After studying for years at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Chloe Rose was welcomed onto the set of Degrassi: The Next Generation for two seasons, and more recently, she starred in the horror film Hellions, which premiered last week at TIFF, and premiered at Sundance to huge praise. Did I mention she isn’t even 21 yet?
The Toronto-born actress has many achievements on her resume, and the accolades have been pouring in for Hellions, the horror film by veteran cult director Bruce McDonald.
“It’s funny, because I used to babysit for Bruce. He was great friends with my mum, so I’ve know him forever,” she said of her director. “But that was way before I even thought about acting or knew that that was something I wanted to do. So getting to work with him so many years later, I didn’t really know or understand the caliber of which Bruce operated, and to see him work was a real pleasure. He’s a wonderful director, he makes people feel comfortable, and there was already a trust that had been built, so it was much easier to work together.”
Producers Frank Siracusa and Paul Lenart, without McDonald’s input, unanimously selected Rose for the role of Dora Vogel. Rose’s passion for the role was evident from the first reading, and that was mirrored in their response to her. Praised as being a future Halloween classic by the Sundance Film Festival, Hellions tells the story of Dora, a self-sufficient young girl who finds out she is pregnant on Halloween. Growing up taking care of her younger brother, while her single mother looked after the two alone, Dora is not your average angst ridden teenager. She seems to be comfortable in her own skin, and when she is faced with the pregnancy, she must decide if she will stay at home and not trick-or-treat, or take this one last chance to be a kid. As she balances the fine line between womanhood and childhood, some unexpected Halloween guests show up who turn her difficult choice into a life or die battle.
“I think the corrupted innocence thing really freaks people out,” Rose said, when asked why McDonald and writer Pascal Trottier decided on children as the villains. “There’s something really creepy about these children. You think that’s the one pure thing in the world, and when those turn against you, everything is wrong.” Rose attests it was difficult at certain points, and said that it takes a lot of imagination to get into her role, especially because the children under the masks were adorable. Again, she thanks Bruce for helping her in this role, as he gave her the direction she needed, going through each scene before they began filming to understand Dora’s emotions and the situation at hand.
“I found that teary eyes really helped,” she said, about what was the hardest part of filming. “If I could get my eyes to be super watery, it blurred my vision enough so I couldn’t see the cameras and everyone. Also, it was really cold, so that was definitely challenging. But I think for me personally, keeping my energy levels up was the hardest thing, with the added running around and screaming, and I had never been on set before from the start to the finish of a movie and I didn’t know how exhausting it is. But when it was all done and we got into the Sundance, that was pretty rewarding because I was so excited for it to be shown in America, and then we were mentioned in the up and coming at TIFF. Then on a more personal note, hearing Bruce talk about the movie and how proud he is of it, I feel like I accomplished my goal of performing for them and that they made the right decision when they hired me. I am so happy I was able to be a part of this film.”
As for what’s up next for Chloe Rose, she will be starring along Catherine Keener called Unless, a family drama based a novel by Canadian author Carol Shields. Keep up with her by following @chloerose4 on Twitter and @rosechloe4 on Instagram. Hellions arrives in theatres everywhere September 25th, so follow the madness @HellionsMovie.