Ashlynn Yennie certainly made a splash in the horror world when she starred in The Human Centipede. She even came back for Centipede 2. We caught up with the young starlet to ask her how Centipede has affected her career, if we will see her in Centipede 3, and what she thinks about being a Scream Queen.
Do you think there is a danger of horror losing its edge if it gets too mainstream?
Absolutely not. I was lucky - I got thrown into the genre with The Human Centipede films. I really knew nothing about the horror genre before I did those films. It has changed my world completely.
The Human Centipede is a good example of horror that has gone mainstream - albeit in a very, very bizarre way. Way back when I saw the first trailer, it was the kind of thing you passed on to friends in secret. Now everyone knows. They spoofed it on South Park.
Yeah. Tosh 2.0 did a Spoiler Alert on it. Beavis and Butt-Head mentioned it. It was so embraced by mainstream culture because it was such a bizarre concept. I feel like we’ve really blazed trails with it. I’m very fortunate.
Do you consider yourself a new generation of Scream Queen, or do you shy away from the moniker?
I’m not afraid to say I’m a Scream Queen; I love it. But sometimes people pigeonhole you into staying a Scream Queen. There’s nothing wrong with that, either. Working is working, and you just want to continue working and do good work. I don’t mind being called a Scream Queen. Not everyone can say that they are!
I was raised on Scream Queen flicks, so I certainly never saw being a Scream Queen as a negative. But I am always surprised at how many people I interview who try to shy away from the moniker.
I can see people getting offended - people get offended by the tiniest thing nowadays! I always like to look on the positive side of things. I don’t see being called a Scream Queen a bad thing. I’m in an elite group of women. Horror movies are the hardest things to make because you play every single emotion in a horror film. You usually start out the film really happy, then something happens and you go to panic, and fear, then you switch into survivor mode, and then they usually end in death. You get to play so many levels, which you don’t get to play in, like, a romantic comedy. I think it is really cool that we get to do that.
What is coming up?
I have a film coming up later this year called Schism. It stars Callum Blue and Vinny Jones. It’s a psychological thriller we shot in New Orleans. It was directed by Adam Gierasch, who co-wrote it with his wife, Jace Anderson. Right now I’m shooting a film with Eliza Dushku called The Scribbler. It’s based on a graphic novel. We are shooting here in LA - it’s my first time I’ve shot in LA! I’ve been here for two years and I have yet to shoot anything besides a commercial here. I think it will be out next year. I play Emily, who has vestiphobia, which is the fear of being trapped in clothing.
So you will be a little bit naked.
Just a little bit! It’s great because Gina Gershon is in it, Billy Campbell... it has a great cast, and it is being shot in 3D.
Have you found that appearing in a film as notorious as The Human Centipede has hurt your career, or helped it?
It has done both. I hate to say it like this, but some people who don’t have an open mind, who haven’t seen the movie but know the concept, will say, “Oh god, you were in that movie?” The first one was not bad at all. The second one... I’ll give it to them, that was awful. I’ve had the good and the bad with everyone: casting agents, directors, management. I realize that after doing The Human Centipede films, I’m not going to, like, do Disney movies, but I’m okay with that. I do get more roles for edgier stuff now; stuff that you wouldn’t immediately think of for me. Sometimes I have to fight for what I want.
Any chance we will see you in Centipede 3?
I don’t think so. It was supposed to start shooting in April, but unfortunate things have happened with Dieter and whatnot [she is referring to a legal battle between Centipede 1 star Dieter Laser and director Tom Six]. I saw Laurence [Henry, the star of Centipede 2] at Texas Frightmare, and he said they were planning to start shooting this fall. I don’t know what they are planning with this. I’ve said to Tom Six - who I would work with any time - “You’ve killed me as a character. Then you brought me back as myself and you killed me again. I don’t think I could survive another Centipede!” I would have to be, like, the villain or something. Honestly, I’ve had enough Centipede for my lifetime. I’m solid. I’m good.