Glass interviews the queen of scream – Lucy Hale

GLASS talks to scream queen Lucy Hale about the movies that shaped have shaped her career, leaving Memphis for LA at 15, and her upcoming projects

“I JUST enjoy the genre, I always have since I was a little girl. I remember sneaking behind my parents to watch horror movies, and my grandmother letting me watch The Exorcist when I was seven.” Forthcoming Lucy Hale vehicle, Fantasy Island, is a long way from The Exorcist. There will be no spinning heads, no demonic possession, and no priests on speed dial. There is one tenuous link, however.

“Some people were throwing up. It was just crazy … For Fantasy Island, we were filming in crazy locations – imagine 150 crew members lugging all the equipment up a mountain to this bat cave at the top while it’s insanely hot and humid. But trust me, when you see it in the movie it’s really worth it. It’s so beautiful.”

This will be Hale’s second film with horror behemoth, Blumhouse Productions, the studio behind pretty much every successful horror movie of the last decade: the Insidious franchise, the Paranormal Activity franchise, The Purge franchise, Get Out, plus about 60 more. Blumhouse are prolific. “I’m a huge fan of Blumhouse! This is my second time round [after Truth or Dare, 2018], so I was so excited that they asked me to come back and do another one. It was good fun.”

While Truth or Dare followed the familiar Blumhouse penchant for autonomous, supernatural games (think college party-game gone wrong, killing everyone at the party in the process), Fantasy Island feels like a drastic change in direction – more ambition, and certainly more capacity for surprise. We decide that it’s best described as a mix of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fyre Festival: The Movie.


Photograph: Ssam Kim

“That’s really funny actually. I hadn’t put those two together, but totally.” In a period of intense division, it was the collective schadenfreude of watching a legion of fully fledged, wanna-be influencers have their summer holidays totally destroyed that brought the world together. Looking back a few years on, what was all that about?

“I think there’s such a fascination with the rich and fabulous and famous – take the Kardashians. But, obviously, there is something humbling about watching people who seem to have everything trip and fall, every once in a while. I think it’s the same reason we google people falling or messing up, you know? I think at the end of the day, we all like to feel equally human.

Photographer: Ssam Kim

“The guests [of Fantasy Island] in the movie, it’s kind of like they’ve won the golden ticket … like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: they get the golden ticket and go to this island, where it is we don’t really know, and they’re each granted one wish. My character wants to get revenge on a childhood bully, and, based off the trailer, you know …”

There’s a sharp inhale of breath. “We think that it’s all innocent fun and games, that everyone goes home and continues with their normal lives, but no. Things kind of take a left turn: they get dark and twisted … I guess the whole moral of the movie is be careful what you wish for because it might come true.”

Unlike Fyre Festival, the horrors of Fantasy Island ended with the word cut, with the rest of Hale’s two- month stint filming in Fiji relatively plain sailing. “Two months in Fiji: amazing. I had never been to that part of the world before. We all lived in the same hotel, except for two weeks when we actually all had to live on a boat together, because some of the locations we were filming at were literally in the middle of nowhere. So yeah, we had to live on a boat and we got to know each other very, very well.”


Photograph: Ssam Kim

Hale’s horror credentials are well earned. As well as her Blumhouse work she also appeared in Scream 4 in 2011, in “the Drew Barrymore” role, as she describes it. It was fleeting but memorable: “So, I get a phone call, and then I go to the door, and then I get my throat slit. And then I die. We rehearsed the murder so many times, over and over again, so that when we shot it we would hopefully get it right straight away, because it would’ve taken forever to redo … to shower and wash all the blood off, then put the blood tubes back in my neck, and all the prosthetics back on.”

Scaring the bejeezus out of teenagers is a process. “And we got it, on the first try. What you see in the movie was a one-take, which was so rare and so cool.” Even more impressive is the fact that it was done in front of one of horror’s most revered modern directors, the man responsible for The Hills Have Eyes, Nightmare on Elm Street and, of course, the Scream series. “I was so lucky that it was Wes Craven – I think it was one of the last movies that he directed – so to meet and work with him was very cool.” Then again, if you can sit through The Exorcist at seven, you can do anything.

Photograph: Ssam Kim

It’s another, completely different childhood movie that Hale holds closest to her heart, and one that’s arguably shaped her aspirations as an actress. “I remember putting on Grease and watching it over and over again. Also at my grandmother’s house – she introduced me to a lot of cool movies, and just generally cool stuff. When I fall in love with something, I watch it over and over again or listen to it over and over again, until I get sick of it. Then I reappraise it years later and do the same thing again. Grease is still one of my favourite movies, I think it’s a classic.”

With this in mind, Hale’s pattern of playing out the genres she absorbed as a child suggests that surely a musical is on the horizon. “Absolutely, I would love to. It’s always been on my bucket list to do Broadway, but I think it’s kind of a right place and right time sort of thing.” Until time and place conspire to make that happen, upcoming series Katy Keene (with Hale in the titular role) should offer a taste of her musical chops.



Photograph: Ssam Kim

“I think some of the work I’m most proud is one of the projects I’m filming right now, Katy Keene, which premieres in February. It’s been a really fun challenge, like one of those dream jobs. [Katy Keene] is from the same universe as the Archie comics and made by the same creators as Riverdale. It all takes place in NYC and it follows these four 22-year-olds trying to make their dreams come true. It’s about the struggle of trying to achieve what you want most. My character is an aspiring designer and my roommate wants to be on Broadway … it’s a real coming of age story, like Sex and The City meets Rent.

“We feel so lucky that we actually get to film there. We really showcase the city, so [the end product] is that nostalgic New York, the New York that you want it to be. Plus there’s the musical aspect … it’s a very unique show. I don’t feel that there’s anything else like Katy Keene. It leaves you feeling very inspired.”

Photograph: Ssam Kim



Watching the trailer for Katy Keene, Sex and The City meets Rent seems an apt synopsis, yet when preparing to play a young women following her dreams to the big city, Hale looked much closer to home for inspiration.  Indeed, 15 years ago she did it herself, leaving Memphis for California before she’d even turned 16. “I started all this really young. Having to grow up really quickly and support myself at a young age … it’ a lot of pressure for a young person. I’ve been living in LA since I was 15, so I’m kind of proud of myself for just keeping it together. It’s so easy to get sucked into, you know … going down a different path. Things could’ve been so different. That’s not me saying things have been perfect, they haven’t been. It’s not easy to have rejection be such a huge part of your life.

“I just think that it’s so cool that so many actors create this thick skin and keep at it. I have a thick skin, but I don’t really feel like it’s jaded me either – I know a lot of people have been through it and it’s made them hardened to the world. I’ve just somehow been able to see past it all and create my own sense of identity, and deal with all the things that my career throws my way. In the last couple of years, I feel like I’ve really come into my own.”

With a newfound love for Tarantino movies – “he’s so bonkers in the right way”– and the feeling that the umbilical cord bonding Hale to teenage roles has finally been cut, what’s next, post-Katy Keene and Paradise Island? “If there was a really edgy, dark, fucked-up role that was given to me and it felt right, I would absolutely jump at that. We’ll see what sits right with me. I just want to shock people. Just a little bit.”

by Charlie Navin-Holder

Photographer SSAM KIM




Production coordinator WINDY LEE 

Photo assistant JACK WOOKJIN CHOI
Styling assistant MELODY HUANG 

Special thanks to MOXY CHELSEA NYC 


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