In Blumhouse’s new horror film, Ma, Juliette Lewis and Diana silvers play mother and daughter Erica and Maggie. Screen Rant recently sat down with them to discuss what it’s been like for Juliette to playing one of the “teens” in teen movies to playing one of their mothers and how her and Diana worked off-screen to build that mother/daughter chemistry.
First of all, what a – I was gonna say fun ride, but this was a wild ride Ma takes us on. First of all, how did you come across this project and what did you think when you first read the script?
Diana Silvers: I thought it was so much fun. You know it’s going to be good when you’re reading a script and you’re like, “I just want to know what happens next.” But you’re also like, “Oh, God, what’s going to happen next?”
Juliette Lewis: And you can’t predict what’s going to happen next.
Diana Silvers: No, so many twists! I remember when I went into the audition, that’s what I said. I was like, “I really did not expect this to be… I did not expect this!”
Juliette Lewis: And it’s so nuanced. All the characters feel really real, and there are themes we sort of went through in childhood, in your teen years, yeah.
You were the face of a rebellious youth in the 90s. Now how is it playing the mother, the authority figure in this film?
Juliette Lewis: All I ever want to do is play things that are super believable, and people that I’ve met aspects of. So this mom felt like my friends and the relationships that they navigate with their teen kids and being disciplined but really friends who lean on each other. And I felt she made my job really easy, but I like [that] the writing felt really real.
It really did, and you guys have such a great chemistry onscreen. It was like an actually mother-daughter relationship that I was actually seeing play out. So talk to me about how you guys bonded offscreen to create that chemistry.
Juliette Lewis: It was instant!
Diane Silvers: It was easy.
Juliette Lewis: We’re laughing because I was just like, “Hi! You’ll be my daughter. I’ll be your mom.”
Diana Silvers: We hugged each other, and were like, “Okay! It’s already done.”
Juliette Lewis: We were working in a small town, so we went on a couple of outings…
Diana Silvers: To Walmart. Really, that’s not a joke. We went to Walmart, we went to local hot yoga, which was kind of like sweat dribbles down the back.
Juliette Lewis: Yeah, it wasn’t our normal hot yoga. It was really fun.
A lot of horror movies are cautionary tales for people to get a general message. What do you think the message for Ma is for an audience to take away?
Juliette Lewis: I think, just for younger people, know [and] be aware of what you’re doing. Living in this whole party… There’s a touch on party culture and what are you doing it for, social media and bullying --
Diana Silver: Yeah, are you at the party to show you were at the party on social media? Or are you at the party to be like, “Look, I was here, and you weren’t?” You know what I mean? Just be aware and be mindful. At the end of the day, people will remember how you made them feel. So you just gotta be mindful and always be kind.
And [there’s] a huge aspect of bullying in this movie that also is a big part of it as well. Now Blumhouse is changing the game when it comes to horror films. Talk to me about your experience working with Blumhouse, because it’s such an amazing story that they have.
Juliette Lewis: Blumhouse is the king. I was gonna use another word that means the same, but I’ve done a couple of things where Jason Blum has produced. So this is like my third, but it’s my first in this genre, with him. And I always feel like he, or his studio, cultivates things that are so unexpected and fresh.
Diana Silvers: Yeah, and the fact that they’re always investing in original screenplays, something original, you know? Like, it’s not another installment. This is its own stand-alone, original thing. And that he believes in us and gave all of us this amazing opportunity to make something like this is really special.
So at the end of this movie – I don’t want to spoil it too much, but – something happens with Ma, [something with] the house kind of happens. Do you think Ma is dead?
Juliette Lewis: That is a good question.
Diana Silvers: I actually don’t know.
Juliette Lewis: I could tell you what I think. Ma lives, man. She lives.
Diana Silvers: Some people don’t die.
Juliette Lewis: Then do they die? Or is their energy so evil it carries on?
Diana Silvers: Like, evil lives on forever?
I agree. Evil lives on forever.
Juliette Lewis: Maybe it doesn’t, I mean, in real life.
Diana Silvers: Hopefully not in real life. But in some way, shape or form.
Juliette Lewis: Yes!
- Ma (2019) release date: May 31, 2019