Sometimes a real estate deal is just too good to be true.

In “Blood Widow,” Laurie and Hugh have just bought a new home in the country, and decide to throw a housewarming party filled with the requisite slasher-film debauchery. Of course, the house is located near an abandoned boarding school, with one lingering resident, The Blood Widow.


While the plot doesn't redefine the slasher genre, Danielle Lilley's Laurie is a solid protagonist and she carries much of the movie's emotion as well as its action scenes.


The Swerve Magazine: How did you become involved in “Blood Widow?”


Daniille Lilley: It was just one of those perfect scenarios where I happened to be in the right place at the right time.  I had just moved back to Florida from LA and I wanted to strengthen my reel, so I decided to take a little road trip over to a film school in Orlando and audition for a few films.  While I was there I noticed that “Blood Widow” was using the same facility to hold auditions, so I signed up, read for the part, and here I am. 


SM: What attracted you to the role of Laurie, and what did you enjoy about bringing her character to life?


DL: Laurie was always very compelling to me from the beginning; she was a great character to play.  Laurie is very strong and assertive but also at times throughout the film she becomes very vulnerable and somewhat a victim.  All of these transitions allowed me to really develop a character and gave me a lot to work with and that was very intriguing to me.


SM: What do you think makes this movie stand out among horror films?


DL: I think there is several things that make “Blood Widow” stand out from the other horror films.  But I think that the biggest difference is that we have a female as our masked killer.  We are so used to seeing all these masked characters in other horror films and they are usually always male, so the fact that we have a female really spiced it up a little bit and took the film in a different direction.


SM: In the film, Laurie and Hugh buy a house as a sweeping gesture in an attempt to salvage a straining relationship. What is the biggest move you or a significant other had made to repair a relationship?


DL: I personally think that relationships take work everyday.  I have been pretty lucky that I have never had to sacrifice anything too crazy; it’s all about having the same goals and growing together.   I think that Laurie and Hugh were struggling because life was starting to pull them in different directions, not necessarily because they needed to repair their relationship.  But ultimately, they knew they wanted the same thing so they decided to take that next step and buy a house together.


SM: Toward the end of the film, you have some emotionally intense scenes, and you do a very good job of making it believable. Is it challenging for you to get in the emotional headspace for those scenes?


DL: Thank you!  You know it’s very weird but I can get to those places very easy, and I have no idea why. Do not get me wrong its still challenging and at times can definitely be exhausting but I think that it is ultimately the challenge that I enjoy.  I have always loved going to places that take me out of reality for moment, its one of those fun things that I get to do as an actor.  It is not an everyday occurrence that I get to run from a killer and go through that type of brutality so why not have fun with it.


SM: What was it like filming the crawlspace chase sequences?


DL: Tiring, and quite the workout, but it was fun because I found myself really getting shocked and scared, and that usually doesn’t happen while filming.  I never knew which direction she was going to come from, or what corner she was going to be hiding around.  It was one of those scenes that we played around with placement and we didn’t know what was going to work until we were in the moment. 


SM: You have a varied resume, covering numerous genres. How do you select what roles you pursue, and are you currently working on any project?


DL: Currently I am not signed on to any projects, for the moment I am focusing on reading lots of scripts and auditioning.  I know that I want to do something different, but more importantly I want to do something that challenges me, and for those reasons it requires me to be a little bit picky.  I love all genres, for me it is not about the genre it all comes down to how I resonate with the character and what I have to work with. 


Quickly amassing an remarkably varied resume of stage and screen roles, Kelly Kilgore has performed in productions ranging from Shakespeare to sci-fi to horror.


In addition, Kilgore teaches theatre as an adjunct at the University of Central Florida and is a teaching artist at the Orlando Repertory Theatre.


In “Blood Widow,” now available on DVD and streaming services, Kilgore plays Harmony, an innocent and dreamy with shades of Luna Lovegood who attends a party. At the wrong secluded house


The Swerve Magazine: What attracted you to acting?


Kelly Kilgore: I've always loved acting. I love learning new things and having new experiences, and the process of acting opens the door to new experiences through the lives of the characters I play. Also, each project brings new and exciting challenges in just about every possible area of human life: physical, emotional, intellectual, etc. It’s never boring, so I never get tired of it.


SM: What led you to pursue teaching?


KK: Teaching was something that sort of fell in my lap but that I ended up truly enjoying. It combines the craft of acting with the emotional rewards of helping others. I believe that teaching anything forces you to understand it better, so both students and teacher gain from a good class.


SM: You have done work in a variety of platforms in your career, do you prefer theater or film?


KK: How could I choose?! Theatre and film are such different mediums. In theatre you are able to feel the audience's attention on you, and they give such great responses both during and after the performance. In film, you lose that immediate connection; but, on the other hand, you have the opportunity to reach so many more people throughout the nation and even the world! I love them both for different reasons, and I’m super lucky that I get to do both in my career.


SM: How did you become involved in Blood Widow?


KK: Like most projects, it started with an audition. The funny part is that I almost didn't go. I remember convincing myself to get up and seize the day. It ended up being a really fun audition, though, and I got a callback for Harmony for the very next day. I was leaving the building after my callback and the Arcani guys sent someone to chase me down and bring me back. It was then they told me that I’d been cast. Since you very rarely get offered an acting job on the spot I was very surprised and flattered.


SM: In the film, you have a supporting role, yet it is meatier than a lot of others.  What did you like about playing Harmony?


KK: The best part about playing Harmony was the challenge of taking a supporting character and stuffing her full of heart every moment she’s on screen. Jeremy was great to work with; he trusted my instincts as an actor and was totally open to collaboration. I think having an innocent charater like Harmony in a slasher film is a really cool juxtaposition, something you don’t see all the time.


SM: What do you think makes this movie stand out among horror films?


KK: The writing of Blood Widow really makes it unique. Ian and Chad take some common horror tropes and turn them on their head. Also, the Blood Widow herself is an interesting villain. She’s had a rough life and it’s totally understandable that she went a little crazy. You sympathize with her, while at the same time you can't help but be terrified.


SM: You have a sizable solo sequence in the film, what was your shooting schedule like for this project?


KK: We took a full day just filming Harmony’s solo sequence. I was the only actor called for most of the day. It was very intimate, just me and the crew in a tiny room with a lot of candles and books, so it was easy to zone into Harmony's dreamy state of mind. By the time Gabbie joined us later that night, I was ready to be creeped out.


SM: What other projects are you currently working on?


KK: I just wrapped the Orlando unit of a short film for Waving Grain Film Company, and now I’m off to Massachusetts to join Shakespeare & Company for their production of Henry IV, Parts I & II (I’ll be playing Lady Percy and Doll Tearsheet). I also have a couple of other projects coming out this summer: The Aegeans airs June 16 (of Ulysses fame), and the pilot for Spaceship Florida should be online in mid-July. Links to everything at actor.kellykilgore.com.