Revered on stage and screen for decades, Alice Krige has starred in a lot of horror movies. But the Chariots of Fire actress just doesn't see it like that.
"I don't ever think of 'horror,'" says Krige. "For me, I'm given a human being, a psyche, to explore and live inside of. I come to her with no judgment at all, but just with enormous curiosity, and the prayer that I will find her, or she me."
In director Charlotte Colbert's atmospheric horror-drama She Will (out now), Krige plays an arrogant, aging movie star, Veronica Ghent, who travels to a healing retreat in Scotland to recover from a double mastectomy.
"She's irritated, unpleasant, difficult, but it is the beginning of a journey to redemption," Krige says. "This retreat is in a part of Scotland where people were burned as witches, and the residue of their bodies is in the earth. This extraordinary alchemical reaction happens, and she is infused with their spirit."
IFC Midnight Alice Krige in 'She Will'
"It was just a joy because Rupert and I were in the same class at acting school, and I had not seen him since, and that's more years than I care to enumerate," Krige says with a laugh. "But when you've gone through three years of acting school with each other, you get back together and it's as if the intervening years drop away. It was just wonderful. He's very funny. I mean, Malcolm is the ultimate raconteur-entertainer, but Rupert is gloriously dry and witty and just a wonderful presence on the film set."
Krige talks more about her life in horror, below.
Ghost Story (1981)
"We were shooting in Woodstock, New York. Wonderfully, I got to work with Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Melvyn Douglas and John Houseman. They were gallant, utterly professional, funny, kind. The ideal role models for someone starting out. The piece was a challenge because I had to take all my clothes off, and never in my life had I even contemplated the possibility of that. It was very shocking, but you just have to do it, so I did it. Interestingly, it has become a cult movie, which is really wonderful and very gratifying."
"I was sent the script and, to my great embarrassment, I didn't quite get it. I went and met Mick [Garris, director] and he set me on the right path, which was: Stephen King was really having fun. When that penny dropped, I thought, okay, I get it. The more I worked on it, the more I thought she's actually a tragic heroine — she's a tragic figure. I had a very small office that really was designed as a cupboard, and I went out and I bought twenty yards of crimson fabric and I lined the whole [room], so I sat in a crimson box and learned my lines. We had a great time. I'm still in touch with Mick, who was a delightful soul."
Silent Hill (2006)
"I had no idea that, for me, as Christabella, it would be a journey into the heart of darkness. It was very difficult. You know, Mary Brady in Sleepwalkers, she's clearly in a realm of fantasy, but Christabella could be cutting off heads somewhere. This is the effect that it had on me: I had a little dog called Skipper, little girl — she didn't have a tail because they'd cut it off before we rescued her. Anyway, Skipper identified me as her human and she would wait for me at the gate when I was gone. She'd check up on my husband and the other dogs, but essentially she was waiting for me. And the last two weeks of Silent Hill, we were just in that church burning people. By the time I was dropped at the gate, Skipper was there, wagging her whole body. I got out of the car, and I walked up to the gate, and Skipper stopped wagging, and looked at me and she backed off. She would have nothing to do with me. Three weeks later, I went away to do another film, and when I came back, Skipper was at that gate. I got out of the car and it was like, Oh, you've come back without Christabella this time. I could not shake that profoundly dark energy field. It never happened to me before and I hope it never happens again."
Gretel & Hansel (2020)
"The joy of language like that on film! It's very rare that one is given language that rich and delicious. It was a wonderful experience and Osgood [Perkins] is an incredibly specific and clear director, so that was a wonderful partnership. We were filming just outside Dublin in beautiful woodlands — I mean ravishingly beautiful — in the autumn. The dissonance of filming in such an exquisite location, with that strange house created in the middle of it, I thought, like She Will, it was a movie in which every element told the story. And when that happens, it's just marvelous."
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
"I watched the original [Tobe Hooper's 1974 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre]. I'd never seen it. I watched it just before speaking to David Blue Garcia [director of the 2022 update]. I said to him, 'I'm blown away by how actually really good the movie is. Is that what we're planning?' And he said, 'Ah, welcome to the 21st century. There will be oceans of blood and limbs flying in every direction.' And, yes, there was. I am very glad that I was dead before all of that happened. But I felt for my character, I really did. I felt huge empathy for her. She was utterly left behind, the world had forgotten about her, and she's just a very pathetic, touching figure. That was just two scenes, but she meant a lot to me."
She Will (2022)
"We were shooting on the side of a very pointy mountainside. [Laughs] We all wound up with one leg longer or shorter than the other. We really were at an incline most of the time. But it's fabulous. It's the wilderness of Scotland — all the wildness and the untrammeled power, the unspoiled power of nature and the cosmos, the dark sky at night. The sequences where Veronica shifts into another dimension, I was very scantily-clad. Makeup very kindly taped masking tape under my feet so that I wouldn't be constantly in the mud, although it was always coming between my toes. It was actually extraordinarily helpful to be constantly with almost nothing on, and bare feet in the mud, and pinecones and forest. Extraordinary. The power of the landscape becomes a potent force in the film itself."
She Will is now available to watch in theaters and on VOD/digital and will launch on Shudder October 14. Watch the film's trailer above and exclusively see a clip from the film below.
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