Annabelle: Creation: Stephanie Sigman On Playing A Nun, Acting With Children And Blessing The Set From Real Evil
Demons can take many shapes and form. The creepy doll is no exception.
Annabelle: Creation heads into theaters nationwide today. It serves as the origin story on how the Annabelle is first created for The Conjuring universe.
The film stars Stephanie Sigman (Miss Bala), Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings), Lulu Wilson (Ouija: Origin of Evil), Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave) and Alicia Vela-Bailey (Lights Out). It’s directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out).
We managed to catch actress Stephanie Sigman over the phone for the busy promotion for Annabelle: Creation. She told us about the lure of playing a nun character, which is quite different from playing a Bond girl on Spectre or a pageant model turned drug dealer in Miss Bala. She also discussed her personal beliefs in the supernatural and admitted that it was her who asked for the set to be blessed from evil.
Read our interview transcript below:
LRM: So you’re making a big push for Annabelle: Creation right now. How’s that going for you?
Stephanie Sigman: Yes, I am. It’s great! I’m also promoting a TV series at the same time. It’s pretty crazy! But, I like it. I want people to see the movie that I did. I’m very proud of it. Here I am! Talking to you.
LRM: [Laughs] I would like to know is this--how did you end up from being a Bond girl and Miss Bala to become a nun? That’s quite the opposite role.
Stephanie Sigman: [Chuckles] Yes, it is. I wasn’t expecting that either. That’s the beauty about being an actor. I wasn’t expecting to do a horror movie and I wasn’t never expected to play a nun. But, I’ve always been looking for challenges and different types of roles. I don’t want to play the same roles over and over. I certainly didn’t want to play Miss Bala over and over or being the Bond girl again.
Those are amazing things that happened in my career already. They are in the past! So I wanted different and new challenges. That’s how I got into this movie.
I auditioned for it. They were initially looking for somebody older. In the script, [the nun] was in her 40s. I auditioned for it and they liked it. They liked my chemistry with the girls. That’s how it happened. I was like, “Okay, I’m doing my first horror movie.” [Chuckles]
LRM: What was the attraction to be playing Sister Charlotte in the first place? What was about this character that made you say, “You know what? I want this role.”
Stephanie Sigman: Well, first, it is a nun. I never had the chance to play a nun in my career. I don’t think there are a lot of chances for an actor like me [to play that]. I had to take it. I had to do it. I had to play my version of nun. I tried to play a different type of nun.
When you think of a nun, you think of somebody who is very [pious] and with the same face. That’s who I think I’ve seen on TV. I wanted to play somebody who is more joyful, alive, more human and more complex.
Second of all, I wanted to do this movie, because it’s ninety percent of the cast is women. I was like that this is so interesting. The movie is a horror movie, but it also talks about women supporting each other. That’s very important for me.
The story is great. When I get movie scripts, most of the scripts are predictable. You know everybody is going to die. So [you’ll] read for the first one, second one and third one [to die] leaving the lead at the end. This story is different. It was a good story. It was a good script. I liked the writing a lot. It was truly a challenge for me.
LRM: When you put on the nun outfit, which is quite different from the other outfits you worn in the past, how did that help with the transformation into your character?
Stephanie Sigman: Oh, yeah. It’s like sixty percent. You got it down with sixty percent with the outfit. It makes you feel different. It makes you move different than what you see every day. You can feel it. You can feel the fabric. It even smells different. The clothes are different all the way down to the shoes. Everything!
It was very hot--I have to say. It was in the middle of the summer in California. It was a whole different challenge for me. I was so hot!
LRM: You mentioned before that most of the cast is mostly women. I also want to take note that most of the cast are also children. How was it working with a lot of children on the set?
Stephanie Sigman: It was very interesting. I think it was actually easier working with the kids than working with grownups. At least with these children or these actresses, because they are so professional. It’s very impressive. They came prepared. They were ready at any time. They were raw and honest.
It feels like, we grownups, are more complicated. Working with kids, it’s like an acting class.
LRM: Wow. That sounds awesome.
Stephanie Sigman: It was. It was really awesome.
LRM: Now I’ve visited the set over the summer. The place actually looked creepy. I’ve heard they actually brought in a priest to bless the set. Didn’t this freak you out a bit?
Stephanie Sigman: [Chuckles] I was very freaked out. Actually, I was the one asking for the priest to bless the set. I’m from Mexico. A lot of people in Mexico believes in spirits, ghosts and the supernatural.
It all started with my grandma. Grandma gave me a call and said, “Y’know, you’re doing this and entering this universe...this is evil. I’m so concerned about you.” [Laughs] I was like, “I’ll be fine.”
As I was getting more into character and I believe in God myself, I heard stories about The Conjuring’s blessing on the set before they were going to shoot. I just asked for it as well. Why not? It sounds logical when you’re doing a movie about this.
LRM: You believe in all of this? You believe in the Annabelle doll, which is based off a true story. You believe that this can all be real?
Stephanie Sigman: I don’t know exactly about the details of the Annabelle doll on how it was possessed or what happened. I didn’t read about it on purpose, because I didn’t want to know. I was already very freaked out.
But, I do believe in this type of stuff can happen. It’s evil entering somebody’s house and somebody’s life. [Evil] has many shapes. It could be in the shape of a demon or mental illness. It can cause people killing each other all over the world. It’s having all these terrible situations. All of it is evil.
It’s all evil. It just comes in different shapes.
LRM: Absolutely. Now you do have scenes with the doll. How was it acting with or against with this Annabelle itself?
Stephanie Sigman: That was the reason on why I asked for the priest, because I knew I had to do scenes with the doll. I knew that I had to touch the doll. I asked for the priest to bless the set before I had to touch the doll. I remembered telling the producers, “I don’t want to touch Annabelle until this set is blessed.” It’s just really a creepy moment. When you see the doll, you’ll realize the doll is huge. It’s the size of a child. You’ll grab her and it’s very heavy. [Sighs] It’s very intimidating.
LRM: I would guess that if Warner Brothers give you an Annabelle doll--you would not accept it? [Laughs]
Stephanie Sigman: I don’t need it. [Laughs]
LRM: Could you talk about your upcoming TV show, S.W.AT.? How is that going for you?
Stephanie Sigman: S.W.A.T. is going good. We’re actually [filming] the second episode right now. Everything is really exciting since it’s also my first network television show. They rhythm is different. Everything is happening really fast. I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can.
LRM: And real fast, tell me on who you are playing on the TV show.
Stephanie Sigman: I’m playing Jessica Cortez. Jessica Cortez is the commander captain for S.W.A.T. of the LAPD. Basically, I am the boss.
LRM: Is there any chance of a cameo in The Nun for yourself? Or do you already know you’re not in the movie?
Stephanie Sigman: I was not required in the movie. So I nothing is really finalized.
LRM: Stephanie, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you. Thank you very much.
Stephanie: Sigman: Yeah, thank you. Have a good one!
Annabelle: Creation is currently playing nationwide in theaters today.
Source: LRM Exclusive