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Final Gravity

Rumer Willis   ('Sorority Row') Rumer Willis ('Sorority Row')

Rumer Willis is finally establishing herself as an actress in her own right. The daughter of actress Demi Moore and actor Bruce Willis, Rumer Willis debuted onscreen with two roles opposite her mother: a bit part at the age of six in the ensemble dramatic comedy Now and Then (1995, billed as Willa Glen), and a more substantial supporting role as Moore's onscreen daughter in the notorious (but lucrative) Andrew Bergman farce Striptease (1996).

Willis' show-business activity grew prolific in the late 2000s; the summer of 2008 witnessed her debut as a ;jazz vocalist at Teddy's on Hollywood Boulevard, and at around the same time, the then-19-year-old actress graced the casts of several films, including a supporting role in the comedy The House Bunny, opposite Anna Faris.

Willis then signed for another supporting turn in Dana Lustig's Wild Cherry (2009) but of course will next be seen in the horror remake Sorority Row. The horror pic revolves around five sorority girls who inadvertently cause the murder of one of their sisters in a prank gone wrong, and then agree to keep the matter to themselves and never speak of it again, so they can get on with their lives.

This proves easier said than done, when after graduation a mysterious killer goes after the five of them and anyone who knows their secret.

First of all, are you normally a fan of this genre? "I am. I definitely – you know, probably the one who’s going to be in the theater with my hands kind of just split open over my face. But yeah, I definitely do enjoy a good horror film."

What was the attraction of this one for you because it really is an interesting character? "When I read it, it was a really smart and intelligent horror movie. And it was more about the characters, rather than – you know, the plot driving it. And just people happening to be there. And I really liked the fact that – you know, it was kind of female-driven. And just, the writing was so funny. And you can definitely tell the comedy when you’re reading it. But I honestly had no idea it was going to be as funny as it was until I saw it."

Now, you go through quite a lot throughout the course of this. I imagine you probably do more crying than anybody else in the movie. How draining is that emotionally? "I mean, it’s definitely emotionally and physically draining after you’re doing it for a couple hours. But it makes it easier, when you’re in the environment – where we were, at least, it was freezing cold. And all of the girls – you know, we were really kind of just bringing our a-game. And so I think that really helps, when you have everyone who’s kind of ready to work as hard as they can, and do that. So, that made it easier. But yeah, of course, it’s definitely draining."

Let me ask about the look of this character. Whose idea was it to dress her the way that she looks? "Well, the glasses are actually mine, and I had brought them to a fitting. The first fitting I had. I’d worked with the costume designer before, and I just talked to the director and her about the kind of look that we wanted to do, that was a little bit more conservative than the other girls, but still – you know, kind of sexy. And the glasses just kind of came in as one of those quirks that I wanted to add. But they ended up being more trouble, because every time I would cry, the lenses would fog up," she laughs.

It’s interesting, because it seems to me that your character is much more almost like an outsider amongst this group of overtly sort of pretty, sexually aggressive women. Why do you think they are accepting of you as part of the group? "Well, I mean, I’m sure I was kind of the girl that wrote everyone’s essays, and probably helped write the term papers and things. But – you know, she’s definitely a little bit nerdy and a little bit dorky, but I don’t think she – but I think she’s still kind of accepted, because she’s not so over-the-top nerdy and dorky that she wouldn't necessarily be in the sorority. But she’s just more, I would say, on the nerdier side than the girls. But sororities have a bunch of different kind of women in them."

Is it irrelevant to do research on a movie like this? I mean, do you need to go to a sorority, and figure out what those cliques are really like? Or is it all really on the page? "I mean, it’s on the page, and most of it’s just widely known. You know, we all kind of had an idea, and we talked to the director about it. But I think a lot of it, honestly, came from the girls who were cast and when we all actually got together, and the chemistry that we kind of worked out."

Do you deliberately avoid the original film from which this is based? "Well, they actually asked us not to watch it, so it wouldn't sway us in any way, you know?"

And I take it you haven't watched it since?! "No, we haven't watched it yet, but the girls and I were planning to get together one night and do a little showing of it."

You’ve been acting now for a few years. And obviously given your lineage, was acting always inevitable for you? Or was it always something that interested you on your own? "Well, you know, honestly ever since I was a little kid, I think it was just always something that I wanted to do, and that I was interested in doing. And I guess it was just never really a question that that was something that I wanted to pursue."

Were your parents encouraging? "Honestly, they’ve always been supportive of whatever I wanted to do. I think one of the most important things for them was just that they wanted me to finish high school, and not just have my GED, but really just go and finish high school. And I tried college for a semester, but I never really felt like it was the right place for me. So, now that I’ve chosen this, they’ve been nothing but supportive, which is all I can ask for."

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