When was the last time you saw an animated horror film? Horror is so popular and there are so many sub genres that it only makes sense there would be a bevy or amazing animated scary movies. It turns out there really is not (at least, not worth talking about). Add To Your Last Death to the shortlist of good animated horror movies. The movie is about the sole survivor or a brutal attack who gets to relive her last night. Recently, AIPT spoke with actress Dani Lennon about her role in the movie.
AIPT: How would you describe To Your Last Death?
Dani Lennon: Well genre wise, it would definitely be a Saw meets Groundhog’s Day, but it’s very different in the sense of our protagonist, which I played, which is Miriam, and I think what’s different about it is she’s a different type of final girl because she’s very damaged and dealing with mental health issues on top of trying to fight for her life and save her siblings.
AIPT: You kind of described a Miriam a little bit. You mentioned she’s damaged, how else would you describe her?
DL: Damaged. Fragile. But also there’s a fire inside of her that needs to come out and there’s trauma inside of her that needs to come out. And it actually in moments it works against her. But I would say in this case it actually works for her.
AIPT: How did you get involved in the project?
DL: That’s actually a really fun story. So I had been involved with one of the producers in a project that I had done before and they had sent me the script and I just, I loved it. It was one of those situations where the bells and whistles go off as an actor and the project just sounds so interesting and very enticing. And I just had been at a voice audition, not expecting to even get a call back. I would hope nepotism would have worked in this situation, but I was treated as someone else. But I went through the process and I can say with sincerity, when I had found out that I had received the role, I was overjoyed because I had just felt like it was, it was the right role for me.
AIPT: You kind of touched on one of the things I wanted to ask you about. So the voice acting, there’s not the same visual cues that you would get from filming How difficult was that for you?
DL: You know, that is such a great question and I have been asked that before and it’s something I had to ask myself before getting into the booth. But for me, I think because I’m, I’m very visual, I’m also a screenwriter myself and I have dabbled in voice acting. But for me I took it as a chance to basically conform and, and like put together my voice acting with live action. So I basically put myself in a space as though I was in a live action movie and I felt it like I was on camera. I felt it like I was going through it. And also I got a chance to work with the DeKalb family, including including Ray Wise, Cyrus. And so I was able to have that connection and work with it in studio.
AIPT: You mentioned Ray Wise. But there’s just an impressive cast, including William Shatner and Bill Moseley. What was it like working with them?
DL: You know, it was, it was, it was such a joy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to work with Shatner because our studio time did not match up. Bill of course…House of 1000 Corpses was one of my favorites. Charming, so wonderful, a great, acting connection. Morena I mean, she’s such a goddess. Loved her in Firefly and everything she does. She and I had great chemistry. I had got a bit star struck, honestly when Ray Wise walked into the booth, being the professional am I kept it together and I was like, hello, I’m Danny, I’m playing your Miriam. And we had this like look, and we just went tit for tat and really worked off of one another and it was fantastic. You dream of those as an actor.
AIPT: I know you’ve done a lot of horror movies. Have you always been a fan?
DL: Yes. I must say that’s to my father’s fault, but I’m going to praise him in this. My father did not shield me from anything. He’s a big horror buff. So I was exposed at like six years old. But it’d be like earmuffs and then there’s certain things I couldn’t see, but I just, I just loved it because I feel like with sci-fi and horror there’s so many great male and female leads that don’t get enough attention and stories that sometimes always don’t get enough attention. And I’ve always been drawn to it and fascinated by it. So I love it
AIPT: Horror is kind of a funny genre cause it’s really popular. But it can also be very corny. Why do you think people are so drawn to horror despite some of its sillier aspects?
DL: I think it’s two things. I think it’s a distraction from everyday life sometimes. You can have a laugh at it, you can have a good scare and it’s an adrenaline rush. It’s a thrill ride. It brings people together. It’s a great conversation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been like watching a movie with my friends and we’ll stop it and discuss whether it’s, it’s for the good or the bad. Probably much like with you guys and your podcast, we’ll just like stop and be like, you know, dissect something and discuss it with an opinion. You know, it’s fun.
AIPT: Yeah, absolutely. I’m going to, I’m going to kind of put you on the spot here. You’ve done movies, you’ve done television, and you’ve done voice acting. Which do you prefer?
DL: Oh, you know what? I’ve done stage acting too. It’s going to be, I love voice acting. I really, really do. It’s, but it’s not my preferred line of work, I would have to say on camera. There’s something about it that naturally or organically grounds me for some reason I just get very calm and into the character. It’s just, it’s, it’s more intimate.
AIPT: And you mentioned that you’re, you’re a screenwriter, so you’ve worked behind the camera and in front of the camera. Which do you prefer there?
DL: I see myself longevity wise, going more behind the camera as like a creative producer, still screenwriting. I’ll always act, I, I plan on it, but I’m, I’m feeling the pool, especially in this day and age where women are getting more of a voice. I’m feeling that draw to it and I want to answer that call.
AIPT: And my final question, are there any future projects that you’re working on right now?
DL: I am discussing some projects that I have created and film, certainly independent of course, and then possibly bring one of my productions to the stage. And I’ve reintroduced myself to the industry in Chicago because it’s where I’m from and I just wanted to give it a shot.