Interview: Elyse Levesque Talks ‘Ready Or Not’

Canadian actress Elyse Levesque (Orphan Black, SGU Stargate Universe, and The Originals) drops by on Close-up Culture to talk about her latest role in Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet’s horror, Ready Or Not. The film tells the story of a bride (played by Samara Weaving) who is thrown into a terrifying and bloody game with her new in-laws.

Q: ‘Ready Or Not’ comes out this August. It looks a lot of fun, especially with the costuming and medieval weaponry. What excited you about this project?

A: It was the script itself. It had an unusual combination of horror laced with comedy, where you could be terrified one moment and laughing the next. It didn’t take itself too seriously. After reading it I just knew I had to be a part of this film. 

Q: Can you tell us about your character, Charity Le Domas, and how she fits into this violent game of hide-and-seek?

A: Charity is the wife of Daniel Le Domas (Adam Brody). She is an ice queen and utterly ruthless at getting what she wants. Unlike most of the other members of the family, Charity is quite eager to participate in this unholy little game of hide and seek. She sees it as an opportunity to ingratiate herself, particularly with her father in-law, which fuels her determination to win at whatever cost. 

Q: How was the shoot? Was there room for (less violent) fun and games?

A: The shoot was so much fun! There was a lot of banter and tomfoolery between takes. To pass some of the long hours we’d play a (much less violent) word game that I’m pretty sure Samara invented. Honestly, it was one of the best sets I’ve ever worked on. 

Q: I loved Samara Weaving’s appearance in ‘Three Billboards’, but I’m far more excited to see her in a role like this. What was Samara like to work with? And what does she bring to this film?

A: Sam is not only an absolute sweetheart, but a serious badass! She has a playfulness which is a wonderful quality as an actor and makes it fun for whoever gets to work with her in a scene. She’s also a great team player and sets the tone on set with her humor and professionalism. I think this film will be a real showcase for her talent. 

Q: What was the dynamic like between directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet?

A: This was my first time ever working with two directors simultaneously, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. They came in with a very clear dynamic between the two of them, which kept things running smoothly and helped to create a relaxed space for us to play in. It was very cool because we had one director to focus on the acting side of things (Matt) and another director to focus on the technical (Tyler). They worked together seamlessly. 

Adam Brody, Samara Weaving and Elyse Levesque in ‘Ready Or Not’

Q: One of your early breakthrough roles was in the 2007 series, ‘Masters of Horror’. What is the your connection to the the horror genre?

A: Oh man, that was a minute ago! I haven’t done much horror since then, but I’ve always been a fan of the genre and am enjoying the resurgence of horror films that we’re currently seeing. In horror, you are often dealing with things way beyond the ordinary, which allows actors to play outside of their own personal, every day experiences. It’s such a fun genre to work in for that reason. 

Q: You’ve worked on a range of films and some of the best shows on TV. What type of projects and roles are you looking for at this moment in your career?

A: Basically anything that would be uncomfortable and challenging. A gritty, character-driven drama or perhaps something outlandishly broad and comedic just to go in the complete opposite direction of most of the work I’ve done to date. 

Q: What is next for you? 

A: I just wrapped on a film that will be coming out later in the year which also happens to be in the horror genre. Other than that, I’m currently working on writing a project, which is new territory for me but something I’m really excited to be exploring. 

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