As October begins, and the witching hour is upon us, scary stories are at a plenty … but how are any of them true?
Well look no further my fact seekers, as Lore, which premieres on Amazon Prime on Friday October 13, is here to scare you good with history and facts on its side.
The six-part series, which started out and continues as a mega popular podcast created by Aaron Mahnke, is anthology horror at its finest. It chills you to the bone while showing that sometimes fact is scarier than fiction.
Like any good anthology, Lore will feature a plethora of talented actors, with a new, distinct cast headlining each episode. One of the actors who is part of of the Lore cast is Holland Roden, who is most famous for her role as Lydia Martin on MTV’s Teen Wolf. For Roden, portraying a strong woman isn’t unfamiliar, but let’s face it being a strong woman in the old days was tough, like the ones her Lore character Bridget Cleary lived through was not. Especially when one is being accused of being a fairy…well that’s a whole other story.
And Lore is here to tell it.
We sat down with her and producer Bret-Patrick Jenkins as they told us about her episode, entitled “Black Stockings,” while discussing the uniqueness of Lore and how Miss Taylor got into her role and how she portrayed the harder scenes of abuse we witness in this tragic episode.
Holland, tell us how you feel about Lore going into the premiere on Friday October 13.
HR: I haven’t seen any of the series outside of my ADR portion. (laughs). I’m excited like the rest of you guys, and I’m watching it as a viewer for the first time on Friday, October 13.
We saw your episode, it was a really powerful episode.
BP: I’m excited for the world to see what Aaron Mahnke started over two years ago. I originally reached out to him over Twitter when the first or second episode of the podcast came out. I was a fan of it, and I wanted to get to know him. At the time he had a couple thousand downloads now he’s over 100 million. I think it speaks to where we are in terms of podcasting being the Wild West of storytelling. I think that success and fan base he’s built and galvanized is inspiring.
As I got to know Aaron and the podcast, and was able to bring it to Gale (Ann Hurd) and Ben Silverman on it. It has remained such a fun a journey. But, it’s been a hard journey. We’ve tried to innovate and do something different. I grew up loving documentaries. I love The Jinx, but I also love The Walking Dead, the Saw franchise, The Purge. I think if you said this series was somewhere in between The Jinx, and The Walking Dead someone would ask you what that even means — nut, that’s where we are, and as a storyteller, and a producer that’s an inspiring place to be.
When they come to you (Holland) and said “Hey, we’re making a show based off a podcast.” How did you feel initially? Were you familiar with the show?
HR: Honey, I came from scripted MTV, and that wasn’t a thing either. (laughs) I was one of the first to do that. I remember when I first auditioned for that, and was asked ‘What do you mean you’re doing MTV scripted?’ I think people are wiser these days. I think if they hear something new they aren’t automatically judgmental. They’re actually curious, and excited. Thank God we’re moving in that direction in art now.
When I got wind of this I was excited because I am a podcast lover, and Lore was no exception. I was excited, and I wanted to be a piece of it. I’m in a place where I’m a working actor with a little bit of a name, but I still have to audition. I have to prove myself. I was so overjoyed when I got this part. Also, I don’t know if this is often talked about, but as an American it’s not often we get to play other nationalities. I was really grateful to these guys to give me a chance, and I was ecstatic to be a part of this.
Did a lot of training go into the Irish accent?
HR: Kelly MacDonald was my YouTube queen. (laughs). I would stay in the accent on set at first because I was going to break. I’m decent with a British accent, but I had never tried Irish. I had no idea if I could do Irish, but I kept watching Kelly MacDonald, and I worked with an amazing dialect coach, Paul, and of course my onscreen coach, Cathal Pendred, who played my husband in the episode. He’s an awesome actor. He’s new to the business, but I’m his biggest fan.
Did you feel the fear of the character?
HR: Oh God, yes! I mean just the domestic violence alone in this episode is some of the worst I’ve ever seen onscreen. The vibe on set ws incredibly professional, but it was shot quickly so the cast had to feel comfortable with each other instantaneously. It was very easy to do with Cathal. The vibe on set for me personally was sad, because this did happen to this woman. I still think about her. Now it’s a form of entertainment, and it can be entertaining, but the Lore story here is real. All this stuff happened, so psychologically being Bridget was tough.
Was the idea for the documentary and show blend always an idea for Lore?
BP: We did. I remember Ben Silverman had a lot of thoughts on it. Initially we weren’t sure if it was going to do it straight scripted, but then Ben said, ‘No you gotta figure out a way to make it feel like the podcast. Without it, it’s not as “Aaron”.’ Lore is so him [Aaron], it embodies him. There were challenges in the beginning. We knew where we wanted to go, we just weren’t sure how we were going to get there. It took a lot of feedback from Gail, and Glen Morgan.
I think we were all pushed to the limit, but it was like … imagine Keith Richards and Mick Jagger getting in a room to write a hit song … that’s what we were trying to do. There were times when we couldn’t find the chorus, there were times couldn’t find the verse, and sometimes we had to rewrite the bridge. In the end we put together a good collection of stories.
Was there one episode or moment that was a turning point?
BP: It helped looking back at the podcast. Aaron will have facets of stories throughout the podcast, so that helped set the table or create the possibility of what the show should could be. But, unlike when you watch Game of Thrones we had to make sure these myths were kinda real. And how are you going to find out if something was real in 1720? It’s freaking hard! Google only goes back so far. I couldn’t look in a Facebook feed for answers.
So we worked with two of my favorite documentarians John Halpern, and Mark Ranucci. They helped us bring the documentary aspect to life and it was a marriage that took a while to find its legs, but it did. So there wasn’t one moment for me. Creativity comes in many forms, this was a process. It was like a sculpture — we started with a big square block, and eventually found the portrait within.
Catch Holland Roden star in Black Stockings, part of Amazon Prime’s Lore, produced by Bret-Patrick Jenkins, this Friday.