Having An Actress Playing La Llorona On Set Made A World Of Difference To The Cast

The Curse of La Llorona movie poster
(Image credit: (New Line Cinema))

With the advancement of CG technology in recent years, actors playing off tennis balls and green screens has become common place on movie sets. As one can imagine, acting terrified at the sight of ominous neon green figures asks a lot of one’s imagination. Thankfully for the cast of The Curse of La Llorona had Mexican folklore’s “Weeping Woman” to star into the eyes of during the making of the horror film.

CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell sat down with some of the cast during SXSW, where The Curse of La Llorona had its world premiere during the film festival’s closing weekend. During the interview, the film’s star Linda Cardellini gushed about the physical presence of the evil spirit on set with these words:

I was so grateful because there is so much we have to do with her and [Marisol Ramirez] is such a wonderful person, she’s hilarious, she’s fun to be around and a really good sport because that’s a lot of makeup and time in makeup and the makeup artist did such an incredible job too. But it was so much fun not to have to act against something that was later going to be in green screened, which I’ve done before but it’s difficult because you have nothing to work with and she was always there for you, always on her game. I thought it was a real gift that we had a practical 'spirit' to work against.

The titular La Llorona (played by Marisol Ramirez) is an apparition caught between Heaven and Hell, who drowned her own children in rage and now preys to replace them with the kids of Cardellini’s character. The actress shared the difference it made for her to have Ramirez playing the evil presence, especially with the terrifying makeup La Llorona dons in the film.

In the interview, Cardellini also commented on the actress' accessibility off camera, due to her charming personality on set. This especially came in handy when it came time for the kids on set to play opposite La Llorona. Although her appearance was one of an evil spirit, because she was so great with the kids on set, they were able to do their job without actually getting scared out of their wits of the actress.

The Curse of La Llorona director Michael Chaves pitched in, explaining how no amount of CG can replicate the kind of performance Marisol Ramirez gave as the apparition. Here’s what he said:

She was such a partner in this – her performance is just so harrowing, crazy and wild. She got the role because well she’s a gorgeous woman, it’s not because she looks like a monster, it’s because she is such a great actress. She has this real ferocity to her and I think that’s what we were looking for. It was a scary performance… and she was incredible. I think when you have a partner like that and everyone can react to it, it just raises the game. I feel bad for the movies that have to do it in CG because I think there is really something missing in the experience.

While it looks like having the actress on set was an overall positive experience for cast and crew of The Curse of La Llorona, actress Patricia Velasquez admitted having a co-worker with her creepy makeup makes for some off putting breaks. In her words:

It was hard to look at her when it was lunch or dinner time because her makeup was so good.

Can’t blame her, La Llorona looks terrifying! Check out the cast interview below:

The new horror release belongs between the two Conjuring movies in the universe’s timeline though it’s the first spin-off to not be based on the findings of demonologist couple Ed and Lorraine Warren. Will you be braving The Curse of La Llorona this weekend? Let us know in the comments.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.