(Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment)
Villain Media has an exclusive interview with actress Augie Duke about her role as Serena in the terrifying witchcraft-centric Blood Craft. Duke opens up about playing the revenge-driven sister seeking out vengeance against her already dead father.
Two sisters who suffered abuse as children at the hands of their sadistic father decide, after his death, to use witchcraft to bring his spirit back to get revenge.
With Blood Craft available on digital and VOD, Augie Duke discusses how her role in the project came about, collaborating on the scenes with co-star Madeleine Wade, and her upcoming project. Check out our review and interview with director James Cullen Bressack as we now step into the actor’s studio and chat about the craft.
VM: Tell me how you became involved in the project.
Augie Duke: It was very last minute actually. They were still looking for someone to play Madeleine Wade’s sister. They were looking for a blonde actress to play her. They couldn’t find the right person. And I knew James Cullen Bressack through a mutual friend. He eventually said, “What about Augie?”
James actually contacted me on Facebook. He was like, “Hey Augie, random question, I’m doing a film in a week. Would you be interested in doing it?” I was like, “Well let me read the script.”
I read the script. I’m like “Absolutely!” Witchcraft! Revenge! Getting back at an abusive father! So yeah, that’s how that happened! [Laughs]
VM: I thought you were amazing in the role of Serena. You play her as such a tortured soul. What interested you about Serena.
AD: I think Serena was such a good girl. She tried so hard. Unfortunately, she had such an abusive upbringing from her father. She had all these hopes and dreams she wanted to do in her life. She couldn’t really do them. She had an older sister who helped her through that. I felt the bonding between the two sisters was really important to me. I felt she was such a strong character. I fell in love with both characters! Serena has such UMPH to her, you know!
VM: Tell me about the look of Serena.
AD: She was really inspired; it’s so funny! As a young girl, I’ve always gotten that I looked like Fairuza Balk from The Craft! Like that we were doppelgängers. We really tried to incorporate that look and vibe from The Craft into Serena. It was really cool! Serena was such a well-rounded character that I had to play!
VM: I really loved your chemistry with Madeleine Wade, who plays Grace. Tell me about working with Wade, who’s also the screenwriter.
AD: It’s such a delicate thing. When you’re working with the screenwriter, who’s also the lead in it. It’s a delicate subject because some of that truth comes from her life. It was really really tough. I was pleasantly surprised at how loving and open she was through the situation. I got lucky! She’s a lovely human being! And an amazing actress who was so open to collaborating with me!
VM: As a viewer, the séance scenes look creepy because of the photography and the performances sell it. What’s it like being on set filming them?
AD: Witchcraft never gets old! I feel like people always want to watch. I just love the idea of witches! It’s becoming the new trend! You have the zombies! You got the ghosts! It all kind of intertwines! The witchcraft stuff was fun to do! I think they got the witchcraft from actual witchcraft! We had an actual book. We wrote actual séance things. So I actually read it from the book! [Laughs]
VM: I don’t want to say too much about that twist, which I loved! As an actress, are you working backwards on your acting choices to make sure the performance connects?
AD: When there is a twist in it, the whole time I know what the twist is. But I want to come across to the audience that they will never know what hit them. By the end of the film, maybe some people will figure it out, but you won’t know what hit you personally. I wouldn’t have known watching the film. I think it will be a nice surprise at the end. You have to read through the lines I guess in order to get it or not.
VM: How did Blood Craft change you as an artist?
AD: Oh my goodness! Every film changes me! I’ve learned from every film and TV show I’ve ever been on. It’s a new experience with new humans. I’m always honored to be there. I’m always growing as an artist constantly. If you get an opportunity to do it, you’re always doing it. It’s like school! You’re in class, you learn from that! You go to the next class, you learn from that! I’m always growing from the experiences for sure.
VM: What are you working on now?
AD: There’s a secret project I’m so excited about! I can’t talk about it! I’ve got some really cool things coming up! I did a film which is now on Amazon, iTunes called Chasing Bullitt. It’s about the actor Steve McQueen. I play his first wife, Neile Adams. I did a film called Burning Kentucky, which we are doing our festival run, which I’m also really proud of it! I also have a Netflix show coming out very soon called Messiah, which I have a recurring role.
It’s a weird thing! You’re waiting! You’re like I did all these awesome things I’m super proud of but I can’t show you because they’re not out yet! It’s really cool because everything kinda exploded and everything came out at the exact same time! [Laughs]
[Writer’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity. Links are highlighted in bold.]
Blood Craft is now available on digital and VOD.