Katee Sackhoff Talks The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, in theaters and on VOD this weekend
Building on the terror of The Haunting in Connecticut, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia serves as a horrifying companion piece that traces a young family's nightmarish descent into a centuries-old Southern hell.
When Andy Wyrick (Chad Michael Murray) moves his wife Lisa (Katee Sackhoff) and daughter Heidi (Abigail Spencer) to an historic home in Georgia, they quickly discover they are not the house's only inhabitants. Joined by Lisa's free-spirited sister, Joyce (Katee Sackhoff), the family soon comes face-to-face with a bone-chilling mystery born of a deranged desire...A haunting secret rising from underground and threatening to bring down anyone in its path.
We recently caught up with genre favorite actress Katee Sackhoff, who discussed her character's Southern roots and the unique nature of this Southern fried thriller that focuses on the Ghosts of the Underground Railroad, a first for a horror movie.
Where did Katee find her colorful accent and big personality? Here is our conversation.
I was kind of taken back by Ghosts of Georgia. It's a unique film in the genre, especially with the subject matter. I don't think I've ever seen a horror movie tackle the Underground Railroad...
Katee Sackhoff: What makes this different from your average, run of the mill ghost story....They all scare the shit out of me anyway...But this one is based on something that is historically accurate. It allows us to really dive into the story, and we didn't have to use our imaginations as much. Everyone is aware of the history of the Underground Railroad. If it didn't make sense...With everything that was happening at the time of prohibition, there is a good chance that there were some deaths, and some unfortunate circumstances surrounding that. That there is a story there.
Where did you shoot the movie at?
Katee Sackhoff: We shot in Baton Rogue, Louisianna.
That's a place that is so full of ghosts, anyway, right?
Katee Sackhoff: I know. We couldn't have been closer to Voodoo. Maybe if we actually shot in New Orleans, but we were pretty close to the Voodoo capital of the United States.
I've spent some time in the South, and I've visited some of the old plantations. And even though they've been cleaned up and cleaned out for tourists, you can still feel that presence there. Did you travel to any of these locations, which have such a rich history, to get a sense of what these ghosts might be about?
Katee Sackhoff: I grew up around a lot of really old properties. My fiance is from the south, so I have visited the plantations. I have been around New Orleans a lot, actually. I have felt that energy in New Orleans. We have an apartment there, which is in the warehouse district. You can sense, you can feel energy in these old buildings. For sure.
Knowing some of the real history behind various moments in the movie makes it that much more creepy to watch. Were you aware of the first movie? And if so, how do you feel that informed certain aspects of this new one?
Katee Sackhoff: I really enjoyed The Haunting in Connecticut. They had always intended on having these be sister pieces, in a sense. They are companion stories. I was aware of the first one. I'd actually seen it a couple of times. I actually had seen the Discovery Channel documentaries on both of these cases before going into shoot this. There was a sense of wanting to have a connection to The Haunting in Connecticut. But The Haunting in Connecticut is its own story, while The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia is its own story. But they are sister stories underneath it all. They are both real hauntings.
I haven't seen the Discovery Channel documentary. How close does this movie stay in line with what actually happened? How far removed are the scares from reality?
Katee Sackhoff: There is quite a bit of artistic entertainment going on in this that didn't happen in the real story. Heidi Wyrick was the real child that we represent. There is a Joyce, there is an Andy. They did move to this house in Georgia, and they did have these experiences. Whether or not the cause was the same, the story that they went through in this house was very much the same. Heidi did have an older gentlemen that she was very kind with, who was a spirit. There are a lot of similarities, but there is also a ton of creative license.
In terms of your character, did you have a specific person that you were drawing from?
Katee Sackhoff: I have family in Louisianna and Mississippi. It was a choice that I made, to make my character big. I wanted her to be as flamboyant as possible. All the other characters accents were subdued. This is a girl that travels around a lot. She meets a lot of different people. She has lived in a lot of different places. So I think she has picked up this loud, obnoxious way of speaking. To be noticed. Everything about Joyce is trying to be noticed. The whole character was really exciting for me. Bigger was better at all times.
Did you grow up with an accent? I don't hear any hint of one talking to you now...
Katee Sackhoff: I'm actually from Oregon. We don't have accents. I grew up in St. Helens. People from Oregon, and the North West, have a distinct way of speaking. We speak a little bit slower. By no means do we have accents. I might have picked up a little bit of one here or there. From living in New York. I have a girlfriend that is from Long Island. My fiancée is from the South. Then I live in California, since the time I was 17. I have these accents to pull from. But I, myself, don't have one. If I am in the South, though, I do start talking with a Southern accent. For sure. It's hard not too. I say ya'll, all the time. I say fixin'. There is an accent to me if I am drinking. But it comes from being with the same man for 7 years, who is from the South. I took one of his family members, who has the most distinct accents, and I used that. It is a big accent.
What kind of relationship did you have to form with the other actors on set? You're coming in, and you're not part of the main family unit...
Katee Sackhoff: Right. I tried to hang out with them. But I didn't want too...When Chad Michael Murray, Abigail Spencer, and Emily Alyn Lind were off doing something, I never went over. I would go hang out with the crew, or talk to someone else. I wanted them to have that tightness. I also wanted Joyce to be an outsider the entire time, until the very end.
You recently did a voice for Star Wars: Clone Wars...Did they offer you that part just because you've been in Battlestar?
Katee Sackhoff: Oh, yes! I am sure. I have done quite a bit of voice work for Seth Green over at Robot Chicken. I think that helped. But, yeah, I think what you said is very much so. What's so funny now, though, is I don't think I could get a science fiction show if I tried. Granted, movies are different. But I think I have removed myself because I'm on a Western now. I'm still in genre, but I'm not in science fiction. Though I love the fact that I get the phone calls to play She-Hulk, and all these other crazy things. I loved Batman: Year One. The actual book, when it came out, I remember getting it years ago and reading it. I loved it when it came out, so to be a part of it, I jumped! I love genre, so if the fans want to see me do genre work, I don't kiss a gift horse on the mouth.
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia was released February 1st, 2013 and stars Chad Michael Murray, Katee Sackhoff, Abigail Spencer, Cicely Tyson, Emily Alyn Lind, Andrea Frankle, Lauren Pennington, Brad James. The film is directed by Tom Elkins.