Recently veteran actress Dale Dickey dropped in to the ol’ Crypt o’ XIII to give us the lowdown on the upcomin’ thriller REGRESSION!
Famous Monsters. Welcome, Dale! Please, sit for a spell and tell us a little bit about the new film you are in, REGRESSION, and the role you play.
DALE DICKEY. At its core, REGRESSION is a suspense thriller set in rural Minnesota dealing with a young girl’s cry of rape by her Father, leading a detective (Ethan Hawke), along with a psychoanalyst and a priest, to uncover the possibility of a satanic cult. Stemming from the mass ‘cult’ hysteria in the 1980s, it questions the use of regression therapy in helping to unravel the mystery. I play Rose Gray, mother of the accused, and grandmother of the victim Angela (Emma Watson). Dealing with poverty and alcoholism and an already vulnerable mental state, she is faced with the distress of her family being pulled apart, and fingers pointing at her family’s involvement. As accusations fly, all involved are left trying to discern what is real or imagined, true or manipulated.
FM. How was it stepping into such a terrifying world as presented in the film?
DD. I was easily scared as a child, and often in adult life, by a good mystery or an ominous ghost story. Sitting in a theater and watching other people walk through the scary unknown landscape, knowing I am going home safe afterwards, allows me to lose myself in the fear of the unknown while making my mind spin with anticipation and curiosity and yes, fear. I have played a lot of tough, rough, and aggressive characters. Rose is quite the opposite, very vulnerable and unsure of herself. I’m grateful I had the chance to explore a different type of character. I would enjoy being the detective on the other side sometime as well.
FM. What challenges did you face in REGRESSION, and how was it working with the cast?
DD. Perhaps the biggest challenge was keeping folks from finding out where we were filming. Hoards of girls were on the hunt to find Emma [Watson]. Also, I suppose having to react to a blank space throughout one very long sequence, not knowing exactly what the special effects were going to be, was difficult. Alejandro [Amenabar – Director] guided me through it. Fear of the devil or the unknown monster chasing you is terrifying enough. Plus, the property we filmed on was extra spooky.[The cast were] just wonderful. We had a few days of rehearsal — a luxury — discussing and exploring the script. All such smart, inspiring and generous actors. Ethan especially set the tone on set. He’s a lovely human being and we were able to have fun camaraderie and laughs when outside the gloom of the story off camera. Can’t say enough about David Dencik and Devon Bostick, who just blew me away as my son and grandson. Oh, and Lothaire Bluteau!!
FM. You are no stranger to horror biz. Are you a fan of the genre, and if so, what are some of your favs?
DD. I prefer the psychological thrillers — a whodunit — as opposed to slasher/gore films. Since I babysat quite often growing up, the original HALLOWEEN and A STRANGER CALLS (with Carol Kane) terrified me. I can never forget THE EXORCIST, THE OMEN, and ROSEMARY’S BABY — hearing their music alone scares me. Alejandro’s film THE OTHERS is a big favorite as well as SIGNS and of course, ALIEN and THE SHINING. THE RING and THE GRUDGE still give me nightmares.
FM. What roles do you have coming up, and where can we follow you online?
DD. For many reasons, I am not a big social media person, so no real place to follow me. However, some sweet supporters of my work set up a fan page several years ago in my name that can keep folks up to date. I have small supporting roles in the following films slated for release this year: BLOOD FATHER (with Mel Gibson), HELL OR HIGH WATER (with Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine), MESSAGE FROM THE KING (with Chadwick Bozeman), and DARK AROUND THE STARS (with Luke Grimes). Also available now (or soon) on DVD or VOD are some terrific small budget indies such as WHAT LOLA WANTS (with Sophie Lowe and Beau Knapp), POOR BOY (with Michael Shannon, Lou Taylor Pucci, Justin Chatwin), WAFFLE STREET (with James Lafferty and Danny Glover), LAWLESS RANGE (with Beau Bridges and Kris Kristofferson), and BLUES FOR WILLADEAN (with Octavia Spencer and Beth Grant).
FM. Thanks for stoppin’ by, Dale; it was a devious delight!