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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Chiara Aurelia Talks “Cruel Summer” and “Fear Street” With The Boo Crew [Podcast]

The first two episodes of Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple‘s gripping thriller Cruel Summer just released, and lead actor Chiara Aurelia (Jeanette) sat down with Bloody Disgusting’s Boo Crew to talk about the casting process, her work on Mike Flanagan’s Gerald’s Game and even a little hint at the upcoming R.L. Stine series, Fear Street.

You may recognize Aurelia from her role as “Young Jessie” in Gerald’s Game, where she enacts highly emotional scenes, “That experience was the first really big milestone for me as an actress, and a human being. It taught me a lot about the actor I want to become,” Aurelia goes on, “It’s a very touchy subject when you’re filming something like that, I gravitate towards roles that have magnitude like that, that are touching on something people don’t generally want to talk about. There’s something very appealing about that to me because these are experiences that people have faced in their lives that are very real, true, and raw.”

Aurelia was able to really bring these moments to life thanks to the help of Flanagan himself, and her co-actors. “Mike very strategically placed us in these scenes, in these moments and talked us through it, and made it really comfortable. And with such a kind person like Henry [Thomas] as your scene partner, all of that concern and worry dissipates really quickly.”

In Cruel Summer, Aurelia takes on her most ambitious role yet, playing Jeanette through three different years, and her drastic transformation between each year. Aurelia recalls when she first received the audition opportunity, she was excited by the prospect of taking on such an ambitious role. “My team and I have the running joke, ‘You don’t wanna play just one person, you need to play three or it’s not enough for you!'” As it’d turn out, that’s exactly what she signed up for!

“I went in kinda not expecting anything, I had assumed they’d cast someone much older, and much different and not like me- and I went in going ‘I’m just gonna do it, and it’s gonna be fine’. In my audition, I went in with a jacket on, zipped all the way to the top, with my hair in a low ponytail- Our first scene was in 1993, which was the dorkier side of [Jeanette].” Aurelia explains that when the casting director first saw this dorky shy persona, they immediately thought she wouldn’t be a good fit. “And then for the second scene, I pulled my hair out of the ponytail, and took off my jacket, which was in 1994, and when she had blossomed into this new person, and for 1995 I put my jacket back on and slouched down in my chair.” These transformations between scenes were exactly what Cruel Summer needed, and Aurelia’s ability to quickly shift between the three time periods would serve her well throughout filming the show.

The production crew decided not to set aside different days for each year, but to instead film multiple time periods each day. The wardrobe and makeup crew were always on standby to help actors quickly change into the proper attire. “Sometimes we’d start in ’95, in a real somber place, and all of the sudden we’d be in ’93 and Jeanette would be with her best friends and it’d be very happy and light, and then we’d be in ’94 and maybe back in ’95 by the end of the day. There was definitely a limitation of how many switches we could do in a day, because the sets had to drastically change, the hair and makeup had to drastically change, and there was a lot of time that went into that!”

Despite the technical and emotional challenges of hopping through several time periods in one day, the cast and crew were able to create a wholly cohesive and emotionally moving show. Aurelia says this is thanks to show’s executive producers. “We had Michelle Purple and Bill Purple and Jessica Biel and Tia Napolitano… who are so grounding, and so centering. There were so many moments throughout the season where I was like ‘Where am I? What am I doing? Can you tell me what’s going on?’ But they did an incredible job of keeping you really focused on what was happening… That team, as well as the whole crew, was really great about not making it feel overwhelming, even if the weight of it was a lot on some days.”

There was a strong connection between everyone in the cast and the crew, but most notably there is a very tangible relationship between Aurelia, Allius Barnes (Vince) and Harley Quinn Smith (Mallory Higgins). Aurelia admits “They were my best friends in real life and on-screen, Harley was texting me approximately five minutes ago! We all got so insanely close over the course of this show… It’s really nice because I think when you develop that kind of relationship off-screen, it very much translates on screen. And having the closeness and comfortability that we all felt with one another, made going to work such a happy and enjoyable experience. It became something where you didn’t want to leave at the end of the day because you were playing with your best friends!”

Aurelia also confirms that actors weren’t given complete scripts. “There’s pro’s and cons to both sides of it. I definitely think that we were all so fascinated and immersed in the story that we wanted to push through so badly so that we could figure out what was going to happen in the end.” Aurelia recounts sitting in Michelle’s office once and spotting a wall with upcoming episodes posted on it. She quickly tried to see the scripts before Michelle stopped her. “It kept us on the edge of our seats, character-wise and storyline-wise. There were aspects we needed to be aware of, which they made us aware of, in order to make our choices educated. But there were little bits I’d know about Jeanette’s journey, and there were little bits Olivia would know about Kate’s journey… We never quite got it, until we got it.”

What did Aurelia have to say about her involvement in Netflix’s Fear Street? “It’s coming out in the summer of 2021, and you guys are just gonna have to wait and watch it. But I’m super excited, it’s gonna be really great.”

You can follow Charia Aurelia on:

Instagram: @ChiaraAurelia

And you can find The Boo Crew on:

Instagram: @talesfromtheboocrew
Twitter: @talesfromtheboo



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/podcasts/3661464/chiara-aurelia-talks-cruel-summer-casting-call-boo-crew-podcast/

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