'Paranormal Activity 4' actors step into the light
Posted October 22, 2012
Pity the stars of Paranormal Activity 4.
Not their onscreen characters who tangle with angry, deadly demons. But the actors in the horror mega-franchise which made $30 million this opening weekend.
They are not allowed to confirm, allude to or speak of their roles in advance of the films to keep the illusion that this could actually be real life. The filmmakers demand secrecy like no other Hollywood project.
"It's been weird since I couldn't even tell my parents about it, really," says Matt Shively, who plays the goofball boyfriend-next-door in the film. "But at the same time, it's cool to be part of something so top secret."
Kathryn Newton, 15, one of the stars of the film, says she didn't even trust her family with the information at first.
"My dad didn't know I was working on Paranormal Activity until two months before the end of the project," she says. "I told him I was working on a movie called Double Decker, about a bus."
"Double Decker'' was the code name for the film directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, which was secretly shot in a nondescript house in Woodland Hills, Calif. Now that the movie is out, the stars can speak about their film experience.
Newton moved to Los Angeles from Coral Gables, Fla., to star as the cute kid on the CBS sitcom Gary Unmarried. She was also the "popular girl" in 2011's Bad Teacher, where she met co-star Justin Timberlake and declared she could beat him at golf.
"I don't think he believed me," says Newton. He should have. Newton is such an outstanding junior golfer, she says she was aiming to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open if it wasn't for the detour of landing the Paranormal role. She was able to use her skills in one scene where she escapes a supernatural scrape using a well-wielded iron.
"A golf club has never saved me from a demon before," she says.
Newton's co-stars also are free now to reflect upon their Paranormal participation:
* Shively, 22, who starred in the Nickelodeon series True Jackson, VP for four years before landing his Paranormal role, admits it was hard not to mention the part to his former high school classmates.
"It's awesome to do a movie you know every one of them is going to see," he says. "These guys are going to the theater, seeing me on the screen and going, 'Wait a minute, I went to high school with that guy.'"
* Aiden Lovekamp, 7, has experience playing children in distress, as he does in PA4. After all, he says, he played "a cute kid who gets stolen by a bad man" in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. On a more lighthearted note, he also played the kid who gets his chicken eaten by his dad in a KFC commercial.
Now he has a movie to his credit and he can break the news to his friends in Orange County, Calif.
"I just told them I was going out of town for a few months," he says. "I have a lot of friends, but only two best friends. I'm probably going to tell them."
* Brady Allen, 9, knows he plays "a very creepy" kid who lives next door in PA4. He perfected the freaky look, which has audiences cringing, by just clearing his mind.
"I tried to think of a blank face," he says. "A blank face is weird."
Allen says he can do strange and cute and even vulnerable. He played a crying kid who loses his Halloween candy in the ABC sitcom The Middle last year. Even as PA4's young baddie, he admits the movie creeped him right back. "I was so scared,'' he says, "I had to sleep with my mom.''
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