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Exclusive Still, Q&A: “CABIN IN THE WOODS” star Anna Hutchison hits the road in “WRECKER”

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While the road thriller is nothing new to the horror genre, one must admit that there are only few driven by female protagonists. Of course, with high-speed chases, hot-running motors and testosterone-fueled stunt work, that side of the horror genre has been primarily targeted at male audiences for decades now.

But with Michael Bafaro’s upcoming road thriller, WRECKER, the genre is looking to take a left turn into more diverse and intense territory, putting Drea Whitburn (SUPERNATURAL) and Anna Hutchison (THE CABIN IN THE WOODS) behind the wheel as they face a torturous trucker. With the film currently premiering in Cannes, FANGORIA had the chance to debut a new still from the film (which you can see below) as well as catch up with Hutchison regarding her high-speed return to horror…

FANGORIA: How did you first come aboard WRECKER?

ANNA HUTCHISON: I was asked by my manager if I wanted to read the script, and I loved it right from the start. I really liked the idea of a female driving film that turns where they have to be really driven and have to find strength. WRECKER is a really female-driven movie and that’s something that really appealed to be right from the beginning, so once I knew that, I was on board.

FANGORIA: There’s been a lot of roadbound thrillers in the past that are beloved in the genre: DUEL, JOY RIDE, ROADGAMES, etc. What was it about WRECKER that really made the project stand out to you as an actress?

HUTCHISON: I think it was the idea that the females are in the driver’s seat. I watched DUEL and it was really cool, but it’s predominantly men who are in these movies. I saw one recently that starred Tom Hardy [LOCKE] where it’s just him and the whole film evolves while he drives this car, and to watch him do that was so incredible and really captivating. So with WRECKER, I was absolutely intrigued to do that type of film with another female actress.

I also really like the thriller aspect of WRECKER, because I read the script and there were parts where I thought they got away but they were still trapped in that mental game that this wicked truck is playing. One of the things that Michael Bafaro, the director, said to me- and this is a more psychological take on it- is that the dynamic is like an abusive relationship. You want to end this thing but you can’t get out; you’re trying to get out and every time you think you’ve gotten out, you’re drawn back into it. That was another take on the film and one that I really liked in terms of point of view.

FANGORIA: Since both of the leads in WRECKER are women, what kind of opportunities did WRECKER offer that you might not have gotten playing a supporting role or love interest in an archetypal road movie?

HUTCHISON: As a lead in WRECKER, I had more of my own storyline and more involvement as a female as opposed to supporting a storyline of a lead actor and supporting whatever challenges he is facing. It’s really, really incredible and challenging to have a female go through those same problems herself where she would have to find strength that she didn’t know she had before. It was really great to take that on, particularly since I learned so much in playing this role.

WRECKER was a low budget shoot, and everyone who was involved absolutely believed in the film so they gave it everything they had. This goes double for all of the driving and stunt shooting, since emotions are running high as it was such a small crew and everyone knew each other. There wasn’t even enough time to mess around either; we had to be on the money and absolutely hitting every emotion every single time. Normally, when you’re in a supporting role, you are there to help whatever it is your lead needs to do, so to do that was really gratifying especially since I had the moral support of everybody involved.

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FANGORIA: Do you think WRECKER might be a more intimate experience that one might not expect our of a cat-and-mouse road thriller?

HUTCHISON: Absolutely. With WRECKER, it’s like “what you see is what you get,” and I think that comes across in this film in the way that your emotions are just there. In the film, I play this girl who hasn’t really experienced much and her boyfriend just cheated on her whereas Drea [Whitburn] plays my best friend, who convinces me to go on this road trip and is like, “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” So I start as this more quiet, subdued character and am forced to become stronger and a bit of a badass as she takes on this asshole who is trying to drive them down.

I also think because the leads are females, the film is going to be more exciting to watch, especially because Drea is completely off-the-charts. I couldn’t have asked for a cooler co-pilot, and even from the start, we were in the trenches together with this film; she was really incredible. If we were going to go on this journey, we both knew exactly what emotions we were going with, and that was one of the advantages of having two chicks at the wheel.

FANGORIA: Did you guys have any time to prepare or rehearse considering you’re supposed to be playing best friends, or was that chemistry something you discovered on the day of shooting?

HUTCHISON: We basically had a dinner on Sunday night and then had to shoot on Monday morning. But Drea is now someone who I call one of my best friends, and she’s someone who I call upon if things are even getting low. She’s so cool, intelligent and hilarious, and when emotions are running high and you have to scream for a scene, she helps you get to that place.

We became fast friends, and there wasn’t any egos involved on either side, as far as that goes. We just wanted to do the best that we could so that our characters could feel this real bond. And while there were a few day players involved, and they were great too, it was mostly Drea and I filming this movie together, so that sense of adventure between the two of us is 100% true. Michael could not have picked a cooler actress, because Drea is amazing.

FANGORIA: What was your most memorable experience on the set of WRECKER?

HUTCHISON: Even though we were low budget, we were essentially working 7 days a week. There were so many days that we were really running out of time to make our day, and they’d ask us if it’d be okay if we drove up to the mountains for a couple of shots, and both Anna and I jumped at the chance. We were in the middle of nowhere on some roads outside of Vancouver where it was absolutely gorgeous. So it was cool filming in these places that were picture-esque and beautiful.

FANGORIA: Is there anything else you’re working on at the moment? Any role you’re looking forward to?

HUTCHISON: I just finished a film called SPIKE about a dating application gone completely wrong, and that was fun. I also did a romantic comedy called THE RIGHT GIRL, which isn’t horror. But WRECKER was awesome since I was able to return to the horror world after something as awesome as THE CABIN IN THE WOODS.

Michael Bafaro’s WRECKER will be released via Anchor Bay in Canada, XLrator Media in the U.S. and Rialto Films in Australia & New Zealand later this year. For more information, you can visit the film’s page at the Industry Works website.

 

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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