Brittany Snow has made a name for herself with films like John Tucker Must Die, Hairspray, and the Pitch Perfect series. The 36-year-old has also immersed herself in the horror genre, appearing in titles such as Prom Night and Would You Rather. Now, Snow returns to the big screen with X, a slasher film written and directed by Ti West.
Via video interview, the Florida-born actor says, “The last horror film that I did was 10 years ago; so I took a break from that because I really wanted to do something that was special and going to be handled in a way that was pushing the envelope.”
Brittany Snow in X. Courtesy of VVS Films/ A24
Set in 1979, X follows a group of young people who set out to shoot a porn production in rural Texas: Bobby-Lynne and Maxine, two strippers turned aspiring adult entertainment actors (Snow and Mia Goth); Jackson, a veteran (Scott Mescudi a.k.a. Kid Cudi); Wayne, a producer (Martin Henderson); RJ, a film director (Owen Campbell); and his girlfriend, Lorraine (Jenna Ortega). However, when their elderly hosts catch them in the act, they find themselves in a fight for their lives.
With this role, Snow wanted to break the clichés of the “dumb blonde” archetype traditionally found in the horror genre. “I respect her a lot,” she reveals. “I think a lot of other people might have looked down on her or thought that perhaps she was a stereotype of what this blonde woman in a horror film should be like. I think that she’s the smartest person in the room. She knew that this was going to get her ahead in life, and there’s something really powerful about that.”
To play a confident woman was a bit of a challenge for Snow, but it was an integral aspect of what drew her to the role of Bobby-Lynne. “I’m definitely not as confident with my body and with myself as she is. But something that I really wanted to work on was the idea that you could feel someone’s energy before they walk into a room, and I think that she really exudes that quality.” Snow continues to note how “something that I took away from the experience is that being sex-positive, liking your body, and having agency over your body and what you look like isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
Brittany Snow in X. Courtesy of VVS Films/ A24.
To prepare for her character, Snow looked to a treasured country music icon. “Within my portrayal, I specifically wanted to pay homage to Dolly Parton,” she reveals. “I feel that Bobby-Lynne would have looked up to her because she is also from a rural part of the South and wants to become a singer. There’s two different voices at play—there was her normal voice and the one she uses in the porno, and it was fun to get to play with both.”
West’s film also offers a social commentary on the currency of youth and serves as a reminder of our inevitable aging, something that Snow relates to. “I think, as an actress, as a woman, and as a human being, it is at the forefront of our minds how scary it is. I think everyone is a little bit afraid of getting older, and that is an interesting theme to explore within the horror genre.”