In ABC Family’s new original movie Nature of the Beast, actress Autumn Reeser plays Julia, who finds out her fiance Rich (Til Death‘s Eddie Kaye Thomas) is actually a werewolf. But that won’t stop Julia from getting hitched! Instead of ditching her man, she’s on a mission to help him find a cure.
During an interview session with Autumn Reeser, Geeks of Doom got to ask the actress a few questions about her role in Nature of the Beast.
Nature of the Beast premiers tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on ABC Family and will run several times during the network’s 13 Nights of Halloween event (see Geeks of Doom’s 13 Nights of Halloween contest to win posters and werewolf teeth!)
Geeks of Doom: Your character Julia falls in love with and gets engaged to Rich, who turns out to be a werewolf, yet the wedding’s still on. Why is Julia so determined to marry Rich?
Autumn Reeser: She really loves her fiance! It’s a metaphor for all of the big and little realities that come to light when you have decided to spend the rest of your life with someone. There’s suddenly no more hiding b/c there is someone who will be in your life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year after year after year… Julia really believes in marriage and understands what it takes to make it work. It’s always work and there is always a problem to be overcome, so I feel like in some ways, the movie is a love-letter to marriage and the energy it takes to have a successful relationship.
GoD: What are some of the ways in which Julia tries to help Rich with his situation?
AR: Well, she does a lot of research into exactly what Rich’s affliction could be, and follows that where it leads… but I don’t want to reveal too much!! Her determination to find a cure for Rich is one of the fun parts to follow and be surprised by during the movie…
GoD: How frightening is Nature of the Beast?
While it’s the perfect movie to watch at Halloween and there are lots of chills and scares, the comedy means you won’t go to bed & feel like you have to keep the lights on!! And it all turns out OK in the end, so you and your family can end the night on a cheerful note. :)
[Here are some other questions brought up during the interview session.]
Question: What drew you to this project? Was it the script, the chance to work with someone in particular, etc?
Answer: I really wanted to try my hand at playing a romantic comedy lead. I think it’s actually a much more delicate balance than people realize, and it’s a genre I always felt I could excel in, so the opportunity came along at the perfect time. It also took me out of Los Angeles for a month and a half, and after 3 years of being on TV shows here in LA, the travel possibility was a huge plus!
Q: Nature of the Beast has elements of comedy, romance and horror. On paper that seems like an odd mix. How did you and the cast make it work?
A: In this film, the comedy is what makes the horror work, and vice-versa. You can become desensitized quickly during a horror/gore film because you’re always on the lookout for the next big scare, so you’re bracing yourself. With a film like Nature of the Beast, you become invested in the characters because they’re endearing and you like them, so it’s much more effective when horrifying things happen to them.
Q: The movie features Eddie Kaye Thomas from Til Death and Eric Mabius from Ugly Betty. First off, who is funnier and also did you bend either of their ears about a guest spot on their shows?
A: Well, Eric is the villain, so he’s not supposed to be as funny as Eddie! Here he’s the scary one. :) They are both wonderful men, and great actors who I loved working with. We never had the opportunity to talk about their shows, really, because everytime we were together someone had wolf fangs in their mouth, or was spending 4 hours in prosthetics, or choreographing another fight scene! But of course I’d be thrilled to work with either of them again!
Q: What were the best and worst moments during production of Nature of the Beast?
A: The worst moments were the unseasonably cold night shoots while wearing a dress!!! The type of cold where you’re chilled down to the insides of your bones — it’s hard to act warm & cheerful when you’re trying to keep your teeth from chattering!!
The best moments were watching the sun go down, and then watching the sun rise over these gorgeous natural locations — unbelievable! The magic hour and the dawn light were so stunning, and the ability to just sit and absorb it while waiting for the shot to be set up was priceless.
Q: With your recent experience filming Lost Boys 2, your guest starring role on Ghost Whisperer, and now with Nature of the beast, it seems as though you are getting a lot of horror/fantasy work. (Vampires, ghosts, now werewolves). Are you a fan of that genre, and is this something you are seeking out, or is it just a matter of these being the roles that are coming up for you?
A: I know! I called it “the Summer of the Supernatural”!! It was just a coincidence and I actually took each project for a different reason: Nature of the Beast allowed me to play my first romantic lead in a film, Ghost Whisperer let me try my hand at the horror genre, and I was so excited to be a part of Lost Boys 2 because I got to explore the vampire lore, and to be a part of such a cult hit.
Q: What if anything, would you like to say about Nature of the Beast, that maybe isn’t covered in the press materials, that would make people want to see it?
A: It’s a fun show to watch this time of year, because the werewolf story makes it perfect Halloween fare, but the comedic tone means the whole family can watch it, and you don’t have to worry about your children getting too scared. I know in my own family my aunts and cousins are always thrilled when I’m in a project that they can actually view with their own children before screening it!!