Charlotte Beaumont has earned praise for her work on the TV series Broadchurch, starring David Tennant, as well as a number of other British television projects. (Including a run on the BBC staple EastEnders). Movie-wise, she is perhaps best known to genre audiences for a small role on Jupiter Ascending. This Halloween, she’s appearing in The Windmill, a horror film from director Nick Jongerius available now in theaters, on iTunes and on VOD. She sat down to talk about the project in an exclusive interview with the Sci-Fi Movie Page.
Question: How did you get started with the project?
Charlotte Beaumont: I read the film’s script, and I was a little skeptical, because I’d already read for a number of horror movies in the previous weeks. This felt different. The character felt a lot stronger and the places they wanted to go with her were a lot more interesting. I thought I’d learn a lot doing it as well. The character would push me in directions I hadn’t really been before. I auditioned and met Nick Jongerius, and immediately felt his passion and dedication to the project.
Q: Horror movies have a tendency to show strong women characters.
CB: They do! What I liked about this character is precisely that. No one really believes her, and then suddenly the tables turn and she’s left in charge. She’s the one with the plans, the ideas. She’s the one to fights to get everyone out of it. I hadn’t known that about horror movies before this shoot. It was rather a delightful thing to discover.
Q: Do you develop backstories for your characters, things we don’t see in the film, but which help you put the personality of your character together?
CB: Not normally, but this time, I did. Nick and I worked out a little background to the character, which helped a lot. Fear needs a motivation, and if we could figure out what this character was running from – the things that scare her, the demons she’s trying to silence – then it makes her much more appealing and believable onscreen. It’s not a tool I’d use with every job, but for this one, it really came in handy.
Q: How about dealing with the make-up and bloody effects?
CB: I’d worked on pictures with a lot of visual effects, but this was much more fun. You have the prosthetics, and the blood pumps, and all of that right on set. It was a massive amount of fun, but it also helps you get into the immediacy of the scenario. We had some computer effects added in post-production, mostly the fire effects, which would have been dangerous to do practically. But the blood and gore… it was like Halloween every day. It was so much fun!
Q: What do you think it is that keeps drawing people back to material like this?
CB: It’s the thrill of it, isn’t it? Horror is an easy watch. You know you’re not going to cry and it can really be quite fun. You don’t have to think too much, and that’s not a knock. For a serious drama or a film with a lot to say… those kinds of movies ask the audience to focus and think. That’s important, of course, but movies are supposed to be entertainment as well. Horror, if it’s done well, will always be entertaining just because it’s horror. The funhouse is always open, and you can relax and enjoy it.
It also provides an immediacy that you don’t see in a lot of other genres. Again, it needs to be a well-made horror movie, but if we do our jobs, the audience connects with the characters in a very primal way. That can be a cathartic experience, and horror movies can do it better than anyone else.