Editorial

Sophie Grace Star Of Lifetime’s Terror In The Woods, Promises A Frightening Re-imagining Of The Slenderman Stabbing

Today I had the pleasure of talking with Sophie Grace the young up-and-coming star of Lifetime’s Terror In the Woods premiering October 14th at 7:00 pm CST.  The film is a horror/drama based on the real-life Slenderman murders in 2014.  For those of you not in the know, Slenderman is a meme derived from a series of Creepypasta stories and an excellent mixed media presentation developed by Marble Hornets.  There was even a full-length feature film released just a few weeks ago in theaters everywhere.  I don’t recommend the theater presentation and direct you to Marble Hornets instead as their documentary-style film process is brilliant and very scary. 
The real story behind the killings is even more chilling as two seemingly normal preteen girls lured their friend into the woods and attempted to kill her.  The motivation was Slenderman himself telling the ringleader Annissa Weier to kill her friend.  This crime for parents and kids alike was terrifying for a number of reasons.  Evil has many faces, many of them quite benign looking from the outside.  Mental illness is one such face.  The crisis facing our country today makes this story relevant and timely.  This is a horror story with a very real monster.

Terror In The Woods shines a bright light at that scariest of Big Bads those that reside inside us.  Sophie Grace who plays Kaitlyn the charismatic friend and leader of a trio of girls obsessed with a Slenderman type internet character called Suzerain.  Sophie Grace is everything her character Kaitlyn is not.  She is confident, bubbly, sweet and down to earth.  She also has a very bright future.  This is her first screen role having appeared in plays and musicals previously.  Her first role being Tinkerbell as a very young child.  Her love of the stage and screen grew from there.  One of six children her siblings are sports stars but everyone finds time to go to her actor showcases and plays.  This close-knit, involved family supports Sophie Grace and allows her to be mature beyond her years.  For example, when asked about working with the adult stars of Terror she was humble and star struck but still confident in her own ability.  That is a truly great mix of personality traits and ones you don’t often find in child actors.  This is a girl who knows exactly who she is, where she wants to go and is grateful for every opportunity.  She still dresses up in costumes for Halloween, this year she will be one member of the Powerpuff Girls but her favorite costume was hipster Santa complete with 60’s era neon green glasses.  With all the exuberance of youth, she embraces life and all it holds.

With the sunny outlook on life, she possesses it is hard to imagine her playing such ​​a dark character.  It was here that her maturity really came through.  She was well researched and professional in her approach to the role, reading and watching everything she could about the crime and schizophrenia.  An understanding of bullying and how that makes people vulnerable also came through.  Luckily she denies having had to experience anything like that in her young life but she has prepared for her debut by bolstering her self-confidence and laying out a plan to ignore the internet trolls.  With wisdom most adults don’t possess, she declared those types of people are “not worth my time, my energy”.  She understood that as scary as the imagery in the film was, it was all “movie magic” and managed to maintained close friendships with her costars both during filming and since it has wrapped. 

She describes the set as being full of singing and dancing and laughter.  So much so she earned the nickname “Avacado” for constantly singing the Guacamole Song.  She supports animal rescue with donations and has two dogs of her own that she describes as “her favorite people”.  I can relate.  The Hollywood actress she aspires to be is Jennifer Aniston, who if I’m being honest she looks a lot like.  All of this should paint the picture of a typical young girl who plays with friends, gets mani/pedis with her Mom and serves sour candies and popcorn to her friends at the premiere party hosted in her house.  It also should convey the depth of character and groundedness that she brings to both her role as Kaitlyn and acting in general.

​Sophie Grace is a delightful young girl who was as pleasant to talk to as poised.  She does not have anything new lined up yet but with talent and dreams of the big screen that should change quickly.  Her motto: “Go Big Or Go Home” sums it up.  We will be watching this Sunday night and expect big things in the future for this talented star in the making.  Check out the trailer and tune in Sunday night at 7:00pm on Lifetime.

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