Dec. 20, 2016
Michelle Lulic stars in 'Where Demons Dwell'
Manhattan, NEW YORK—Michelle Lulic, 23, a best actress nominee for BroadwayWorld’s 2015 Long Island Theater Awards, has a lead role in the soon-to-be-released horror film, Where Demons Dwell: Girl in the Cornfield 2.
The film will be released on Amazon Prime in January on Friday the 13th, after its premiere screening at 10 a.m. Jan. 7 at Bow Tie Cinemas in Red Bank, N.J.
Lulic, of Manhattan and native of Bronx, plays Adelaide Russo, a young woman who quits college after her mother dies to help take care of her little sister and father. The story centers around Adelaide and her family when strange things begin to happen in their house after her father brings home a mysterious little girl. When she crosses paths with Tiffany, a young girl looking for answers after her sister died in the Girl in the Cornfield (released in early 2016), Adelaide learns just how much they have in common.
“Michelle was a pleasure to work with, and she’s a terrific actress with a lot of range—which was needed for everything Adelaide goes through in the movie,” Producer and Director Ryan Callaway of New Jersey said, adding that Lulic joined the cast late in production when she was tapped to replace another actress due to scheduling conflicts. She came in and shot for roughly 3-and-a-half weeks straight to make up for the lost time.
“Where Demons Dwell was my first feature film, and I couldn’t have asked for a better project to work on,” Lulic said. “I got to do a ton of the stereotypical ‘horror film’ scenes, but that didn’t distract from the heart of the overall story. I had quite a few ‘pinch me’ moments while on set.”
Where Demons Dwell: Girl in the Cornfield 2 is Callaway’s his fourth full-length movie to date. He released the first film, The Girl in the Cornfield, on May 13, 2016, followed by an Amazon Prime release on Oct. 10. More than 400,000 minutes were watched on Amazon Prime in October alone. In that film, two women and Tiffany face the horrors of an evil entity, known as the Woman in White.
“Prior to the release of the original film, I was taken aback by the response and attention it received,” Callaway said. “The original trailer was viewed over 100,000 times and all sorts of movie websites covered it. This is not bad for a project that cost me less than $10,000 out of pocket.”
The film’s successful response and a fan asking Callaway about a potential sequel sparked his interest in doing another one. Callaway explained that the world the original movie takes place in wasn’t fleshed out as fully as it could’ve been, and there was a lot to work with.
“So, I started playing around with ideas and eventually wrote a screenplay that I was extremely proud of,” he said. “Thanks to having a terrific cast on hand and a little more money to work with, I’m confident this movie is an overall better and scarier installment.”
Lulic, a recent Rutgers University graduate, explained that she has always wanted to act in film and television. She’s so far lived her dream with playing the 1920s Bobbed Hair Bandit on Mysteries at the Museum for the Travel Channel earlier this year; Marion Almond in the play, The Heiress, for which she was nominated best actress; Tina Potts for a short film, Rock This! (which was selected by the Cannes Film Festival and Campus MovieFest in 2015); and Alexis for a book trailer/commercial of The Merciless in 2014.
“I don't remember a time when I didn't see myself doing that,” she said. “I grew up with a family who always had the TV on so it became a second thought of mine that one day I would end up in the movies and TV shows we watched.”
Playing the role Adelaide had its advantages. Lulic admired her character’s strength.
“Adelaide remains strong for her sister and her new foster sister that she barely knows and doesn't let her own fear get the best of her,” she said. “She's also not afraid to stand up to her dad and question what people tell her; Adelaide's not the kind of person that will let you off the hook.”
Lulic laughingly stated that when filming in the cornfield she needed to draw from her own courage.
“As if being in an abandoned cornfield at night wasn't creepy enough, at one point Ryan [Callaway] and I could have sworn we heard a little girl singing right as it neared 3 a.m. (the ‘witching hour’),” she said. “But after we both heard it, we quickly pretended like it didn't happen so we could get the shots we needed—anything to get out of that cornfield as quickly as possible!”
Moving forward, Lulic has a couple of “fun” projects coming up. She’s been cast as the Wicked Witch for a fan-fiction short film based off Gregory Maguire's book, Wicked, and she’s also in the early stages of writing and producing her own science fiction short film.
“Because that's a project I'm writing myself, I kind of get to create my dream character, so it's been a lot of fun,” she said. “I’m really excited to get that project rolling in 2017.”
Feb. 4, 2017
Lupi earns nomination for Hollywood’s 2017 Young Artist Awards
HOLLYWOOD—Madeline Lupi, 12, of Stockholm, NJ,has been nominated by Hollywood’s 2017 Young Artist Awards for Best Performance in a Digital TV Series or Film for her role in the horror film, “Girl in the Cornfield,” released on Amazon Prime and YouTube in May 2016.
The 38th Young Artist Awards will be televised on March 17 at the Alex Theater in Glendale, Calif. Established in 1978, the Young Artist Awards is Hollywood's longest running awards show that recognizes and honors young talent. Many nominated Young Artists who have continued on to successful adult acting careers include Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Bell, Natalie Portman, Drew Barrymore, Christina Applegate, Alyssa Milano, Justine and Jason Bateman, and numerous others.
“It feels so spectacular to be nominated,” Lupi said from her New Jersey home. “I really appreciate that child actors are getting the recognition they deserve and have worked so hard to accomplish. Thank you so much, there are no words to express my gratitude.”
In “Girl in the Cornfield,” Lupi plays Tiffany, a girl who encounters an evil entity, the Lady in White, with her older sister and friend while driving along a cornfield late at night. Soon after this frightening encounter, strange things begin to happen. Lupi also stars in the sequel, “Where Demons Dwell: Girl in the Cornfield 2,” which was released In January 2017.
“Finding out about Maddy’s nomination was a pleasant surprise although it shouldn’t have been,” Producer and Director Ryan Callaway said. “She’s a really intelligent kid, and it shows in how much thought she puts into her characters and performances. I think she’s a terrific actress, and she was one of my favorite parts of ‘The Girl in the Cornfield.’ I’m thrilled she’s being recognized for it.”
This is not Lupi’s first nomination for her acting ability. She was nominated for the 2016 NJ Perry Award for Ensemble for Outstanding Musical Theater production for “Billy Elliot.” In film, she’s been nominated for eight Best Actress awards, and won two of them at the 2016 Christian Film Festival and the 2016 Universal Film Festival for her role as Alice in “Milkshake.”Overall, Lupi has had 50-plus film projects that have included feature- and short-length films, TV shows, Web series, commercials, and book trailers. She’s been in 12 theater productions, including “The Secret Garden with Hexagon Players of Mendham.”
IN THE NEWS
Long Island Theater Awards nominee
2017 Young Artists Awards nominee
Michelle Lulic writes science fiction short - Jan. 20, 2017
New York newspaper discusses Michelle Lulic's role in Ryan Callaway's most recent hit: "Where Demons Dwell: Girl in the Cornfield 2" and her future endeavors
Horror Society Review of
- Jan. 16, 2017
An article on the premiere of "Where Demons Dwell: The Girl in the Cornfield 2" in Red Bank, NJ, at Bow Tie Cinemas.
NerdRageNews Review of "Where Demons Dwell: The Girl in the Cornfield 2" - Jan. 10, 2017
It is Ryan Callaway's investment in character development that sets his films apart from the cookie cutter ghost stories.
Trash Film Guru review of "Where Demons Dwell: The Girl in the Cornfield 2" - Jan. 8, 2017
The film is well-shot, generally well-acted, and has a more polished and professional look than many flicks with a similar budget of about $40,000.
Local actress to play lead in horror film - Jan. 4, 2017
N.J. newspaper announces Madeline Lupi's starring role in "Where Demons Dwell: Girl in the Cornfield 2."
Colorado newspaper features 11-year-old Rachelle Bieber, who starred in "The Watchers: The Beginning of Sorrows."