Our interview with 11 years old young actress Lou Lou Safran, who can be seen in the upcoming horror film “Annabelle: Creation.”
“Annabelle: Creation” is about the infamous doll that comes to life. The young and extremely talented Lou Lou plays one of seven orphans who are left homeless when their orphanage shuts down, and winds up staying in the home of an elderly couple. Little do the orphans know that their time in the house is soon to take a turn for the worse.
Before “Annabelle: Creation,” Lou Lou appeared in “The Choice,” based on the best seller by Nicholas Sparks. Truly an old soul, Lou Lou finds inspiration in Grace Kelly and one of her favorite dancers of all time, Fred Astaire.
What is the best and worst part of being an actor?
The best part of being an actress for me is getting to use my imagination to become a different person. I make up the details of another life and explore different feelings and situations. The worst part is when you get to work with a great cast and crew who feel like family, like in Annabelle Creation or my first movie The Choice, and it is so sad when it’s time to wrap.
Best advice ever given?
My parents always tell me “be yourself and don’t worry too much about what others think of you” but “don’t drink orange juice after brushing your teeth” is a good one too.
Please tell us about “Annabelle: Creation,” and your character?
Do you remember the first Annabelle movie? That horrific doll with a killer streak? Well, this is the story of how she came to be that monster.
I play Tierney, one of six orphan girls who come to live in a creeeepy old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere after their orphanage is shut down. There is something very unnerving about the place and the older couple who own it are strange too. But we don’t have a choice so we try to make ourselves at home. Until we find a mysterious doll locked up in a closet and everything starts going terribly horribly wrong.
How was the casting for “Annabelle: Creation?”
I had to film my audition on tape and send it to the casting director. There was also a wardrobe test where I got to try on dozens of clothes from the 1950s to see if they looked right. The costumes in the movie are amazing! Leah Butler designed beautiful dresses from all sorts of vintage fabrics and it was so much fun to wear them on the set.
What has been your most memorable experience from the set?
We started the shoot by having a real priest come and bless the set to keep the evil away. So that was pretty unusual. I also couldn’t get enough of watching the make-up artists turn actors into hair-raising demons.
In this movie I got to act with 6 spectacular girls and we became very close very quickly. Every day we would all have lunch in my room on the set and that was pretty fantastic too. We had the most awesome set teacher (the person who looks after under-age actors) Lois Yaroshevsky, and she would bring the funnest games and crafts for us to do between takes. We all still keep in touch, get together and have sleepovers. Being a part of a great group of friends like this has been maybe my favorite film experience so far.
What other projects you have been part of?
I made my acting debut in The Choice, a beautiful romantic drama based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. I play Katie, the daughter of the two main characters Travis and Gaby (Ben Walker and Teresa Palmer). I loved being a part of The Choice. Ross Katz is an incredible director and the nicest person ever. We shot the movie on the most stunning set – a sprawling property on the Intracoastal in Wilmington, North Carolina with a crazy good cast. I mean, I got to play my very first scene ever with the great Tom Wilkinson as my Grandpa!
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
HANDS DOWN GARY COOOOOPPER!!!! I LOOOOOOVE HIM!!! Cary Grant is a close second. Audrey Hepburn and Bing Crosby come in third and after that I could make a whole list of other actors I love but that would take too long. These four were so classy, charming and funny and starred in so many unforgettable films. I am obsessed with old Hollywood.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
Sleeping in, a big breakfast, a swim, tree climbing with my friends, some reading, maybe a movie, some music, and spending the whole day not thinking about school the next day sounds idyllic.
How’s a normal day in your life?
My family often travels and we live in different places, depending on where the set is, so my schedule tends to change a bit. I guess wherever I am, we always start and end the day with a family meal. After breakfast I head to school. In LA I go to Le Lycee Francais, which is the most fantastic school ever! In London it’s Hill House and in Australia where I am now The Best Little Beach School. After school I try to get through homework as quickly as possible so I can play with my dog, cats and turtles. I have four red-eared sliders and they are growing like maniacs. I try to play the piano, sing and listen to music every day. I also take tennis and swim lessons after school. I help my Mom with making dinner, when she doesn’t send me upstairs to clean my room, which happens pretty often. If I’m lucky we have enough time to watch a movie together before bed or read a book in bed.
When I’m working on a movie, the day pretty much depends on the shooting schedule. Sometimes you get a morning call time and sometimes there are night shoots and you do school work with the set teacher in between takes. You get to act, and when you’re on a break, you get to watch all these amazing artists and craftsmen at work, see the sets change, watch the footage in the video village and of course raid craft services whenever you want to! There can be long days and they are never ‘normal’ I guess, but I love it so much and never get tired of it.
What we can expect of Lou Lou Safran in 2017?
You will see me at the premiere of Annabelle Creation the first week of August in Los Angeles. So excited I can barely wait! I am planning to learn the ukulele this Summer and will be posting lots of silly videos of my renditions of the Arctic Monkeys and Eddie Vedder songs on the uke and piano. That’s all I can say about my upcoming projects so far.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
As a tall, strong, independent sixteen year old woman, maybe the president of the United States. Just kidding. I hope by then I will have an adopted baby sister, I will be really good on the piano, ukulele and guitar and will have written a few nice songs of my own. I hope I will be as fluent in Spanish as I am in Polish and French. I really hope that I will be an experienced and good actress by then too. And feel as happy and on top of the world as I do now!
Do you support any charities?
I am closely involved with three amazing local organizations. Animal Tracks, who rehabilitate wildlife and educate the public through tours and animal visits. Project Angel Food, which brings food and love to those who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves and A Sense of Home – a project that essentially creates homes for youth who aged out of the foster system. We help build a sense of community around them. We show up on weekends with a truck full of furniture and get to work. It’s very hands on which I love and we tell stories, sing songs and bond afterwards. The other day I was helping assemble an IKEA bed and it was almost impossible!
Where we can follow you?
My website LouLouSafran.com
Favorite Music: BIGGEST FAN IN THE WORLD OF ARCTIC MONKEYS AND THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS! Without them I would have never wanted to play any instruments! It’s also Eddie Vedder’s fault, Bruce Springsteen’s, the Rat Pack’s and my mommy’s. She’s a great singer-songwriter.
Quote: ‘A person that has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.’
– Roald Dahl
Holiday Destination: I love Paris, London, St. Tropez, Santa Barbara and Poznan. My Mom is from Poznan. It’s a gorgeous city in Poland with lakes and forests all around and we spend as much time there as possible. We are going there right after the Annabelle Creation premiere!
I am also dreaming of Bora Bora! I have never been and the stories my Mom and Dad tell about it make it seem like paradise.
Song: I cannot possibly choose one, but here is the current list:
1. The Bourne Identity – The Last Shadow Puppets
2. The Element of Surprise – TLSP
3. The River – Bruce Springsteen
4. Pink Caddilac – The Boss
5. Dancing Shoes – Arctic Monkeys
6. R U Mine – Arctic Monkeys
7. Cornerstone – Arctic Monkeys
8. Without You – Eddie Vedder
9. My mistakes Were Made For You – TLSP
10. Miracle Aligner – TLSP
Sports Team: LECH POZNAŃ – a soccer team from my Mom’s home town. My uncle Mick takes me to the games when I’m in Poland and you wouldn’t believe how crazy the Lech fans are. I love chanting and egging the team on with the audience, it’s like a massive party!
Movie: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) with Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur
Photo Credit: Igor Drozdows