'I Know What You Did Last Summer's' Fiona Rene on Getting Rid of Horror Tropes (EXCLUSIVE)
Say what you will about TV and movie reboots, but I Know What You Did Last Summer star Fiona Rene understands the value in this particular reboot on Amazon Prime. You might even call it a straight up re-imagining of the 1997 movie that gave birth to a film franchise.
And in an exclusive interview with Distractify, Fiona dove into what it means to be part of a horror remake and how she thinks the show stomps on horror tropes and stereotypes you thought you would have to see in TV shows and movies forever.
Fiona Rene plays the police chief in 'I Know What You Did Last Summer.'
Before I Know What You Did Last Summer, Fiona was in Stumptown as a detective. In this show, she plays law enforcement again, as local police chief Lyla. The show is a modern take on the 1997 movie of the same name and follows a group of friends who deal with the fallout and consequences of an accidental hit-and-run.
But Fiona's character is one who wasn't in the movie and she has ties to the father of the hit-and-run victim. In some ways, she's as important to the story as the teens involved in the accident. Although Fiona couldn't tell us what happens to her character in the show, she did reveal that the way the murders play out isn't what you'd expect.
"I don't want to give anything away. But I know things about the show, what happens in episodes in Season 1, that I'm like, this is not the direction that you [typically go], when it comes to male versus female, when it comes to male and female relationships, [and] when it comes to who dies first," she shared. "Or, you know, the woman running from the man with the boobs bouncing around ... it is not any of those tropes. So I'm so stoked by that."
Fiona is all for reboots after 'I Know What You Did Last Summer.'
To some, the word "reboot" instantly makes them cringe. Reboots, revivals, or whatever else you might call them, are sometimes shoddy re-tellings of a story you might already feel you know well.
I Know What You Did Last Summer is what Fiona called a "reboot of a reboot," since it's based on the movie, which was already based on the 1973 Lois Duncan novel. And after being a part of it, she says that some of her preconceived notions of reboots have shifted.
"Time changes everything," Fiona said. She explained that she might have once been against reboots since they can take away from the impact of the original movie or TV show. But she has an open mind about it now, especially where I Know What You Did Last Summer is concerned.
"Now I'm like, 'Oh, let's see how this interpretation of this story for this time in this space differs from then,'" Fiona added. "And now I kind of find it intriguing, and I'm interested, and I'm a lot less critical."
'I Know What You Did Last Summer' shows a greater representation in the horror genre.
Where I Know What You Did Last Summer might seem like a typical teen horror TV show, there are elements which set it apart from your usual slasher. The cast is diverse in both race and sexual orientation. In fact, there isn't really an outright mention of what different characters' sexual orientations are and it's refreshing.
Fiona explained how it feels like the series' showrunner and writers are aware of not falling on old tropes that might be present in other horror TV shows or movies.
"The whole entire team is so cognizant of representation and not falling on the trope," Fiona said of horror movies killing off minorities right away and preserving the white straight characters for as long as possible.
Fiona Rene has a long history with horror and teaching acting.
Well before she was cast in I Know What You Did Last Summer, Fiona had a love for horror. She created multiple immersive haunted house experiences and she has worked as an artist with prosthetics as well.
Fiona also coaches acting through large groups and smaller one-on-one sessions with her acting master class, Method for Being: Acting in Immersive Environments.
She explained her classes are "for actors and non-actors who are just storytellers, who want to be able to play with the concept of character, and how that character transitions between roles."
The classes are an opportunity for people to learn from someone who has spent years in the entertainment industry in various roles. And if you want to see Fiona's talent in action, you can catch her on I Know What You Did Last Summer for the time being.
Watch I Know What You Did Last Summer on Fridays on Amazon Prime.