Finding the right actress to portray Megan in The Possession of Hannah Grace was critical for it to succeed. Shay Mitchell turned out to be that person.
Pretty Little Liars actress
Shay played Emily Field for seven seasons on the Freeform series Pretty Little Liars. She is a Canadian model, actress, and social media influencer. Her role was of a talented athlete coming to terms with her sexuality.
In that fan-favorite role, Shay Mitchell had demonstrated her ability to simultaneously appear incredibly strong and noticeably vulnerable. It was those traits made her a perfect fit to play Megan. In her capable hands, the character immediately became a heroine audiences would want to root for in these extreme circumstances.
Producers thoughts on Shay Mitchell
“Casting Megan Reed, you would want somebody who the audience could see being in her place—you’d want someone exactly like Shay,” co-producer Sean Robins says. “Another important quality that attracted us to Shay is her physicality. Megan is going to be fighting for her life, so you want someone who can make you believe that she is up to the challenge. Shay, who boxes and works out every single day, is out there doing incredible, believable stunts. Her performance goes beyond what you may have seen of her before.”
Todd Garner, co-producer: “Because she’s playing a rookie cop that made a mistake and is suffering the consequences, you had to have a verisimilitude with a person who has enough inner strength that you could buy as a rookie cop. Shay has got that kind of smarts and physicality. You could believe her in that role.”
An opportunity for Shay Mitchell
For Shay, the role of Megan represented a singular opportunity to play a complex character under unimaginable pressure who digs deep to summon the courage to combat a supernatural threat. “I really liked the fact that she is able to overcome things throughout this movie—that she doesn’t just die,” Shay says. “She proves to herself that she could do it. Being in a morgue alone all night would be a very isolating job for you and me, but for somebody like Megan, who’s gone through a lot of recent ups and downs, I think being surrounded by cadavers is strangely comforting. There is no judgment there. Nobody is telling her she’s messed up again or that she’s been lying and needs to get her act together. But as things start getting strange at the morgue, her self-doubt begins to complicate the situation.”
To prepare to play Megan, Shay did a ride along with local Boston police officers and studied what it was like to work in a morgue.
“Shay Mitchell brings so much talent to this film,” executive producer Glenn S Gainor says. “It’s a very intense role to play, and from day one, she embraced it. She really threw herself into the part.”
The Possession of Hannah Grace Featurette “Casting”
The Possession of Hannah Grace Lowdown
A pulse-pounding, R-rated horror-thriller sure to terrify audiences.
Synopsis: A shocking exorcism spirals out of control, claiming the life of a young woman.
Months later, Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) is working the graveyard shift in the morgue. She takes delivery of a disfigured cadaver… Locked alone inside the basement corridors, Megan begins to experience horrifying visions. She starts to suspect that the body may be possessed by a ruthless demonic force.
Cast: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, and Stana Katic