As the Christmas season fast approaches, fans of cheeky, spooky Christmas movies can rejoice. Full Moon Features releases The Twelve Slays of Christmas this year for fans' enjoyment.
This new holiday horror comedy stars Cody Renee Cameron, an up-and-coming star in Hollywood known for her incredible performance as a dead body in a particularly memorable scene in The Neon Demon (2016).
Cody joined us to discuss her career in entertainment and how it led to the creation of The Twelve Slays of Christmas. In the interview, Cody talks about her growth as an actor over the years, her experience auditioning for the iconic necromancy scene in The Neon Demon, and what makes her new film so unique.
Cody’s Impressive Acting Career
Maya Capasso: How did you enter the field of professional acting?
Cody Renee Cameron: I grew up in Illinois, and then moved to Los Angeles. I'm from a very small town, so I kind of went crazy for like two years exploring the city. Then I said, “Okay, we need to do something more than just party.”
So I started taking acting classes, which was my first introduction to anything with TV and film. From there, I got an agent and a manager. I started going on real auditions and then started booking.
MC: How did you transition your career from being the “best damn dead girl in Hollywood” to more prominent roles, like in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)?
CRC: In the beginning, you take whatever roles you can get, and I got really lucky when I booked The Neon Demon. That audition was crazy. I did have to audition for the role. People often think, “oh, they just picked a random girl,” but that is not the case.
It was me and like 50 girls in this waiting room waiting to audition. They told all of us to wear a bikini and lay down and play dead. The casting team told us, “we're going to mess with you to see if you can play dead.” So they were touching and tickling me, and I was trying not to breathe or make any facial movements.
I will never forget being tickled and trying to play dead for an audition in a bikini in a random casting room [Cody laughs].
After something like that, you start to build confidence. I felt like, “oh, I'm on a big set with Keanu Reeves and all these other actors. I'm going to keep going and see where it takes me. It's a lot of resilience, a lot of getting told no and coming back anyway. And finding the right team for you and the right parts. It's like a snowball effect once it clicks.
Another big thing I had to learn was not to be what I thought people wanted me to be. It's all about being yourself, being confident, and knowing that you bring something extra, whatever it is. If people are looking for that, they'll take it. And if not, then you move on to the next thing.
The Creation of An Iconic Scene
MC: I've got to ask – What was it like to film the necromancy scene in The Neon Demon?
CRC: It was wild. Originally it was written to be a lot shorter. She was just supposed to snip the stitches from my mouth and kiss me a bit before my hand fell down. Then we cut to Elle Fanning's hand, and you see her on the couch. Well, it's weird to say that as a dead person, I had chemistry with Jena (Jena Malone).
Between Jena, Nicholas (director Nicholas Winding Refn), and I — we just got it. And Nicholas kept pushing us to do more since I was super comfortable with everything. It's weird to say that the scene is a work of art, but it is! There was electric chemistry in the room, and it was all about making the best piece we could.
All About The Twelve Slays of Christmas
MC: Can you describe the premise of your new Christmas movie, The Twelve Slays of Christmas?
CRC: Absolutely. It's that classic cliche: three pretty girls get their car stuck in the middle of nowhere, wandering around looking for help, when they come across a creepy manor. The doors magically open, and they walk inside to find this creepy older man who invites them in. We start hanging out and eating, and my character finds the book The Twelve Slays of Christmas. Of course, the creepy older man reads it to us.
Each of the twelve stories is about a different slay, a story of a murder with old, previously established Full Moon characters. There's the Gingerdead Man, the Leech Woman, and all these fantastic characters you'll recognize if you watch Full Moon Features movies. It's funny, it's cheeky, and it's cute, with an ominous overtone. And, of course, there's a crazy ending that I won't give away.
MC: What was it like to portray your character Britney in the new film?
CRC: It was fun because I wore a black wig, which was a first for me. I got to work with two of my friends, Dare Taylor and Lauren Nicole Smith, because I was also an associate producer. We hired them, and the chemistry between us was so fun.
Britney is the sarcastic one. I drew from the Powerpuff Girls a bit. From Buttercup, the Powerpuff Girl who wears green, she's the sassy one. I used a lot of sass.
A Fun Movie for Horror Fans
MC: What was your favorite moment to film in The Twelve Slays of Christmas?
CRC: One of my favorite moments to film that's not a spoiler? Well, the thing is, Britney is really into eating the whole time. When we were filming, I had to eat a ton for each take, and I had to do it in the same order every time. At first, I was like, “this is really fun!” But by day two, some of the food had been sitting out and just started to be gross. [Cody laughs.]
I had a little spit bucket under the table. That was fun. I love hands-on humor, like using my body to make people laugh.
MC: Who should watch The Twelve Slays of Christmas? Who's the audience?
CRC: Fans of horror will love the movie, especially because this is one of our less kitschy, campy movies. Full Moon Features can go balls to the wall with that.
The special effects and prosthetics are cool. Is it family-friendly? Hmm. Well, what we filmed was family-friendly, but I know the actual stories of the ten slays are a little more violent. Like, there's a lot of murder happening. But it's for everybody who likes fun and spooky movies.
Cody’s Dreams, Plans, and Inspiration
MC: Who or what inspires you to keep pushing through in the entertainment business?
CRC: I look up to Charlize Theron. I love her arc in entertainment. She started out playing the pretty girlfriend, the sidekick, you know. She had to prove to people that she was more than just the pretty girl next to the male main character. And now look at her! She's done so many cool things. She went from a pretty side character to an action star. She's kicking ass and taking names.
MC: Do you have any future plans brewing that you'd like to share?
CRC: I just filmed Mayans M.C. season five, episode one, so that was fun. They hinted at more episodes, but you know, you don't get any information as an actor until like the week before, so I'm just waiting now. [Cody laughs]. Definitely keep an eye out for that.
I'm living my best life traveling. After the lockdown, I told myself that I would give myself permission to travel all over, so I was in New Zealand last year. I want to live life and encourage everybody to do the same.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
The Twelve Slays of Christmas begins streaming exclusively on the Full Moon Features app December 16.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Maya (she/they) is a professional freelance writer and editor. Her writing is featured in TransLash News & Narrative, Healthline’s Bezzy Depression, HorrorPress, the Episodes Newsletter, and more. They’re passionate about social justice, history, and entertainment journalism. In her free time, she loves binging horror movies, spending time with her girlfriend, and needle-felting monster sculptures.