Lorna Raver © Universal Pictures

In Drag Me to Hell, Lorna Raver portrays  Mrs Ganush, a haggard old woman who is displaced from her home by Christine (Alison Lohman), an ambitious bank loan officer. She soon regrets her decision as Ganush puts a curse on her that will change her life.

What a lovely surprise it was to interview Raver, a charming, pretty, elegant-looking woman with a wonderful sense of humor.

How did you get the role if Mrs Ganush?

Lorna Raver © Universal Pictures

The old fashioned way, I read for it. When I read the first time, I had only that scene in the bank with the woman coming in and they’re taking her house. Then they said that Sam Raimi (the director) wanted to meet me, and I saw some more of the script, and I thought [‘Oh my God’]. So I read for Sam, and when I finished reading the scene, Sam said, ‘I have some questions for you. You’re going to have to wear a funny eye, you’ll probably have to wear some strange teeth, you’ll have to have a life-cast done, you might be flying so we’ll have to put a harness on you, you look like you’re pretty fit, are you?’ I’m thinking, ‘What am I getting into?’

Did you do any research on aspects of the character?

I did do quite a bit of reading on gypsies and I found some videos of gypsy families that were very interesting. The Hungarian part, I’m fairly friendly with accents from my acting work. I wasn’t actually able to find a Hungarian accent, but I did my own.

Have you ever done a Horror movie?

Lorna Raver © Universal Pictures

Nothing like this before. I can’t say enough about the special effects people at KNB. The two people who did my make up were fabulous, because I had to have a life-cast done and I’m a little claustrophobic and I was very, very nervous about it. There were five guys who worked on me at the same time, and I swear there was one guy whose sole job was to pat me on the shoulder and describe to me what they were doing, which made the time go fast. They used those casts to build the make up and my stunt double’s make up. In the film I started off relatively normal looking, I’m stunningly attractive [she laughs], but as it goes along the make up gets more severe and extreme.

What did you think the first time you saw yourself in the make-up?

Lorna Raver © Universal Pictures

There’s something very liberating about doing a role where you look like that, because you don’t have to go, ‘Is my hair okay?’ And then they brought me the kill-sheets of the still photos for me to cross off what I didn’t want them to use, I said, ‘Is there any point to this really? What’s the difference?’ [she laughs] You know, I’m a character actor and as a more mature person and not a young babe concerned about whether I’m looking okay, I just got a kick out of it.

Was doing the scene where you attack Christine in the car the hardest one to shoot?

Probably, because it went on forever. We shot a week in the parking garage in that car, Alison and I at one another. And then we revisited that scene on stage in front of a green screen, I don’t know how many times. We just kept doing more. I said to Sam, ‘You’re going to have more film on this than Alfred Hitchcock’s shower scene.’ The initial week of shooting was intense, but I think the fight scene was very interesting, it was grueling, it was sometimes fun, it had a lot going on, and it was so different from anything I’d ever done before. It was wild.

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.