Q&A Lydia Hearst on Hosting Screamfest Horror Film Festival and Zombie Wedding to Chris Hardwick

Screamfest Horror Film Festival  - lydia hearst - Publicity -  SQ 2016
Courtesy of Screamfest Horror Film Festival

Hearst talks about working with "remarkable soul" Anton Yelchin, her monstrous Pasadena wedding to Chris Hardwick and what she really thinks of 'Citizen Kane.'

Just in time for Halloween, the 16th Annual Screamfest Horror Film Festival returns to Hollywood’s TCL Chinese 6 Theatres from Oct. 18 to 27. Horror Ambassador this year is the actress, model and heiress Lydia Hearst, who’s appeared in such fest-friendly fare as Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero and #horror.

Screamfest offers 10 days of genre films from around the world, including the opening night rom-com/horror flick, Trash Fire, starring Adrian Grenier as a man who confronts his past only to uncover a fabric of murderous lies. Anjelica Huston will bring a touch of class with her movie The Master Cleanse, screening Saturday night, and Scream Queens’ Abigail Breslin stars in Fear, Inc., screening Wednesday.

While known for launching such titles as Paranormal Activity, The Human Centipede and Let the Right One In, Screamfest draws more than the B- and C-list stars the genre is known for. Don’t be surprised if Pierce Brosnan shows up on behalf of son Sean Brosnan’s directorial debut, My Father, Die. And Mel Gibson’s son, Louie, is premiering Happy Hunting. Last year James Franco appeared on behalf of his animated movie, The Labyrinth, while Sean Penn attended for daughter Dylan Penn’s movie, Condemned, also starring Hearst.

“I love horror movies,” Hearst tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Horror is one of the few genres that allows you to explore areas in film that normally you wouldn’t otherwise. It’s pretty remarkable that it’s one of the few genres where it’s not unacceptable to not have that Hollywood happy ending.”

A veteran of runways flaunting Chanel, Fendi and Nicole Miller among others, the recently married Hearst has her sights set on a movie career with such upcoming titles as the election-year comedy Swing State, due out in November, and the upcoming drama The Downside of Bliss. Here, Hearst talks about her wedding to Chris Hardwick, her horror obsession and the passing of her onetime co-star, Anton Yelchin.

How is it you and horror movies make such a neat fit?

As someone who’s very active and supposed to have an active brain, I’m very curious about this idea of being shocked, but sort of driven by my own morbid curiosity. You don’t really know what to expect from what you’re going to see of the films in the festival.

I’m told you’re a die-hard horror fan. How extreme does it get?

In our home we have many movie props from old film productions. I recently acquired Jack Nicholson’s face molding from the movie Wolf, and I have an original molding from The Howling. There’s even a life-size Linda Blair replica from The Exorcist.

But it gets worse — it even extends to your recent marriage?

We were married in Los Angeles at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena. It was really beautiful. Of course we integrated our passions in life into our own wedding. We had the science-fiction aspect — the R5-D4 droid was there, and the R2-D2 droid was one of the guests and there were Jawas. Greg Nicotero, the brilliant mastermind behind The Walking Dead and all the zombies and special effects, as a gift he gave us zombie effects for the entire waitstaff.

Hopefully the first few months of marriage haven’t been equally horrible?

It’s made everything that much more magical and wonderful every day. I get to be with my best friend all the time. We have very similar passions and are extremely supportive of one another. Thankfully, he appreciates my love of horror and all the things I like.

Being a Hearst and a movie nut, what did you think of Citizen Kane and the way your family was represented?

It is one of the greatest films of all time. You have to look at it from a cinematic standpoint. It’s brilliantly executed, the whole set, lighting editing is brilliant. I think everybody is allowed, especially when they’re telling a story, as long as it’s not based on somebody’s real life, you’re allowed a certain liberty.

In 2014, you worked with Anton Yelchin on a short film, Automobile Waltz. What do you remember about that experience?

Anton was truly an incredible actor, so passionate and brilliant on screen. He came to life in front of the camera and really was a wonderful person to work with. And it’s so unfortunate what happened with him. He loved life. He loved his friends. He loved everybody and anybody and was so passionate about his life and his work. And it really is heartbreaking. He’s gone way too soon. But thankfully, because of the film and the friends he left behind, his memory will live on. He was really a remarkable soul.