‘Lazareth’ Exclusive Interview: Ashley Judd


Ashley Judd Talks 'Lazareth'.

Ashley Judd Talks ‘Lazareth’.

Opening in select theaters and On Demand May 10th is the new post-apocalyptic thriller ‘Lazareth‘, which was written and directed by Alec Tibaldi (‘The Daphne Project’) and stars Ashley Judd (‘Heat’), Sarah Pidgeon (‘Tiny Beautiful Things’), Katie Douglas (‘Ginny & Georgia’), and Asher Angel (‘Shazam!’).

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with acclaimed actress Ashley Judd about her work on ‘Lazareth’, her first reaction to the screenplay, how COVID informed her performance, her character’s devotion to her home, working with Sarah Pidgeon and Katie Douglas, and collaborating with director Alec Tibaldi on set.

Related Article: Jaeden Martell and Maxwell Jenkins Talk ‘Arcadian’ and Nicolas Cage

Ashley Judd in 'Lazareth.'

Ashley Judd in ‘Lazareth.’ Photo: Vertical.

Moviefone: To begin with, what was your first reaction to the screenplay and what were some of the aspects of your character that you were excited to explore on screen?

Ashley Judd: I love that question. So, when I read the screenplay for ‘Lazareth’, which the director Alec Tibaldi co-wrote, I found it very quirky and original. Things that stood out to me were, for example, my two nieces with whom I live in this remote, isolated cabin in the woods, apart from society, were that we were egalitarian. We all have voice and vote on matters affecting our food supply, provisions for the winter. When we vote, we tap our fingers on the table, and the girls forage and we hunt fish and trap to sustain ourselves. We dress for dinner formally every night. There’s a sense of place, there’s a sense of home, there’s a sense of ritual. It reminded me of Wendell Berry, this great Kentuckian. So, I just thought it was very fresh, which I liked. Of course, Alec was prescient because he was writing about a pandemic before the global pandemic.

MF: Can you talk about how living through the Covid pandemic helped inform your performance and do you think you would have given the same performance if Covid had never happened?

AJ: That’s an interesting question. I think that the themes of fear, freedom, isolation, and protection are universal, and they’re hardwired into our DNA. For our survival, we have a fundamental need for connection, safety and belonging, because if we were cut off from our people, we couldn’t make it without our tribe. So, what I’ve done is I’ve created this tribe and othered and scapegoated everybody else. Then when one of the others arrives, my sense of threat is so heightened and so aroused and so escalated, but it’s totally switching that up for my nieces and there’s all this rupture. It’s just very emotionally dysregulating for everybody, which hopefully makes for very interesting watching.

Ashley Judd, Katie Douglas and Sarah Pidgeon in 'Lazareth.'

(L to R) Ashley Judd, Katie Douglas and Sarah Pidgeon in ‘Lazareth.’ Photo: Vertical.

MF: Can you talk about what Lazareth means to Lee and what she’s willing to do to protect it and her nieces?

AJ: So, Lazareth of course is the name of our home, and it’s a profound sense of place and belonging. It is safety, it’s legacy, it’s heritage, it’s connection to the girls’ parents, my sister, who is now deceased, and it’s security because it’s the future. It’s where we are going to be able to sustain ourselves and stay safe from catastrophic harm. So, it’s really everything.

MF: What was it like working with Sarah Pidgeon and Katie Douglas?

AJ: Yeah, they are so wonderful. I got to see Sarah Pidgeon last night in her dynamite play, ‘Stereophonic’, the hit of Broadway, nominated for the most Tonys ever in the history of Broadway. She is just so natural and alive and real and human, and so is Katie. They’re just emotionally full and wonderful young women with whom to spend time. We gathered in my tiny house on the Green River where I lived during filming and sat on the floor and just had that courageous vulnerability to really drop into a pretty intimate friendship our first night.

Sarah Pidgeon and Katie Douglas in 'Lazareth.'

(L to R) Sarah Pidgeon and Katie Douglas in ‘Lazareth.’ Photo: Vertical.

MF: Finally, what was it like collaborating with writer and director Alec Tibaldi on set?

AJ: Alec is a very confident performance director. I mean, he really had a strong voice. He asked for a lot of takes, which really thrilled me because it was fun to be nimble and pivot. When I’m doing the reading at the beginning, the voiceover, he’d say, “Try it like you’re imparting to children a moral fable. Try it like you’re a kindergarten teacher with a history. Make it very ominous.” He just had all these different ideas, one take to the next, and it was great to just have a lot of freedom on set.


“Lazareth must be protected at any cost”

Not Yet RatedMay 10th, 2024
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What is the plot of ‘Lazareth’?

Lee (Ashley Judd) protects her orphaned nieces Imogen (Katie Douglas) and Maeve (Sarah Pidgeon) from a self-destructing world, raising them in isolation until an outsider threatens their peaceful existence.

Who is in the cast of ‘Lazareth’?

  • Ashley Judd as Lee
  • Katie Douglas as Imogen
  • Sarah Pidgeon as Maeve
  • Asher Angel as Owen
Asher Angel and Katie Douglas in 'Lazareth.'

(L to R) Asher Angel and Katie Douglas in ‘Lazareth.’ Photo: Vertical.

Other Movies Similar to ‘Arcadian’:

Buy Ashley Judd Movies On Amazon

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