Following in dad Greg (BJ & The Bear) Evigan's footsteps, Briana Evigan proves she's a killer actress in the darkly-humorous killer-thriller Sorority Row. The sexy, young starlet talks about her time on & off the set of the terrifying new slasher movie.
The wickedly witty Sorority Row, loosely based on the ‘80s slasher cult classic House On Sorority Row, features a gorgeous and talented ensemble cast of several of Hollywood’s hottest up-and-coming young actresses. Heading up the group of Sorority Row's evil frat sisters is Step Up 2: The Streets leading lady, Briana Evigan, the daughter of BJ and The Bear/My Two Dads star Greg Evigan and actress Pamela Serpe. Briana made her film debut in 1996, at the age of nine, alongside her dad in House Of The Damned. “Acting is definitely in my blood,” the 21-year-old Evigan confesses, “and I got started at it pretty early. Although I’ve always been in show business since I was a kid, in one way or another, I never had any solid plans on becoming an actress. It wasn’t until two years ago that I began to feel like I wanted to be a full-time actress. Getting the role in Sorority Row made me realize that this is what I’ve always wanted to do this.”
In the Stewart Hendler-directed bloody killer-thriller Sorority Row — also starring Rumer Willis (The House Bunny), Audrina Patridge (The Hills), Jamie Chung (Dragonball: Evolution), Leah Pipes (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Margo Harshman (Even Stevens) — Evigan portrays one of the seemingly close frat sisters of Theta Phi who decide to exact revenge on a cheating boyfriend by playing a harmless prank on the unsuspecting guy. The practical joke becomes a hellish nightmare when the boyfriend accidentally murders one of the girls. Fearing they will all wind up in jail for their participation in the original hoax, they decide to dispose of the dead Theta Phi by throwing her lifeless body down an abandoned well. However, on graduation night, after being sent a photo of the murder weapon, someone or something begins to gruesomely slaughter them one by one. Did the dead sister not die? Has her soul been resurrected to revenge her killing or could her real, biological sister be going after the remaining Theta Phi’s?
“This is not your typical slasher or horror film,” Evigan offers. “For one thing, it’s funny. We make a lot of fun of ourselves. Honestly, you haven’t seen a horror movie like this before. I’m so glad I got to be a part of it. It was a challenging role, and I loved doing it.” And it shows, Evigan absolutely shines in the spine-tingling nail-biter with a pitch black sense of humor. Friendly, charming and funny, Evigan recently sat down (during a small press gathering) to discuss her decision to become an actress, if her famous father inspired her to act, what life was like on and off the set of Sorority Row, working with her female costars, reveals her favorite horror movies and talks about her plans for the future.
Briana Evigan in Sorority Row
How long have you been acting?“I’ve been an actual working actress for about two years now. But I did my first film when I was nine with my dad, and I’ve always kind of enjoyed dancing and being a musician. So, I guess you could say that I’ve always been a performer and an entertainer at heart.”
With your dad being a famous actor, did you always feel like you would become an actress? “No, I had no idea what I wanted to do for the longest time. Both my parents, my mom and dad, kind of got me and my older sister into the performing arts, in a way. If I wanted to try dancing, they let me try. When I was seven, I kind of had the feeling that I wanted to be a singer/dancer. But, it wasn’t until I got the part in Step Up 2 that I began thinking, ‘This is what I want to do. I want to be an actress.’ Now, I’ve decided to put everything else on the side and concentrate on acting.”
So, how did your dad influence your path? “You know what, he actually never really pushed anything on me or any of my siblings but just kind of guided us and said, ‘Do what you want to do and if that's what you want to do, I'll help you out. I'm always here for you.’”
After working together for two months filming Sorority Row, did most of the gals begin to bond like real sorority sisters?“Oh, yeah, even more like actual sisters. From night one, we all went to dinner and had a blast together. That was it. That was the beginning of a lot of great friendships. We all got really close. So, if one of us had a bad day, we all understood. We were like one big family.”
How did you blow off steam after days of intense shooting? “Laugh, have fun, watch movies, get drinks, get good food – everything.”
What was it like working with (Sorority Row director), Stewart Hendler? “He was great, he made us feel so at ease. He was like one of the girls. (laughs) He kept us going, though, let me tell you. He really did.”
A lot of people have found parts of Sorority Row really funny. “That’s great, because this movie is funny. You are definitely supposed to laugh with this film. I think that's the best thing about it, the fact that it is a horror film, and it's very, very funny, too. It’s also very sexy and it's scary. It's kind of got it all. I mean, it's rated R, too, and that helps it out.”
You really like the fact that Sorority Row is comedic, don’t you?“Oh yeah, after I watched it the first time, I thought, “Nobody can make fun of us, because we make so much fun of ourselves already in the film.’ I love that. I definitely think the tongue-in-cheek way we played sexy sorority girls added so much to the film. It makes it really special.”
Briana Evigan in Sorority Row
Were you ever worried about how sexy it was going to go? Were you concerned about what you might have to expose?“No. I mean, we know our boundaries and that's the way it is. There's definitely nakedness, it's just not me, thank goodness.” (laughs)
What's more fun to do — sexy, funny, scary or action?“I like action. I'm an action girl. I loved doing the running, fighting, hitting, stabbing, all of that. When it comes to comedy, for me, is not that easy to do. I’m not a natural born comedienne. Comedic timing is really hard. Your timing has to be perfect to get a real laugh. I don’t know if I’m that funny.” (laughs)
How gory are the deaths in Sorority Row?“They make it hurt. They're quick. They're all kind of quick, quick deaths that hurt you real quick and then you're laughing.”
Did you grow up watching slasher films?“Yeah, I did. It, the film with the clown, was like one of the first scary movies I ever saw. It terrified me. Also, I don’t know if you could classify it as a slasher film, but I love Psycho. It still scares the heck out of me. It is such a classic thriller. It’s brilliant.”
Although Rumer (Willis) does the most screaming in the movie, the other girls said that you're the real screamer. Is that true?“Oh, yeah. If I scream it's like all over for me, seriously. (laughs) And, I get scared real easy, especially when I’m watching a gruesome, terrifying movie. Or now, when I’m acting in a scary, terrifying movie I scream a whole lot.” (laughs)
Do you feel like you have come into your own as an actress? Do you feel like you’ve developed your own persona now?“I think I have. My dad, who is a pretty famous guy, always encouraged me to be myself and to be proud of how I am. It’s not as hard for me like it is for Rumer. With three famous parents (mother Demi Moore, father Bruce Willis and stepdad Ashton Kutcher) it can be really tough on her. I'm proud of Rumer for all the crap that she has to put up with — from the paparazzi to the tabloids. She's doing a good job. I think we all are. I want to be thought of as a serious actress, and I plan on working hard to make sure it happens.”
Was there ever a Plan B, in case you couldn’t make it as an actress?“Plan B is to be a speech therapist for children. I’ve actually studied for it, but acting kind of got in the way. (laughs) Maybe I’ll finish it up, one day, but right now acting is the love of my life. This is what I want to be doing.”
Evigan, Willis, Pipes & Chung in Sorority Row
Sorority Row opens nationwide Friday, September 11, 2009.