"When A Stranger Calls": Interview with Katie Cassidy

"When A Stranger Calls": Interview with Katie Cassidy
A revealing chat with "Tiffany" from the horror remake, When A Stranger Calls (Feb 2006)
Updated: 02-03-2006

Please note: This interview contains some major spoilers about the plots of both When A Stranger Calls, and the upcoming Black Christmas remake.


Q: How was it dying at the hands of a stranger?

Katie Cassidy: Dying at the hands of a stranger? How do you guys know I died? Actually, you see me dead on the bathroom floor. You see what happens right beforehand, but you don't actually see the struggle or anything. I'm suffocated and I show up on the bathroom floor, dead. We shot different ways, either a cell phone in my mouth, laying next to me and then when I was sitting up. They put like these white contacts in my eyes and it was so weird because I literally had to be walked on set because I could not see anything. And I'm so claustrophobic so I was freaking out. But it was fun. And it was really hard to actually have to sit there and look dead. You think "Like what? It's so easy". But my eyes were open, I had to stare. So I'm staring for a pretty long time. Slowly I start tearing and tears start coming down my eyes. Simon's like "Could you not cry? You're trying to look dead here".

Q: What's it like seeing yourself dead on screen?

Katie Cassidy: It's interesting. It's freaky. I actually haven't seen the entire film yet. I'm kind of waiting, it's going to happen obviously tonight but I saw that part and it was just weird to think that was me. My parents are going to be a little freaked out [laughing]

Q: You said there were different versions shot of your corpse. Was there a version ever shot of the actual murder scene?

Katie Cassidy: No. Again, you see me like outside, I just leave the house, and I hear noises and I get into my car. Then I'm pulling out and I'm really scared and there's a branch in the driveway and I have to actually get out and move it. And its me contemplating whether I want to get out or not. But them I'm like "Whatever, I'll just get out". Then the last shot you see is like the camera, coming at me. Obviously it's the stranger's point of view and I like turn around and [gasp].

Q: Quickly I'll tell you...we just saw the movie. You were describing it as if we didn't see it.

Katie Cassidy: Oh, oh, oh. Ok. [laughing] I had interviews this morning and people obviously you know radio stations and I had to sit there and describe it. So...

Q: Well, the first thing when you walked in the door, I checked your eyes. I said there's no way your eyes could be the color they were

Katie Cassidy: What version did they end up using?

Q: Do you really want to know, or you just want to wait?

Katie Cassidy: No, I'll wait.

Q: What's your favorite psychological thriller, or scary movie?

Katie Cassidy: I really like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the old ones and the new ones. I don't know where I went and saw that. It was just like so freaky. And The Ring...The Ring was so scary. I just watched The Ring 2 not too long ago. But, yeah, that movie freaked me out.

Q: Did you see the original film?

Katie Cassidy: When A Stranger Calls? No, everybody asks me that and I feel so embarrassed when I'm like "No, I haven't seen it" I didn't see it but obviously they took the first 10 minutes of the first one and made it into a whole movie.

Q: Is there a reason that you haven't seen the first movie? Do you want to?

Katie Cassidy: Yeah, I do. There's not necessarily a reason. I will watch it. As soon as I see this one, I'll go back and watch the original. I just never really thought about going to actually see it or renting it. But I will.

Q: Was there any more scenes that were cut out that you were involved in that we expect to see on the DVD?

Katie Cassidy: I haven't seen it. But I know that they used...there was a longer version of the beginning where we were in the school in the art room. There was a longer version, but I don't know if that's going to be on the DVD or not. I know there's two versions of that.

Q: So we don't see you kissing the boyfriend?

Katie Cassidy: No.

Q: We weren't sure...how did Tiffany know where Jill was baby-sitting, anyway?

Katie Cassidy: The longer version of that she says, "I'm baby-sitting at the Mandrakis's house". I say "Dude! That place is so cool". That's how I know but I'm guessing they used the shorter version.

Q: We've got to ask...growing up in your showbiz family did you follow Dad (David Cassidy) to sets?

Katie Cassidy: I didn't. I grew up at home and went to school. I studied acting for a really long time. I didn't actually get involved in it until about a year and a half ago professionally. But I did theater as a child and stuff like that.

Q: Did you model for a little while?

Katie Cassidy: Yeah. I did. I did Abercrombie & Fitch. I actually did a campaign for Fred Segal which I never actually saw in print. But it was cool and it was fun and I enjoyed doing it.

Q: What have you got coming up?

Katie Cassidy: After this, I have a movie coming out in June called Click. Adam Sandler's new movie. I play him and Kate Beckinsale...have you guys seen that one too? [laughter] Him and Kate Beckinsale's daughter, growing up. It was really funny because one of the jokes is that she grows up and she has gigantic boobs and obviously...[laughter] I'm not really like that so they literally like had all this stuffing in me and it was so painful.

It was like so funny. I was like "Do you guys realize I'm going to have to live up to this and I'm not going to be able to?" So I have that coming out in June and then I'm actually doing, I'm leaving tomorrow to go shoot a movie called Black Christmas in Vancouver, which is another horror film. I did When A Stranger Calls and it was so much fun. Obviously I had like 4 or 5 scenes and I just wanted to do one big one, I guess. You know where I had an actual leading role. So that's why Black Christmas came along and I loved the script, I thought it was awesome so I'm doing that.

Q: You have a much bigger part in that?

Katie Cassidy: Yeah. It's me, Michelle Trachtenberg, Lacey Chabert, Oliver Hudson.

Q: You're a sorority girl, right?

Katie Cassidy: Yeah.

Q: Which are you? Which archetype of the "sorority girl" character are you... the snotty one, like you play in When A Stranger Calls?

Katie Cassidy: No, she's basically... I decided that she's probably there on a scholarship or something. She's like the girl next door, very different from Tiffany. She's sweet, she's...I'll tell you that I actually live in the film, which is exciting.

Q: Have you seen the original of that one?

Katie Cassidy: I started to watch it and then I stopped. That was my own personal opinion because it is so different. The remake is going to be different, I mean the same idea obviously with the guy and somebody's in the house. But I did stop watching it because I play one of the characters in the original and I just didn't want to get any ideas.

Q: Which character do you play, from the original?

Katie Cassidy: I think her name is Jess. Wait, is she the lead girl?

Q: What are the differences from the old version to the new version?

Katie Cassidy: The new one starts off with a flashback. Its a little boy living in the house and he has drawn this ... it's like 20 pages of flashback and I just remember when I was reading that it seriously scared the crap out of me. I was at home reading it at night by myself and normally I'm fine doing that. But I had to put it down because I was like "I'm going to freak out". It's about this guy who has jaundice. His Mom treats him really bad and his Dad is all right to him. Its Christmas time and he's putting cookies under the tree and his Mom is like "There's no Santa Claus. Ha,ha,ha. I killed him" or something like that. [laughter]

He gets really sad. The Dad, one Christmas, gives him a Christmas present for the first time. The Mom ends up having this affair with this other man and ends up killing the Dad. The little boy sees it and then she puts him in the attic for a while. Well, not a while, it's like 10 years. She's still feeding him and stuff but she just has another family. She ends up having a little girl and she's so nice to the little girl. The little girl hears the things upstairs and she's like "What is that" and the Mom is like "Oh, it's reindeer". He ends up getting out and killing the Mom and stepdad. Then it's like 20 years later and the sorority girls are in that same house.

Q: You play a good girl and then in this one you play a mean girl. Which one is more fun for you to play?

Katie Cassidy: Tiffany, she was really fun. I mean, I don't know. I haven't shot that yet. But obviously I auditioned in the audition room for Black Christmas. I think that they're just two different kinds of fun. Because in Black Christmas it's more I got to like scream and cry and you know do a lot more. Tiffany, she's basically like the bitchy you know, pretty girl who likes to drink alcohol. So both of them are really fun. I don't know, I'll tell you in a couple of months.

Q: So are you suffocated, like in the original Black Christmas?

Katie Cassidy: Uh, no.

Q: Because of the alcohol? (Alluding to a scene in When A Stranger Calls)

Katie Cassidy: No, no, no. I don't know how people drink that stuff.

Q: Do you prefer comedies or thrillers or what?

Katie Cassidy: I think Black Christmas is probably going to be the last horror that I do, because that will be two. I like doing a little bit of both. I really like drama and I really like comedy. I was thinking that maybe I'll do a little, if I can, given the opportunity, to do like an action film or like the Kill Bills. I thought those were really cool.

Q: So if Quentin (Tarantino) calls you and says "I want you in Grind-House" , are you there?

Katie Cassidy: Oh yeah. In that case, yeah.

Q: Who is your movie star crush that you would really like to act opposite?

Katie Cassidy: [whispers] Leonardo Di Caprio. I love him. He's so cute.

Q: So is coming from your background an advantage or disadvantage?

Katie Cassidy: Both. I don't know. I guess people ask "Has it helped you?". Yes. But then again at the end of the day I still have to go in there and audition like everybody else. They're not going to hire you if you suck. Yes and no.



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Staci Layne Wilson reporting


Read our review of When A Stranger Calls by clicking here.

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