Amy Seimetz interview for She Dies Tomorrow

Hello everyone this week I got to do press day interviews with the cast and director of the fantastic psychological horror movie She Dies Tomorrow featuring a stellar Jane Adams. Hope you enjoy my interview with the director Amy Seimetz who also starred in the Pet Cemetary remake.



AJ Friar:
Thank you for joining me today. So, how did this movie all come about?

Amy Seimetz:
Well, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety, and I wanted to write something about it. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I wanted to do but it was twofold. So, I wanted to make something about what I was feeling or experiencing and things that I couldn’t necessarily put into words. And then, I was developing, I write for TV, so I was developing these shows. It takes a very long time to develop these in [inaudible 00:00:36] the independent film world, and really enjoying the immediacy of something I really wanted to make something like right now and have it be a part of whatever I was experiencing at the moment. So, I called Jay Keitel, my cinematographer and Kate Lyn Sheil, the lead actress, and I was like, “We’ve got to make something and here’s my idea.”

Amy Seimetz:
Went through a phase where I was like, I’m sure I can get money for something. I’m sure I can get some amount of money for something but then very few people realized that I just wanted it to be mine, and that I basically treated my Pet Sematary as like, “Here, this is funding this movie now.”



AJ Friar:
Right. And I deal with a lot of anxiety and bipolar and stuff like that too, and I think that’s how this movie hit me the most is because it’s so relatable for somebody like Jane Adams’ character, thinking she’s going to die any second, like any day tomorrow. And that’s just so connectable and her performance in this is just so incredible, and it’s just so gut wrenching. I’ve just never seen Jane Adams in a role like that. How was it getting that performance out of Jane Adams in this movie?

Amy Seimetz:
Well, she’s so incredibly intuitive and hilarious, and also such a weirdo herself.

AJ Friar:
Right.



Amy Seimetz:
So, she, if you’re ever around her and you have a conversation, what’s magnificent about her brain is sometimes you think she’s going off in tangents, right? But what’s she’s doing is surveilling the atmosphere and she can’t … her personality, she’s magnificent and brilliant but she, her personality’s taking in every single detail all the time. So, what would come across as maybe ADD is like actually her being very, very, very, very aware of what’s going on all around her 100%. And I just think it’s a magnificent part of her brain that I love watching, but also just thinking about where in her, because she’s my dear friend, and she’s not, by the way, she’s not bipolar, but she has this incredible sensitivity to everything that I knew she could perform this part because having family members and loved ones that do have this disorder, it’s incredibly hard for them to ignore certain aspects of [inaudible 00:03:36]-

AJ Friar:
Right.



Amy Seimetz:
And then when everyone else around them is ignoring the reality, it starts to make them question what reality is. So, it’s just like in the basis of that, of the not being believed and all these things and whether that’s personality disorders or not. It’s like anyone’s experience, if you take it to the next level, it’s sort of that. It’s the subjectivity of what it feels like to not be believed. And then, in addition to that, it’s like you can’t … there’s only so many words to express how you feel and if you’re being honest with people about how you feel all the time, they would think you’re being crazy.

Amy Seimetz:
So, there’s this very, I don’t necessarily subscribe to everything that Freud says, but Freud did talk about personality disorders. Is that like this inability to deny death and that becomes insanity? And society is built on denial of death or else we wouldn’t have society. So, there’s this very interesting interplay of like we wouldn’t have buildings, we wouldn’t have … You wouldn’t be sitting in a car if there wasn’t some, what we call healthy level of denial of death.

AJ Friar:
Right. And, you had such a cast that it’s really know for it’s comedic timing. Like Katie Aselton and again, Jane Adams, and lead actress Kate, and even Katie Aselton in this movie, it seems that she crosses it in every scene that she has. How was it like working with just this incredible veteran cast?



Amy Seimetz:
Well, all of them, and Chris Messina included in that, but everyone is like the best. I can’t work with people that don’t have a sense of humor, we’ll put it that way. Everyone, whether they’re displaying on screen or not have this, just in a personal one-on-one relationship as human beings that I dealt with have this incredible sense of humor, incredible ability to go deep and feel the pathos of death and trauma and all of these other things, but also have an incredible sense of humor about it. But yeah, I have such a … I have the luxury of knowing such brilliant and funny people that directing them is so easy because they get it. They just get it immediately. But Katie just jumped … Katie I’ve known for years, and she can just jump in and go like, “I get it.” Like she just knew it immediately. “I know what I’m doing. I’ve got a family member like this.” And I’m like, “I’ve got …”

Amy Seimetz:
And that’s the beauty about working on sets with people you love and why I cast the people I do is because you have these open conversations, and I’ll be very secretive about what those are, but it’s like, I’ll be like, “You know the person in your family or you know when this happens and da-da-da” and they’re like, “Yep.” And there’s this openness about it and you can laugh about it, and there is something cathartic about that. It’s like, “You’re in this role, you’re in this role” and it’s like, even for Chris Messina, who I think is brilliant comedically but also brilliant dramatically, and it’s like, “I’m here in the role of trying to keep the peace.” Where it’s so anxious but also there’s a lot of comedy that he brings out of it.



AJ Friar:
And one final question really quick, since this is for InfamousHorrors.com, did you have any favorite horror movies growing up?

Amy Seimetz:
Oh my goodness. So, when my parents got divorced I was like two. My dad was quite the bachelor and my sister and I got to do whatever we wanted when we were over there to much of my mother’s horror. So, we’d get to the video store and we’d go straight to the horror section because he’s like, “Whatever you want.” And we’re like, [inaudible 00:08:05]-



Amy Seimetz:
And I was so little that I didn’t even know what I wanted. I just followed my sister who was like seven at the time, and she was like, “We want horror.” And she was like grabbing the shelves. So, we’d just sit all weekend and watch horror movies at my father’s house, at the weekend’s we were at my father’s. I didn’t even know what was happening. I just knew it was scary and that we were like … And also my dad would let us get like Cheez-Whiz and Triscuits and pizza and whatever the hell we wanted. And we would just have this very gluttonous weekend, and I’d go back to my mother’s and she’d be like, “What the fuck did you do? Why did you, Michael?” And my dad is a great dad, so he was just like, “Whatever you want” like I’m trying to figure out divorce.

Amy Seimetz:
So, I watched a lot of horror films growing up that are all part of my psyche and sometimes I can’t even remember which movie’s which, but I do remember The Gate. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this, which is, because I was a latchkey kid, The Gate was like with these kids left alone and they-

AJ Friar:
Oh yeah, yeah, the Joe Dante film.

Amy Seimetz:
Yeah, and so like that one really scared the shit out of me, even though now I watch it and it might be Gumby demons because it’s Claymation. But also, I think, The Shining is one because it’s very, very, talks about very real life things-



AJ Friar:
And you can watch that every time and pick something new up every time you watch it.

Amy Seimetz:
Every single time, yeah. And, I love that movie so much. But the dialogue, it’s like wildly high level. Obviously, it’s Kubrick. I don’t need to say that.

AJ Friar:
[crosstalk 00:09:54]. It’s like, “Hot Take, Stanley Kubrick is a genius.”



Amy Seimetz:
No, it’s like, “Has anyone ever watched Stanley Kubrick films?” I mean, I feel like I have to do that with like some of my other influences, like Barbara Loden with Wanda and Chantal Akerman and Agnes Varda and Claire Denis, even though some of those names everyone knows. But I do not need to do it with Kubrick. And then, what was the other? Since I’ve been thinking about this since my film’s been playing in the drive-in, one of the first films I saw at a drive-in was actually Nightmare on Elm Street. I think I saw several Nightmare on Elm Streets there.

AJ Friar:
So sad that John Saxon just passed away too.

Amy Seimetz:
I know, I know. I saw, yeah. So, I saw … So, there’s so many. I mean, I feel as a child of the 80s, I feel like to say one horror film, and of course and I always say this it’s Friday the 13th Part II is one of my favorite films on a filmmaking level. But to say if I could point to any one film, it’s just like my entire 80s [inaudible 00:11:10] horror films. So, it’s hard to sort of choose one because it just felt like that was your reality. We wouldn’t, I shouldn’t bring … well, whatever. But, Thriller, the music video was also such an experience when you were a kid. It was just so pervasive, like horror movies in the 80s. Sort of like a rush in some ways and then other ones sort of stick out and I revisit.



AJ Friar:
Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Amy. It’s been really fun talking to you.

Amy Seimetz:
Yep, thank you so much.

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