Interview with Jill Larson of "The Taking of Deborah Larson" - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Jill Larson

Interview with Jill Larson of "The Taking of Deborah Logan" 10/20/14/14

It was so great to speak with Jill! She was very sweet on the phone and appreciative of all of her fans from "All My Children".

Here is the our interview. I hope you enjoy it!

If the audio is not streaming well, please right-click on this link and save it to your computer. It should work better that way!


Here is the transcribed version by Gisele.

Jill Larson: It's remarkable the power of "All My Children." I still am stopped by people all the time who want to talk about how much they miss it and everything.

1. Did you put on an accent for the Opal voice?

Jill Larson: I always thought I was sort of putting on a completely different voice for Opal; one that was sort of grating and irritating so, you can imagine how distressed I was when people said, "Oh, I didn't know it was you until I heard your voice." Anyway, no, I don't have an accent.

2. How did this part come about for you?

Jill Larson: I auditioned for it. My agent submitted me. Initially, when I read the script, I was really uncertain, reticent, about the whole idea. I just thought, "I don't know how I would do this. It's too creepy. I don't know if I want to be a part of it. I don't know if I could do it." Then, I called my agent, and she said, "Oh, I know. It's just awful. You don't have to go. Just skip the audition if you want to." And then I started to think about it, and I thought, "Well, usually in my life acting opportunities have given me a chance to confront things that I'm afraid of." And this was certainly something I was afraid of. So, I did go in for the audition and, obviously, ended up doing the role. So, it turned out to be a good experience for me.

3. Was it fun to make?

Jill Larson: Yes, it was really fun in ways that I had never had the opportunity to experience and to discover things within myself that I didn't know were there. So, yes, it was really fun. I mean, there was one scene that we shot where I just had a full-fledged blow-out temper tantrum, slamming cupboard doors and throwing pots and pans, and screaming, thrashing, rolling on the floor. Maybe you see a child doing something like that once in a while, but once you pass a certain age, that's behind you. I had never done anything like that in my life, and it was really interesting and fun.

4. What was the toughest part about making it?

Jill Larson: I guess, just in terms of various things like handling big snakes. That part was scary to me. I had never touched a snake before. And, sort of making friends with them, if you will. And then we had one or two different scenes requiring me to be wearing either a slip or nothing, and one was outside and it was November and it was like 30 degrees out and it was in the middle of the night, and I had to be digging in the dirt on my hands and knees with my bare hands and things like that that were uncomfortable. Just generally reaching into places in myself that I had never explored before -- the fears of Alzheimer's and losing your mind and the ability to conduct your own life and having someone come in and telling you how it's gonna be and elements like that that are genuine fears of my own were certainly part of the picture. One other thing that was really creepy for me was I was sort of managing the snake and I was managing the cold and everything, and then in a scene in the hospital, I have to have fake blood, running out of my mouth. For some reason, this was the thing that I cannot do. I cannot do this. It was so kind of creepy to me that I just thought, "I can't do this," but I had to, so I did. Well, you know, the blood is just Karo syrup with some kind of coloring in it or something, but that part was really hard for me. It's kind of silly when you just tell it like that, but it was really, really awful.

5. Do they tell you ahead of time what you're going to have to do?

Jill Larson: Yes, they did in this movie mention some special effects makeup and stuff that was very uncomfortable to wear. It took a long time to put it on and was very uncomfortable wearing it for long periods of time, and it took forever to get it off, and it kind of destroyed my skin. There were things like that are things that go oftentimes with the territory of making a film, but it wasn't to the extreme of some of these guys who are dropping 40 pounds and adding 50 pounds from one movie to the next. It wasn't like that at least, but it was still a challenge in its own right.

6. Would you call this a horror movie?

Jill Larson: Definitely, it is a horror movie. It has a little more psychology in it maybe than some, although I shouldn't say that because I have never seen a horror movie, but it's based on a woman who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and her daughter comes home and moves in with her to take care of her. Then a PhD student who is doing her thesis on Alzheimer's and the impact of it on the family and the patient comes in. We agree to let her come with two guys, the film crew, to photograph and document some of what happens in the decline, and what they don't realize is that I become possessed as the disease takes a hold on me and turn into another person, I guess.

7. Did they use a lot of special effects with the green screen and have you done much of that before?

Jill Larson: I had not done a lot of work with green screen. No, I had done a little bit. There was a little bit of green screen work, and I was interested to see that, because you have only your imagination to tell you whether -- You have to create what the green screen is going to be giving the audience, so that was interesting, too, but there was very little of that. This is a low-budget film and green screens cost money.

8. It's certainly an interesting idea, merging the concept of Alzheimer's with horror. Do you know anyone who's been affected by Alzheimer's?

Jill Larson: Yeah, my mother had Alzheimer's and one of my closest friends, his mother had Alzheimer's, and I really met her first, and she had declined to a dramatic degree and was in a home and could not speak and may or may not have known that my friend was her son, and she was in that stage for 12 years, and that was obviously a very poignant and difficult thing to watch. I was very grateful that when my mother was diagnosed, she also had emphysema, so she did not live as long with the disease as many people have. It was a real emotional journey for me going through that. I felt at times that I was kind of becoming my mother, and we're all afraid of that. [Laughs]

9. Will fans of Opal enjoy this movie?

Jill Larson: I hope they will. I hope so. I don't know if they'll see elements of Opal in this necessarily but that is the thrill of acting. I hope maybe they will enjoy it because they feel a connection to me as an actress.

10. What other projects do you have coming up?

Jill Larson: I did a small part that will be recurring in a pilot for HBO at the early part of the summer. I haven't heard whether it will be picked up or not. I am, of course, keeping my fingers crossed for that, too. It's called "Rock 'n Roll" with Bobby Cannavale and Ray Romano, and it's about the music publishing industry in New York in the early 70s. It's cool, too; so I hope that that will be having a chance to be seen and have more episodes made.

11. Are you still in touch with other actors from All My Children?

Jill Larson: Yeah, yeah. You know, some more than others. I saw Linda Dano for my birthday, and I connected with Cady, because she and I are both Libras. Our birthdays are just a few days apart, and we always -- And I spoke with Bill Christian. He, too, is an October birthday, so we spoke. I had some exchanged with Natalie Hall, so we all try to stay together as best we can wherever we are. We're all moving around, and life keeps changing. I really miss AMC and people who helped make it and people who watched it. We all made a nice big family together. What we shared we'll always have, and it's another form of a death.

12. Anything else you'd like to tell us about the movie?

Jill Larson: I want to say that I hope that you'll watch the movie, and I hope that if you do, you'll let me know what you think or what your experience of it was, and I hope you have fun. I learned something really important about horror movies. I've always been mystified by their popularity, and they've always seemed way too scary to me, but I've recognized that it's like going to an amusement park. You've got to have those thrills and get scared, and I think this one will deliver. This one is not overly gory, I don't think. No one gets decapitated or those kinds of things, but I think a lot of the scary elements come from bringing the audience into a situation that many of us can recognize, because many of us have been touched by Alzheimer's in one way or another and recognize how frightening it is. "The Taking of Deborah Logan" was released on October 21 on Video on Demand, and I hope people will watch, and I hope they'll have fun. I hope they'll like it.




On Early EST October 21, 2014
Available on VOD and DVD November 4, 2014


Directed by: Adam Robitel
Starring: Jill Larson (ABC’s “All My Children,” Shutter Island), Anne Ramsay (Planet of the Apes, A League of Their Own, NBC’s “Mad About You,” ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”), Michelle Ang (My Wedding and Other Secrets, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son) and Ryan Cutrona (Fox’s “24,” AMC’s “Mad Men”)

Mia Medina (Ang) has finally found the perfect subject for her PhD thesis film on Alzheimer’s Disease.  For the next several months, cameras will record the everyday life of mother Deborah Logan (Larson) and her daughter Sarah (Ramsay). But as the days progress, strange things begin to happen around Deborah that are not consistent with any findings about Alzheimer’s. It becomes apparent that there’s something besides Alzheimer’s that has taken control of Deborah’s life.  It’s an evil that is far worse than the debilitating disease with which she was first diagnosed.


THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN has a running time of 90 minutes and is rated R for disturbing violent content, language, and brief nudity. The film is co-executive produced by Adam Robitel, Gavin Heffernan, Kurt Fethke and Scott Adler. Rene Besson, Christa Campbell, Alex Cutler, Luke Daniels, Lati Grubman, Dana Guerin, Jonathan Stein and Jason Taylor serve as executive producers with Bryan Singer and Jeff Rice as producers. Exclusive bonus features include The Making of The Taking of Deborah Logan, Soundbites with Jill Larson, Michelle Ang, Anne Ramsay, Brett Gentile, Jeremy DeCarlos and Adam Robitel.

Download the film's redband and greenband trailers:

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Page updated 10/31/14

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