In anticipation of the January 24 DVD and Blu-ray release of Paranormal Activity 3, Shock Till You Drop spoke with the film’s star, Lauren Bittner. Inside, she talks about the loose shooting approach to a “found footage” film, why she was reluctant to play a mother, and she’s asked what she knows about the fourth installment.
Beginning today, in a first, all three films in the franchise will be available for Digital Download prior to the Blu-ray/DVD debut. This experience, called Paranormal Activity: The Chronology, presents the films in chronological order as a seamless marathon.
What attracted you to the role of Julie in Paranormal Activity 3?
Lauren Bittner: Well, it was the first time I’d ever gotten the chance to play a mom, so, of course, after my bruised ego healed and I realized that I’m old enough to play a mother, I was excited about the opportunity to explore that new chapter. I just think it’s a very complicated role in life. I think it’s a very interesting thing to be able to explore, so that was the most exciting part for me.
How did working on a “found footage” film compare to the more conventional roles you’ve done in the past?
Bittner: Well, the nature of the day-to-day, the shooting, was different for me. Going in, I never knew quite knew where the day was going or where it was ultimately going to end up. That was new. With conventional projects, you go in, you have your pages, you do your memorization or whatever you do to prepare, so this was a little scarier. It was a looser situation. With found footage, that whole structure changes, there’s so many variables, so you kind of have to be willing to roll with whatever comes your way. So that was pretty challenging, but also really fun.
The previous Paranormal Activity films had a pretty loose script, with a lot of room for the cast to improvise. Were you given the same room for improvisation in the third film?
Bittner: We had a lot of room. They allowed us to be very creative and offer a lot of insight and ideas and try things. I don’t want to take away from the writer, Chris Landon, I don’t want to take away from anybody that wrote anything or had ideas, because we definitely had guidance and there were definitely pages, and I had stuff to work off of, but it changed from day to day. What we knew going in changed from day to day. We had a lot of creative freedom which was wonderful.
Were there any scenes that you expected to see in the film that didn’t make the final cut?
Bittner: You know, I try not to have too many expectations, actually. I just went in every day and trusted everybody to make the best movie they could with what we shot. Here and there, you think there were little things that you didn’t see, but I think for the most part that if they’ve done their job well, you’re just so happy with what it became that you’re not focused too much on what wasn’t used.
We thought it came out great, so fantastic job to everyone involved.
Bittner: Oh, thank you, so much!
The first two films had male characters as the voice of doubt. Was it a welcome change to see a female playing that role in PA3?
Bittner: Yeah, I’m sure the audience hated me and wanted to kill me and scream at me. They probably think I’m the worst mother in the world, but yeah, it’s like what I was saying about being a mom, you have so many things that you’re worried about. You’re worried about your kids, you’re worried about your job, you’re worried about your relationship. For this particular woman, this is the last thing on her mind, she has so many other practical things to worry about. She’s like, C’mon, don’t bother me with this crap. It was a welcome change, I think, to have the mother be the voice of reason, which doesn’t really prove to be the voice of reason in this case. But, yes, I do think it was.
Paranormal Activity 4 has already been announced. Are there any details you can give us?
Bittner: I know absolutely nothing.
You know about as much as we do?
Bittner: I probably know less. I know absolutely nothing. I know that it was announced and that’s about it. So, we’ll all see.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
Bittner: Thank you!
Click here for all things Paranormal Activity 3!
(PHOTO CREDIT: Tina Paul/WENN.com)