Brea Grant on mixing horror and country music in Torn Hearts

How far would you go to make it to the highest? Would you do no matter it takes even when it meant backstabbing your finest good friend? The ugliness of the music business involves life within the new horror movie, Torn Hearts. Finest buddies Leigh (Alexxis Lemire) and Jordan (Abby Quinn) are a rustic music duo searching for their massive break within the business. When the women search out the assistance of music icon Harper Dutch (Katey Sagal) at her secluded mansion, they’re slowly pitted in opposition to one another as they be taught in regards to the cutthroat nature of the enterprise.

Directed by Brea Grant and written by Rachel Koller Croft, Torn Hearts is a tense psychological thriller with a rustic music spin that places a highlight on the horrors ladies are inclined to face within the leisure business. In dialog with NFH, Grant spoke about her love for tales about sophisticated protagonists, the method of casting the three feminine leads, the backstory behind the unique music, and the issue with pitting ladies in opposition to one another within the leisure business.

Leigh and Jordan stand together in a scene from Torn Hearts.

Observe: This interview has been edited for size and readability.

NFH: I learn that you simply love telling tales about sophisticated ladies. What attracts you to these kinds of tales?

Brea Grant: Properly, I believe we’ve seen lots of ladies in style motion pictures for a very long time. However I believe though they’re the heroine, they’re the lead or one thing, they’re not that sophisticated. I hate to invoke the trope of the ultimate woman, however usually she is, you already know, a virgin. She hasn’t achieved something improper. She’s harmless. And I believe there’s something rather more attention-grabbing about ladies who’ve achieved issues and have flaws. I believe we’ve been telling the tales about males with flaws for years and years. We’ve got so many flawed males in our tales, and I believe it’s time we began doing the identical for girls. I simply suppose it’s a lot extra attention-grabbing.

Whenever you learn the script, what stood out to you from the beginning?

Have you ever ever seen a film about horror within the nation music scene? [laughter] I learn so many horror scripts, so many style scripts, and this one had setting that I liked. Simply the truth that it happened on this world was one thing I had by no means seen. There should not that many motion pictures about it, interval. I imply there are some dramas. There are some musicals and stuff. However for probably the most half, there’s not that a lot set within the nation music world. There’s positively by no means been a horror film in that world.

How did you come to solid the three leads? Have been you searching for actresses that would additionally sing?

Yeah, completely. It was scary at first as a result of I really need them to have the ability to sing. I would like to have the ability to do a few of this stay. I don’t wish to should dub everyone. I didn’t know if it was going to be attainable. However then I began getting tapes and I used to be like, “Oh yeah, L.A. and New York and Atlanta and all these cities are full of those multi-hyphenates who can sing. I received some tapes in Nashville, too. It’s a humiliation of riches relating to the quantity of expertise that’s in all of those cities.

Abby and Alexxis each despatched in tapes of them singing. I used to be aware of Alexxis’s work. She’s in a movie referred to as The Half of It, which is completely nice when you’ve by no means seen it. Alexxis has an exquisite voice. She’s not an expert singer. She has no coaching, however she’s simply a tremendous voice. And Abby is a tremendous guitarist and singer and in addition simply has this unimaginable voice. I simply liked the thought of them collectively.

For Katey, she was on my record from the start. I needed somebody who we’ve seen do all types of stuff. We’ve seen her do comedy, and we’ve seen her do drama. However wouldn’t or not it’s actually rad to see her do a horror film? And she will sing. She simply has this gravitas, and I felt like she might do that character and do her justice with out going excessive together with her, however [someone to] draw us all in. I simply wanted somebody who individuals instantly had been like, “Oh, yeah, I wish to watch this girl and see what this girl’s going to do.”

Harper holds a gun in a still from Torn Hearts.

Katey appears to have this magnetic pressure to her the place it’s very laborious to look away when she’s on-screen.

She’s like that in actual life too. She walked on the set and everybody was sort of like quiet and I used to be like, “Oh okay. Everybody’s behaving impulsively as a result of Katey walked in.”

Music is such an enormous a part of this movie. How did you go about selecting the songs? Did you usher in artists to write down authentic songs?

So Rachel, who wrote the script, wrote lyrics to those songs that she thought can be the lyrics for the songs, which was wonderful. Usually, I really feel like we might be ranging from scratch, however we introduced on a music producer named Alan [Ett] and he learn the lyrics and was like, “I believe I could make this work.” Then he and I form of labored collectively to craft what the songs can be like as a result of I needed all of them to really feel very totally different. Those that Torn Hearts had been doing ought to really feel virtually bordering on pop music. They’re like pop-country. They’re attempting to interrupt into the mainstream, whereas those that the Dutchess Sisters did, these needs to be like 90s nation. I even needed them to really feel a bit of bit older than that. Then for Caleb’s songs, one didn’t make it to the film, sadly. These ought to really feel extra like “bro-ey nation” a bit of bit.

So I despatched him [Alan] examples and we talked so much about it. Then he wrote these songs and organized them and despatched them to me and I gave him notes. We had a few week to do it. I imply the turnaround time on this film was tremendous quick. So we did that, after which Abby and Alexxis got here to New Orleans. We put them within the studio for a day so we might get their songs recorded, and the opposite ones had been recorded elsewhere. However yeah, it was a fast turnaround course of, which is tremendous enjoyable. It felt like, “Okay, simply go together with your intestine. We will’t take into consideration this an excessive amount of.” The songs should really feel just like the sort of songs that we’re attempting to emulate right here.

One of many greater themes within the film is the concept outdoors forces try to pit these two ladies in opposition to one another. Early within the film, Caleb tells Jordan how one individual usually makes it in a gaggle. Additionally, Leigh’s supervisor/boyfriend tells Leigh she is perhaps higher off solo. Was it essential to ascertain this concept of pitting ladies up in opposition to one another from the start?

You’re hitting on one of many themes I needed to verify individuals walked away with as a result of I believe Harper even says sooner or later one thing like “When ladies battle one another, all of us lose.” And I really feel that is one thing that the leisure business tends to do. It tends to pit ladies in opposition to one another, not similar to being up for a similar jobs, but in addition like, “Oh, there’s like one girl per set or one feminine lead in a film.” I simply really feel and see it taking place time and again.

I needed to point out that on-screen and the way it’s affecting them as a result of I don’t need us to have lots of judgment in direction of them. I needed us to see that they had been put into the scenario they usually did what their characters would do in that scenario. What these ladies would do in the event that they had been put up in opposition to this as a result of they’d been given all this info. They suppose that is the one option to succeed, and they also do what they should do.

Harper looks on as Jordan plays guitar in a scene from Torn Hearts.

Torn Hearts is billed as a horror movie, however it’s virtually like a tragedy as these characters get constructed up solely to return crashing again down. I used to be questioning when you seen the movie like that, too.

I like that. I are inclined to make motion pictures that aren’t in a single specific style. For higher or for worse, I like my motion pictures to have style parts from lots of stuff. For instance, this one has some motion in it. It positively has some horror parts. It has lots of thriller parts. I took lots of cues from Distress, which I believe is a horror film, however it’s a slow-burn horror film. I additionally prefer to have lots of enjoyable with my motion pictures. I believe it’s laborious for me to actually outline the style. Perhaps sooner or later, individuals can be like, “Oh, it’s a Brea Grant flick.”

What’s the greatest takeaway you desire to the viewers to stroll away with after watching this movie?

Initially, I all the time need individuals to have enjoyable. That’s all the time my aim with motion pictures. I would like individuals to have time, to see one thing they’ve most likely by no means seen earlier than. However then, I really need individuals to sympathize with the characters. I sympathize with them. I actually felt like sure, they did issues that possibly one shouldn’t do. However, I would like individuals to be with them on their journey.

Torn Hearts is offered on digital beginning Could 20. 

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