TV: I talked to Kiana about this too, but the plot line in 1666 about the guilt that especially Hannah feels really stuck out to me as a queer person. What was it like portraying that and seeing how difficult that was at the time, but also how difficult it is now to be out? What were you thinking while acting that out?
Olivia: Doing those scenes was so heartbreaking. I grew up in Texas and Texas has got its pros, but it definitely is a place where I’ve seen that and grown up with that and felt emotions like that. It’s devastating and it’s really detrimental to your development growing up. It’s something that I think is a huge problem. Hannah is like, “Oh, because I am just trying to live my life in the ways that I [want]… to be myself in the world is summoning the devil,” in horror movie terms. That is a thing that people feel and that kids feel and teens feel. That’s so horrible. Doing those scenes was the most devastating thing in the world because I was like, “Yeah, I’ve felt like this. You’ve felt like this.” You know what I mean? It’s such a suppressive thing that I think is truly one of the most toxic things that we have in modern American society, and also society as a whole.
TV: There are so many gruesome deaths in these films. Which was the most intense to see or the most memorable after filming all three of them?
Olivia: I think the bread slicer death in ’94. It’s so funny having seen the movie come out because I would say 50% of the things I’ve seen on the internet about the movie are just about that bread slicer. I’m like, I knew this would be iconic. When we were filming it, I was like, “Julia [Rehwald], this is going to be iconic to the horror genre.” As someone who’s seen every horror movie, this one is a top 10 for me. Then I would say the hanging scene is memorable for a different way. I think the 1666 portion of the last movie is one of the most… I sobbed watching that movie. When she dies and when she gets hung, I was crying. I was like, “I filmed this. I was there,” but it just hit me so hard. I think that one’s memorable in a way where it’s like… this was a real thing that happened and it’s super messed up.
TV: Thinking of the legacy of these movies as a horror fan, where do you think this will fit in the canon of great horror?
Olivia: I hope that people remember these. When we filmed them, they weren’t going to be on Netflix. They were just going to go into theaters. Then through the pandemic, Netflix acquired them. All of us when we were filming were like, “Maybe 100 people will this movie, but we hope that they all love it.” That’s where we still hope it resides, in that cult classic genre. I think that they’re so fresh to the genre and they’ve got so much to say and also are so cool.
TV: You recently starred in the Amazon show Panic, and it’s interesting to parallel Shadyside to the Texas town in Panic. In both you have these teens who are stuck in a world they can’t get out of, they have to go to extreme measures to live and succeed. How are you thinking about these two projects in relationship to each other?