Amber Coney, Cricket on Freeform’s newest hit Dead of Summer, is also an avid writer, on top of being an immensely talented actress, and has several upcoming projects with James Franco and his production company.
I recently had the pleasure of interview Dead of Summer‘s Amber Coney, which spoiler alert, is only more interesting following Cricket’s dreaded, shocking demise in Dead of Summer Season 1 Episode 5, “How to Stay Alive In The Woods.”
Jay: The scene where Cricket reveals the affair to her mother, who already knew about it, really struck a chord. What was it like filming that scene, and for Cricket hearing that women like them have to settle?
Coney: Cricket’s whole backstory was incredibly challenging. Her past was quite difficult and I wanted to do it justice, so I did a lot of work to fully take on the story, to make it visceral and emotionally truthful. That scene was particularly heavy — telling your mother that her husband is cheating on her is no easy task, and to hear that she already knew and that people like her and I should settle, on top of that… well that’s even more heartbreaking and just buries the knife deeper into the wound. I looked at that situation as if it was really happening, so my reaction is completely honest.
What drew you to the character of Cricket? Were you aware of quite how low her self-esteem issues sank when you signed on for the pilot?
Coney: I was intrigued initially because of what the pilot script teased about her, that how she presented herself on the outside wasn’t necessarily how she felt internally. Because I had only read episode 1 when I signed on for the pilot, I was not aware of exactly how deep her lack of self-confidence went, so it was a interesting and gratifying to me to find out exactly how low those issues sank.
Will there be secrets answered this season about Camp Stillwater’s demonic history? What can you tease about that?
Coney: Of course! The mystery will unravel more and more as the series progresses. All I can say is, don’t trust anybody. One or more characters that you know and love might not turn out to be who you think they are.
What is the atmosphere like on set, especially shooting in such secluded areas?
Coney: It’s amazing, and extremely conducive to creative work. The locations are always spot on, especially in terms of the actual site of the camp, where most of the filming takes place. The campgrounds were built near an actual lake in the woods, so it’s really easy to put yourself at Camp Stillwater when the set itself is so realistic.
What are your plans after Dead of Summer Season 1 wraps?
Coney: I’m going back to LA, where I will be working on writing two more features and pursuing film work/smaller spots on television. I have a feeling that I’m going to be quite busy.
Hope for Season 2?
Coney: Absolutely! I would love to revisit this project for a second season. We would all be playing different characters during a different era, which sounds incredible to me, so fingers crossed!
What inspired your pursuit of acting and screenwriting?
Coney: My pursuit of acting and screenwriting were completely fueled by my love of doing those things. I didn’t have much of a choice really, I had somehow always known I wanted to be an actor. Doing my first play sealed the deal, so that was that. As far as writing is concerned, I have always been a writer and would write on my own out of personal necessity, so when I was prompted to write my first screenplay it came to me incredibly naturally. As I was writing, I got so much satisfaction out of the process and challenge of it — I realized that it was also something that I was put on this planet to do.
What can you tell us about your experiences on your other projects, including writing “Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?”
Coney: Well, most of my acting and writing work in the past year has been with James Franco/his production company (Rabbit Bandini). I’ve acted in a few independent films through RB, all of which were rather dark, but rewarding and necessary in the development of my artistic process. I’ve also written 9 or so scripts, one of which has been produced (Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?), and two more of which are currently in production. Exercising my capacities as a writer and being on the other side of the camera has been monumentally fulfilling; it is an ability that I want to continue to grow and refine throughout my creative career.
What is your one dream character you would like to play?
Coney: I’d want to play something that hasn’t been done before, that is unlike anything I’ve done thus far… When I see it, I’ll know!
And, who is your favorite go-to guilty pleasure musical artist?
Coney: Old-school Britney Spears!!
Dead of Summer continues Tuesdays at 9/8c on Freeform!
(Photo credit to Lesley Bryce.)