EXCLUSIVE KRISTEN VAGANOS – I AM LISA
Actress Kristen Vaganos plays a newbie lycanthrope who seeks revenge on those who left for dead – and in the vicinity of a hungry werewolf – in Patrick Rea’s I Am Lisa.
We spoke to the beautiful and talented actress, writer and producer about her unique new genre film, the effortless shoot and a potential sequel!
Having spent so much time in the genre in recent years, I imagine you must be a fan?
Honestly I don’t watch a ton of horror. I asked our director Patrick Rea and our writer Eric Winkler for a list of homework movies before we shot Lisa because I wanted to be aware of the tone and the style of ours and comparable films. It certainly was a blast to film it though!
Did you pursue “I Am Lisa” or did it come to you?
I Am Lisa came to me. Eric actually found me online sometime in 2018 and sent me the script. At that time, it was an early draft and he’s a first time screenwriter so I gave him a bunch of notes but politely declined the role. Then in 2019 about a month before filming he reaching back out along the lines of “I’ve always pictured you in this role, will you please give it another read”. At that point many of my notes and many others had been taken and the script was in a much better place! I think I spoke to Patrick on the phone about the vision after that, taped a couple scenes and was in Kansas City for life casting (for the special effects) with 3 weeks!
Could you relate to Lisa? How are you similar?
I can definitely relate to Lisa, I think a lot of people can, we’ve all been bullied at one point or another and it was incredibly fun to play out that fantasy of actually being able to get revenge on the bad guys. Lisa is definitely an introvert, she’s witty but keeps it under her breath, she isn’t assertive. She loves the little things like a fun night with her best friend Sam and a good book. But when provoked, she is forced to confront outside forces and discovers more inner strength than even she probably knew of. I think we’re similar in that we would go to the ends of the earth to defend and protect our loved ones but generally Lisa is a bit more soft spoken than I am.
And you’re both quite fit, too! Did you get into tip-top shape for the role or is that just your naturally healthy bod!?
I’d love to say I trained for the role but I’m actually quite bad at diets, so that’s just me.
Anything you found difficult to film?
Honestly this was such a lovely shoot and the entire cast and crew felt like family so my memories of it don’t include difficulty. I also felt safe and comfortable with my costars even though our on screen relationships were pretty contemptuous. I guess living with those werewolf nails on was difficult at times, I sort of had no use of my hands… Also it was so hot when we shot Lisa, it was July in the midwest and some days were over 100 degrees with heat index so that was trying at times but we got through it and everyone was very accommodating.
How has the film been going? Any chance of a sequel?
Eric has already written a sequel! Patrick and I are going to review it and brainstorm soon but that’s definitely a likely possibility! Call us if you want to help fund it ;)…. Kidding.
Where would you like to see the character go in the next film?
I’d love to see Lisa cleaning up the town a bit, using her powers for good. We left the ending open to that by having Lisa come back for the young girl at the end of film. I’d like to believe that Lisa finds a balance between her quiet peaceful life and her new ability and ambition to right wrongs. She wouldn’t be famous or living in the limelight, I don’t think that’s her. Some more advanced fight scenes would be awesome, I love doing my own stunts so as long as I can keep doing that and kicking butt, I’m thrilled!
Do you see yourself having a panel or a booth at Comic Con, or one of these large conventions, one day?
If people ever dressed up as Lisa and were fans enough to come to a booth of ours, let’s just say I’d be honored and would be on cloud 9!
I AM LISA is now screening in Laemmle theaters (Virtual) in L.A
A girl with too many fandoms to count.