Friday, December 16, 2011

Huff (2012): Rising Star Elly Stefanko


Elly Stefanko

In this gory-tale film, Huff, the big bad wolf has three step-daughters and the youngest of the three is Shay played by newbie actress Elly Stefanko. On my way up to Santa Clarita I was doing some research on her to see who she was. Little did I know that googling her would lead me to her website where I shockingly found out she is a pop diva. Well, as you will find out ‘Diva’ is not even in Elly’s makeup. Her latest song, “Spoiled” has a great video that spoofs the Jersey Shore kids. As you listen you may think she only sounds good due to the synthesizers and auto-tune on this track but as you click to her other songs, especially her renditions of various Christmas favorites, that is not the case. No auto-tune, no track laid behind her, just a piano and her voice. I am overly impressed. 

Elly as 'Shay'


Before actually meeting Elly I was able to watch her do a scene with Charlie O’Connell where they act in one of their more intense scenes in the film. Charlie who plays Huff is searching for his step-daughter Shay in a pile of hay barrels. But this isn’t a search because she is lost and can’t find her way home. This is a search for blood and Huff will not stop until he finds her. Once Huff’s spots Shay she has to do all she can to get away from her ruthless step-father. In doing this Elly is going to have to up her acting guns and show fright in her eyes....and she does. She moved me with her tears on camera and I couldn’t help but have my heart hurt for her. Even though this was her first film, her acting chops are up with the rest of the actors out there. 


Elly with Director Paul Morrel
As I approached Elly I thought, there is no way this tiny girl is the singer with the voice. Granted I tower most women, but here was this little 5’3’’ woman with flowy blonde hair and ocean blue eyes that just got finished crying for her life. So instead of even going to any questions about the film I just had to say, “So you’re a singer?” This led to her pouring out that music has always been in her blood. She expressed that she loves being an artist and has a really hard time sitting still so creating music is where she does her best work. In between telling me that she has a website with all her music, www.ellysroom.com she drops the line, “I’m also a composer.” As I facially express my shock I look over at Joey Pacheco who was my photographer for the day and say “Who is this girl?” I was amazed by her layers of talent and humbleness. 

Elly with Charlie O'Connell
During our conversation I noticed she seemed a little torn and how could she not, she just had to escape a treacherous villain. I asked her what did she think about to make herself cry and of course after I asked I regretted it. I won’t say who specifically but she said she thought of a few family members and just the thought of that brought her to tears. Even as she spoke these words you could see the hurt in her eyes. (Way to go Lauren, make a young girl cry why don’t you). She said the crying was the hardest part of filming. But on the bright side she told me that the easiest part was working with Clint Howard. She said he was so nice and gracious to her that it made it effortless. I mentioned to her that Clint had some nice words about her and you could see her creamy cheeks start to turn rosy. Hearing that a heavy hitter like Clint compliment you has got to feel like a million bucks especially since this is Elly’s first film. She went on telling us that she really digs horror films and that her favorite is Rob Zombie’s film, Devils Rejects. I told her that Clint happened to be in Rob Zombie’s latest, The Lords of Salem, and that you never know she may be cast in his next film. This made her eyes instantly light up. So if Rob is reading this right now I would just like to say that if you’re in need of a beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed, scream queen, well then I think we have your girl. 
As the day went on Elly had to endure some cold circumstances but I did not hear her complain once. I heard a story on set that the day before she was in a scene very late at night and had a freezing, cold, wet blanket laid upon her and yet she didn’t murmur then either. With that attitude I believe this is going to be the start to a fruitful career for Elly. She hinted to the fact that she would love to compose a piece to add to the music of the film which is being composed by Kenneth Eberhard. So what does she not do is the real question? Well one I might propose is does she escape Huff’s wrath or does this little piggy get blown away? Be sure to watch Huff when it releases next year. 

Elly and I

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