Q&A with Kaitlyn Bernard: Stephen King’s 1922, Bonnie and Clyde, and more


Image credit: Kristine Cofsky/M Public Relations

Netflix is releasing an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella 1922 with Kaitlyn Bernard starring.

If you haven’t heard of Kaitlyn Bernard, you need to get familiar with her work right away. This is a young woman with many talents, showing her ability to take any role and make it her own.  At just 15 years old, the Canadian actress definitely does not shy away from tricky and memorable projects.

Her upcoming movie is the adaptation if 1922, a novella by the horror writing God Stephen King. The Netflix original movie tells the tale of Wilfred James, who kills his wife when she decides she wants to leave him. He and his son, Henry, hide the body but soon the dead wife comes back to haunt Wilfred. Bernard plays young Shannon, Henry’s girlfriend.

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Hidden Remote was able to get an exclusive interview with Bernard, where she shares auditioning for 1922, Shannon’s role in the story, and what to expect next.

Hidden Remote: What was the audition process like? How much competition did you have? 

Kaitlyn Bernard: It’s actually a funny story because the day the director, Zak Hilditch, was coming to Vancouver from Australia for the initial casting session, I was on a plane flying across the country to my summer home. We had already changed my flight a few times so I didn’t want to change it again but my agent sent me the script to take a look at on my flight and I was immediately drawn to the project. I love horror movies and loved how the story was told.

I remember landing late at night, because of the time change and asking my mom to help me figure out a way to get my audition on tape the next morning so I could be considered for the role of Shannon. This wasn’t easy because my summer home is in a very remote area and I really wanted to tape professionally.  We ended up figuring it out and got up the next morning and drove down to Halifax, where a friend of mine (who is also a producer and works with me sometimes when I’m on the East coast) helped me put my audition on tape.

I kind of forgot about it after that and went on with my summer vacation, but about a month later I got a call from my agent letting me know that Zak wanted to meet with me and chat about the role.

HR: What was it about the role that made you want it the most?

KB: When I first read the script I immediately connected and fell in love with the story. I loved that the film took place in the 1920’s, which led to beautiful interesting costumes, and cool set locations. I related to the character of Shannon, as she’s a very nurturing character who worries a lot. She’s like me in that way as I’m a worrier. The script also involved some adventures that Shannon and Henry go on together, and it just sounded like such a wonderful project to be part of.

HR: Can you tell us about Shannon in 1922? How does she fit into the story?

KB: Shannon is Henry’s girlfriend, the son of the lead protagonist. Without giving too much away, his love for her drives him to make certain choices. Henry and Shannon end up on the run together and get into some trouble along the way.

Image credit: Kristine Cofsky/M Public Relations

HR: You play a lot of complex characters, is this another one? Is it important to you to play someone complex and different each time?

KB: Personally I believe all characters are complex because they all have backstories, favorite colors, dreams, and aspirations that need to be explored and researched in order to bring them to life. I love this part of acting and yes I have been fortunate to have some interesting roles in that way.

In my last feature I played a young teenage girl with incurable cancer. That was a complex role to play but I learned so much in the process. Playing Shannon Cotterie in 1922 was definitely different from anything I have ever done, and I had a lot of fun exploring what she could bring to the film as a whole.

HR: Is there a specific scene that you can’t wait for people to see in 1922?

KB: That’s a hard one as there are so many incredible moments in 1922. The cinematography in the film is outstanding, despite being a horror it’s truly a beautiful movie. Thomas Jane, Molly Parker and Dylan Schmid are outstanding and bring so much to their characters.

Without giving anything away there is one scene that takes place towards the end of the film during a tragic winter storm that was really memorable to shoot and also a pivotal part of the movie.

HR: What can we expect from you next?

KB: I worked on a feature this summer called Richard Says Goodbye with Johnny Depp, which  will be released in 2018, and my recent feature The Healer is set to be released in North America in 2018 as well.

In The Healer, I play a young girl with terminal cancer. I’m really excited for it to open in more countries as proceeds from the film support children living with serious illness. To date it has been released in eight countries and has raised millions of dollars for various causes.

Aside from those projects, when I’m not filming I’m always training. I love working on my craft through workshops or scene study classes.

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HR: If you could play any dream role from the past, present, or potential future, what would it be and why? 

KB: I absolutely would love to play Bonnie from Bonnie and Clyde. This was another reason why I was so drawn to the script of 1922 in the first place. My character and Dylan’s character (Henry) go on the run and get into trouble similar to Bonnie and Clyde. Faye Dunaway did just an amazing job portraying Bonnie and she is one actress that I definitely look up to.

Stephen King’s 1922 will be released on Netflix on October 20.