Interview: Allee-Sutton Hethcoat / The Stolen Valley (2022)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) was delighted to chat with Allee-Sutton Heathcoat, actress from The Stolen Valley (2022), available digitally from April 17th in Australia and New Zealand thanks to Lightbulb Film Distribution.

Let’s break the ice with a fun question: do you have an all-time favourite film and why?

I love Rear Window.  I love everything about it.  The writing, performances, costumes, set and music are all incredibly intentional but also easy.  Comedy, romance, suspense and more.  

Let’s break the ice some more: You play Maddy, who is tough in the film. Do you personally have any strange or weird fears, such as Spiders or horror movies?

Critters don’t both me, but I can’t even watch trailers for horror films without getting scared.  I don’t like to watch anything that is too violent or disturbing. Outside of that, I like to do things that push me out of my comfort zone and scare me a bit, which is a big part of why I wanted to do this movie.  Riding a motorcycle, a horse, shooting guns and more. 

What was the biggest attraction to working on this film?

I guess I just spoiled that a bit, but truly, everything about this was a dream for me.  The challenge of the role’s physicality and learning all those new skills with the incredible trainers on our film was incredibly exciting to me.  Maddy also just had so much to offer emotionally that it was challenging and delicate.  I had never been to Utah, but I was eager to go and work on location.  Truthfully, I had worked with Jesse multiple times before and saw what he and his team were capable of and what it is like to be on set with them day to day, and I wanted to be a part of something that they were all so excited about.

Was any preparation required to play the role of Maddy? Learning to ride or shoot, etc.

I worked for about a month and a half leading up to the shoot.  I practised shooting here in Nashville with a friend who is a safety instructor.  Juliene Joyner (my stunt double in the film and our stunt coordinator) taught me to ride the bike and with all of our hand-to-hand combat.  Cavin Mohr was on set and worked with me on horseback.  I owe a massive debt of gratitude to everyone who helped teach and train me; they elevated my performance and the film far beyond my own capability

Was there any inspiration for the role of Maddy? I can’t lie; I got vibes from The Quick and the Dead (1995), which starred Sharon Stone upon my first watch.

Oh, thank you so much. I take that as a massive compliment.  Maddy is actually largely inspired by both of my grandparents on my Mother’s side.  My family is from a small town in rural West Tennessee and were incredibly strong.  They had the toughness and hot-headedness that comes from circumstances typical of the time and region, but the incongruous yet earnest heart and tenderness beneath looking for the opportunity to be shared.  

Your character, Maddy, is more playful and determined, brightening the film’s tone whenever she appears. What character trait did you like the most about Maddy?

Thank you so much for saying that. You actually hit on it: I love her determination. It can sometimes manifest as frustrating stubbornness, but at its best, I love her determination to find love and belonging, to find the humour in the moment, and not to give up. I always love a character who reinforces the triumph of the human spirit.  

Was it like working with the Director, Producer and Writer Jesse Edwards?

I love working with Jesse.  He is like family to me at this point.  He doesn’t micromanage anyone on set and really trusts everyone to do their job and encourages collaboration.  I think that the environment is most conducive to great art. We have a similar process in that we like to prep extensively to work quickly and intuitively.  He is massively talented, and I hope to work together again and again.

While making The Stolen Valley, what was your biggest challenge while playing as Maddy?

The physical demands were difficult. I went back to the hotel every day, bruised, sore, and exhausted.  We were up at five, shooting in the freezing cold and burning heat and doing very physical work. Tracking and executing her emotional evolution was more difficult.  Knowing what was happening internally versus how she interprets and displays that and when.  

What was your most enjoyable moment while working on this film?

On a day off, we took out an ATV and went nuts, driving them in dunes, then drove them up to a gorgeous hiking spot.  We had a late-night wrap party in the lobby of the Holiday Inn that I’ll never forget.  I loved our Taco Tuesday shooting days.  Those two really stand out.  Truthfully, we had such a wonderful team that we had a great time all day every day.  

What advice or encouragement would you give to upcoming actors?

This work can be so full of rejection, difficulty and isolation. Your community is everything.  Having people around who understand, believe in, love and support you is absolutely invaluable.  Don’t let this eat you up, either.  Get out and do other things.  It gives you a better perspective as a person and an artist. And don’t be afraid to have fun in acting.  Don’t buy into the common belief that great art is only born out of great suffering.  Acting can be great fun, and you don’t have to play the part of the tortured artist to be serious or good. “You can receive your ideas with respect and curiosity, not with drama and dread.” -Elizabeth Gilbert   

Do you have any upcoming projects that you can reveal? If you could work with any actor, who would it be?

Not at the moment, but I am hoping that changes.  I’d love to work with Briza again.  She’s a phenomenal actor; we had the time of our lives.  I’d LOVE to work with one of your own as well-Margot Robbie!  I’d love to do a fun film where we play sisters.  

As our interview ends, why should the people of Australia check out The Stolen Valley on Digital from April 17th?

The film has a bit of everything.  Action, humour, heart, meaning, and all set against the stunning vistas of the American West captured in a way only our team could.  

12th April 2024
Written by Peter Walkden

THANK YOU FOR VISITING!

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Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Director Ricard Cussó, along with lead actors David Wenham, Ed Oxenbould, Grant Denyer & Elizabeth Cullen, during the Queensland premiere of Combat Wombat: Back 2 Back (2023) at...

Combat Wombat: Back 2 Back (2023)

Several months have passed since Sanctuary City was introduced to Maggie, aka Combat Wombat (Deborah Mailman), and her sidekick Sweetie (Ed Oxenbould). Thanks to the latest technology developed by tech genius Lenny (David Wenham), the people within the city can now...

Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)

Two best friends, Larry (Andrew McCarthy) and Richard (Jonathan Silverman), work at an insurance company and are doing everything possible to receive a promotion. Each day, they dream of earning more money and living a life of luxury, even more so when they see their...

The Mountain (1956)

When a large plane crashes just below the summit of Bald Mountain, rescue parties are formed to climb to the disaster. The aircraft was on a routine flight from Calcutta to Paris when something unexpected caused the flight to crash. Each moment means less possibility...

This Is Me…Now: A Love Story (2024)

Prepare yourself for a one-of-a-kind journey that you won't experience anywhere else as you join Jennifer Lopez, a renowned celebrity artist and actress. Through song, dance, story and spectacular picture, she takes you on a tour of her mind, heart, and soul, guiding...

Subtraction (2022)

Farzaneh (Taraneh Alidoosti) is a driving instructor. During a lesson where she tries to teach someone who is completely ignorant and careless about basic driving rules, she sees something unusual far away outside the car window. From a distance, she can see her...

Inspector Sun and the Curse of the Black Widow (2022)

The film is set in Shanghai in 1934 and follows the story of Inspector Sun (played by Ronny Chieng), a brilliant and confident huntsman spider. Inspector Sun is known for working alone, and when we meet him, he has been tasked with solving the ultimate unsolved case -...

Riceboy Sleeps (2022)

Found on a cold winter’s evening as a baby wrapped in a blanket, no one knew where So-young was from. As she grew up, she bounced around from one orphanage to the next before packing her bags when she got older and leaving to live in a big city. So-young hoped for...

Interview: Mark Leonard Winter / The Rooster (2023)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Mark Leonard Winter, director and writer of The Rooster (2023), which is Available in Australian Cinemas from February 22nd. When the body of his oldest friend is found buried in a...

The Rooster (2023)

Dan (Phoenix Raei) is a police officer working within a small community. Life presents many challenges and struggles for Dan, and he finds himself walking around in what feels like a real-life nightmare. Pushing him even further over the edge is the discovery of a...

The Jester (2023)

One evening, a man named John (Matt Servitto) walks around alone in a small community. While walking, it's evident that something, or perhaps someone, is following him from a distance. John also appears to have strange and unexplainable visions of a little girl. The...

Dario Argento Panico (2023)

Introducing a documentary focused on the well-known horror director, writer, producer, actor, and composer Dario Argento. Today, many public figures would say Dario is like a painter or a musician in the film style. Dario's films have always featured fantastic camera...

May December (2023)

Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) is an actress working on her newest film. To prepare for her upcoming leading role, Elizabeth has the opportunity to study the real person she will be portraying, a woman named Gracie (Julianne Moore). It's been over twenty years since...

Birth/Rebirth (2023)

Celie (Judy Reyes) is a single mother who works full-time as a nurse. At the same hospital is Dr. Rose Casper (Marin Ireland), a morgue technician who is working in the field of pathology. Even though they work at the same hospital, Celie and Dr. Rose Casper are...

Interview: Simon Emmett / Welcome to the Darkness (2023)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Simon Emmett, director of Welcome to the Darkness (2023), available on Digital from January 24th, thanks to Lightbulb Film Distribution. Have you been a long-term fan of The...

Anatomy of a Fall (2023)

Over the last year, a family of three consisting of Samuel (Samuel Theis), Sandra (Sandra Hüller), and their vision-impaired son, Daniel (Milo Machado Graner), have been living in an isolated location in the mountains. The film opens with Sandra attempting to share a...

Interview: Josh Forbes / Destroy All Neighbors (2024)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) enjoyed chatting with Josh Forbes, director of Destroy All Neighbors (2024), Now Available Exclusively on Shudder. How did you become connected with Destroy All Neighbors, and what was the biggest attraction to working on...

Welcome to the Darkness (2023)

It's incredible to think of it now, but in 2002, The Darkness was an unsigned band. By 2004, its key members- Justin Hawkins, his brother Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain and the original drummer Ed Graham- had sold over a million records. But in 2006, something...

The Iron Claw (2023)

Based on a true story set in the early 1980s, The Iron Claw follows the Von Erich brothers and their journey within the world of professional wrestling. Firstly, we are taken back in time to glimpse wrestling icon Fritz Von Erich (Holt McCallany), delivering a final...

The Jungle Bunch: World Tour (2023)

The Jungle Bunch is a group of animals who, when called upon, will help and save the day. Whether it's another animal in need of urgent help or an area in the jungle that requires their attention, their goal and desire is to help maintain peace and harmony. When one...

The Canterville Ghost (2023)

In the late 1800s, there's a wild storm during the night right at bedtime for Lord Monroe (Bill Lobley), the proud owner of a stunningly large manor house in Canterville Chase, England. However, before going to bed with his teddy bear, Lord Monroe encounters something...

Career Opportunities (1991)

Jim (Frank Whaley) isn't the brightest bloke in the community. He struggles to hold a job, still lives with his parents, continually lies to everyone around him, and has failed to discover his true purpose as an adult. When Jim loses his job at an animal shelter, his...

Destroy All Neighbors (2024)

William Brown (Jonah Ray) is a passionate rock musician and composer with one major issue: he's unable to create the perfect song to take him further. When William isn't working on his music or spending time with his partner, he works at a recording studio as an...

The Holdovers (2023)

Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti) is a teacher at a prep school located in New England during the 1970s. Paul is a firm, strict, and extremely cranky teacher and is disliked by students and co-workers alike. As school breaks up for another year over Christmas, many students...

Stargate (1994)

In 1928 Giza, Egypt, an incredible, large artifact is discovered by a group of archaeologists. We then jump to the present day and are introduced to Dr. Daniel Jackson (James Spader), an archaeologist knowledgeable about ancient Egypt, including translating the...

The Man in Half Moon Street (1945)

Who was Julian Karell, and where did he come from? What manner of man was he? For some, he was a fine, incredibly courageous scientist who lost track of truth. Another man claims that Karell was a cold-blooded murderer and a remarkable criminal. Lastly, we hear from a...

Kane (2023)

The film opens with a game of chess being played by two mysterious men and a voiceover letting us know who they are: Abe (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) and Frankie (Nathan Phillips). Abe is an old-school gangster who has dissociative identity disorder, meaning there are...

Top Rated Films of 2023

You can agree that 2023 was another outstanding year for cinema. Below is a list of my favourites and, once again, my top ten titles. Trust me when I say it: it was a challenge to narrow it down to number one. On behalf of my family and myself, I would like to take...

Anyone But You (2023)

It all begins when Bea (Sydney Sweeney) rushes into a local cafe, hoping to use the toilet. The cafe staff are not helpful, but Bea is rescued by a nearby knight in shining armour, Ben (Glen Powell). Regardless of a few funny and awkward moments between Bea and Ben,...

Ferrari (2023)

Set in 1957, Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver) is an ex-race car driver and the current owner of a well-known Italian car company. However, Ferrari is currently in hot water due to the lack of sales. Enzo's wife, Laura (Penélope Cruz), also works with him as a business...

Dream Scenario (2023)

Paul (Nicolas Cage) is a biology professor with a wife and two teenage daughters. There are multiple challenges for Paul, including trying to fulfil his long-term dreams of writing and publishing a book. Many around Paul live a life of success and wealth, but for...

The Shift (2023)

While sitting at a bar and drinking alone, Kevin (Kristoffer Polaha) meets his true love, Molly (Elizabeth Tabish). Instantly, Kevin is smitten by her to the point he is willing to make significant changes in his life, such as taking a deeper step into church and...

The Boys in the Boat (2023)

In the 1930s, Joe (Callum Turner) is studying to become an engineer at university. Financially, he is struggling to make ends meet as he pays off school fees. Unsuccessful at finding a job, he is sleeping in his car each night. Joe hears of a paying job for the...

Coup de Chance (2023)

When Fanny (Lou de Laâge) walks along a busy street, she soon hears her name being called out from afar. A man approaches her, claiming to know her from high school. At first, Fanny is surprised but soon learns the man is Alain (Niels Schneider). Once upon a time,...

Wonka (2023)

After seven years of living on the ocean, Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) has decided to say farewell to the sea and start afresh in a city over the horizon. Willy Wonka is a skilled magician and chocolate maker with determined dreams of opening a brand-new chocolate...

Merry Little Batman (2023)

It's the Christmas season in Wayne Manor, and the only thing that six-year-old Damian Wayne (Yonas Kibreab) wants is to fight crime with his father, Batman, aka Bruce Wayne (Luke Wilson). On Christmas Eve, Bruce decides to give Damian his present early. Damian eagerly...

Wish (2023)

When he and his family are attacked, Magnifico (Chris Pine) decides to start afresh somewhere safe. Travelling far, far away, Magnifico and his wife find an island where they can begin a new life, welcoming others to join them and live in harmony. In time, a new...