CS Interview: Bonnie Aarons on Latest Horror Role in Jakob’s Wife
Just in time for the South by Southwest hit to finally come to wide audiences in select theaters and digitally, ComingSoon.net got the opportunity to chat with horror genre icon Bonnie Aarons (The Nun) to discuss her latest role in the world of terror in Travis Stevens’ Jakob’s Wife, in which she stars alongside fellow genre vets Barbara Crampton (Beyond the Gates) and Larry Fessenden (Depraved).
ComingSoon.net: What about Jakob’s Wife really drew you to the project?
Bonnie Aarons: Well, Barbara Crampton called me up and offered it, and if Barbara Crampton asks you to share the screen with her, you just say yes. But when I read it, I fell in love with that script by Kathy Charles and Mark Steensland. It was incredible. The script just flows, and it’s new and a fresh take that hasn’t been done before on this vampire. It’s really just so original.
CS: What was it like exploring your character? Because I mean, obviously, you’re no stranger to the horror genre and to exploring “villains” of the genre, but what was it like exploring The Master?
BA: Well, I worked a long time with the director finding how exactly to play this and how to portray this, and we went through all of these different ways of portraying it. I’ve seen a lot of Draculas in my time, so it was a different twist. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it. As you can see, Travis Stevens is so phenomenal to work with. I mean, all of those folks were great. Everybody on that set was so gung ho for this movie. It was really wonderful. It was like a family. Every department was helping every other department. It was a really, truly terrific experience of filmmaking.
CS: So though you and Barbara have a past relationship outside of the film, what was it like sort of building the rapport for your characters before every scene that you had?
BA: I just went with it. I had my mind how this Master was going to be, and then, you know, you just let it happen, the walk and the movement. Then, to work opposite Barbara Crampton, the legend, she was so great to work with and a wonderful human being. I had met her several years ago, after The Conjuring 2 at a convention, and she told me the very moment she saw me, she said, “I want Bonnie to play The Master.” I didn’t know about it at all. She never mentioned it to me until we were about to shoot, and Kathy called me up and said, “This is perfect for you.” Then she told me when she met me many years ago face to face she said that’s it, she’s The Master. It was quite an honor.
— Barbara Crampton (@barbaracrampton) April 19, 2021
CS: What’s it been like for you seeing the journey of it being accepted by SXSW and screening to very positive reviews?
BA: It felt really good. I mean, it felt really, really good. I wish we could have been there at South by Southwest, but it feels good to make something that is this horror comedy and have the subject line be so important, because the film actually has a very big message, doesn’t it? I think everyone will enjoy it, even people not into horror or anything, it’s just a great film.
CS: So we don’t have to get into it too much from a story standpoint for spoiler’s sake, but the look of The Master is quite the interesting design, and I know Travis told me where his decision for it came about, but what was it like for you working with the makeup artists and everything to sort of to get that look?
BA: Well, they really didn’t want to disturb my face at all. So that’s why it looks how it looks. They just blended the prosthetic that we have slipped over my head and then blended it into my into my the rest of my face so they wouldn’t lose my eyes and my features, which was great. Quite a switch from The Nun where there’s hardly any makeup. Boom, it’s done. Right? There’s these little things, these tiny-like strips over my eyebrows, but really it’s just the makeup artist painting. Basically Maybelline. [laughs]
Directed by Travis Stevens (Girl on the Third Floor) on a script co-written with Mark Steensland (The Special) and Kathy Charles (Castle Freak), Jakob’s Wife follows Anne, the wife of a small-town minister who feels like her life and marriage have been shrinking over the past 30 years. After a chance encounter with “The Master,” she discovers a new sense of power and an appetite to live bigger and bolder than before. As Anne is increasingly torn between her enticing new existence and her life before, the body count grows, and Jakob realizes he will have to fight for the wife he took for granted.
Alongside Crampton, the cast for the film includes Fessenden, Nyisha Bell (Coming 2 America), Mark Kelly (The Hot Zone), Sarah Lind (Wolfcop), Robert Rusler (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Vamp), Aarons and Phil Brooks (aka CM Punk, Girl on the Third Floor).
The horror-thriller is an AMP production produced by Bob Portal (It Came From The Desert), Inderpal Singh (The Hoarder), Crampton and Stevens. RLJE Films is a business unit of AMC Networks, while Shudder is the studio’s premium streaming service for horror, thriller and supernatural titles.
Jakob’s Wife made its debut at SXSW last month to rave reviews and is now in select theaters and on digital platforms!