Interview with 8 Films To Die For’s BASTARD star Rebekah Kennedy

bastardWhen a film deals with two runaways, a suicidal cop and a newlywed couple of serial killers, you know you’re in for an experience. That’s the rundown of BASTARD, one of the 2015 batch of After Dark’s 8 Films To Die For. A film that takes typical tropes and turns them upside down, the film is a unique one, and its star, Rebekah Kennedy, does an excellent job in the film as Betty, a runaway forced to step up and survive.

We recently spoke to Kennedy regarding BASTARD, as well as the recently wrapped LET ME MAKE YOU A MARTYR. Read on!


BASTARD is a very unique film, the plot is one that we haven’t seen in every other genre film coming out these days, what attracted you to this one?

So, what attracted me initially to the project was the script and the character of Betty. Patrick wrote such an intense, nuanced, yet funny script and the character of Betty really fascinated me. Sometimes with horror films, especially slasher movies, you don’t get super fleshed out characters. So, when I was reading this script, I really loved how you got to meet each character and the audience is able to get a peek into their lives. Each person is dealing with some deep issues and they really felt authentic. As an actor, I’m looking for roles that have major depth, flaws, layers, and more than meets the eye and I felt like all these characters fit right into that.

I fell in love with Betty when I first read the script. I thought she was such an interesting character and as I was reading, I was really excited to see where her character would go. She has a fabulous arc and by the end of the movie ends up in a completely different place that no one would expect. I think that’s a huge symbolism for life. We are often beat down by society or other people, and we don’t always see our true potential. Or we don’t see that we could really stand up for ourselves and dare to take risks. At the beginning, Betty doesn’t seem like the type to fight for anything. But she really steps up to the plate. I felt like I could certainly relate to that and I was thrilled to be able to give her a voice.

Were you a fan of the genre prior to joining the film, and if so, what are you some of your favorite horror films?

I’m definitely a huge fan of the horror genre. Having done several horror films in the past, this was my first slasher film, which I was pretty excited about. I started watching horror films at a young age. I think my first one was Stephen King’s “It” when I was 11 and I haven’t stopped loving them since. A few other favorites are “The Sixth Sense,” “The Shinning,” “The Exorcist,” and “The Conjuring.” The directors of “Bastard”, Patrick and Powell, had me watch several horror movies to get into the mood of the film and that’s about the best kind of homework.

You’re originally from TEXAS which has such a booming film industry there as well. Has relocating to Los Angles been different, film-wise than the industry there?

It absolutely has been different since I moved to L.A. I definitely have appreciated my time though working in Texas and Louisiana. I feel like I got to know the industry and really know my way around a film set. I got some amazing opportunities while I lived there and I don’t take those for granted. And I hope I get to go back and work there in the future. I guess how it’s changed is more opportunities for bigger roles. A lot of TV shows do film here in L.A still. And I’ve had many chances here, auditions or actually bookings, that I wouldn’t have gotten had I not lived here. Not to say it’s not an extremely difficult industry. It most certainly is, but I’m thankful for the people I’ve gotten to meet and work with so far. It’s made L.A. feel more like home.

When it came down to the actual filming part of BASTARD, how was the experience?

I had a truly wonderful experience. I got so lucky with such an awesome cast and crew. If you don’t know the people beforehand, you never really know what you’re going to get. So I was really thrilled with such a top-notch cast and crew. I can’t speak highly enough of the cast. From the first rehearsals, I knew the actors were going to be all in. When we got to the shack scenes, we basically spent a whole day there filming. All of those scenes were really intense and required me to stay in kind of a dark place emotionally. Ellis Greer, who played Hannah, was right there with me. Before they would call action, we were pumping each other up. Talking to each other. Crying with each other. You don’t always get that with actors, so I was really thankful for her generosity and support. The whole cast was so generous and open; it made it easy to play. And they really gave fantastic performances.

The crew was also amazing. They were so supportive of the actors and are our needs. And with a dark intense film, that is really appreciated. And the directors were phenomenal. Patrick and Powell really gave there all with this film and they are such actor’s directors. Whenever I was feeling emotionally spent or tired, they knew exactly what to say or what to do to help me plunge right back down the rabbit hole. When it’s highly charged and emotional material, it’s easy for an actor to feel alone. But they were always right there with me. I remember once before a really intense scene, Powell sat in the completely dark bathroom with me. We just sat there quietly as I thought of all Betty had been through. Films always have their challenges, but it’s those kinds of memories that will stick with me forever.

You just wrapped LET ME MAKE YOU A MARTYR, which is a film we’re very excited about, what can you tell us about that?

Thank you, I’m really excited about that project too! “Let Me Make You a Martyr” is a gritty drama about a pair of adopted siblings who fall in love, and hatch a plan to kill their abusive father. It’s got a really amazing cast with Niko Nicotera, Mark Boone Junior, Marilyn Manson, Sam Quartin and many others. I play Libby who is this crass, mean, sad, and witch of a young woman. I had a lot of fun filming in Oklahoma and I’m really excited to see how it all comes together. The directors were wonderful and I think it’s going to be a really cool film.

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