Escaping My Stalker showcases Linden Ashby on both sides of the camera

Photo: Linden Ashby. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sheri Goldberg PR.
Photo: Linden Ashby. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sheri Goldberg PR. /

Escaping My Stalker isn’t just another role for Linden Ashby; he also directed the latest LMN thriller, and spoke to Hidden Remote about the movie.

Escaping My Stalker is going to show Lifetime movie fans another side of Linden Ashby—not just as an actor, but as a director. Having previously directed on Teen Wolf, Ashby is starting 2020 on a high note when he makes his TV-movie directorial debut.

The Lifetime Movie Network thriller co-stars Ashby as Larry Stewart, who adopts teenage Taylor Stewart (Ezmie Garcia) into his family. But when Taylor’s difficult past begins to catch up with her, she, Larry and his wife Sandy (Alexandra Paul) all find themselves in trouble. Will Taylor be able to protect her family and put her demons behind her for good?

Whatever happens, one of the coolest things about this LMN premiere is that we get to see two different sides of an underrated actor and director. Linden Ashby deserves more of the spotlight, and this movie is shining a light on everything he can do.

Learn more in our Linden Ashby interview below, then be sure to tune into Escaping My Stalker on Wednesday, Jan. 1 at 8:00 p.m. exclusively on Lifetime Movie Network!

Hidden Remote: Escaping My Stalker is the first time you’ve directed outside of Teen Wolf. How is it to say the movie’s completed and you’ve done your first TV-movie?

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Linden Ashby: I just like the process. For me, it’s cool. And I’m really proud of [the movie] and Lifetime really likes it. They held it back and they’re making it their premiere opening movie of the year, so it turned out really well.

HR: Was there something about this movie that made you want to direct it in particular or was this the opportunity that opened up for you?

LA: A little bit of both but it really worked out for me. It’s about a young girl, Taylor, who’s played by Ezmie Garcia, who is amazing. She was homeless, and she’s a skater and works in a skate park. That’s the world I grew up in and still kind of hang out in. So I got it and I liked it, and shooting in downtown Los Angeles, it was just in my wheelhouse.

I got so lucky with my cast. Andrew James Allen [who plays Miles] is amazing, Esmie is amazing, Alexandra is amazing, and I got to work with Mariette Hartley who I have watched for my whole lifetime on TV and she is amazing. She’s great. She’s the scariest bad person in the world and the nicest person real life.

And shooting in L.A., for me, every time I do it I have a new love affair with this city—how amazing the history is and how beautiful it is, and how gritty it is and how real it is. And you’re dealing with the homeless, and it’s such a complex problem. [Although] it’s really a thriller more than a movie about homelessness.

HR: How would you describe your process directing Escaping My Stalker? Is it different from how you’d prepare for the movie if you were just acting in it?

LA: Directors are, the buck stops here. It all comes through you. As an actor, I didn’t prepare that differently. As a director, I love to see what actors are going to bring to it. When you hire the right people, what they do is better than you could have imagined it and it’s fascinating to watch.

Like in the audition process, to watch actors, how they relate to the part and how they present the part; it’s the same lines but it comes out differently from everybody. Which goes back to I believe you can only be you. You can’t be anyone else. Everyone’s going to filter it differently and whatever that comes through us will be ours alone and different from anything else.

How I address actors—I love actors and I’m very conscious of trying to not over-direct, keeping it fun, keeping it really positive. I like to direct with verbs if that makes sense. Give them something active they can do in a scene. I watched Jeff Davis [on Teen Wolf] one time and it was a perfect lesson. Two actors were tied up and people were torturing them, and the director was saying angrier, angrier, angrier, and the actors are getting louder and louder and it wasn’t really working.

Jeff Davis goes, can I talk to them for one second. Jeff walked up to these actors and he goes I want you to look at these people who are doing this to you. I want you to decide which one you’re going to kill first and how you’re going to do it. You give someone an action to do. If you give someone something to do, then they come alive to do it. It brings actors alive.

Escaping My Stalker
Photo: Linden Ashby (right) in the Lifetime original movie Escaping My Stalker. Photo Credit: Courtesy of A&E Networks /

HR: Many actors direct projects that they’re also acting in. How did you act in Escaping My Stalker while directing it?

LA: They don’t technically say you’re co-director, but Susan [Walters, Ashby’s wife] was there all the time. We’ve taught together, worked together, we are better together than as individuals. So when I was in front of the camera, she’d be there and she would sort of give me guidance. And when you’re directing, because you’ve got so many other things to think about, you come at your part and there’s no stress on it. It was really easy and nice and it was fun.

HR: What were the highlights for you as you were working on the movie? Anything LMN fans should be on the lookout for?

LA: There’s stuff throughout that I love the moments. I worked with Marcus Ray and Jacob Figueroa and Pedro Correa. I have a little action scene that was fun.  And Ezmie, she’s so good. She’s so grounded and solid and I knew that I could always count on her to be there and be real and be present, and she was just great.

HR: What’s next for Linden Ashby as we go into 2020?

LA: I just finished the last season of [the Netflix series] Trinkets. And I’m talking to these guys about directing another movie!

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Escaping My Stalker premieres Jan. 1 at 8:00 p.m. on Lifetime Movie Network.