In an exclusive interview with Villain Media, actress Trista Robinson talks about her role in the suspenseful supernatural thriller, Echoes of Fear. Find out what happens when you twist the haunted house genre into a creepy and atmospheric mystery.
Alysa (Trista Robinson) inherits her grandfather’s house following his sudden death from an apparent heart attack. She cannot keep the house so travels there to prepare it for sale. While she is packing away her grandfather’s belongings some strange and unexplained events inside the house start to spook her and she soon comes to the conclusion that she is not alone there.
With Echoes of Fear heading into theaters, Trista Robinson reveals what made the setting so visually scary, her chemistry with co-star Hannah Race (Steph), and working beside an animal. Check out our review as we head into the actor’s studio as we discuss the craft of character-building.
Villain Media: How did you become involved in the project?
Trista Robinson: I had done another film with Brian and Laurence “Lo” Avenet-Bradley called Malignant. I had a very small role in that film. Fortunately, when they wrote Echoes of Fear, they had me in mind. They didn’t tell me they had written it for me. So they had me audition and everything!
VM: Alisa is determined to solve the mystery of the house’s past and is so strong-willed against opposing forces. Tell me what interested you about the role.
TR: Thank you very much! I was interested in the role because she has an arc. I look for an arc. I like to have an evolution of a character; some place where you’re coming from and where you’re going. This story in general had a huge arc. Also, she finds her own strength. That also attracted me to the role.
VM: The friendship felt real and grounded between Alisa and Steph, played by Hannah Race. Tell me about finding the chemistry.
TR: It’s a good question! It’s one of those things I don’t know if you can really explain chemistry. They auditioned a lot of girls. What’s funny they even auditioned some of the girls come in based on my recommendations. “Look, this is an actress and she is my real-life best friend!” [Laughs]
For some reason, they thought Hannah and I had the best chemistry on camera. I did not know her previously. She is a lovely person! It’s one of those inexplicable things that I can’t explain. I’m so glad that I got to work with her! I’m so glad it read well!
VM: The house itself feels like another character. Your character, Elisa, really sinks deeper into the house through the crawlspaces. Tell me how this real-life location aided your performance.
TR: It was so interesting! The home is based on real-life paranormal experiences that happened there. Fortunately, I wasn’t scared because we were so focused on work. So I can’t say I had any paranormal experiences.
As far as the crawlspaces, the house itself is so strange. They were almost like built sets. It has these crazy crawlspaces. When you’re shooting down in these spaces, we could barely move the camera without clouds of dust. We all had to wear masks. We could barely move without all these clouds of dust. We couldn’t stand up. We were hunched over long periods of time.
There’s one crawlspace that was really claustrophobic. There were physical limitations to it. Maybe that read to the performance. It was a unique shooting experience under those circumstances.
VM: Alisa has a hamster in the movie. Alisa is so used to having it around, especially when it rolls around in its hamster ball. Tell me about acting in a scene with a real-life animal.
TR: That’s a great question! It’s actually a mouse.
TR: It’s a common misconception. It’s a little mouse. It was so cute! I thought it was so interesting they made it a mouse instead of a kitty or dog. It lends itself to the character and to the story. You can’t train a mouse super well. On those mouse days, Lo was able to train the mouse better than anyone else in the world. We still had to do takes. Unfortunately they don’t live very long . So we had to match with another distinctive mouse. At one point, we needed a stunt mouse! [Laughs]
VM: How can the readers of Villain Media find your movie?
TR: We’re so fortunate that the movie is coming out in theaters. It’ll be in select theaters and select cities. We also partnered with TUGG. So if our movie is not in a theater near you, you can go to that website, tugg.com. And you can request it and get the movie in a theater near you. We are offering screenings all over. If you go to echoesoffear.com, you can see all of the cities where it’s screening. Next month, it’ll be on Blu-Ray, DVD, and VOD.
VM: How did Echoes of Fear change you as an artist?
TR: Oh, you have the best questions! That’s such a good question! Gosh, I think it changed me in a lot of ways! It taught me that a group of really talented, passionate people can make something that we’re really proud of. This was not a Hollywood movie. It’s an independent film. We’re surprised at the response we’ve gotten. We screened in 14 film festivals all over the world! We’ve won awards! We never anticipated any of this. We just had a passion for storytelling, towards collaborating together. The filmmakers are my dear friends. We’re working on another movie. It’s been the most beautiful thing! It’s taught me so much confidence!
VM: What are you working on now?
TR: Right now, I’m shooting a western. It’s kind of crazy because I predominantly do horror. I’m about to have some horse days. I’m going to get some horseback lessons. That’s exciting!
Next month, I’ll be returning to horror. I’m doing Killer Babes and the Frightening Film Fiasco. Every time I say this title, it makes me smile! That is a Brett Mullen’s film. It has a slew of horror icons that I’m a big fan of. I’m excited to be on board with that project!
And I’m looking forward to working with Brian and Lo! After Echoes of Fear, we’ve got another film in the works. That’s what I’m up to!
[Writer’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Links are highlighted in bold.]
Echoes of Fear kicks off its theatrical run on October 16th, 2019.