Lydia Hearst first made her name in Hollywood as a fashion model, but the actress is now making her mark in the horror genre in movies like “#Horror” and “Condemned.” This year, Hearst is the ambassador for the country’s longest running horror film festival, Screamfest, in Los Angeles, which runs through Oct. 27.
Hearst talked to CBS News about the festival, her Halloween Christmas tree and her spooky wedding.
Tell me how you ended up as an ambassador for Screamfest.
Well, I am a huge fan of the horror genre, and Screamfest is actually one of the longest-running horror film festivals in the U.S. It’s essentially the Sundance of Horror. It’s truly magical as a horror fan because you’re surrounded by other directors, actors, filmmakers and artists who truly appreciate the genre and films.
I’ll be attending almost every night watching the films, and introducing a lot of them as well as moderating the Q&As after.
What is your favorite horror sub-genre?
Oh gosh, I honestly watch pretty much anything and everything horror and I love all of it. I think I love everything from haunted houses to monsters to even humans, who can be the most terrifying creatures of them all. I have a deep-seated appreciation and love for it and as someone with a super-active brain, I’m always very curious. Being shocked always drives my own morbid curiosity. It allows you to explore areas you can’t otherwise because with horror, you don’t have to have those happy Hollywood endings.
What are some of your favorite classics?
I’m a huge Hitchcock fan, from “Vertigo” to “Psycho” to “Rope.” The stories and cinematography are truly powerful, but I also love directors like Wes Craven with “The Hills Have Eyes.”
How did you go from modeling to horror movies?
It’s funny. I do a mix of horror and sort of romantic comedies, and I always wanted to work in entertainment. I was fortunate with my career in fashion and loved every moment, but a few years ago I realized I loved being in front of the camera in a different way and finding my voice and expressing myself differently.
I love bringing characters to life and understanding different aspects of myself. With horror movies, you can face your fears, but at the same time, it’s just a movie so you don’t really have to face anything in reality. It’s entertaining and it’s a lot of fun to get to experience lots of aspects of different personalities. I guess you get to be scared while being safe.
What are you doing this Halloween?
My husband and I don’t have any plans as of yet, though we did start decorating. Christmas and Halloween are my favorite holidays, so I put my tree up and decorate it as a Halloween tree. I have music playing and get spiderwebs and zombies and cover the whole tree.
It’s fun and I’m obsessed with movie props and scary movie props so I have an original life-size Regan doll from “The Exorcist.” And I have one of the original headcasts from Jack Nicholson from “Wolf” and I also have a cast from “The Howling.” When you go home, I don’t know if you’ve seen the Guillermo del Toro “At Home with the Monsters” exhibit, but it’s like a small version here.
I read that you incorporated some horror and sci-fi elements in your wedding to Chris Hardwick a few months ago.
Well, we both love horror and he actually was with me last year at Screamfest and we wanted to include some of our love for horror and sci-fi, so we had droids from “Star Wars,” like R2-D2, and R5-D4 was in the wedding. We had zombie bartenders and waitstaff. We truly love horror and the genre.
Are horror movies as scary to act in as they are to watch?
Sometimes when you’re in the scene, everything becomes very real, but at the same time, you can enjoy that adrenaline rush and feel genuinely scared, but, to me, you know that you’re safe.
Hearst is in “Swing State,” available on iTunes and on demand on Nov. 1.