Shanley Caswell stars in the movie “Detention” opposite The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson and Dane Cook. The film has already taken the festival circuit by storm, with a world premiere at last year’s SXSW Festival and then winning the Youth Jury prize for best FutureWave Feature Film at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Read more about her role in Detention here.
Caswell stars as the cynical social outcast ‘Riley Jones’ in the highly-stylized film which is described as an “apocalyptic fantasy, horror, science fiction, action thriller, body-swapping and time-traveling teen romantic comedy” about the local students of Grizzly Lake who must survive their final year of high school. Standing in their way is a slasher movie killer who has seemingly come to life, quickly becoming a race against time to stop the killer and save the world – if only they can get out of detention.
We got to chat with Miss Caswell about her roles in both Detention and The Warren Files and oh yes, she got to work with hottie Josh Hutcherson every day for awhile. She tells us what kind of guy he is. We’re guessing she’s Team Peeta.
DANITY: You have already portrayed a variety of characters for various genres. What role has been your favorite thus far? And do you have a preference of working on a television set or a movie set?
SHANLEY CASWELL: I definitely love both for different reasons but right now I really enjoy the films I’ve worked on; you really get to explore a character for an extended amount of time and it is a lot of fun and a great learning experience. It’s always weird when you go on as a guest star to a show because you’re like the odd one out. So there are some shows that the actors and crews do a really good job in welcoming the guest stars and other shows that don’t do it as much. But it’s a great learning experience because you get to play a lot of different characters and you get to meet a lot of really, really great actors.
DANITY: You worked with The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson in your latest project called Detention. What was it like working with him?
SC: Josh is awesome! I don’t think he’s aware that he’s a movie star. He is just super cool and very humble. He is the rare breed of child actor who has escaped the norm because he has this need for adventure, and he’s always willing to try something new. I’m so excited for him.
DANITY: The categorization of this film is complicated. How would you describe Detention?
SC: Detention is a fun, multi-genre film about a group of teenagers who have to go back in time to catch a serial killer and save the world. It’s just your normal fun, fast paced, sci-fi, slasher, comedy, romance, time traveling, body swapping movie. I would say it’s more comedy than horror, but I guess that depends on who’s watching it.
DANITY: Who has been your favorite person to work with so far and if you could
pick anyone to work with, who would it be and why?
SC: I’ve always wanted to work with Natalie Portman. I just really admire her career and would love to have the opportunity to work alongside her; I know I’d learn so much. She’s extremely well educated. I feel like I could ask her so many questions. It would be just amazing to play her little sister. Don’t we look exactly alike?
DANITY: Yes, EXACTLY! HA! I heard that the Detention set was very interesting to work on. How did you stay focused? And how did you train for the physical intensity of your role?
SC: Every day on Detention was crazy! It was pretty grueling; it was long hours, not a lot of sleep, hard work. And it was interesting as an actor because Joseph didn’t shoot in a normal style, with the master shot, the double shot, a single shot. It was interesting camera moves and as an actor to keep continuity and to remember was tough.
DANITY: How did you prepare for the role of Riley mentally and what attracted you to Riley’s character?
SC: Well, I think that everyone sees a little bit of themselves in Riley. I really felt I had a lot in common with her actually. I related to her high school experience to a certain extent. I definitely had to toss some of my inhibitions aside; I couldn’t be embarrassed while making Detention…at all.
DANITY: I hear you are also working on another horror movie called The Warren Files. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
SC: The film is based on a true story and chronicles the lives of the Perron family who begin to experience paranormal activity in their house. It gets to a point where it’s just so messed up they can’t do anything about it so they need help. They go to Ed and Lorraine Warren who are actual paranormal investigators. We actually met the real Lorraine Warren while filming. She and her husband are demonologists. That’s what they do. They come to the house, try to help us out and creepy stuff happens. That’s all I can say.
DANITY: Oh my gosh. That stuff creeps me out! AHHH! Sounds interesting to say the least. So, tell me Shanley, what is the best advice that you’ve ever received?
SC: My mom always told me to read a lot, and I never really understood that, but there’s a lot of really good literature out there. My parents always wanted me to keep learning and growing.