“Lavender” might be labeled a “thriller,” but the film’s star, Abbie Cornish, characterized it Tuesday at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival Tuesday as a ghost story with an edge. The star described her role in the film at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas in New York.
Cornish, 33, plays Jane, a photographer who suffers severe memory loss after a tragic accident. She tries to piece the past together with strange clues from her pictures. She might even be responsible for the death of a family member she didn’t even know she had. Justin Long, who didn’t attend the red carpet, plays a psychiatrist who helps Jane retrieve her memories.
“I really loved it because I felt like it was more of a character piece,” the Australian actress said about the film, directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly. “Even though it’s a genre movie, it was driven by drama. Each character was really pronounced and I thought that was fun.”
She explained how the movie is different from other psychological thrillers: “It’s a ghost movie in a way, but it’s not really a horror movie. It’s not blood, guts, scary moments and cuts to black.” Building suspense was part of the challenge for Cornish.
Lola Flanery, who plays Cornish’s daughter Alice in the film, joined Cornish on the red carpet. “We play mother and daughter so you get close pretty fast,” Cornish said. “You sort of get to know each other in a different way because we had to have scenes where we were happy with each other and cranky with each other. Even though Lola is younger she’s really open and into the whole process.”
Cornish added she has something in common with her character: a love of photography. “My mom’s an artist, so I grew up with photography, fashion and design,” she said.
While she did do some research for the role, Cornish said there wasn’t much scientific work to do since her character’s affliction is temporary. One thing she did do is talk to people about ghost stories, and she definitely believes in the supernatural. “I’ve seen ghosts,” she said.
Cornish’s final words on the film: “It’s entertaining and thought-provoking.”
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella