IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Brittany Snow Talks '96 Minutes'

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:59 Written by  Dana Gardner
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Brittany Snow Talks '96 Minutes'

Brittany Snow is one of the brightest and most engaging acting talents to emerge in recent years. She can currently be seen starring opposite Kathy Bates in the law series, Harry’s Law on NBC. She is also known for her role as Meg Pryor in American Dreams and Kate Spencer in John Tucker Must Die. She began work on the independent film, 96 Minutes, over two years ago but her passion in discussing her work on that film is still as fresh as ever. 96 Minutes premiered at SXSW Film Festival in March and releases in theatres this Friday, April 27th.

96 Minutes is the story of a carjacking and the four kids caught in the chaos of one night. The story builds to a climax as it intercuts between the car and the beginning of that day, following the separate stories of each kid - where they come from, who they are and how they all ended up in one car on that fateful night. With performances by a young multicultural cast, this tale touches on issues of race, class, friendship and the connections to the past.

IAR’s Jami Philbrick recently had the chance to speak with Brittany Snow about 96 Minutes. She discusses the joy of finally seeing something she worked so hard to get released, working with her director, not wearing any make-up, keeping up with the difficult sequencing of the film, and the overall message of the movie.

Here’s what the talented actress had to say:

IAR: What was your initial reaction when you first read the script?

Brittany Snow: Well I got the script about four years ago and I immediately gravitated towards the subject and what it was about because I felt like it was a story that’s very relevant and happens every day and it’s a really gripping story and it’s based on true events. I just was kind of begging to be a part of it. So I stuck with it for a while and then my friend Evan Ross got cast and then Christian Serratos and Michael Trautmann and it really came together. Gosh, it seemed like we did it twenty years ago and now it’s finally seeing the light of day and I’m just grateful that people are finally going to be able to see it.

You read the script four years ago and production began over two years ago. When a project takes this long to get made how does it make you feel when it’s finally released and people are finally going to be able to see it?

Snow: It’s such a relief because with something like this, you really put your heart and soul into it. I’ve done a bunch of movies that are independent movies that have never seen the light of day and it’s always really sad and so it’s really nice when people are able to see what you worked really hard on.

Tell me about working with Aimee Lagos and her vision for the project and for the film.

Snow: The cool thing with Aimee is that she was really engaged with the characters and a had point of view of who we were. It was kind of cool when she was shooting it because we didn’t know how it was going to look, whether it would be a documentary style or not. It was a lot of handheld, which meant that we could go wherever and do whatever and the camera would just follow us around. So when we finally saw the movie it was really cool and interesting to see how she put it together and how the camerawork really added to the intensity of the movie. I’m actually glad that we really didn’t know what the finished product was going to look like.

Tell me a little bit about your character Carley and what did you relate to about her when you first read the script and then doing the role?

Snow: I really liked the character of Carley because I felt that she was really intelligent, not just book smart. She’s studying to be a lawyer and she was very driven. There was also a lot of her common sense and her ability to think about the situation, which is something that I gravitated towards. I love female roles that are smart. It’s just interesting how she approaches trying to get out of that terrible situation she’s in. I think that getting to play somebody that wasn’t all gussied up was great and I was weirdly excited about never having any hair and makeup work done. I mean basically I didn’t have any hair and makeup work done on me throughout the whole movie. I just kind of woke up and put my hair in a ponytail and put on mascara. We just did it and I wanted people to see me in that way where it wasn’t ever about what it looks like. It was about this real girl and this real story. I think the way that she saw the humanity in Dre and the way that she approached the situation by using his emotions I think is really something that I connected to because I sometimes do the same thing. I guess that’s why some actors use motions.

What was the most difficult sequence or part of shooting? Was it the car scene? Was that the most difficult thing to emotionally get ready for?

Snow: Yeah, I think that that was really hard and intense. The car scene was shot at night and we’d have to be there all night long to get ourselves kind of ramped up. In a lot of ways I’m very similar to my character but it was always a little hard to keep the intensity going and also to not get it mixed up in the sequence of the scenes. That was really difficult because everything’s shot in a non-linear way where the beginning is in the end and the middle is in the beginning and I had to do a whole storyboard situation and keep what my intention was throughout each scene so I wouldn’t get confused.

So, like a director you had a storyboard with your own character’s stories, so that you knew where you were at different points in shooting?

Snow: Yes, I laid out the whole thing and then realized what part of the night it was and where I would be headed emotionally and what I would be thinking about. I had to do that with each scene because we shot out of order and the movie is out of order so I didn’t want to fall out of sequence.

Is this the first time you’ve had to do that for a role?

Snow: I used to do it a lot when I was doing American Dreams and I’ve done it a lot on movies too, but not as much as I did it in this film because I really didn’t want to watch the movie and think, "Wow, my headspace is completely five minutes later than it was supposed to be in the 96 minutes."

What do you think audiences will take away from the film?

Snow: I think that people will definitely take away the emotional aspect and the characters and where they come from and really put themselves in the situation of what would you do if it came down to this sort of circumstance and how your backgrounds don’t get paid the humanity that everyone should have. I hope that people will see this and realize that regardless of who you are, where you’re from, you know we have one common thread and that’s to help each other and when we stop feeling that chaos happens. So hopefully people take that away from this film.

Join Brittany Snow (HairSpray, John Tucker Must Die), Christian Serratos (Twilight), J. Michael Trautmann (Last Call, Showtime's Shameless), director Aimee Lagos and other cast and crew on Friday, April 27, 2012 for the 7:45pm screening of 96 Minutes at the AMC BURBANK TOWN CENTER 8 (201 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91501 - inside the Burbank Mall).

For tickets, please click here.

96 Minutes will be in theaters on Friday, April 27 in LA, NY, Atlanta and St. Louis.  Please go to Fandango for tickets.

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