By Niki Cruz
In the film "Extraterres-trial" actress Brittany Allen plays a fully realized character inside of an epic alien invasion story.
Even though the genre-bending film steers just enough away from typical horror tropes, Allen as April is the film's highlight.
Stuck in a series of crossroads in her life, April is led on a trip by her boyfriend (Freddie Stroma, "Harry Potter") and their group of friends to a cabin she spent her childhood summers in.
While she hopes to reminisce and create new memories, the group of 20-somethings deal with a terrifying encounter not of this world.
Allen spoke with amNewYork about "Extraterrestrial," which open this Friday.
Your character is very strong and complex. Did that material help you ground her?
Yeah, it really did. When I was first introduced to the character of April I instantly connected with her. I thought, this is a real person. This isn't some fantasy idea of who a woman is. She's not being a prop used for her sexuality, which you do find in some horror movies. She has a voice.
How much did you have to react to things that weren't there?
It was all CGI. When we were on set it was just reacting to things that were in our imagination. Pretending a tennis ball was a menacing monster was hard, but for the most part it was things that were just out of sight, or just beyond the door. I love being able to let my imagination run free.
As kids we're encouraged to dream up these worlds. It's interesting to see adult actors go back to that stage.
I think that's been my biggest journey as an actor -- finding my way back to how free and open and uninhibited I was as a child. I'm so lucky within my work that I'm able to have an outlet to explore those hidden parts of myself.
Did this film change your mind about the existence of aliens?
I've always been open to that possibility. There's so little that we know of the universe and what's beyond, to say definitively that there's not other life out there seems naive. I've talked to people who had experiences that they felt or saw something. I'd be curious within my lifetime if that would ever become common knowledge.