CS Interview: Lulu Wilson on fun & gory thriller Becky
Lulu Wilson has been on a meteoric rise over the past five years and now ComingSoon.net got the opportunity to chat with the 14-year-old star for Becky (available to order now) the upcoming action thriller in which she finds herself pitted against a gang of escaped convicts in a gory twist on the Home Alone formula.
Wilson first got the script for the film when she was 11, a few years shy of the 14-year-old titular character, and fell in love with the script right away, even though her parents initially weren’t sure how they felt about her taking on the role, which she noted was originally very different and written for “a younger kid.”
“JD and Raphael, the producers we met at like a little café just to talk about it,” Wilson recalled. “It was very different from anything that I had read being 11 years old and being sort of this badass female character. But I mean, I loved it so much from the get-go. My parents were a little bit like, ‘Oh, do you really want to be killing a bunch of people in this movie, Lulu?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, of course I do. I want a chance to be a badass.’ But then yeah, it was really just that, having that opportunity to be a badass and be in an action movie, because I watch action movies. My dad loves action movies, so do my sisters. So I think being a part of that world really just drew me to it.”
Wilson, who got her rise to stardom in younger characters in horror hits including Ouija: Origin of Evil and Annabelle: Creation amongst others, found herself stepping into her most mature role to date, which she was excited to do.
“I was so pumped to just be going from a scared little kid running away from the danger to sort of being the character taking it on and fighting it fully and sort of just going after what she knows needs to happen,” Wilson described. “I feel like that was so exciting for me. Also, getting to do all these action things. I’m a big fan of doing stunts because in Ouija I did the majority of my own stunts, which was so exciting for me. So going from that, from being possessed and being kind of far from reality to doing something action that is closer to reality and could possibly happen was also very interesting to me.”
In looking at the various stunts the film saw her take on, Wilson found one of her favorites to be one in which Becky rides down a zipline to surprise attack one of the convicts, describing it as “the best day of my life” while also marking personal growth for herself.
“I personally am a little afraid of heights, but going up on that zipline, I just got the best boost of adrenaline and I was just ready,” Wilson recalled. “Going down and battle crying, the battle cries were the best, really, too. And convincing them to sort of let me do the things where like you know I’m on Cole, I think it is, and they let me fall off of him and roll off, which I thought was so fun. Just doing all that sort of physical things. Yeah, but no, the zipline was definitely my favorite stunt to do.”
Teenage characters may populate the horror and action genres as protagonists typically, but very rarely do they actually come across as likable, and in coming into the role that was Wilson’s biggest creative challenge as she wanted to help set Becky apart from other similar genre fare. She also found a strong connection to the character, given their similar age ranges, and believes that many audience members will be able to connect to Becky as well.
“I wanted her to be this tough kid, but I didn’t want her anger and her toughness to come out of nowhere because that can happen with a lot of action movies,” Wilson explained. “You can have a bunch of characters beating people up and killing people, but you don’t feel like you have to root for them because they’re one-sided. I wanted to make Becky was multidimensional, dynamic. I wanted the audience to feel for her. And I think that me with Cary and John, I think we were all able to put that sort of sense of possibly relatability for the angry teenager in the character of Becky. I think that I am a relatively angry human being, so I definitely think that I can. I mean I think a lot of 13, 14-year-old girls have that anger that I think they can also relate to, maybe not the whole home invasion situation, but the anger I think people can definitely relate to.”
While the film has an impressive ensemble of stars who have made stops in the genres before, it also sees Kevin James, best known for his comedic work with Happy Madison Productions and small screen work in The King of Queens and Kevin Can Wait, break bad in a sense, which Wilson found was “great to watch.”
“You would see him on set going from just this really fun, likable guy to being this horrible, neo-Nazi murderer crazy man,” Wilson noted. “I mean, it was crazy really to watch because you know, some actors, they may decide to play their character offset, too, and be method, but he didn’t do that. He was just this really nice guy, and then the minute the cameras started rolling, he was a neo-Nazi crazy man. He was Dominick, which was just a crazy experience. But then, right after the cameras cut, he would go, ‘Are you okay, Lulu? Is everything good?’ And I really appreciated that. But seeing that switch was just really interesting to me. I mean, it’s crazy how actors do that, just switch from being one person to a totally different one. That’s their job.”
Before the world took a turn for the worst, Becky was set to make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, before it was shut down due to the global health crisis, and in looking back at getting the news it would no longer be premiering there, Wilson recalled “it was really tough” as the film was “my greatest experience yet.”
“I really do love it, you know, people will say that and don’t really mean it, but I really do mean that,” Wilson opined. “So I mean, it was really upsetting because this is like, my heart and soul have gone into Becky. But I mean, I really hope that even if it’s not premiering at Tribeca, even still, with not premiering at Tribeca, I really think it’ll find its audience. I really do. I mean, I hope it does, but part of me knows that it’s going to, but I don’t want to get cocky, so I hope it finds its audience.”
Without diving too much into spoilers, the ending to Becky leaves room open for another chapter in her life and in considering whether she would return for a sequel, Wilson quickly responds she would “100 percent” return to the role if possible.
“I would in a heartbeat, and we would joke about that on set, John, Cary and I, having Becky 2,” Wilson recalled. “I mean, I’m really curious. I’m sure I could come up with like, 1,000 ways that it could continue on, but I don’t know. We didn’t really discuss it, not when it was not in like, a joke way.”
Wilson’s career has seen an interesting pattern of reunions with directors, working twice with Scott Derrickson on Deliver Us From Evil and Doctor Strange and twice with Mike Flanagan for Ouija: Origin of Evil and The Haunting of Hill House, but in looking who she plans of reuniting with next, David F. Sandberg after Annabelle: Creation or Becky‘s Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion, she’s not sure who she would want to.
“I feel like any of them, really, I mean, I’ve had great experiences with Scott and Mike,” Wilson described. “I mean, also working again with a director can really just build that relationship, which is a great feeling, because then the second time around, they also really know you. But really, I mean, David, that would be great to work with him again. We had a lot of fun on that set. But John and Cary, either one really, really, yeah, no preference there.”
Becky follows the story of a rebellious 14-year-old Becky as she’s brought to a weekend getaway at a lake house by her father in an effort to try to reconnect after her mother’s death. The trip takes a turn for the worse when a group of convicts on the run, led by the merciless Dominick, suddenly invade the lake house. Becky, not daddy’s little girl anymore, decides to take matters into her own hands.
James, who is known for his many comedic roles, has signed on to take on a new kind of role which is far different from his previous projects. He is set to portray the role of Dominick, who will be the film’s main antagonist. The film will also be led by Lulu Wilson (Annabelle: Creation), who will be playing the titular character. James replaced Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) in the lead role after Pegg decided to leave the project due to scheduling conflicts.
Alongside James and Wilson, the ensemble cast for the film features Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale), Robert Maillet (Sherlock Holmes), and Joel McHale (Community, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge).
Becky will be co-directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion (Bushwick) from a script written by Nick Morris along with Ruckus and Lane Skye. It will be produced by Jordan Yale Levine, Jordan Beckerman, and Russ Posternak through their Yale Productions banner along with Raphael Margules and J.D. Lifshitz of BoulderLight.
Becky is in theaters, drive-ins, digital platforms and VOD today!