Actor and writer Emilie Lowe stands out for not only her incredible talent, but also her classically beautiful looks, that could have her stepping directly off screen from a Hammer Horror Film. Ambitious, creative and a rising star in the making, I am sure we will be seeing a lot of Emilie Lowe in the future both in front of the camera and behind. We had the opportunity of having a chat with Emilie for our Aussie Women in Horror special.
Welcome Emilie to The Australian Film Network and honouring Aussie Women in Horror
Emilie – Thankyou so much for having me! It’s so awesome that you have a section honoring both women AND horror!
You are a writer and actor, which do you prefer doing?
Emilie – I actually really enjoy them both equally, because they offer very different experiences! Writing allows me to express ideas and symbolism on the written page, then transpose it physically onto the screen, and then acting allows me to display those ideas through articulation and characters! Really, they work in harmony and I truly believe that being an actor makes you a better writer, and being a writer makes you a better actor.
Both offer challenges and triumphs that any field of arts will experience, but I love them both and cannot wait to continue to work through these mediums in the times to come!
What is your favourite Australian horror film and why?
Emilie – I really enjoy the film Black Water, as the idea of something lurking beneath the surface is really off-putting. I think that lack of visibility is a stable in horror and this film achieves that ‘unknown, unseen’ really well! Plus, it also highlights one of Australians iconic ‘antagonists’ – the crocodile!
How long have you known that you wanted to follow down this career path, and who or what inspires you to do so?
Emilie – I have always enjoyed writing, both narrative, theatre and poetry, and I have always loved film; creating shorts with my sister as a child and studying it during high school. Now, studying script writing at university, it has given me the passion and knowledge to specialize in that of film and television and I hope to create unique works that shed light on important issues – while also being really entertaining for the viewer. I’m very drawn to cinematography and the visual elements of film and really love to add symbolism into anything I write and direct.
In terms of acting, strangely, it was actually the very first X-Men movie that made me wish to pursue acting haha! Something about seeing these people trounce what was considered possible within our ordinary world made me realize both the fun and power behind film acting.
Having done quite a lot of stage work, knowing that I could now morph it with another thing I love, being film, has just been such an amazing experience that I can’t wait to continue.
You recently were in a music video directed by Peter Renzullo, for his own band Parallax. This involved a very intense scene of you being in a fish tank, can you tell us more about what that was like and about the project?
Emilie – Oh yes haha! For that scene, it represented the inner saboteur many people, and I think especially artists, will often let defeat them. This scene involved my character literally drowning herself as she pushes herself under the water. This scene required a lot of specialist placements and visual effects and, as someone who is afraid of deep water, was quite a challenge! But I especially love visually dramatic and challenging works and was so grateful to be given the opportunity to work on such an awesome project that has received such recognition. The music video is for Perth’s very own artist group Parallax, who I am fortunate enough to be acting in some of their upcoming work again.
I was both the one above the tank pushing and the one in the tank being pushed under.
I can’t reveal how exactly it was achieved, but trust me, I was both of the characters!
What draws you to horror?
Emilie – I really enjoy the aspect that fear leads people to a breaking point. When put under straining circumstances, often found in the extreme with horror, it leads to people revealing their true personas, for better or for worse. I really enjoy aspects of film that outline the destruction of people’s ‘humanity’, which is also why I really enjoy post-apocalyptic films.
In horror, with films such as the famous ‘Blair Witch Project’ and ‘Evil Dead’ (1981) you see seemingly innocent characters reach a point when they become overwhelmed with fear that leads to ostensibly selfish and destructive actions. I often wonder how I would react in similar circumstances and, as crazy as it may sound, really enjoy watching people suffering under a breaking point.
Is there anything you fear? Do you have phobias?
Emilie – Although I wish I could deny it, there are quite a few actually! I fear the open ocean, rollercoasters, planes, sharks, burning with fire – I’ve never been afraid of spiders or snakes, more the expanse and openness of the elements.
What projects are you currently working on?
Emilie – I am in the process of filming and acting in a work about the destructive nature of paranoia and fear produced by the media. Especially within these times of struggle, when continually bombarded with negative and sad news, our perception of reality begins to warp to fit that description, often overlooking and distorting events. Although this is a horror, it sheds light that there are still elements of peace and goodness in the world – something that, in these hard times, can be easy to forget!
I am also filming another short with Peter Renzullo, someone who really enjoys creating horror works just as much as I do!
And with that I am also preparing to film a television show and feature film, but unfortunately, I cannot share many details about those projects just yet!
If you could be in a remake of any horror film, what would it be and what character would you be?
Emilie – Well, I once cosplayed as Sadako Yamamura from the original ring, I have the hair for it! And having the opportunity to play such a cool antagonist would be so fun!
I really like the paranoia create in the original, 1980s, The Thing, and would love to be apart of a film where people slowly descend into madness. The original The Thing creates suspense through its highly strung soundtrack and deceptive cinematography and I really love their use of practical prosthetics. Being in a remark of that film (not like the 2011 version), where it returns to its roots of human deception and not knowing who to trust would be so awesome!
What do you think of the Australian horror film industry?
Emilie – I believe that, like many Australian industries, it does not receive the recognition that it deserves. I have found that Australian horror films will often delve into themes and the darker places that American films will either neglect or will side step around in a very censored way.
Aussies seem to not be afraid to go dark and go hard and that’s something I love about horror! Not reusing the same predictable plots and actually making the films scary and thrilling is what I love about the Australian film industry and what I hope to see much more of in the future.
With acting in horror, do you feel you lean more towards the darker characters or are you happier in the light?
Emilie – oh definitely darker! And I always seem to get cast as the psycho or bitch haha! Maybe it’s the dark hair and eyes – because I swear, I’m not either of those in real life! But I actually really enjoy playing the morally corrupt or uneasy characters, or ones that hides these aspects of themselves up until a point. As I said, I love watching characters ‘break’, and being able to play a character that has a satisfying amount of tension and mystery underlying until all those dark truths come out, is so much fun to play.
I also enjoy playing these types of characters because, as a young woman, I get to play someone more bad-ass, who isn’t just the ‘girlfriend role’ and who actually progresses the plot in some way.
It’s always much more fun to play the antagonist, and to make my fellow characters suffer!
If you had to be a werewolf, zombie, vampire or ghost, what would you choose and why?
Emilie – oh vampire, I have always loved the idea of never being able to die. I used to do a lot of research into the perceptions of vampires through different cultures and history and I was always really intrigued by them. I’m already pale with dark hair, so I’m halfway there – and at least not going into the sun means I won’t suffer from any more Perth sunburn!
Your favourite sub genre of horror?
Emilie – I really enjoy psychological thrillers or thrillers in general, as we see the most ‘unwinding’ of a character in these. I’m not sure if that is considered a sub-genre, it may be a genre in whole on its own, but anything that sees unlikely characters thrust together into a situation which places them under immense strain; watching the struggle and decline of morality – that’s what I enjoy watching! Although that sounds a little evil…
Last television show you binged?
Emilie – that would be The Boys on Amazon Prime! It’s pretty much if superheroes were real and I mean really real. No avengers here. Take the corruption, violence, drug-abuse and insecurity that civilization has an abundance of and give them superhuman abilities – it gets messy. It also sheds light on the ideas of commercialism of Hollywood and pokes fun at the DC and Marvel universes being a money-making machine. I really enjoyed it.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
Emilie – I would love to be script writing and acting full time, once I have completed my degree. Creating unique plots and characters, and playing them too, which inspire watchers as many films once inspired me! I hope to keep the dark sense of character and plot in my writing, still being unafraid to go places that may be seen as unconventional. Working full time in the Australian film industry would be a dream come true.
Where can our readers find out more about you?
Emilie – My Instagram @emilieloweig or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to collaborate!
Thank you for giving us your time Emilie.
Emilie - Thankyou so much for having me – great questions!