In our current 'Fandemonium' issue,
we shot the stars of Tara Subkoff's directorial debut, #Horror, as characters from classic scary movies. Chloë Sevigny channeled Carrie, Natasha Lyonne played Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion, Taryn Manning transformed into Janet Leigh in Psycho, Lydia Hearst became Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby, Stella Schnabel wore a mask as Edith Scob in Eyes Without a Face and Annabelle Dexter-Jones stepped into the role of Julie Christie in Don't Look Now. But while we had these actresses show off some classic horror film glamour, the threat in Subkoff's new film is a distinctly contemporary phenomenon: cyberbullying. Anchoring the movie -- and providing a chilling depiction of what happens when teen meanness combines with social media -- are six talented young actresses: Emma Adler, Blue Lindeberg, Bridget McGarry, Haley Murphy, Sadie Seelert and Mina Sundwall. Although their treatment of one another on-camera might send chills down a parent's spine, the six bonded on set and say they all became good friends in real life, which was in evidence at a recent Paper shoot. Meet these rising stars and read their thoughts on how they got their start in acting, their favorite teen clique movies and what needs to happen to end cyberbullying.
Bridget McGarry. Bridget wears a top, skirt and jacket by Topshop, a sneakers by Converse.
Emma Adler. Emma wears a shirt by Wildfox, pants by Topshop, tights by Wolford and shoes by Lacoste.
Haley Murphy. Haley wears a top by Wildfox, a jacket by Rolla's, shorts by Topshop, tights by Wolford, and shoes by Lacoste
How did you all get into acting?
Haley Murphy: I was really into ballet when I was younger and had the opportunity of performing in the New York City Ballet Nutcracker. Through that, I got involved in musical theater and realized how much I loved acting. Acting is definitely a large part of dance but only until I got older and performances required storytelling did I realize that acting was my true passion.
Bridget McGarry: I've wanted to act since I was 4. I went on a few auditions at the age of 5, and when I was 7 my mom put me in Storybook Theatre at Paper Mill Playhouse. I absolutely loved it more than anything! When I was 8 my mom took my sisters and I to an open call at Wilhelmina Kids and Teens, and all three of us got signed with them! I booked my first commercial a couple of months later for Barbie.
Blue Lindeberg: I have always been acting in school and outside school since I was 6 years old. I had never thought of pursuing it professionally before now but I wish to do so after this great experience with #Horror. I am joining Stella Adler's acting school from January16 to broaden this art and my skills.
Emma Adler: I told my mom I needed a creative outlet and she enrolled me in Little Village Playhouse, a Stanislavski-based school for aspiring actors in Northern Westchester. From there I expanded to doing commercials, industrials, VO then TV and film work. I'm really excited to be working on a digital streaming channel and a debut album now, too.
Sadie Seelert: When I was in 1st grade, I took an acting class with my friends. I got to play Lucy in a Charlie Brown sketch and I loved "pretending" to be bossy. Next I played Chip in a full staged production of Beauty and the Beast and I was hooked!
Mina Sundwall: I started in our living room... my parents were constantly forced to be the audience of my dramatic skits and songs until one day my dad said "My friend is shooting a short and needs a little girl in it, would you like to do it"? I couldn't stop jumping. After being on set one day I was obsessed. My dad took some photos of me for a headshot and my mom and I sent submissions through Backstage for short films and she told me "it's on you to study and show you can do it." A few years have gone by but that's exactly what I am trying to do: study and show I can do it.
What were your favorite memories of shooting #Horror?
Haley Murphy: My favorite filming memory is a scene Sadie and I, which we shot in the snow. The scene is extremely emotional and physical and we were really into the moment. It was so intense. Another one of my favorite memories from filming was when we shot the scene in the jewelry vault. Before we shot it, Tara wouldn't let us see it, because she wanted to capture our real reactions. It was so stunning and everything was really glamorous and she knew we would be blown away. It was really magical and memorable.
Blue Lindeberg: When we were at the poolside and telling each other all our secrets in the tent. We bonded as characters and as friends.
Emma Adler: One of my favorite memories shooting #Horror was being trained to do the big fight scene with Mina, who is in real life my bestie. My second favorite memory was dying. It was so cool to see all of the production elements and makeup effects that go into making a successful death scene in a horror film.
Mina Sundwall: A very special memory is the night of my 'death.' It was -10˚F and I was supposed to die in the snow in a very large tennis field. Because it was a very sensitive moment, the entire crew was quiet in the darkness. I had to walk very delicately over my own steps to avoid messing up the snow. That entire night is a bit of a blur, but I remember the prop-master pouring blood in my hands over and over again. I remember screaming and the light. At every cut Tara or a wardrobe person would surround me with a blanket to keep me warm but I was so sticky from the blood that everything was getting stained. It was very fast and almost a dream (or maybe a nightmare given I was dying) but it was incredible to see how everyone was there for me. As soon as the scene wrapped, everyone clapped and Alana (one of the producers) told me: "There is a warm bath ready for you." I was quickly escorted to one of the very fancy bathtubs in the house and spent 15 minutes in a bubble bath still processing what had just happened...
Is cyber bullying prevalent in your high school? What do you think needs to happen for it to lessen?
Haley Murphy: I think that preventative solutions need to be thought of, along with raising awareness, in order to lessen cyberbullying. It's a difficult form of bullying to prevent because it's so easy for kids to bully each other behind their computer or phone screens. It is not confrontational, but it is more public, so people who are cyberbullied can feel even more victimized. Discussions in my school are held about bullying but it's more talking about being aware as opposed to trying to prevent it. Cyberbullying was more prevalent in my middle school than high school because kids were not used to the freedom they were given by owning their personal devices. They abused that power because they prematurely have too much independence in what they say to others, which can be hurtful. I go to an all-girls school that is K-12 and while we have had negative behavior, it has never been to the extreme. But from being involved in #Horror, I've learned so much about how much teenagers are suffering.
Bridget McGarry: Parents, kids, educators, and members of communities need to all work together to try to put a stop to cyberbullying! There are new programs available to educators like Bridg-it to anonymously report cyberbullying and bullying in the community. I also feel that early education would definitely help because kids are starting to get smartphones as early as third or fourth grade.
Sadie Seelert: I think apps need to be stricter about young kids using them. Facebook or Instagram are usually fun pictures and stories. But, when you get middle schoolers looking at Yik Yak or any "hot or not" poll, it is just mean. There's probably some cyber bullying at every high school. Teenagers are harsh when they want to be.
Mina Sundwall: Cyberbullying is a difficult issue and a simplistic one-way approach won't really help, we need to go to the root of the problem to lessen it. Parents have a role, schools have a role, teens have a role and society in general has a role. We all have an obligation to collaborate together to put an end to the torture that it really is.
I think there are 3 things that increase the impact of cyberbullying
-the fact that bullied kids often don't dare to say anything
-the fact that penalties for cyberbullying are not tough enough
-the fact that parents are not aware and not in-tune with new technology to spot the signs of cyberbullying until it's too late.
Parents have a tough job because teens don't usually like to go to mom and dad for help. Parents tend to overreact or underreact. I think parents need lessons on how to manage kids technology and prevent cyberbullying without necessarily have to continuously 'spy', control or have something to say. Prevention at a distance. In the very big picture, we need stronger law enforcement in response to cyberbullying. Some states are starting to change, but the federal government needs to take cyberbullying more seriously
Kids that are bullied are usually not in a psychological state to take strong action, but that's what friends are for. We need to stand up for our friends, give them the tech tools that are out there to block, report and sometimes we need to bully the bully. Let them feel what it means.
What are your favorite horror movies of all time?
Bridget McGarry: My favorite horror movies are the Scream movies, The Conjuring, Woman in Black, and Annabelle (as you can see I'm a pretty big horror fan).
Sadie Seelert: I like watching most horror movies. Oculus is a good one. I think the best horror movies are still scary when you mute the sound.
Mina Sundwall: My absolute favorite horror movie is Saw, more specifically the first one. I love being scared and I prefer when the fear doesn't come from a dark cemetery, a ghost or easy 'tricks' but it's psychological, human and twisted. Saw uses this one location fully... everything means something, the eeriness throughout the entire movie -- the dirty bathroom, the tape recording, the cameras surrounding them, etc. Watching the movie over and over again (as I do) always brings a weird, intrusion-like feeling which I love.
Which actors/actresses inspire you?
Blue Lindeberg: To me one of the most influential actresses of all time is Angelina Jolie. I think what she does for the world is amazing and when she acts I believe her. She's real when she's put in front of a camera and she conveys great passion who acting.
Emma Adler: I can't even explain my love for Johnny Depp. Then I'd have to add Evan Peters, Emma Roberts & Jennifer Lawrence, all of whom I would love to meet and work with one day. I would die if I got to do that.
Sadie Seelert: I really look up to two Kristens. Kristen Wiig is my hero because she is so flippin funny and creative. Kristin Chenoweth is a singing legend whose personality is just as big and entertaining. I love watching them both, on stage or in film.
Mina Sundwall: Emma Watson is my inspiration. She is an extremely talented actress and the face of my childhood obsession (Hermione) but she is also a balanced person (no cheesy scandal), a an advocate for gender equality in her role as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and, most of all, she never let her acting career take over her life. She took time to get the education she wanted and uses her celebrity to draw attention to important issues. I don't know what the future holds for me and I hope I'll be able to act forever and ever but I also love psychology and neuroscience and I want to be able to do many different things in life.
What is your favorite teen clique movie of all time?
Bridget McGarry: My favorite is by far Mean Girls! Tina Fey is an absolute comical genius!!! I've seen it about a billion times and it never gets old! Plus, it's so much fun to watch with my friends!
Emma Adler: Clueless. It was the first "clique" movie I ever saw. I also love Mean Girls because it had such a big impact on girls my age. Girls today are still talking about that movie. I hope #Horror has as lasting an impact as Mean Girls. That would be incredible.
Mina Sundwall: The Breakfast Club. The best part is that it doesn't start as a clique.
Stylist: Andrea Cuomo
Hair Stylist: William Schaedler
Makeup Artist: Jordy Poon & Dihan
Location: Dune Studios