Abbie Cornish on the Appeal of Her First Psychological Thriller ‘Lavender’

     March 4, 2017


In the psychological thriller Lavender, a woman named Jane (Abbie Cornish) suffers severe memory loss after a traumatic car accident, and strange clues quickly start appearing amongst some photographs she’s taken that suggest she may be responsible for the deaths of family members she never knew she had. As she struggles to recover lost memories, she also begins to wonder whether she’d be better off never learning the truth.

During this 1-on-1 interview with Collider, actress Abbie Cornish talked about why Lavender appealed to her, never having done a thriller before, what a surprisingly fun time she had during the shoot, trying to freak herself out during the shoot by watching ghost movies and scary movies, and the great experience she had working with the kids. She also talked about what attracted her to the Jack Ryan TV series for Amazon, what she enjoys about her character, and why John Krasinski is the perfect actor to play the character that’s become famous through the series of books and movies that have come before.


Image via AMBI Media Group and Samuel Goldwyn Films

Collider: How did Lavender come your way?

ABBIE CORNISH: (Director/Co-Writer) Ed [Gass-Donnelly] sent me the script for Lavender, and I’d never done a scary movie before. I’ve never done a thriller, or a psychological horror thriller, or a ghost movie before, so for me, it was like going into a whole new territory. I’d seen Ed’s work before, and I thought his work was interesting and different. I thought he had a grasp on that kind of tension, and a way of telling a story that is supernatural, but in a way that is realistic. It was just a really interesting character, and I wondered what it would be like to be scared out of my brain for three months because I had never done that before.

Is this one of those scripts where you were able to get the tone and the vibe from reading the script, or did you need to talk to the director to understand exactly what he was going for?

CORNISH: I think the script told a story of the fact that this could be a movie that was very ominous and that it would create tension. It’s not an action movie. It’s a thriller. That was in the script. And then, when I spoke to Ed, he described it by saying that she was haunted by these guys in something of a parallel universe, where they’re real, but they’re not real. For me, that was really, really interesting. It’s so different from that genre.

Was this also a script where, while you were reading it, you kept trying to guess where it would go next, or have you read enough scripts that you can see where things are going more than the average audience can?

CORNISH: I feel like I knew what was going to happen, at certain points, but I was reading it from the point of view of the character, which is different from how other people would experience it.

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