If you haven’t already seen the trailer for the new horror film The Gallows, you’ll probably want to keep the lights on when you do, because it is terrifying. Actress Cassidy Gifford (daughter of Kathie Lee) stopped by the Allure office and told us what it was like filming her first lead role in the screamer. She spilled about fake blood, acting scared, and using makeup to look like an exhausted mess.
How did you get yourself so convincingly scared? “That wasn’t hard, because we were scared. We filmed in this really creepy veterans memorial in Fresno, California, that was supposedly haunted. Everything was dark. Most times everyone in the cast and crew was accounted for on stage, and then you’d hear all these weird sounds and creaks. And we weren’t in a great area, so people were breaking in to cars outside all the time. We were always on our toes.”
Did you wear tons of waterproof makeup? Most of the time I did my own makeup with my regular mascara. I got touched up by the makeup artist [Lisa Vialpando], but for most of it, I kind of look like crap. I would cry, or she would spray water on me and let it smudge. It was very simple makeup.”
How did you make yourself look so tired? “I had taken an international-relations exam the morning I started filming, so I looked terrible. I had just pulled an all-nighter studying. And I learned eye-makeup tricks [on set]. You can throw cover-up out the door, because every zit and little thing, just let it shine. You have to learn to embrace it. On the under-eyes, you put a little bit of purple eye shadow to darken. And then bronzer blends it all together. If we had to do a pickup shot quickly, Lisa would draw some mascara on and spray me with glycerin for sweat.”
What did you do to prepare for the intense crying scenes? “I’d watch heartfelt videos on YouTube or think of hypothetical situations, like losing loved ones. The Wailin’ Jennys sing a song called The Parting Glass’ that made me cry. And honestly just being hungry and exhausted makes you feel vulnerable. You know when you were little, you’d be sobbing, and your mom would say it was just because you were tired? Then you were asleep two seconds later. That’s kind of what it is. You have to be tired.”
Which part of your makeup took the longest? “My neck. It took two to three hours, then the directors would give input, and it would be another hour. There were a lot of purples used so you could see it under the red lighting. I’d send pictures to my mom, and she’d respond being like, ‘I need a disclaimer next time, please.’ Having the noose around my neck and being dragged down the hallway was the most uncomfortable. I’m literally lying on a piece of cardboard holding onto the rope and sliding on my shoulder blades, getting rug burns all the way.”
Check out how to create your own scary makeup here: