25th Jan2018

Horror-On-Sea 2018 Interview: Kaley Ball on ‘Blessed are the Children’

by Philip Rogers

Blessed are the Children is a new thriller from co-writer and director Chris Moore, which was selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival on Friday 19th January. I got chance to ask actress Kaley Ball a few questions about What we can expect from the film, what preparation she did for the role and what it was like working on set.

Kaley-Ball

What can we expect from the film Blessed are the Children?

Blessed are the Children is a provocative thriller set within layers of comedy and intriguing character development. It pays homage to some cornerstone horror movie tropes, but it also delivers some uniquely intimate moments in terms of the characters’ navigation of the storyline. The movie is both comedically entertaining and physically jarring to experience.

Can you tell me a little bit about your character?

Traci is a millennial smart-ass to say the least; her primary defence mechanism is her sarcasm and her wit, which she uses on a regular basis. She is always one to put on a brave face and act like nothing is wrong, even though she is quite vulnerable deep inside. Since the death of her father, she feels misunderstood by most people, especially her mother, with whom she has a tumultuous relationship. Traci struggles most in her male companionships, as she tends to define herself in terms of the man she is with. This all too often lands her in the middle of destructive and toxic romances. Her two best friends, Mandy (played by Keni Bounds) and Erin (played by Arian Thigpin), keep her grounded and they provide a safe, protective atmosphere that no other person in her life gives her.  Her friendship with Mandy and Erin is what Traci treasures the most, and the dynamic of their friendship is one of the most engaging elements of Blessed are the Children.

How did you become involved in the film?

Now this is a funny story. The role of Traci truly found me. I am a musician and I often frequent a local Irish pub to play music with my band. One night, we had just finished playing a show and the writer/director of Blessed, Chris Moore, was dating a bartender (and dear friend of mine) Jamie Moss. That night, after I finished the show, Jamie came up to me and asked if I had ever acted, to which I replied, “I have, but it was years ago in high school”. He told me that his boyfriend had written a horror/thriller screenplay and he thought I’d be perfect for one of the roles. He asked me to audition, and I’m not one to turn down an opportunity for something new, so I said I would try. The next day, I received a couple of monologues for Traci and sent in my audition tape to Chris. Within two days, I was told that not only had I gotten the part, but it was one of the three main characters. Needless to say, I was slightly overwhelmed at first, but it quickly turned into one of the most enjoyable and epic experiences of my life. So, for all those musicians and other artists out there, never limit yourself to one medium; you never know when opportunity will call you out to do something new and extraordinary.

What preparation did you do for the role?

I did not have to do much preparation to play Traci. Chris Moore was very up-front with me from the start, and he told me that my own interpretation of the character was exactly what he was looking for. I am a sarcastic person in reality (admittedly, in a different way than Traci), so that element of the character came easily for me. I also connected with her inclination to hide her vulnerability, as that is something that I think many people, including myself, have struggled with before. On paper, my gravitation to the character was immediate. Through the combination of Chris Moore’s direction and my own interpretation of Traci, the character was really able to be brought to life.

What was it like working on the set of Blessed are the Children?

Working on set was what made the experience so fantastic. Chris Moore is so much fun to work with, and his direction is comfortable, but there is a certain determination stemming from his passion for the project. His enthusiasm on the set is contagious. My fellow cast members, literally every single one of them, quickly became good friends. To me, filming with this amazing director and cast felt more like cutting-up with great company than working to shoot a movie; I am so proud of what Chris Moore and his team were able to accomplish.

What do you think makes Blessed are the Children stand out in the horror genre?

I think Blessed are the Children stands out for many reasons, the first being the characters. Chris Moore, created some seriously eccentric and engaging characters that are so rare to see, especially in this genre. What adds to their uniqueness is how dynamic these relationships play out on-screen and the intricateness of how Chris weaves the characters’ own stories within the main storyline. It’s something I haven’t ever seen before. Supplement that with some truly nail-biting, suspenseful moments that the characters (and the audience) must face head-on, and you get Blessed are the Children.

What was your favourite scene to film in the movie?

By far, my favourite scene to film was one where I got to work with the special effects side of Blessed. Upon learning I’d landed the role in a horror thriller, I was immediately excited with the idea of being covered in fake blood. There is one scene in particular where I got my wish; it was the most fun shoot of the whole movie for me. Besides that, scene, there is scene between Keni Bounds and myself where everyone involved was losing their minds laughing, and then another scene with Jordan Boyd (who played Traci’s ex-fiancé Ben) and Arian Thigpin that was hard to shoot, but an absolute laugh-fest to be a part of.

Do you have any other projects which you are working on at the moment?

Right now, I am actually working on a few projects. Recently, I had a small cameo in Chris Moore’s new movie Triggered alongside Keni Bounds, and it was great to see some familiar faces and meet some new upcoming mega-talents. I am currently working with some friends and writing a couple of different scripts for a mini-series and web-series and I’m very excited for those to begin production later this year. I am also putting the finishing touches on my first solo music album, Out of the Labyrinth, which we will begin recording in June of this year.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get into acting?

As an artist above anything else, the only advice I would give is this: try everything, limit nothing. If you want to do something, do it. The worst possible thing you can do to yourself is not give yourself a chance. Sometimes chance finds you. Sometimes you’ll have to look for it yourself. Either way, just try. Never limit yourself. Something new and extraordinary is right around the corner.

Blessed are the Children recently had its UK premier at the Horror-on-Sea Festival
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For more information on the event and to purchase tickets for other Horror-on-Sea screenings please see the website for details: https://www.horror-on-sea.com

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