no’s, so try to be OK with that.
AMFM: What was the movie or show you saw that made you want to do this?
LW: I really liked theater so I liked Bernadette Peters and Disney and all that stuff. But I also used to watch movies all the time so that was part of it. But then I also liked Happy Gilmore where you’re running around with a camera doing stupid humor.
AMFM: So since this is a great scary movie to watch at home, what’s a good one to pair this with?
LW: I think I’d go with IT because that would screw with the demon even more. Are you trying to get more scared or less scared? It depends on what you want to do. If you want to get less scared, you should go with Hocus Pocus. Or The Addams Family. But if you want to get more scared, you should go with IT and realize that the devil could live in anything and put himself anywhere…and we all float! [Laughs]
Along Came the Devil 2 is on demand now.