There seems to be a common theme among the roles that Lucy Hale takes on.
From 2010 to 2017, Hale was known for her role as Aria Montgomery in the mystery thriller series “Pretty Little Liars.” She also starred in films of the same genre like “Scream 4” and “Truth or Dare.” Some people might think actors like Hale shouldn’t be typecasted, but remember that she also did rom-coms and voiced an animated fairy, among other roles.
This year, Hale is back in the supernatural horror film “Fantasy Island,” which is a remake of the ’70s TV show of the same name. She plays Melanie Cole, one of the contestants who won a vacation to a secluded island where they live out their fantasies. These could range from parties to something f*cked up like torturing a high school bully—Hale’s character asks for the latter.
Before “Fantasy Island” premiered in the Philippines last Feb. 12, Preen.ph got the chance to interview Hale about the film and her role. If you haven’t seen the film, read our conversation below as preparation.
How did you prepare for this role, and how did previous experience in starring in thrillers and mysteries like “Pretty Little Liars” help you prep for “Fantasy Island”?
LH: There’s definitely a theme in things I like to do. “Pretty Little Liars” definitely had some suspense elements and “Truth or Dare,” which was definitely not intentional. I think it’s just like how things worked out. I do love the genre, but mostly I just look for characters that look really interesting or challenging to play. Melanie was a really interesting character to prepare for because there’s a lot of different sides to her. I try to find a lot of truth in every character I play. And I have to have things to grasp onto to make it make sense in my head.
But Melanie is very different than I am in the way that we think and the way that we treat people. So the biggest challenge was justifying all these crazy things that she was doing in my head.
What drew you into this project and your character?
LH: I just thought it was a really interesting contrast of this gorgeous island—this beautiful atmosphere and filming this horror movie. The mixture of that, I thought, made for a really interesting movie. I thought the writing was really smart. There’s a lot of really funny moments in it, actually. And then my character was a little different than anyone I had ever played, and that’s what I’m always looking for: something new and different.
In the film your character wants to take revenge on a bully who traumatized her. In your opinion, does Melanie represent every woman who’s wanted to do the same to her bullies or abusers? Why or why not?
LH: I definitely think there will be people who will see a lot of themselves in Melanie. I think that Melanie’s a little more drastic than a lot of people. She’s going to some insane lengths to get revenge. But I think that there is a part of all of us that wants to let people know that they didn’t get away with how they treated us or what they’ve done. I don’t think you should ever be violent, but in a way, revenge to me is moving on with your life and not letting it affect you anymore. So, that’s how me and Melanie are very different.
If you were to rewrite her story (or her fantasy) how would you handle her situation in the least violent way possible?
LH: Um, oh God. That wouldn’t make for an interesting movie, would it? People want the violence, don’t they? [Laughs] I think just a nice little one-on-one conversation [with someone important] would do. Right? I think so.
Lastly, how was it working with your co-stars, and do you have any funny memories during the shoot?
LH: I love everyone: Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Austin Stowell, Ryan Hansen and Jimmy O. Yang. We were really forced to bond because we knew no one else in Fiji, so it was lots of dinners, karaoke nights, all of it. We were living on a boat for two weeks, which you know, we were in everyone’s personal space. It was a good time.
Photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures
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