Believe it or not, magic can come in different lights and shades… With so many forms of this craft, they yield different results; just like each of us. The latest film from RITES OF SPRING director Padraig Reynolds addresses the power of dark magic, the demons inside and the love of a family. Co-written by Danny Kolker as well as co-written and starring Christopher Wiehl, THE DEVIL’S DOLLS (formerly WORRY DOLLS) tells the macabre story of a broken family, duty, the hunt for a serial killer and a set of evil dolls. Cultivated before the gothic horror backdrop of Mississippi, the film is garnering praise and connecting to viewers in the most unsettling of ways.
One of its stars found her roots on the top television show AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and created a powerful presence in L Gustavo Cooper’s JUNE. Rising talent Kennedy Brice takes the reigns of young character Chloe whose fear and innocence are tested in THE DEVIL’S DOLLS being released today through IFC Films. We had a chance to speak with Kennedy inside “The Night Market” here on TOM HOLLAND’S TERROR TIME between school, auditions, family and caring for those who mean the most to her.
TERROR TIME (Jay Kay): Kennedy, how does it feel to have your face on two feature film posters with JUNE and THE DEVIL’S DOLLS? How do you feel about the latter finally seeing a release? What is that wait like from production to release?
Kennedy Brice: It is so cool. It’s really an honor. There are so many other cast members from both films with way bigger names than mine and I was blown away that they chose me to be on the poster of both. We have the JUNE poster hanging in my living room and we are framing the THE DEVIL’S DOLLS/WORRY DOLLS one now.
It always feels like forever from production to release. I was 9 when we shot JUNE and it didn’t come out until I was 11. My mom re-watched it the other day, because she does that from time to time, and I walked in and was kinda blown away at how little I look in that film. I look so much older now, even though I am only 12. I was 10 when we filmed THE DEVIL’S DOLLS, so I bet I will feel the same way when I get to see the finished film. Two years really makes a big difference. I am so happy it will finally be out. I am excited.
TT: The role of Chloe is another journey of an innocent young girl who goes through hell and back dealing with a supernatural or magical evil. What draws you to these kind of roles that have depth and complexity?
KB: I guess because it is different from the real me. I would never act like that in real life but it is fun to play something opposite from who you are every day. I guess I kinda relate to those type of kids. I’m not supernatural or magical evil of course, but I have put up with bullies like June and have felt afraid before like Chloe. I have to deal with stuff like that like everyone else does. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to throw plates or pitch a tantrum and that’s not how to deal with problems in the real world, but sometimes I would like to and I think that everyone at one time or another has felt the same way.
TT: What is it about horror films that really harnesses as well as gives you freedom to create as an actress?
KB: I have always loved horror films. I like the feeling that it gives you. I mean, it makes you really feel something. They are the types of films that stick with you long after you see them. Since I was really little, I have been shown that it is not real, that the real horror is bad people who live in the real world with us. I think it is fun to wear the makeup and I love the special effects. Thankfully, all the directors I have ever worked with have encouraged me so much and they helped me to learn how to be more creative and I am still learning.
TT: I know how amazing a young woman you are with family, charity and animals. If you could, talk about what it took overall for you to work with the dog in THE DEVIL’S DOLLS and the scene where you were possessed by the worry doll and confronting the dog?
KB: His name is Titus and he is truly my best friend. I didn’t really have to do anything. He did all the work and I just followed his cues. I go and visit his trainers at TOP DOG TALENT AGENCY all the time now and play and sleep and work with Titus. They even got me my first stunt credit on DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM working with another dog, Ikon. I love working with animals. They are so smart and so loving. Titus was fantastic to work with in THE DEVIL’S DOLLS. We played together between every take. I had to cry in one scene and back then I sometimes needed a little help to get the tears flowing so I asked my mom to pull up a picture of an abused animal to show me. That got the tears flowing. They are my heart. I will never understand how someone can do that. I hope to one day really be able to make a difference for all animals.
TT: I know working with L Gustavo Cooper on JUNE was a great experience and he just rocks as a person and filmmaker! How was it working, not only with director Padraig Reynolds, but also your mother on screen, Samantha Smith as well as writer and your dad on screen, Christopher Wiehl on THE DEVIL’S DOLLS? How was the cast and crew also?
KB: I love Gus and my JUNE family. Something funny I noticed about June that I didn’t catch before is that June’s mean foster mom, played by the amazing Cindy Hogan, has a heart tattoo they put on her for the movie and that Gus’ name is in the heart. That made me giggle. I would still wear a Gus heart tattoo too.
THE DEVIL’S DOLLS cast and crew became family to me too. Padraig would be all serious and busy directing and every time he would start talking to me he would just change into this really sweet dad type. He has a daughter just a little younger than me and I could tell that he was just as protective of me as he would have been with her on set. He made my job really easy. He even let my MONSTER HIGH DOLLS hang out at video village when I was filming. Sam and Chris were the same way. I really didn’t have to act. They both won me over the first time I met them and it was easy to love them on screen as parents and off screen for the great people they are. I think Chris probably has a permanent back injury for how many times he had to carry me around, but he didn’t drop me once. Thanks, Chris!
TT: What was the challenge of THE DEVIL’S DOLLS as an actress? Could you have performed a role like Chloe even a couple of years ago?
KB: I am not really sure how to answer this. The cast and crew made my job so easy that I would like to think I could have but I don’t know. The challenging parts were saying goodbye to everyone when we wrapped. I cried. I cry on every set I leave because you really get attached to the people you are working with and because we live so far away I don’t get to see them much.
TT: What’s next for you? Where can we find of out more?
KB: I just wrapped filming a music video for Rachele Royale’s new song “Circus Life.” That was so much fun to shoot. We were in New Mexico and I got to work with TJ Scott. He has directed pretty much everything I love to watch and I play a young Rachele in the video which was so unbelievably flattering to me because I love her. I got to meet Rob Prior too. He has inspired me to really start working on my art. He even worked with me on my Sharpie art. Also, I will be playing Gloria Sanders again in Dolly Parton’s COAT OF MANY COLORS sequel, CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS, that will be coming out on NBC during the holidays. Also, I can’t wait for THE DEVIL’S DOLLS to be released.
Jay Kay and Tom Holland’s Terror Time are so honored to have spent some time with this amazing rising star! Thank you Kennedy and we look forward to all you have in store for us!
Keep up to date with THE DEVIL’S DOLLS on Twitter @thedevilsdolls
and Facebook: www.facebook.com/thedevilsdolls/
(Images Found on Facebook and Google)
Interview Conducted by Jay Kay @JayKayHorror