Last year, Richard Shepard’s The Perfection was one of the more buzzed-about selections that was screened during Fantastic Fest and took it by storm, and I am so excited that the film is just a few days away from premiering on Netflix. In anticipation of the movie’s impending release, Daily Dead recently spoke with one of the film’s co-stars, Logan Browning, about her role as Lizzie in the psychological thriller. During our chat, Browning talked about what initially drew her to the project, and more specifically the character of Lizzie, how she prepared herself to become a cello wunderkind, and more.
Also, the following interview with Browning contains zero spoilers so that readers can go into The Perfection still able to enjoy all of the film’s unexpected moments when it debuts this Friday, May 24th, exclusively on Netflix.
Obviously, there are a lot of aspects to this movie that we cannot discuss because I don't want to ruin it for everybody, but I would love to start off with what your initial impressions were of this project and what was that hook to it where you realized, “Wow, I really want to be a part of this”?
Logan Browning: Yeah, my initial introduction to the film was just reading the script and hoping I could read for an audition. I loved the script, it was a complete page-turner, and on its own, the script is just so beautifully written. I got to a point in the script where things started to switch so much that I had no idea how the story would recover from it, and yet it continued, and that was so fascinating to me. On top of all the plot twists, there were these two female characters who were both so strong, so driven, and well-developed in terms of their character, throughout the story. I really loved it when I read Lizzie on the page, she didn't look like anyone in particular, it was just open to interpretation, and I thought, “Wow, that would be so cool if I got to play her,” because you don't really see girls who look like me in those roles for a thriller. I was just really, really enamored with it when I first read it.
Speaking to the fact that this movie really is centered around these two women and the things that they're dealing with and going through, did you guys realize coming into this that there is this timeliness to this project, and how that might parlay into everything that we are dealing with as a society these days?
Logan Browning: Well, I think any time we have an opportunity to do a film that feels current, but also something that hopefully feels like it'll last forever, it's really exciting. The themes of the movie and how relevant they are were one of the things that drew me to it, and I think that sometimes you need a different vehicle on the road to drive a point home. I believe this film has that ability because it is so wild, you have no idea what to expect next. I would say even the process of creating a film like this could potentially put an actor in a compromising situation, and yet that never happened. When I say that, I just mean that we were asked to do so much in this film that I just felt I could 100 percent trust my director and the team, and that is how you should feel always in whatever job or whatever thing it is that you're doing.
The musical component of the film is such a big part of this story, and I had read that you and Allison both had to undergo a lot of cello training, which is amazing in itself. But there's also a physicality to this role, and some heightened emotions as well. How did you prepare yourself for everything? It just seems so daunting, but you and Allison both are incredible.
Logan Browning: Thank you. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to learn to play the cello. I only had like a month and half or so, I don't even remember, but we really took the time to learn how to play. When I found out that I was going to be able to play this role, it was around the holidays, it was Christmas, so I was at home with my family and I was like, "Hey, there's no time to waste," and had my aunt drive me down to a cello rental spot. I am five feet, I am a small thing, and that cello was almost bigger than me. So I have this photo of me walking out of the rental place with this cello, trying to trample me, but I immediately started lessons.
I just did my best to prepare, and remind myself that I'm one human, and I'm going to do what I can, and make sure I take care of myself. I luckily got to work with Allison and Richard, who really looked out for me, and made it so much fun. This movie is so intense, you don't want to be around people who are also that intense in terms of not wanting to have a good time, and between takes all of us were laughing, and just really enjoying the experience and each other's company, which is always what I want to be doing on the set.
Plus, I think that one of the things that did aid me in really focusing on telling this story was the fact that we were isolated from our homes. Whenever you're on location filming, you're just forced to look at the work. When I would leave set and come back to the hotel room, my cello was just sitting in there waiting for me to practice. I'm trying to living with this 24/7, which is similar to my character, in that she grew up in the conservatory in Boston, playing her whole life. There was that meta thing to it where I'm trying to do a great job at work and then my character is also that person, who always to an extreme level, was seeking perfection.
In case you missed it, check HERE to read Heather Wixson's other interviews with the cast and crew of The Perfection.