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Natalie Ganzhorn stars in Guillermo Del Toro’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

PRUNE: Introduce yourself to our readers - 

NATALIE: Hey my names Natalie Ganzhorn and I'm a 21 year old actress from Toronto, Canada! 

PRUNE: How old were you when you began acting/ Have you always known that you wanted to be an actress?

NATALIE: I actually got into acting in a pretty unique way. I joined my school's competitive debating and public speaking team in 6th grade and immediately fell in love with performing. I have always been interested in politics and philosophy and debating provided a unique platform for me to exercise those interests. I began competing in categories of public speaking such as interpretive reading and dramatic monologue and that’s where I found my love of acting. I feel like my experience as a competitive debater and public speaker has complimented my acting career really nicely…it has taught me how to feel confident speaking and thinking on my feet, while also teaching me to pitch myself, perform in front of crowds and be comfortable taking risks and being vulnerable with my performances. I’ve travelled all over the world representing Canada at International Debating and Public Speaking competitions in South Africa, Lithuania, Hong Kong, Dubai and Beijing. Fun fact - I am the two time International Debating and Public Speaking Champion and the 2016 World Debating and Public Speaking Champion.

PRUNE: Today, fans can see you on the big screen in 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark'. Talk to us about this film and what viewers can expect.

NATALIE: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a new Guillermo Del Toro film based on the iconic book series by Alvin Schwartz with illustrations by Stephan Gammell.  Set in the late 1960’s it follows the story of a group of teenagers that stumble upon a haunted house on halloween. What follows is terrifying test of friendship and resilience set against the political landscape of America during the Vietnam War. Guillermo is known for the monsters he creates in his films and our movie has no shortage of those. It was extremely important to both Guillermo and our films director Andre Ovredal to stay true to the books and the original illustrations and I think fans of the book series will be extremely happy with the way that the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Movie brings the books to life. 

I play the character of Ruth Steinberg. She’s the older sister of the group and a total perfectionist. Ruth has been preparing to star in her high schools production of “Bye Bye Birdie” when she notices a spider bite on her cheek. The character that I portray in the movie is inspired by the story “The Red Spot” in the third installment of the “Scary Stories” book series. This was a dream role for me and I am honored to portray such a well-recognized story from the books. 

PRUNE: How has this film changed your career thus far?

NATALIE: Being a part of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has changed my life and my career in so many ways. It’s actually the reason that I was able to move out to LA! I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from some of the most respected filmmakers in the industry. It has given me so much confidence on set and in audition rooms and challenged me to push myself outside my comfort zone. 

PRUNE: Favorite moment from set?

NATALIE: Oh my gosh... we had so much fun filming Scary Stories it’s so hard to pick just one moment! I think it’s a tie between two moments...the first being my "spider scene" and the second being the first time we enter the Bellows house. The spider scene was one of my favorites because of how challenging it was. While I did have a prosthetic on my face, the spiders were CGI so it was such a fun challenge to have to imagine them coming out of my cheek! Filming inside the Bellows mansion was also a favorite moment for me because it was one of the first scenes we filmed together as a cast.

PRUNE: Are you a fan of scary movies yourself?

NATALIE: I absolutely love scary’s one of the reasons I was so excited to be a part of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! I recently watched the movie “A Quiet Place” for the first time which i absolutely loved. Some of my favorite scary movies of all time are films that Guillermo has created. “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” was one of the first scary movies that I ever watched and “The Orphanage” was amazing and equally terrifying.  Andre Ovredal, the director of Scary Stories directed two films called “Trollhunter” and “The Autopsy of Jane Doe” that definitely top my list and are must see if you are a horror lover who hasn’t seen them yet! Something that is unique about “Scary Stories” is that the film is a mix between a modern horror movie and a throwback to “Amblin Style” movies and horror that many fans of the books grew up with. 

PRUNE: Who do you look up to in the industry?

NATALIE: There are so many people that I look-up in the industry. One actress that comes to mind immediately is Reese Witherspoon...she's played so many iconic characters (Legally Blonde is definitely one of my favorite movies). Reese is a huge advocate for women in film, which is a topic that I'm extremely passionate about. She started her own production company that focuses on female driven stories and filmmakers and she isn't afraid to voice her opinion of topics she's passionate about!

PRUNE: Who is your dream costar?

NATALIE: There are so many incredibly talented actors I look up to and I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with some of those individuals over the last few years. My answer to this question is two-fold… the first part of my answer would focus on the wonderful actors I have had the opportunity to learn from in person, on set. One of the first actors I worked with was Andrea Martin on a sit-com called Working the Engels. Comedy has always been something that I’ve been drawn to and working with Andrea really was a dream come true. The most valuable lesson I learned from her was to feel comfortable taking risks on set, and to trust your comedic instinct. She was so bold and fearless with her choices which gave me the confidence to try and bring something new to the table for each of my scenes. More recently I had the pleasure of working with Dean Norris on the film “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”. Breaking Bad was one of the first series that I really fell in love with and having the opportunity to work with and learn from Dean was invaluable. His performances are so grounded and nuanced, it’s hard not to feel inspired! The second part of my answer to this question would be actors I admire but haven’t had the opportunity to meet. Growing up in Toronto I have always looks up to Rachel McAdams. She grew up in London, Ontario Canada which is where I attended university. Being a Canadian actor myself, I was always motivated by her success in the American market. I’m also a diehard Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep fan, so it won’t come as a surprise that Big Little Lies season two was my favorite TV show to watch this year.

PRUNE: Current Netflix-show addiction?

NATALIE: There are so many amazing’s so hard to pick just one!!! I recently binged Ozark and it’s a must see if you haven't seen it yet! I'm a die-hard Stranger Things that would also be at the top of my list. 

PRUNE: Favorite song to belt out in the car?

NATALIE: I have a couple...and it definitely depends on my mood. My dad got me into older music when I was younger so the classics are usually what’s playing in my car. Mr. Brightside, Drops of Jupiter and Rocket Man are always fun but Kings of Leon is probably my favorite band of all time.

PRUNE: Fall fashion trend everyone should be on the lookout for?

NATALIE: Fall fashion is my absolute favorite...I'm always a sucker for jeans, a big sweater and great boots!! 

PRUNE: Fall fashion trend everyone should skip?

NATALIE: This is a tough one... I love when people take risks with their fashion choices and step outside the box. I wouldn't say there’s any fall trends to skip. I always find that confidence is the best accessory!



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