Anna Camp on Her Chilling New Role in From Black

Apr 28, 2023

Anna Camp is an actress you’ll quickly recognize from past hit films like Pitch Perfect and The Help. She even co-starred in a catchy Train music video back in the day. And after a recurring role in HBO’s True Blood, she continues on in the supernatural realm with From Black, coming to Shudder this Friday. In her new psychological horror film, Camp plays a young mother named Cora, who is crushed by guilt after the disappearance of her young son five years ago. She is then presented with a bizarre offer to learn the truth and set things right. But how far is she willing to go, and is she willing to pay the terrifying price for a chance to hold her boy again?

We recently caught up with Camp, who dished on her supernatural-laced film that has plenty of twists and turns along the way. She also discussed her other projects in the works and which director she’d love to work with in the future. Read our exclusive interview below.

Anna Camp on From Black

MW: You play a great character in From Black. What was the process like, getting ready to sink your teeth into this role?

Anna Camp: It’s a very meaty role. It’s a very different role than anything I’ve ever gotten to play before, which is really exciting. I mean, there’s no way to prepare yourself to play a woman who contributes to the disappearance of her own child. But I read the script, and my character, Cora, is an addict, so I watched some interventions. I fortunately have never been an addict, but I’ve known people who are, friends who’ve gone through similar situations. So there’s that aspect.

Anna Camp: But also, just as an actress, I have been waiting for and dying to play a role with this kind of emotional depth and this kind of storytelling. And when I first got to the script, I was like, “Oh well, horror…” I’ve read horror before, but it’s not at all that. It’s a very atypical horror film. It operates on this very metaphorical level about grief and guilt and shame. There are some elements of Pan’s Labyrinth in it, which I found really cool and very imaginative and very creative. So I jumped at the chance to get to play this part and called the direct producers, and I was like, “How can I get this? Let’s do this. I’m gonna kill it.”

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True Blood, Pitch Perfect, and the Future of Anna Camp

Universal Pictures

MW: Having been in a series like True Blood, which also has supernatural elements, do you find yourself gravitating towards a certain genre when choosing your projects?

Anna Camp: After doing True Blood, I was searching for something like this because I like darker things. I’m into that kind of stuff, and I’ve been talking about it more recently. And it’s so interesting because I was just saying something in another interview like two weeks ago, that I wanted to keep going down this route. And then I got this amazing job for Peacock called Hysteria!, which is very exciting. And it’s sort of going down the same path as this, like a dark thriller.

Anna Camp: So you know, I was in the Pitch Perfect franchise, and that movie opened up a lot of doors for me, and people know who I am. But that’s not necessarily where my soul as an actor lies or gets excited about. So yeah, this is something that I’m actively looking for and actively taking on roles that are in this genre and in this tone.

MW: Speaking of Pitch Perfect, if they were to make another movie, would you hop on board?

Anna Camp: 100%. I’m thinking, maybe they should make a Pitch Perfect horror movie. [laughs] I mean, that could be actually incredible. If there is a horror musical, let’s do it.

MW: You mentioned Hysteria! earlier. Are there other projects you’re working on, that you’d like to share about?

Anna Camp: Yeah, definitely. There’s an amazing movie that premiered at Sundance called A Little Prayer. I got to play a role that I’m not usually cast in that as well, with David Strathairn and Jane Levy. It’s a beautiful Southern family drama, the story is gorgeous and wonderful, and I’ve worked with the director before. And hopefully that’ll be released late summer, early spring of next year. So we’re very excited about that.

Anna Camp: And then I wrapped a movie called Nuked, it’s a stoner comedy, my very first stoner comedy, which is really cool. It’s about a group of friends who are all turning 40, and they plan like a weed-enhanced dinner party. And then, they think that a nuclear bomb is headed for them; they all get a message. So it’s about what would they do on their last night of being alive, as they’re really high. Everything is very different. All the things that I’ve got going on are very different, which is very exciting for me because I get to be creatively stretched and challenged and in all sorts of ways as an artist. I’m really excited.

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Acting on Stage and Sam Mendes


MW: And I saw you perform in the play 2:22 in Los Angeles, which was great. Do you have a preference in terms of acting on stage vs. screen?

Anna Camp: I think it often comes down to the role, something that is creatively thrilling and inspiring. But I will say, you know, since you mentioned going 2:22, I came from the theater world. I’m always down to do another play. It’s really hard work, but the immediacy of having an audience in the room and getting to live your life in the moment is so electric and so thrilling. So I will say that theater is one of my favorite places.

MW: Is there a particular actor or filmmaker you’re you’d like to work with down the line?

Anna Camp: One of my favorite films is American Beauty. And I got to work with Alan Ball on True Blood, but I’m a huge Sam Mendes fan, and Revolutionary Road is another one of my favorite films. So I think that I would be over the moon thrilled to ever work with Sam Mendes as a director […] Leonardo DiCaprio is perfection in that film, and I was so shocked that he did not get nominated […] I love that performance.

MW: Speaking of intense movies — going back to From Black, was there a scene that was particularly challenging for you to shoot?

Anna Camp: Yes. The scene that was one of the most emotionally taxing for me to shoot was a fantasy sequence where I get to see what actually happened with my son and how he disappeared. And we were shooting on this deserted dirt road. And he’s running to me, and I can’t get to him. But we have these shots where the sweet actor [playing my kid, Trey] is running to me with all of his might. And then he gets taken. And it’s it was just so upsetting and disturbing and heartbreaking.

Anna Camp: So when the director called “cut,” you know, Trey starts weeping and crying because he was so emotionally invested. I’m starting to cry, the director’s crying. And it’s really the crux of the film when you get to see exactly what happened to Cora’s son. So it was incredibly hard to shoot.

From Black will be available for streaming on Shudder this Friday.

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