Kathryn Newton channeled her inner “Lisa Frankenstein” for a special screening of the film at the Hollywood Athletic Club, donning a dramatic black corseted Vera Wang gown with exaggerated tulle hips.
“There was no other dress option. I have a little heart I took from my last boyfriend,” Newton told Variety on the black carpet, pointing to her blood-red heart-shaped choker and giggling, “Just kidding – I don’t have a boyfriend!”
In the film from Zelda Williams, Newton’s Lisa and a re-animated corpse dubbed “The Creature” (Cole Sprouse) embark on a murderous journey to make him whole by claiming some of his missing body parts from the living. Even though Sprouse doesn’t speak a single word in Diablo Cody’s campy script, communicating only through grunts, Newton says they had no trouble selling their chemistry.
“Have you looked at Cole Sprouse? It’s very easy to have chemistry. He’s a great friend and great scene partner. He knew that I had a lot to accomplish with this character, so he was very supportive of everything I wanted to try,” she said. “I’d like to say that I studied a lot in my growth journals for my character, but the truth is, I just watched my dogs, because 80% of their communication is nonverbal, and they get along just fine.”
Newton also took a moment to reflect on “The Society,” Christopher Keyser’s teen drama series on Netflix. The first and only season premiered five years ago in 2019, and, though it was initially renewed, was later dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Five years? Look at the cast! They’re all doing so many amazing things. I still talk to a lot of them. Alex Fitzalan and Gideon [Adlon] are still my closest from that group. But it’s amazing to see them all shining. I mean, [Natasha Liu Bordizzo], Toby Wallace, Olivia DeJonge — they’re all killing it. Just to have been there, we all are very fond of what the show did for us and the fandom that it created,” Newton said.
“I hope we stay close and just keep working, because we can look back on it in 20 years and be like, ‘We did that one time together!’ We were also younger. It was a feeling like friends in college or something. It was like summer camp on steroids.”
If the series found its way back onto screens in some form, Newton is ready to jump back in. “Count me in! Get me a crown next time,” she said, before excitedly averting her attention to Sprouse’s arrival on the carpet.
Sprouse’s friends and family were in full force at the event, including girlfriend Ari Fournier, twin brother Dylan, sister-in-law Barbara Palvin and “Riverdale” co-star KJ Apa. Sprouse told Variety that fellow “Riverdale” alum Charles Melton was unable to make it, but sent his support: “He would have been here tonight. He sent me a beautiful message.”
Sprouse, who recently photographed Melton for the Netflix Queue, gushed over his friend’s critically-acclaimed performance in “May December,” which earned the actor a Golden Globe nomination. “It’s nothing but incredible pride for Charles. We went and saw the movie in Franklin village when it came out, and it was just really special.”
Sprouse’s Creature goes toe-to-toe with Lisa’s evil stepmother, played to perfection by Carla Gugino. “One of the things that’s important to me is that it wasn’t sort of just a straight up Cruella de Vil sort-of villain. She actually thought, in her heart of hearts, that she was doing the right thing,” Gugino told Variety, admitting her character “can’t read the room to save her life.”
Gugino recently earned rave reviews for her performance in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” her latest project with frequent collaborator Mike Flanagan. While she couldn’t confirm their next project, she did hint at an upcoming Stephen King adaptation from the creator.
“Honestly, I know nothing other than what you know, which is that Mike has been wanting to make ‘The Dark Tower’ for a very long time. And I think there’s no one better to do it than him. I always love collaborating with him,” Gugino said. “He’s just an extraordinary filmmaker and storyteller. And we love to tell stories together. I’m always so honored to be able to do it again. So I hope we get to do it for many years together.”