Luis Berdejo directs Kevin Costner in this new thriller from Anchor Bay on DVD and Blu-ray May 18th
Luis Berdejo directs Kevin Costner in the thriller The New Daughter from Anchor Bay Entertainment, which hits DVD and Blu-ray May 18th. The scary new film follows the John James (Costner) as he tries to rebuild his family after a painful divorce. John has his hands full raising his youngest child Sam (Gattlin Griffith) and especially his adolescent daughter Louisa (Ivana Baquero, Pan's Labyrinth, in her first English-speaking role).
As Louisa's troubling behavior continues, far beyond the average tween angst and frustrations, John begins doubting his parental abilities. But when events around the James household start taking on an increasingly mysterious nature, John realizes that his family may be in mortal danger. Co-starring Samantha Mathis, The New Daughter is adapted by John Travis (The Haunting of Molly Hartley) from the short story by John Connolly.
We recently caught up with The New Daughter herself, Ivana Baquero to find out more about this truly creepy film. Here's what the young actress had to say:
I assume after Pan's Labyrinth, you had a ton of scripts and offers pouring in. Did John Travis' script for this film come to you right after Pan's, or was it later than that? Can you talk about your initial response to the script as well?
Ivana Baquero: (The film) Pan's Labyrinth definitely gave an international perspective to my career, and I started getting scripts form everywhere. I received the script of The New Daughter later on, because after Pan's Labyrinth I worked on another Spanish project ("La Mujer del Anarquista"). When I got it, I was instantly attracted to Louisa, the role I was offered. I was eager to develop her character and work on her emotional changes during the movie. The fact that it was an American film also influenced my decision, because we found that with this project I would be able to prove that I could play with an American accent. It was a pretty well-rounded project.
This is your first English speaking role after the huge success of Pan's Labyrinth. What was it about the script that attracted you to it? And did you feel the script was as uniquely mysterious and captivating as your previous films?
Ivana Baquero: Actually, I started out in the movie industry playing English-speaking roles. For example, Romastanta, Rottweiler and Fragile, my first 3 movies, were all shot in English. They were tiny roles, but they were enough for me to know that I wanted to be an actress. But yes, The New Daughter is my first big English-speaking role, and that was one of the main reasons I was interested in the project. When I'm reading a script, I look for variety, and I found that in this project I could play with different factors and learn new things. Louisa, for instance, is very different from any other role I've ever played, and I loved her transformation throughout the movie. My goal is that every script I have the chance to bring to life is uniquely different from the previous ones I've worked on.
You really get to show off a lot of diversity as Louisa and what I liked about your performance was that it wasn't too extreme in either direction. Was that part of the challenge of this role, to keep it more grounded and less off-the-wall?
Ivana Baquero: I think it's really important to keep things realistic, and by showing her emotional change in a coherent way, the viewer has a better chance to relate, or at least understand what's going on. Louisa was a complex character to play, because she's just a teenager who's lived through a traumatizing divorce between her parents and is forced to cope with unpleasant situations. So I had to express her frustration and at the same time show her emotional change throughout the movie. However, the fact that it was a challenge really encouraged me, and I felt really motivated and comfortable with the role.
This had to be quite a thrill working with Kevin Costner as your father in the film. As a young actor, what kinds of things did you take away from working with Kevin and could you give an overall impression of working with him as a whole? I also loved Gattlin Griffith as your little brother so how did you two bond on the set?
Ivana Baquero: It was a pleasure working with both of them. Kevin is a great actor, and it's always nice to work with someone of that magnitude. He was always there to give me advice and proved to be a great companion. And Gattlin, he's just the sweetest kid. We always had a laugh on set, and I can say that it was a blast working with that little gentleman. They're both just amazing actors.
This is Luis Berdejo's directorial debut after writing some successful horror films over the past few years. Can you talk about your experiences working with him and how his style as a first-time director may have differed from other director's you've worked with?
Ivana Baquero: Luis gave life to the movie. He is really hard working and I will always thank him for the effort and time he spent with me trying to develop Louisa. We would sit down for hours jotting down ideas that could be useful for the role. He gave me a lot of space and allowed me to develop different traits in Lou. In fact, I've never worked with someone like him, and the fact that he is also Spanish was a great advantage, because after a hard day of work we could always sit back and just let our Spanish pour out.
Do you think Louisa's journey is reflective of what actually happens between a father and his daughter once a young girl begins to grow up and head towards adulthood?
Ivana Baquero: Louisa definitely represents a coming of age character, yet she lives quite unique experiences during the film. I would say that it's a balance between what could happen to a real teen: divorce, fights, issues at school, coping with changes, and what could happen only in a movie: mounds, creatures... I mean, we can't forget that it's science fiction, but I do insist that it does reveal many levels of accuracy and real father-to-daughter conversations.
How do you think teenage girls with identify with the film? Do you think it might appeal to their sensibilities a little bit more than other audience members? Or do you think it has a wider appeal than that?
Ivana Baquero: For sure, I think it's a very interesting movie for teenagers to watch. And I find that these days, young people are growing more attracted science fiction and horror cinema, so The New Daughter can be the perfect choice for them. The fact that Kevin is also a big part of this movie will also attract different audiences so the appeal has a potential to be quite wide.
You have a role in a very interesting upcoming film called Keeper of the Pinstripes. Can you talk at all about your character, Mary Reyes, and what drew you to this script? Are you a big baseball fan in real life? I was also curious if they've set a production start date on the film yet.
Ivana Baquero: The project is still in development, so there isn't a fixed date yet. I loved the script because it's completely different from anything I've ever done before. The genre, for instance, is more focused on the family-movie kind. And Mary was the perfect role because, again, she's also different from any role I've played before: she's sweet, outgoing, and really sociable... It's definitely a change, and I'm looking forward to the experience. And yes, I do enjoy baseball, although we don't get much of it here in Spain, so unfortunately I can't say I'm a fan of any team.
Is there anything else that you're looking at or developing right now that you can talk about? Would you be interested in getting into the writing or directing side of the business as well?
Ivana Baquero: I do have some projects going on but they're not really official right now. I would love to direct, in fact, I've a few homemade shorts. It's something I love to do with my father, and I'm certainly looking forward to continue experiencing with that area of the industry. And as for writing, one of my biggest hobbies is writing. I've been writing since I was 8, pretty much when I started my acting career, and it's something I can't live without.
Finally, what would you like to say to your fans or fans of the horror genre about why they should pick up The New Daughter on DVD this week?
Ivana Baquero: It's an enjoyable film for a horror movie fan. It's got mystery, creatures, action, darkness, and the film goes through different levels between the relationships that a "fractured" family can have.
You can pick up Ivana Baquero in The New Daughter when it arrives on the DVD and Blu-ray shelves on May 18.