Lorenza Izzo: The Horror Director’s Muse

Mrs. Eli Roth is taking Sundance hostage.

Lorenza Izzo is bouncing around Park City from panel to photo shoot to meet-and-greet and back again. The 25-year-old Chilean model and actress is at Sundance to (tirelessly) promote the monster that she and her husband, horror king Eli Roth, have loosed on the world. It’s called Knock, Knock and it’s based on what is, in essence, a porn premise: Two soaking wet beauty queens knock on a lonely guys door during a storm and want to come in for some fun. The only twist is that these two women, one of whom is played by Izzo as a sort of wet nightmare, have an unusual idea of what constitutes fun.

Oh, and did we mention the guy who has the misfortune of making Izzo’s late-night acquaintance is Keanu Reeves? Well, he is. And Izzo – with a little help from Cuban bombshell Ana de Armas – convinces him that threesomes may not be his thing.

Part of the reason that Izzo is darting around ‘dance is that Knock, Knock is good. And she’s good in it. And her husband did a great job directing it. The movie will wind up on the big screen and one strongly suspects that Izzo will stay there for some time to come. She can play hot and she can play scary; that’s enough for a career right there. But Izzo wants more. For starters, she wants to teach Eli a lesson or two.

You fit right into these twisted horror roles. Does something draw you to this genre?

It’s funny you mention that because I think I am a very intense person. It hasn’t happened for any particular reason and it’s not like I’ve been saying no to comedies. In particular, thrillers and horror movies are just so much fun to watch. I mean they’re a crazy ride, but I also think it just happened this way because I’ve been working with the people I first met and because they’ve given me such great opportunities.

When in your career did you realize that you could be a star and actually wanted to be?

You want to know something funny? Every time I’ve booked a job, at the beginning I’m so happy and excited. Then, I get terrified. What do I think I’m doing? I’m going to go show up there and it’s going to be awful. Your brain and your head are your worst enemy. Once I get to set, and I do the first shot and I meet the crew, you get that moment. It’s then that you know why you’re doing this. It’s like going on a roller coaster – you know you’re going up, and up, and your like, “Oh my god why did I do this?” and when you’re going down, it’s the best ride of your life.

What does it feel like to put Knock, Knock in front of an actual audience?

It’s a lot, but it’s all very exciting. First, just the pairing of Keanu Reeves and Eli Roth is such a great, crazy, amazing combo for people that many times is a little hard to process. And I think that’s where the jackpot is. with those two minds together. I mean it’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like that and it’s the first time Eli has done anything like this too. It’s not horror at all. It has some scares but it’s a totally different world.

Eli has been behind many of your projects. What’s it like working with your husband?

The first time I ever worked with him, we were co-stars (in Aftershock). That was the first time I ever met him and I thought he was only a director. Then, for “Hemlock Grove,” which was his first time directing me, I all of a sudden got the nerves, but it was actually the best formula. He’s able to push me so much more because there’s just more trust.

When it comes to directing and acting he’s the boss and I’m the actress and I will always follow his lead, but it’s great.


What sort of direction does he give on set?

There’s a lot, but I definitely give him some too. His set is always this amazing ball of energy and it’s so alive. We flew into the amazon for

The Green Inferno

and the whole crew spoke Spanish. He doesn’t speak fluent Spanish and he was leading the crew like he was a local so he has that quality of really being able to take charge and lead everyone.

You’re married to the guy. Do you worry about where he’s getting his ideas?

It’s fun to be married to such a human being whose mind works in wondrous, amazing ways and I’m really just so proud and so excited for people to see what he’s going to come up with. It’s just fun to be apart of his life and his team and to be able to work with him. Of course, there’s always the wife and husband thing, you know, and we just try to make it always as easy as possible so there’s no indifferences or anything.