Kathryn Newton stars as Alex in the latest “Paranormal Activity” horror, “Paranormal Activity 4.” Newton had fun with her role, and ShockYa was happy to be able to speak with her about her role, getting into character and what it was like levitating. “Paranormal Activity 4” is out on DVD and Blu-ray now.
Congratulations on Paranormal Activity 4, first of all.
Kathryn Newton: Oh, thank you! It was a blast.
How did you get into character?
Kathryn Newton: Well, the character is really real. We did a lot of improv on set, so it was really, mostly, a lot of me, except she was a lot cooler than I was and she was being chased by demons (laughs). Just a regular high school girl like anybody else, except she’s got some more issues, trying to figure out who she is. She’s got boy problems, she’s got a little brother problem, and she’s got a demon chasing after her.
What did you think of the additions of current technology like the webcams and the XBox Kinect into the “Paranormal Activity” universe?
Kathryn Newton: I thought that was really cool because it was so real. I video chat…a couple times a week with friends, just to do homework, so it adds a whole new element as to what’s behind you when you’re looking at your screen, you know? You don’t really know what’s going on and the XBox Kinect was a real thing. We were testing out the night vision camera, and we walked into the living room, and it was like, “Woah! Where did this come from?”…And I think you can win one somewhere. They’re doing this thing where you can win an XBox Kinect.
Cool. I read that you were in some harnesses for some of the scenes in this film. What was it like being lifted up and doing all those cool stunts?
Kathryn Newton: It was really the best things that I did on set, [doing] my own stunts. And that scene was the levitation scene and it took four days to set up…They showed me what I was going to do and they put me into the harness. I felt invincible. And…they didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, but I was like, “You guys, I’m an athlete. I got this.” It was really so much fun to do. It was great.
What do you think makes these “Paranormal Activity” films so popular? We’ve had quite a few now.
Kathryn Newton: I think what makes them so popular is that it’s a psychological thriller and the more you believe the scarier it becomes, and they stay with you. When I saw them [before], I was a fan…and I thought they were real found-footage movies. So, it’s kind of just the element of–everybody gets scared…Everybody gets a little scared because you feel really vulnerable because it’s real. It could happen to you, too. It’s that thought that it could really happen to you.
What scares you?
Kathryn Newton: Well, I used to be afraid of taking out the trash at nighttime, but after I shot the movie, I have this alter-ego where I’m not scared of anything. Because…[in the movie, Alex] didn’t let Toby get the best of her, and so I kind of feel like I’m Alex and Toby can’t hurt me, so I’m not scared of anything anymore. Except spiders, of course.
If you encountered a paranormal experience in real life, do you think you would react like Alex or would you react differently?
Kathryn Newton: I would probably react like Alex. I’d want to see what’s going on. I’d want to get to the bottom of it. I’d want to chase after it, too.
For fans of “Paranormal Activity” who haven’t seen this film, what would you say to them to get them to go watch?
Kathryn Newton: I would tell them to bring a friend…because they’re going to be scared. Don’t be alone.