By Lois Kennedy
Shae Smolik is young, but she’s making a name for herself. She’s already appeared in multiple projects, one of the most recent being ‘Criminal Minds.’ According to her IMDB page, she has a photographic memory (which helps her memorize scripts in a very short time) and a great work ethic. Michael G. Kehoe, who directed her, stated to me, “I’ve never worked with a young woman that was so experienced on set.” Soon horror fans will know her as the face of Irene, one of the leads in ‘The Hatred.’
Ms. Smolik was gracious enough to take time from her busy schedule to answer my interview questions, submitted by email through Mr. Kehoe.
LK: What is your all-time favorite role that you’ve had so far?
SS: My favorite role of all time is Irene. This role had a very broad emotional range and it really challenged me as an actress and I loved that! In one scene I would be happy in one scene and then full of fear in another scene, it was a fantastic journey and I grew so much as an actress.
LK: How did you prepare for playing Irene?
SS: I prepared for playing Irene by really digging into what I would have felt like in real life in that moment of the scene and brought that to the film as Irene. In the really intense scenes I would go into a separate room away from the cast and crew for 5-10 minutes and go into a dark place in my mind to get the proper mind set for that particular scene. I would then come out of seclusion and tell Michael, the director, that I was ready to start filming the scene. I think as a young actress my ability to portray intense emotions is my speciality so I really wanted to do that as well.
LK: Did you enjoy making The Hatred? Was it scary?
SS: I absolutely loved being on set everyday for The Hatred. The cast was extremely talented and so kind so it made shooting the film so natural. The relationships I built with the talented cast and crew during that film are lifelong!
While actually shooting the film, the director, Michael Kehoe, would pull me aside and let me know exactly what he wanted out of the scene and if I had a question for him as far as what Irene was doing in the scene he would explain everything to me. The producer Malek Akkad, from the Halloween franchise, also really guided me into my character. The crew was phenomenal as well. The experience onset of The Hatred was what I base all my other set experiences on because it was amazing!
The actual filming of The Hatred was not as scary because I knew the script and what was about to happen in the scenes. The one scene I was scared in was when I was on the bed and there was some creepy music with a storm and lightning in the background, then of course a scary entity is in my room! When I saw the film in its entirety at the screening I was absolutely terrified and actually had my eyes closed for about half of the movie!
LK: Would you ever make another horror movie?
SS: I have already been a lead in another horror movie since The Hatred and I believe since I have the ability to convey emotions so well that I may film more horror movies in my future. I do love making movies and I hope I do get the opportunity to challenge myself and play these highly dramatic characters!
LK: If you could tell people one thing about The Hatred, what would it be?
SS: I would tell people that they shouldn’t watch the movie alone and that it is based on the short film “Hush” that has won multiple awards!