Julia Rehwald Interview on Netflix’s ‘Fear Street’ Trilogy

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Julia Rehwald Interview
Image Credits – Amy Sussman & Jesse Grant / Getty for Netflix

Julia Rehwald makes her phenomenal debut with the brutal menacing trilogy of Fear Street. She plays the roles of Kate and Lizzy in Fear Street Part One: 1994 and Fear Street Part Three: 1666. Having seen Fear Street Part One: 1994 now, it’s safe to say that her performance as Kate was pure fun and I can’t wait to witness her again in Part Three. We spoke to her about playing these two contrasting characters, her experience of reading the Fear Street books and the friendships she fostered while filming the Fear Street Trilogy.

Hi Julia, I am Hardik Agrawal from The Movie Culture, How are you doing today?

Julia Rehwald: I’m good! On my way over to LA for the premiere right now actually!

Q. First of all, Congratulations on the Fear Street Trilogy, I really can’t wait for it to finally release. How did you come along in this project, like was it rigorous or fairly easy for you considering your insane background of Tisch and Royal Academy?

Julia Rehwald: Prep of “Fear Street” came somewhat easily. As soon as I got the script I got a clear idea of who Kate is and how I wanted to bring her to life. Leigh was super helpful before we started filming and during filming when it came to discussing acting/character choices with all of us. The rest of the cast were also great to work with. Kiana, Olivia, Fred, Benji, and I spent most of our time on screen together and we immediately had an awesome group dynamic that made it easy for us to go all in and play off of each other while filming.

Q. The Time Gaps of these three movies are insane and you are in Fear Street Part One: 1994 and Fear Street Part Three: 1666. It must have been really unique to play two completely different characters in two completely different eras of the same horror franchise, right?

Julia Rehwald: Yeah! It was awesome to get to craft two different characters for this trilogy. The fact that they each have their own specific time period they live in was cool as well because not only do Kate & Lizzie have two separate personalities, but they also live under very different circumstances. So in terms of prep work, I had to consider how living in Shadyside in the 90s affected Kate and how growing up in the Union settlement in the 1660s could have affected Lizzie. Like, how do these girls carry themselves physically and what are their relationships with other people in their hometown/village?

Q. What is the contrast between the two characters that you play and could you hint us on what kind of people Kate and Lizzy are?

Julia Rehwald: I feel like Kate and Lizzie have a very similar heart/core. They both are very strong-willed, fearless, and confident. Kate’s main goal is to be successful enough to make her way out of Shadyside as soon as she finishes high school. She can come off as a bit tough to those who don’t know her well, but that’s just because she is very careful about who she chooses to open up to and bring into her life. She’s not always the best at expressing her emotions, but she cares deeply for her friends and wants to keep them safe at all costs. Lizzie also cherishes her friends in this same way. Whereas Kate is more guarded and Lizzie is carefree and a bit of a trouble maker. She’s the life of the party and the one who always convinces her friends to join her in her mischievous adventures. Both Kate and Lizzie have a good amount of spunk in them, which I loved getting to bring to life.

Q. Goosebumps was a very special part of my childhood and I would spend days turning pages and getting scared in my school library. What was your experience reading the work of R.L Stine?

Julia Rehwald: So I never actually read “Goosebumps” as a kid, I skipped right to “Fear Street” when I was still a kid. I went through a long phase of binge-reading “Fear Street.” On Fridays my mom would pick me up from school and we’d get McDonald’s for lunch then stop by the used bookstore across the street. I remember being intrigued by the cover art and then once I started reading them I couldn’t stop! I think my mom got rid of all my old books but I used to have a pretty good collection. The one I remember as my favorite was about a girl who went to visit her boyfriend at his college but couldn’t find him. (I won’t give spoilers, but it scared the s**out of me as a kid lol). At that age I probably should’ve been reading “Goosebumps” since they were more kid-friendly in terms of violence but oh well! I feel like “Fear Street” is kind of what kicked off my love for horror though honestly.

Q. I am really curious about the filming process. With a filming schedule of three movies, it must have been long. How fun was it to spend time with the same people for such a long span of time? It must have formed a lot of strong bonding and friendships. 

Julia Rehwald: Yeah, it was a pretty lengthy process. I flew out to Atlanta the first week of March and then I think I officially wrapped all of my scenes for both movies early/mid-August? It was so fun though to get to spend all that time together. I feel lucky that this was my first real film project; I can’t think of a better way to start my career. The cast is all genuinely really close. (Fred’s family even adopted me for Thanksgiving after we filmed). And back when we were in Atlanta, we spent every weekend together. We would watch a different movie (or two, or three depending on the week) on our days off. It kind of became a weekly ritual. And because the crew was the same for all three movies too, we also formed really strong friendships with the crew. The whole group, both in front of the camera and behind, who worked on this trilogy just vibed really well and made the dynamic on set awesome. We were just all so excited to get to set and see everyone every day.

Q. I am just going to assume that your answer to my last question was along the lines of Really Fun. And that paves way for pranks and goofs. Could you share some of those stories?

Julia Rehwald: Oh gosh… we spent so much time goofing around it’s hard to pick out particular stories. We made up a game we would play between takes on set where we would shoot imaginary blow darts at each other and try to dodge them or die dramatic deaths. There were also a few late night shoots, I remember specifically our first overnight shoot in the high school, where we all started to get a little delirious, you know? Like that point in the night where we just couldn’t stop laughing even though nothing happened. We had a few inside jokes come out of that night even though we can’t really remember how the jokes got started lol.

Q. What was it like working with Leigh Janiak and how does her horror sensibilities and inspirations compare to, say, Stranger Things, which was co-created by her husband?

Julia Rehwald: Leigh is the best. For real. I feel like I’m always telling everyone how incredible she is, but it’s just the truth!! She wasn’t just focused on making the movies “scary,” but also cared more about effectively and truthfully telling this story she created and crafting characters that the audience would grow to love. I think “Fear Street” is similar to “Stranger Things” in that way. They both do a really good job of showcasing teen friendships, young love, and bonds between siblings while also dealing with truly wild circumstances like monsters or curses. Because the audience grows so attached to these groups of misfit kids, it makes things all the more stressful and scary when the stakes get raised pretty high.

Q. We are truly blessed to be finally getting a full-fledged, gore filled, R-Rated trilogy of Fear Street. Did you frequently encounter blood and body parts during your part of the shoot?

Julia Rehwald: Ohhh yes, there was tons of blood on set. Blood, guts, prosthetic gashes and wounds, the whole thing. It was fabulous. 

Q. Finally, what’s next for you after this insane Trilogy? Fear Street being one of the first films that you booked, are your next ventures going to be along the lines of thriller slashers or something completely contrasting?

Julia Rehwald: Not sure what’s next for me right now! If I had the opportunity to do another thriller or slasher that has as much heart as “Fear Street” I would be totally down for another project in the genre. Otherwise, I’d love to try something totally different. Maybe a quiet drama or a romantic comedy.

It was wonderful interacting with you Julia. The amount of hype I have for Fear Street is unhealthy really and I can’t wait for it to finally release on 2nd July. Thank You for taking the time to talk with me and I wish you all the best for all your future endeavors!

Julia Rehwald: Thanks for chatting with me, wish you all the best too!!

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 releases on 2nd of July 2021 on Netflix and it is truly a phenomenal nostalgic experience which reignites the muddled genre of Slasher Thriller.