Laura Ellen Wilson is an award-winning actress from Lancashire, UK. After spending her early years traveling the world as a dancer and entertainer, she decided to focus her energies on acting around 2017. In that short time, Laura has amassed a prolific acting resume, and has also performed voice overs for film and video games. Her resume includes directing and writing credits as well. Malevolent Dark had an opportunity to talk to Laura. While her filmography is a testament to her versatility, you well know that we are interested in her horror bona fides.
Laura will be starring as Lilly in an up-and-coming film shooting in 2023 titled With Child (Directed by Jeff Kacmarynski). At this point we don’t have many details other than her co-stars include some horror names such as Lynn Lowry (The Crazies – 1973), Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist – 1973), Tamara Glynn (Terrifier 2 and Halloween 5). Maybe Laura can shed some light on it.
Laura, Are you a horror fan, or did you just land in the horror business by chance?
Laura Ellen Wilson – I have always been a horror fan, for as long as I can remember. I love the feeling of being scared and am constantly looking for horror movies that have me on the edge of my seat or hiding behind a cushion! The majority of the first ever movies that I auditioned for were horrors so in that respect, I guess it was meant to be!
Malevolent Dark – What do you love about the horror industry?
Everything. Seriously, everything. The people, the fans, the creative freedom to completely go for the gore/kills, the never-ending possibilities for how the story can end and the 90% chance of a sequel. There is just so much fun to be had on set. I love meeting horror fans. They are always so cool and totally into everything horror and they are always super supportive too.
You were involved in Friday the 13th Vengeance. What did you think of that and do you think that will help breathe life into that franchise?
Friday the 13th Vengeance was my first shoot in the US and I couldn’t have asked for a better cast and crew. They were so welcoming, and we had such a laugh! I’m loving all the fan films right now. Friday the 13th in particular has such a huge fan base and the fans just want more and more. It certainly helps that the filmmakers and writers are fans of the franchise themselves. Everyone has their own ideas about who Jason is and where they want his story to go next. It’s fascinating and of course, the kills just keep getting better and better too! In terms of the official franchise, that is still little messy and up in the air right now but until terms are agreed upon, keep those fan films coming!
The indie horror industry seems to be thriving, what would you change about it if you could?
Speaking for me personally, I wouldn’t change a thing. My journey into horror and navigating the horror world has been such a trip and I’m enjoying every minute.
Sure it’s hard, especially when I audition for a role I really want and could see myself playing and then I don’t get it, but that’s all a part of the industry and the fun. I do find it sad that so many crowdfunders don’t hit budget and the film never happens. I’d love to see film grants specifically for the indie horror industry to help up and coming directors get their movies made.
Horror fans love strong female leads. I hear that you are quite accomplished in martial arts.
Yes!! I am a black belt in Kung Fu (a mix of wing chun, lau gar and jeet kune do). I was awarded my black belt when I was 16, exactly 5 years after I started training and during that time, I had the honor of training with Dan Inosanto, who was one of Bruce Lee’s first students. Unfortunately, with my schedule and travelling it’s difficult to get to class so I train myself at home, or wherever I may be.
How does it feel to know that you can beat up most bad guys you meet in horror films?
Ha! Well, the fact that I get killed in most of the stuff I do begs to differ, but, I know what you mean!! I have had several small fight sequences in films and choreographed a couple for other films and it has felt great. I must admit though, the stamina needed to conduct the perfect sequence time after time is really tough. Takes are often straight after each other too with a one or two minute break to catch your breath so it really does take serious fitness. I am totally in awe of actors like Jason Statham and Uma Thurman whilst watching extended fight sequences!
What about Kung Fu flicks. Do you like them or do you just shake your head? Clearly you have an appreciation for Bruce Lee!
I love Kung Fu flicks, especially when the movement is executed correctly. Admittedly, I am very observant when fight scenes come on the screen because I am watching for technique. Bruce Lee was an absolute machine! Speaking of the fight sequences in your question earlier, I cannot even imagine the level of fitness one needs to be at to work like him. Another martial artist worth a mention is Tony Jaa. If you haven’t seen Ong Bak, that is absolutely mind blowing.
I noticed that in one of your recent projects, Project Skyquake, you have writing credit. How was it writing for a film that you played such a prominent role in?
As the writer is Hungarian, a lot of the dialogue was jarring and mostly translated from Hungarian to English. It took time, but for the character and the dialogue to work, I spoke with József (director) and asked his permission to work on the dialogue along with Laura Saxon, who played the other leading role, to ensure it sounded natural – especially with 2 native Brits delivering it! I really enjoyed having that creativity with the dialogue for my character. It made feel me a lot closer to Cassie (character) and it has shown with the reviews we have had in most writeups, that the dialogue between myself and Saxon is very natural. Proud to have been a part of the creative team on Project Skyquake.
Stepping away from Horror, I see that you play Silver Marshall in a multi-episode serial called Vice Squad: NYC. How do the demands of that type of shooting compare to that of feature films?
I’ll let you know when I get on set!! We are due to shoot during the second half of 2023. It’s going to be very strange for me as, apart from a 5 episode web series of 5 minutes each, I have never worked on a series before. It is one of my goals for this year to be a part of an episodic series and to be playing a leading role in my first one actually makes me feel very emotional – in a good way! I am really looking forward to it!
What are your top-5 horror movies of all time?
This is so difficult. The Others and Triangle are definitely up there at the top. I love a good twist and a film that keeps you guessing until the very end. I love Hostel 1 & 2, although as someone who travels alone often, it’s quite scary! I also love the Final Destination franchise. It is SO predictable but the thought of death coming for you after cheating it gives me goosebumps.
One horror that really affected me was Eden Lake. I honestly cannot tell you exactly how it affected me, but it did. I haven’t been able to watch it again!
Do you have a favorite sub-genre?
Fantasy! I absolutely love fantasy. Films that I can really get lost in like Harry Potter, The Bridge to Terabithia and The Goonies! I absolutely loved Once Upon A Time, the series. The whole intertwining of the characters we know and love was just phenomenal. I’d love to be in something like that!
I actually wrote and directed (along with Laura Saxon) my own film called In Bluebell Wood and that was a fantasy. It was so much fun from start to finish but we didn’t do things by half! A cast of over 30 children under the age 16, an owl and a wolf too!
Describe yourself with 5 words?
Kind, Caring, Funny, Passionate and Hardworking.
What scares you the most?
Losing those I love the most and leaving this world without accomplishing my goals. Oh and the dark…Ironic!
You look like you are having fun. Are you having fun?
I really am. I am enjoying my journey in horror and in the acting industry and most importantly, I feel like this is where I belong. The adventures I have had in the past 5 years since I started acting are really mind blowing when I think about it. If I had told myself 5 years ago of what I would accomplish, no way I’d have believed it. I am having so much fun and I am really proud of myself for not giving up when times were hard. Here’s to the next 5 years (at the very least!)
Now that you are an established actress, who do you want to work with the most?
Well, go big or go home! Kate Winslet, Sandra Bullock, Robert De Niro and Javier Bardem! #manifesting
What is one question that no one ever asked that you wish they would?
‘Hey Laura, would you like to be in the latest 101 Dalmatians movie and play with a bunch of puppies every day for around 6 months?’
Hey Laura, would you like to be in the latest 101 Dalmatians movie and play with a bunch of puppies every day for around 6 months?
Seeing that you have traveled and shot in a variety of world locations, where did you love shooting the most?
Travelling is a huge passion of mine, however most of the time when filming overseas, I fly in the day before shooting and fly out the day after and if it is a short shoot, there will be no days off and therefore, no time to get a feel for the country and soak up the culture. That being said, I’m a huge food lover so whether I am somewhere for 2 days or 2 weeks, I can enjoy local and traditional food.
Hungary was my favourite for that. The director and crew of Project Skyquake took me to their favourite restaurant, and I had the traditional Hungarian soup, Goulash. It was pure comfort food. I could have eaten 5 bowls!! I also love the heat, so with that in mind, there is only 1 place for me and that was Las Vegas in the summer!
Your new project, With Child, looks intriguing, but details are fleeting. What can you tell us about it?
I am so excited for With Child! I play the role of Lily, an expectant mother who is being tormented by ‘beings’ in the form of children who are wearing Halloween-esque type costumes that are worn, faded and melted into them. With Lily due to give birth in a couple of weeks, it’s a race against time to find out what they want and why they want to harm her baby! There are some super twists and turns in the film and a huge one which I believe has never been done before in all the horrors I have watched – and that is a lot!!
I had a little taste of how the set was going to be after shooting the crowdfunding short in Chicago at the end of 2022. Along with the pregnancy tummy and the crew, we all had a blast. It makes me very excited to get back on set in May for the real thing!
Malevolent Dark would like to thank Laura Ellen Wilson for taking the time in her busy schedule to talk to us. She’s making waves in the horror industry and she will not be stopping soon. We are super excited excited to hear more about her upcoming film With Child directed by Jeff Kacmarynski.