Pet Sematary Star Jeté Laurence Details the Fun of Making a Terrifying Tale

When a filmmaker attempts to adapt a well-known story into a movie, they're faced with the difficult task of deciding which elements of the written narrative should be lifted directly and what elements need to be tweaked. In the case of Stephen King's Pet Sematary, a movie was previously delivered back in 1989, which stuck relatively close to the novel's narrative. This year's adaptation of Pet Sematary, on the other hand, made some bigger tweaks to the events of the story, yet still kept in spirit with the novel. The biggest change was that, rather than focusing on a toddler coming back to life after a horrible accident, it was nine-year-old Ellie Creed, played by Jeté Laurence.

In the film, after the Creed family relocates from Boston to rural Maine, they soon discover an ancient burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, the grief-stricken father is driven by the cemetery’s sinister power, setting off a perilous chain of events that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences. Some secrets are best left buried in this twisted thriller.

To celebrate the release of Pet Sematary on home video, out now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD, ComicBook.com recently caught up with Laurence to discuss what it was like making such a disturbing movie and what superhero movie she'd like to star in.

pet sematary 2019 remake ellie
(Photo: Paramount Pictures)

ComicBook.com: While you likely haven't seen a number of classic, R-rated horror movies, what would you say was the scariest movie you had seen before joining Pet Sematary?

Jeté Laurence: Well, when I was really young, I saw Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, and it was very scary. And I hadn't gotten involved with horror movies yet, so I was definitely more scared than I am of horror movies now.

Since you weren't entirely familiar with the world of horror and all of Stephen King's movies and novels, was it your family that encouraged you to pursue the role? What was the audition process like?

Well, I did a bunch of auditions before I actually got into the movie, but first I did two auditions, and then I did a Skype with the directors, and then I went to LA, to Paramount, and actually met with the directors and met Jason [Clarke].

Were you at all familiar with the legacy of Stephen King, even if you hadn't read his books or seen the movies? Was there any added pressure, knowing how many fans he has who knew the book and the previous movie?

Well, I didn't see the first movie, because I think when I was asking how her imagination takes over, so it would be like if I had seen the original, I would probably not have had as many creative ideas.

You have a few other projects in your career that are on the creepier side of things, is that something that actively interests you?

Well, I like horror, I also really like fantasy, so I would love to do a fantasy movie too, but yeah.

Fantasy is pretty popular right now, especially with book adaptations, are there are fantasy series in particular you'd like to star in?

My dad's actually writing a screenplay right now and me and my sisters would be in it, and so I was really excited to be in that.

A large chunk of the movie required you to have gross makeup on. What was it like when you first saw yourself in the mirror? Was the vibe on set different from other projects you've done?

Well, when I first put on the makeup, it was crazy with all the veins, and it was really creepy for me and I got used to it and stuff. But yeah, I wasn't really scared on set because I saw it from behind the scenes and stuff. So it was like, I saw it, like when we are in the sound stages and stuff, I saw it from the back, and so it wasn't as scary for me.

Now that you've done this horror movie, has it inspired you to want to seek out more horror roles or would you rather find new opportunities?

Well, I would like to do more horror, yeah. Horror is fun. I mean, especially if it's like a set like this, because the set was very upbeat, and even though it was like scary, it was like everyone has such good attitudes and everyone was very cheerful on set and stuff.

You got to do subtle and creepy dramatic scenes, but also bigger physical scenes, did you have a particular favorite day on set?

I have that very active fight scene with Jason and that was really fun because I remember in between takes, we would do push-ups and burpees and stuff to get really pumped up and ready for the scene. And that was really fun for me.

Who did you like better as a co-star, Jason or the cats who played your pet Church?

Well, they were both amazing. Jason is very upbeat and fun, and there were so many great scenes with him. And the cats were also very cute. So both.

If a sequel to Pet Sematary happened, would you like to return?

Yeah, definitely. It was so fun, because the set was just so upbeat, and it was always really fun, and even no matter how scary it was, it was like no matter how scary the set looked, it would be still like we're really happy, and having fun with it.

Lastly, in the world of superheroes, is there a particular superhero movie that you'd like to do?

I really like Wonder Woman stuff, so maybe like a young version of her or something.

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Pet Sematary is out now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.

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