Brittany Snow, the blonde, blue-eyed beauty you probably remember best from crowd-pleasers like "John Tucker Must Die" and "Prom Night," is all grown up -- and if you don't believe us now, you will. With her latest flick, the dramatic thriller "96 Minutes," the 27-year-old actress proves that even though she's a bona fide triple-threat ("Hairspray," anyone?), she doesn't have to sing or dance to steal the show.
"96 Minutes" tells the story of four lives slammed together in one shocking moment, and explores how each individual deals with the situation at hand. Spoiler alert: Some deal better than others. We caught up with Snow to talk about carjacking, a capella singing and why she'll (probably) never be a lawyer.
What first drew you to this movie? It's a bit grittier than some of the projects you've done in the past.
Well, I initially got the script like four years ago and I loved it. I thought it was really intense and that the story was a very important story to tell. I met with the director Aimee Lagos, and she told me it was all inspired by true events, which just made it that much more interesting. I stuck with her the last four years pretty much just begging her to do it, and then it finally came together. My friend Evan [Ross] got cast and then Christian [Serratos], so that was really exciting -- but from the beginning, this has been something that I've been very passionate about.
What was it like on set? Was it tense all the time, or was there time to kick back and have fun with your friends?
If you know Evan, you know there's no not having fun. He's a really playful, fun guy, and that actually led to some difficulties because he and I are really close friends and we were constantly joking around. He would be making me laugh and then I'd have to go into hysterically crying. Now, he can cry at the drop of a hat and not have to work himself into it at all, which I don't understand, but I ... I can't do that! [laughs] It was a lot of playing around and so as intense as the movie is, we got along really, really well. We all became like a family. I know that sounds kind of, you know, cheesy, but it's true. I think was really important for the movie because we felt really safe with each other.
And since this was your first thriller, in what ways did you relate to your character, and in what ways are you different?
Well, like her, I think I'm pretty common sense. I'm not exactly book smart like she is, and I was never at the top of my class -- like, I think I'll probably never be a lawyer! But I'm pretty common-sense smart, and in a situation like that, I would hope that I would know how to handle things and be reactionary so that my instincts kick in. I think in a lot of ways I'm like Carley because she really used the humanity of the other characters to get her out of situations.
You've got a ton of movies coming out soon, including "Pitch Perfect" with Anna Kendrick. How was it working on that musical comedy?
Oh, that was completely different to this movie! It's probably the biggest departure I've done so far. I loved "Pitch Perfect" because of how much fun it was. We were there in Louisiana, in Baton Rouge, for five months, and I got to sing a capella and dance and just have an amazing time. I became really close with the cast. We just had a blast. Every day I was just so grateful that I got to be a part of that movie because it's so funny and we just had an awesome time getting to be goofballs every day. I'm just super excited to see it!
You've got a very diverse resume at this point. Is there a dream role you'd love to play?
I've always sort of wanted to play somebody that is also a real person or based on a real person.
Like who? Is there anyone you have in mind?
I'm obsessed with anything and everything Grace Kelly, so I would love to do that. I think that's probably the most challenging thing for an actor to do -- to get it right when you're portraying someone else.
And who's your dream love interest on-screen?
Of course, Ryan Gosling would be fantastic. But I've always really wanted to work with Zac Efron because we've been friends forever and we got to work together in "Hairspray," but that was a very specific thing where we were very character-y. We always talk about how it would be great to do something that was dramatic and less, umm, character-y.
Your career is really blowing up. Can you remember back to before you "made it"? What did you buy with your first Hollywood paycheck?
Well, probably my first Hollywood paycheck was technically when I was like six years old for commercials and stuff, so I probably got a sweater or something! But when I was out in L.A., the first big thing I bought on my own was getting out of my mom's and dad's place and getting my own place. And that wasn't just something for me; that was a gift for everyone. It really helped us all. I was 18 years old and I was like, "Bye!"