Interview: The Girls of Cabin in the Woods


[From Mar. 8 to 17, Flixist will bring you live coverage from deep in the heart of Texas at South by Southwest Film 2012. Keep an eye out for news, features, interviews, videos, and reviews of some of the most anticipated films to hit the festival circuit in 2012.]

No teen horror movie would be complete without at least one beautiful girl. Cabin in the Woods has two of them and they are, surprisingly, funny and kick-ass. Maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise since the guy who made Buffy the Vampire Slayer wrote their dialog.

After posting our interviews with Cabin’s two grumpy men and nerdy hero, we now share our conversation we had with actresses Kristen Connolly and Anna Hutchison at SXSW. Read on to find out what it’s like to make out with a wolf and what Hutchison has in common with Flixist (hint: pterodactyls!)

[Editor’s Note: Some responses have been edited or removed to avoid major spoilers. There are still very minor spoilers, but we do not believe they will ruin any part of the movie.]

There’s a lot of weird scenes in the film but the one that stuck with me was the scene with you making out with a stuffed wolf. What was your reaction when you first came across that scene in the script?

Anna Hutchison: I didn’t know if it was going to be a real wolf. When I was reading it, I didn’t know if the wolf would come alive and attack me. So that was a real page-turner for me! I didn’t even know if I would ever want to make out with a wolf. Who know I’d get a co-star with a wolf and it would be the best kisser I ever had in a film? That wolf is up there. If you ever need a co-star: WOLFIE!

Kristen Connolly: Frankly, I’d like to make-out with a wolf!

AH: Especially if it’s with a bit of tongue — and it was!

Was it weird having Drew Goddard direct you during that scene?

AH: He was like, “What do you wanna do Anna? Go for it! More tongue, less tongue, this way, that way.” It was all very technical stuff. It was very fun! Probably only had to do three takes but I wanted to do 50.

KC: It was like a full day of shooting! (laughs)

Joss has such an oddball sense of humor in this film. Was it difficult to tell which lines should be read for laughs or be delivered a bit more seriously?

KC: I think you just commit 100-percent and trust these guys are the best and that you will be taken care of. Some of what makes it funny is that we are playing it straight.

AH: It’s kind of funny that playing it straight makes it easier to laugh, but if you ham it up it’s just like … no!

The film was shot and shelved in 2009. How did it personally effect you to not know if it ever would reach theaters?

KC: It’s kind of frustrating because we all knew how great of an experience it was and how awesome of a movie it was going to be. You just want people to see it. I want my family and friends to be in the theaters and able see it. I think it ended up being the perfect situation. It’s perfect it ended up with Lionsgate and at SXSW.

AH: For me, it was just exciting to film it. You never know about distribution stuff. The rest is up to the other guys. My job is to just do the acting.

When you see the film now, does it feel like revisiting a hazy memory?

AH: No, because it was a good time; you remember that stuff, and every time we catch up we are like, “Ahhh, do you remember when this happened?”

KC: It’s been such a cool past couple days. You see the film and you go, “Oh god, I totally forgot about that thing!” Even some of the parts that are really scary, I remember we were cracking up during and couldn’t film because we were laughing so hard.

Joss Whedon has a real knack for creating a group of characters that form a strong relationship over the course of a series. How was the bonding process like during pre-production?

AH: It was cool. We were all staying at the same place, so we’d hang out. Everyone just got on straight away.

KC: Really easily. We are a friendly and fun group of people so we gelled really easily. We were always doing crazy things during the day for two weeks of training. Jesse and I had scuba diving training together. So, you get close to people very fast.

It seems Joss and Drew went out of their way to make the decision-making of the characters very rational in the script. Did you ever say, “This is stupid! I would never do that!” while reading earlier versions of the script?

AH: No way! If you are given something by Joss and Drew you go, “This is gold right here!” There are many projects I work on that get revised and stuff as the production goes on, but this was good from the start.

KC: Almost nothing changed in the script. The only thing that changed, if anything, was edits to keep the script tight.

If that was you in the cabin, would you have done anything different?

KC: It’s hard to say. I like to think I would do things well.

The film is really hard to discuss without getting into spoilers. How was it originally pitched to you?

AH: I have the same problem! Someone was like what are you doing? “It’s like a horror and a drama and a comedy.” So I said to Joss, what is this thing? “It’s that and everything else!” he said.

If you had to die at the hand of a supernatural force, what would it be and why?

AH: Oooh, that’s a good one! Maybe a pterodactyl because you get to fly.

KC: I definitely don’t want to die by a molesting tree. That’s just insult to injury!