I recently got the chance to talk to Lorna Raver about her pivotal role in new thriller – ‘The Caller’. Here, Lorna talks about the film, how she got into acting and what’s coming up for her in 2011…
Hey Lorna. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘The Caller’ is in selected UK cinemas right now. The trailer looks fantastic. What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
‘The Caller’ is a psychological thriller about a recently divorced young woman named Mary (Rachelle LeFevre) who is trying to get her life back together. She moves into a new apartment, buys an old-fashioned black Bakelite phone and starts getting strange phone calls from a woman named Rose (yours truly) who claims to be calling from the past. Mary thinks her abusive ex-husband is responsible for the increasingly disturbing and scary calls, but comes to believe that Rose may indeed be from the past and that her intention is to torture her.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the film…
Rose is a sad, lonely, disturbed person who’s looking for a friend. She doesn’t quite know how to go about doing that (to put it mildly and with tongue firmly planted in cheek) as she ends up scaring the bejeebers out of Mary!
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
The director saw Sam Raimi’s film ‘Drag Me To Hell’ in which I played the villain Mrs. Ganush (a lady no one should mess with as those of you who have seen that film can attest to!) and called my agent, Michael Greene. I was attracted to ‘The Caller’ project especially because of the unique acting challenge it presented: creating a character who, for most of the film, is not seen on camera but only heard as a voice on the phone.
The film stars Stephen Moyer, Rachelle Lefevre and Luis Guzman – what was it like working with them and the other cast?
Actually I worked with only Rachelle and we spent an interesting amount of time on set avoiding one another! Since our characters meet on the phone and most of our relationship in the film is over the phone, Rachelle, very understandably, did not want to meet me at first, not wanting to put a face, (other than the one she imagines), to the voice she hears. Matthew Parkhill, our director, wisely chose to have us actually making the phone calls while they were filming Rachelle’s action on camera. I was sequestered in a separate room on set and we did “live” phone calls and were able to shoot most of our calls in the order they occur in the script. So we didn’t meet face-to-face until we had filmed all the calls. Our attempts to avoid one another on set became quite amusing: I’d see her coming at a distance or she’d see me and one or the other of us would quickly change direction so our paths didn’t cross. It was a great relief when we finally met and could tell one another how much we enjoyed acting together!
A IMDB reviewer, Mondo_Giallo – has said – “The Caller’ is a good supernatural thriller with some genuinely creepy moments. It takes a while to really get interesting but it ultimately does have some good moves.” – would you agree with this?
I can’t honestly say since I haven’t seen the film yet. I had a schedule conflict and had to miss the cast screening. I’m really curious!
Let’s talk a bit about you Lorna. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I can’t say exactly why I wanted to become an actor – the yen was just always there. It was only after I became an actor that I learned what I love about it: I love the chance to live multiple lives and I’m stimulated by the work of developing the discipline, skill and openness one needs in order to inhabit those other lives.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
I had a wonderful acting teacher when I began studying who said, “Don’t become an actor unless you’re willing to make a fool of yourself”.
You’ve been on a number of TV shows – which has been your favourite to work on and why? I personally am going for your role as the Q Judge in ‘Star Trek Voyager’…
I was a little disappointed not to have fancy prosthetics when I worked on ‘Star Trek’ – I just had grey makeup and a great costume. (‘Drag Me To Hell’ definitely made up for that desire to do a “prosthetics role” of course)!! I had great fun working on an episode of ‘The Pretender’ some time ago because I was allowed to work with the make-up and hair people in creating a look for the character, something one doesn’t always get to do as a guest star (she was a chain-smoking bus dispatcher with “big” hair). And the spirit on that set was great. I liked playing a sarcastic chemistry professor on ‘Bones’ – good script and a pleasant efficient set to work on. The two different guest roles I played on ‘NYPD Blue’ were rewarding because the scripts were challenging and well-written. As a character actor who likes “accent roles”, I quite enjoyed playing a fortune-teller on ‘Charmed’ as well.
What does a Lorna Raver day usually consist of?
Keepin’ outta the rain. Or, singin’ in it when it falls.
What’s coming up for you in 2011? I hear you’ve just finished “Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage” and “Rushlights”….
Yes, I’m waiting to hear when those films will be released – I think ‘Rushlights’ should be the first. Nothing lined up for TV yet, just catching the auditions as they come along. I also record audiobooks so will be continuing with those – recent releases are ‘Lady Blue Eyes’ (Barbara Sinatra’s memoir) and ‘Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe’ by Fannie Flagg.
Thanks for the interview!