Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Kelly, last year, we chatted about your film, Demon Protocol. As a refresher, what can you tell us about the premise of the film?
Kelly Parks: Here’s the logline: An exorcism gone wrong means a team from a shadowy religious order must determine who among them is possessed, or all their lives are forfeit. And the tagline: “Evil Must Be Contained.”
BD: Bethany and Lexsy, what initially intrigued you about this film and your respective characters?
Lexsy McKowan: When I first read the script, what initially intrigued me was the messed-up story between the priest and Bethany’s character. It’s unbelievably messed up and I loved it, especially when I knew I was playing the demon. Everything was justified, and the actions of the characters were well written.
Bethany Regan: Honestly, when I read the script, I knew I wanted to play Melanie immediately, because Kelly writes such in-depth, complicated characters. They aren’t the one-dimensional horror movie prototypes that one sees so often in this genre. Melanie isn’t typical at all. She’s got a war going on inside her between what she knows and what she feels, and on top of that she’s constantly knowing, feeling, seeing, and hearing things that nobody else in the room does! If she lets on everything she’s seeing, people who don’t understand may question her sanity. I think that’s why she’s so close to Silver. Silver gets it.
BD: Are you fans of horror yourselves, and where did you find inspiration as you prepared for your roles?
LM: I am absolutely a fan of horror. I’m actually a scare actor, recently working at San Diego’s Haunted Hotel and Haunted Trail. I have also done a few roles all of which were demons, dead girls, and evil aliens. I love it! When I originally was on this set, I was just the makeup assistant and something happened where they needed someone else to play the demon, Camilla. As fate would have it, I was on set and I knew how to act, so when Kelly asked me if I wanted to play Camilla, I jumped on it! As a scare actor, I have to improvise my actions to get the best scare, so I just asked what Kelly wanted and just went for it. That’s all I really could to besides memorize my lines.
BR: Yes. So much yes. I enjoy being scared; something must be wrong with me! My inspiration for characters comes from a different place with each character I play to be honest. Melanie just jumped off the page at me. There were parts of myself that I put in her of course, a lot of my Catholic background.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in working with the cast and crew and how it impacted the production process for you?
KP: Any movie is a product of joint creativity. We mostly stick to the script, but, sometimes, the actors do something cool while in character and we end up using that instead. I’m looking at you, Gary Graham.
LM: For me, I just asked Kelly or just acted on my instincts which would match the script, or at least my interpretation of the script. I do it by the script, and I go from there. Once on set, I feel the other actors and what their energy is and what the director is leaning towards. I just do it and see if it works. If it does, great! If not, let’s try something else.
BR: Gary Graham (Father Prester) really took me under his wing. It can be intimidating to work with someone who has so much more experience than you, but he was really so wonderful! I think it’s important to bond with people, make them laugh, and make them comfortable being open and creative around you. I’m a comedic person by nature, so a lot of my time between takes was spent joking around, especially with Tim Baran who played David. I think there’s probably more funny moments on horror sets than on comedic ones. It’s almost a defense mechanism, so you don’t get to consumed by all the creepy things around you!
BD: What do you hope that viewers will take away from the film?
KP: I tried to take a lot of horror movie/haunted house tropes and turn them on their head. I hope that gets noticed.
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working?
KP: I’m working on a vampire script and two sci-fi scripts. Which one I’ll actually produce and direct next I couldn’t say yet.
LM: I recently just finished a couple which are in post, one of which is A Tinder Tale, where I play an evil alien who rips a guy’s head off! Right now, I’m about to shoot for a film which I play a “Maiden.” I don’t how much I can tell you on that one, but I’m the “Magician” which it looks like a really fun script which I can’t wait to film!
BR: I recently worked on an Anna Akana film, When I’ve Wanted To Die, and I have a live show called Magic of Paradise which is very exciting. It’s a Luau-themed magic show; hula and magic in one place!
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more Demon Protocol and your other work?
KP: Everything you need to know is here.
LM: With Demon Protocol, it’s a very smart film which has some great SFX makeup, great crew, great story, amazing actors, and, of course, a fantastic director. I’ve been really fortunate being selected to be in this film and can’t wait to see what more comes from it. I’m looking forward to working more and, hopefully, doing some more horror films!
BR: Watch Demon Protocol! You can go watch it on Amazon! Watch it! It’s good! And you can follow my Instagram for updates on upcoming projects: @bethanyjregan.