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Alicia Witt Talks Channeling Instinct and Trust in Osgood Perkins for LONGLEGS

A woman lies in bed holding her child
Alicia Witt in LONGLEGS | Photo Courtesy of NEON

By Shannon McGrew

In Osgood Perkins (The Blackcoat's Daughter) latest film, LONGLEGS, an FBI agent in pursuit of a serial killer uncovers a series of occult clues that she must solve to end his terrifying killing spree.

For the release of LONGLEGS, Creepy Kingdom's Shannon McGrew spoke with actor Alicia Witt (Urban Legend, I Care A Lot) about her role as Agent Lee Harker's mother, Ruth. During their chat, they discussed everything from her approach to embodying Ruth's complexities to relying on Osgood Perkins' guidance in bringing the character to life.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today, Alicia! I loved your character in the film and wonder how you got into Ruth's headspace.

Alicia Witt: I did a lot of journaling. A lot of thinking. A lot of meditation on who she was, how all this affects her, and where her mind is in each scene rather than thinking: Here's how I'm going to play this scene per se, especially in playing a role like this. As an actor who's never studied or taken an acting class, it's all been on the set. It's been learning at the feet of these extraordinary actors I've gotten to work with since I was 7 years old. It's all just instinct.

This is your first film with director Osgood Perkins. What was that experience like, and did he provide any research to help you further understand your character?

Alicia Witt: Working with a filmmaker of the caliber that Osgood Perkins is... I read the script, loved the character, and longed to embody her. I felt like I knew who she was, how all these moments would come, and how they would come out of me. I'm so grateful that Oz felt the same and that we were on the same page, as it turned out, about who Ruth was and who he intended her to be. So, I didn't do much research. I just let go, let the channeling happen, and trusted that Oz would guide and stop me if it wasn't right. We were on the same page. We had this shorthand, this wordless communication, a lot of the time. It was one of the most magical experiences I have ever had.

LONGLEGS arrives in theaters July 12, 2024.


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