Haley Ramm Talks ‘Light as a Feather,' The Importance of Featuring Strong Female Characters & A Personal Supernatural Experience (Exclusive Q&A)

With her Southern accent, unique vintage style, and seemingly endless lists of current projects, Haley Ramm is one to watch. She’s been acting since she was young, mostly in small roles on TV (you might remember her as Missy on iCarly) and film, but she’s most well-known for her role as Brenna in Chasing Life. This year though, it seems that Haley’s work is premiering all at once, including Banana Split, Seven in Heaven, Pimp and Light as a Feather.

Haley stars alongside four other stunning up-and-coming actress (all famous in their own right) in Hulu’s newest horror-thriller, Light as a Feather, about a seemingly innocent sleepover game that goes horribly wrong. She talked to Her Campus about the importance of having strong female leading characters, how she got into acting, and her own experiences with the supernatural.

Her Campus: Your new show Light as a Feather honestly looks terrifying. What drew you to this project? Are you a horror genre lover?

Haley Ramm: I actually am a horror movie fan, but that started later in life. You could not get me to watch a horror movie when I was little. I think my cousins showed me I Know What You Did Last Summer when I was about 8, and it took me a long time to forgive them for that. So, what really drew me to [Light as a Feather] was the fact that Liana Liberato was already cast. We were hanging out with some girlfriends a few days before I went in to audition and we were just all catching up and she was talking about a new project. I was like, “Oh, that’s so great. I’m so happy for her.” And then I get home and I check my email and I have an appointment for the project. I was just like, “Okay, done. I really want to get this.” But you don’t want to get your hopes up too high because not a lot of things work out in this business. But luckily, I got to chemistry read with her and I would have been worried if we didn't have chemistry. So it all worked out, and I’m very glad because I think horror is one of my favorite genres.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

🦒 to my 🦊👩‍👧💕

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HC: Where there ever any scenes on set that actually scared you to film?

HR: The thing on set that really scared me was the prosthetic work because it was just so realistic. I have a scene in the first episode where I’m hallucinating and I think that something's happening to my face and it’s not. But the amount of time that I was in the prosthetic chair was probably the scariest of all of it. It was like two hours to get it on, two hours to take it off.

Other than that, we filmed in this house off of a street called Mariposa, which means butterfly in Spanish. And that’s a huge theme throughout the show: butterflies and a chrysalis. I thought that that was kind of an eerie fact that was happening, and so many horror films have been filmed in this house. There was just a noose hanging upstairs. It was clearly from filming, but I don’t care if it’s a prop, it’s still freaky.

HC: You were talking before about how you knew Liana before being cast in Light as a Feather, and some of your other cast mates have talked about how close you all became on set. Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like working with a cast that got along so well?

HR: It’s always nerve-wracking going in to meet new people, especially when everybody is around the same age. But everybody got along so incredibly well that it’s almost surprising. I was a little bit nervous going into it because you never know with five girls. But everyone was so supportive of each other from the beginning and I remember the first night that we were all together in the cemetery and just looking around and thinking, “Wow this is going to be so much fun. We got so lucky. There’s nobody here who’s causing a problem.” So, it was a great time. When people weren’t on set we would miss each other, we would buy each other coffees and take turns doing coffee runs when somebody had a break. So yeah, we were very much there for each other.

HC: So, you're all hoping for a season two so you can be back together?

HR: Definitely! I know we didn’t really know going into it—we thought that it might be just a one-off—but the further we got into it, and the more we read towards the end, the more we really, really wanted to do a second season. I can just think of a million possibilities where it will go. I’m so curious what our writer R. Lee [Fleming] is thinking right now.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hi! Watch our show October 12th on Hulu. #lightasafeather.

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HC: Have you ever had any supernatural experiences or ghostly encounters like the characters do in the show?

HR: I thought that I had one, but I don’t know. When I was younger I was going into my acting coach's backyard, and she was also a family friend so I just let myself in. I peeked around back and I saw a girl sitting in a white dress, and I just thought, “Oh she has a client, I’ll just hang out in the front and come back.” I come back and there’s nobody there, and I asked her, “Where is the girl that was waiting?” She said, “There’s been nobody waiting.” And she lives in the middle of Hollywood, like close to the cemetery, and it’s a very historical area, like I don’t even know what’s happened around there. So I don’t know, I believe anything could happen. It could have just been my eyes playing tricks on me, too. But, I definitely believe for sure.

One time I was talking about my grandma after she passed away—I was kind of telling a story that maybe she wouldn’t have liked—and a picture of her fell. She was like, “Stop talking about me.”

HC: You’ve been working on some other really interesting projects, like Pimp with Keke Palmer and Banana Split with Liana Liberato, which seem pretty different from one another and very different from Light as a Feather. What drew you to these?

HR: Banana Split, our friend Hannah [Marks] wrote, produced and starred in as well. I received an audition for it and I knew it was her project because I had been reading her script, I think, for the past five years. We had all just been a part of the process with her, mainly hearing about what was going on and getting updates. So when I got the audition I was like, “Wait, is this your project?” And she was like, “That’s hysterical that you’re auditioning. Just do it.” And I did, and it’s so nice auditioning for a friend because you completely forget all of your inhibitions. You’re not nervous at all. I think that in my slate [before the audition tape begins] I said, “I love Hannah Marks,” my bra size and that I love hot Cheetos. It was so not professional, but it was fun. The fact that she gave me that opportunity, because it’s a character that I don’t think I would ever walk into a casting room and be cast as or seen as—but her being my friend, she could see that I could be silly in that way.

For Pimp, I got that audition and my first thought honestly was, “I just need to impress my new agent.” And then the longer I worked on it, the more I loved it and really saw her as a character that I’ve never seen come across. I feel like the characters in Pimp would be the side characters in a movie that you don’t really get to hear about because nobody really cares, in a way. Or the scripts aren’t written in a way for you to care about them. This was shining a light on them in a new way. These two females in the Bronx are very much in love and they have their own love story going on, but they need to survive and they need to make money but the only way they know how is to hit the streets. Really understanding that psyche was really fascinating, that that was their only choice. And no matter what they were doing, even though it was prostitution, that was success to them, and that they were succeeding together. So I really liked the strong female aspect, and Keke is just so incredible. I look up to that woman so much. She walks on the set and it’s like she’s preaching to you and giving you life advice, and you’re like, “Please keep it coming. Don’t stop talking.” And then you get to do scenes with her and you feel so enlightened and connected. She’s just a really fabulous person.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@chriscrokos @keke @vanessamorgan @iamedigathegi @theoriginalbigdaddy @calvindutton @mikeewinfield

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HC: That sounds like such an awesome environment to be a part of.

HR: Yeah, really. That was my first time working with an actress my age on such an intense project where we were both showing up to take it so seriously, so I really appreciated her.

HC: You started acting at a pretty young age—was acting something you just kind of fell into, or did you always know you wanted to pursue it?

HR: It’s kind of both. I always knew that I wanted to do it, it was always in me. But, I kind of fell into it in the way that my dad found an acting class for me. I would just be dancing around my house, having fun and filming myself with my brother. My brother was always into sports, and I honestly think my parents were like, “We gotta give her something to do. She needs an outlet.” So they signed me up for an acting class. You know, when you’re little and in an acting class you’re just playing make believe. The older I got I realized that it was something I did like to do, and I had an agent in Dallas that told my parents that if I wanted to really pursue this and give it a shot then we should go to California for a couple months to try it out. My parents were great enough to believe in me and give it a shot, and we just kind of ended up staying out here. But, it’s always been a huge passion of mine.

But throughout the years as you get older it’s a love-hate relationship. The reason you stay in it is because you love it so much. There’s no other reason to do it because it can be so hard.

HC: Do you have any advice for aspiring actresses in regards to how difficult the industry is, how to navigate it, how to pursue their dream?

HR: My best advice would be to always stand up for yourself. Know what you want and don’t let other people get to you too much. At the end of the day, the business isn’t everything and it can’t be your everything. You gotta go home and have good friends to go to, or a dog, and chill out. Or another hobby. My best advice would definitely be having a second hobby to keep you sane.

HC: You’ve talked about your love for vintage clothing in the past, and your personal style is pretty cool. Is that kind of a hobby or an escape for you?

HR: Oh, thank you! It is actually. My boyfriend and I just got a van that we renovated and I want to start selling vintage out of it on my off-time. I think it’s so helpful to have something else to do. I think it’ll be fun. I’ve always wanted to have some sort of a store anyway, but I’m not that committed to have a real store, so I think I’ll just use the van.

We’ll go to flea markets and festivals. I have some friends that really like thrifting and selling vintage as well. We both kind of have vintage stores in our closet that we just need to put out there into the world. I really like seeing people pick something out that’s old and maybe you don’t know the story, but I know the story of how I got it, but I don’t know the story before me. I think that’s my favorite part about it.

HC: So aside from the van, are there any other upcoming projects you’re working on or anything we should be looking forward to seeing you in?

HR: Actually I have a movie called Seven in Heaven coming out around Halloween, but I don’t know the exact date or where yet. It’s funny because I have been doing all these projects for the past two years, and it’s so funny to me that they’re all coming out at the same time. It’s comical, but it’s fun.

Light as a Feather premieres on Hulu Friday, October 12!