Titanic 666: AnnaLynne McCord on honoring tragedy with horror

L-R: Derek Yates and AnnaLynne McCord in TITANIC 666, which begins streaming Friday, April 15, 2022 on Tubi. © 2022 TUBI. CR: TUBI.
AnnaLynne McCord. TITANIC 666 begins streaming Friday, April 15, 2022 on Tubi. © 2022 FOX Media LLC. CR: Jordin Althaus/FOX for TUBI.

AnnaLynne McCord (“90210,” Excision) stars as Mia Stone, a social media influencer and passenger traveling on the Titanic III with her husband in Titanic 666.

“One hundred and ten years after its namesake’s deadly journey, the Titanic III is fated to repeat one of history’s greatest disasters. A faithful replica of the original, the mammoth cruise ship is safeguarded with the most advanced technology to assure clear passage on its maiden voyage for the famous influencers, historical enthusiasts and excited travelers on board. But a nightmare is about to unfold, as unbeknownst to all, there is a stowaway amongst them with vengeful intentions to channel dark forces still at sea. As the ship halts over the surface of the original gravesite, crew and passengers are terrorized by hauntings from the past.”

Directed by Nick Lyon, Titanic 666 stars AnnaLynne McCord, Lydia Hearst, Jamie Bamber, Keesha Sharp, Joseph Gatt, Derek Yates, Michael J. Chen, Gigi Gustin, Jhey Castles, Kendall Chappell, Maurice Johnson, and Giovannie Espiritu.

Check out my interview with AnnaLynne!

What was your reaction to hearing a Titanic themed horror movie?

AnnaLynne: Well, it was so funny because I wanted to become an actress because of James Cameron’s Titanic. That was literally the moment where I decided, at nine years old, that this is what I want to do with my life. So when I saw the offer for the film, I didn’t even get to the 666 part. I saw “Titanic” and I called my team and I was like, ‘What is this? I’m definitely doing this.’ And they’re like, ‘do you wanna read the script?’ And I’m like, ‘no, no, my inner child would just want to do this period. So we’re doing it.’ But yeah, obviously it’s a very different film than the reason I started my job, but I just couldn’t see a world where I was offered a movie that had anything to do with the Titanic and I said no. I literally became obsessed with the history of the Titanic. I studied it for like a year straight when I was 10 and all of that came flooding back. When I drove up the first day to the Queen Mary, it was like I made it. So, it had a lot, actually, to do with the actual ship that pulled me in and the character was a lot of fun to play because she’s kind of terrible. And it was so much fun.

So, you got to film on the actual ship that the original Titanic was filmed on?

AnnaLynne: Yeah, it was crazy. I mean, it was all very surreal to do that because obviously the Queen Mary was one of the reasons that, I think it was selected initially was because of the fact that the same designers were a part of the designing of the Queen Mary. So, you really are on there like, ‘oh my god, this is it, like I’ve made it!’ This is my nine year old self popping off on the inside of me the whole time. Like, I did the whole hold my arms out, you know, my heart going moment. But yeah, it was very, very exciting. And then it was, you know, a little bit terrifying because the stories of the Queen Mary are not untrue.

What stories are those?

AnnaLynne: Oh, I mean, that ‘s like a whole haunting of the Queen Mary. I don’t know if you know. But yeah, the energy on that ship- you definitely didn’t feel like you were alone. Even if you looked all the way around and saw no people, you never felt like there weren’t people but there were eyes everywhere. It was a very interesting vibe. We had some moments go down that were very bizarre, including our camera taking  a very strange fall to the ground. It’s a $50,000 camera that is very well secured when people put it down, so the fact that it decided to jump off the table was very interesting for everyone. And a little terrifying. So the energy of filming a Titanic film on the Queen Mary, all of that energy, and then the fact that we’re doing ghosts and ghouls, so was the Queen Mary! It was very interesting. It made for some steam filming.

L-R: Jamie Bamber, Derek Yates and AnnaLynne McCord in TITANIC 666, which begins streaming Friday, April 15, 2022 on Tubi. © 2022 FOX Media LLC. CR: Jordin Althaus/FOX for TUBI.
So, your character Mia… I’m not gonna lie, she reminded me very much of Alexis Rose from “Schitt’s Creek.” Was that on purpose or a happy accident?

AnnaLynne: It was on purpose. I think Annie Murphy is brilliant. I love Alexis Rose and I think that perhaps my obsession just came through a little bit. But she created something beautiful and we’re taught as actors to watch and emulate the greats and I think she’s one of the greats as far as creating a character that you hate to love to hate to love. And so there’s definitely some Alexis vibes in there, especially with the hands. So big thank you to Annie Murphy for being so brilliant!

And your ability to turn the influencer voice on and off with like, just switch was impressive. But is that just something that you’re able to do or did you have to work on that a little bit?

AnnaLynne: It was definitely a choice. We played around at the beginning like, ‘is this who she really is,’ and I don’t think anyone is truly that, you know what I mean? I think that the masks we wear, not the COVID ones, but the masks that we wear are always for different reasons. And I felt like Mia feels like she needs to put on a self, a persona, or something because that is what her following is used to or wants or likes or that’s her concept of what they like. And she’s not really valid herself. So, it was kind of a little bit of layering there of why do we become the things we become? And so yeah, there was a little bit of a decision to to that. I did have to practice the vocal fry, because it’s like a real thing. So I listened to a lot of clips on YouTube on how to do the vocal fry, which I hope that’s only for actors because I don’t know why else there would be tutorials on how to speak like this. But I was grateful for the tutorials and all the content providers who created the guides to allow me to find that voice of Mia, when she was being the influencer version of herself. Iit was really interesting. I was like, ‘wow, there’s just like a plethora of information on here. How to talk like you’re as vapid as you can possibly be.’ It was really funny.

What was it like working with Derek Yates as your husband and influencer partner?

AnnaLynne: He was amazing. And Nick Lyon, our director, gave Derek the simple, easy job of trying to do all the things that we were doing together, and then actually film us. Nick wasn’t sure if he was going to use the  images off the camera we’re holding in the film, so anything that was shot, that’s like seen from the point of view of our camera was all Derek cinematography. It was Derek being the camera operator and the actor and my husband, who’s having to take whatever I’m sending at him, which was a lot. It was awesome working with him. He was so game to just do whatever and he somehow managed to also be a good camera operator in the process.

That’s awesome. I hope we get to see some of that footage.

AnnaLynne: I know, there’s a lot of it. It should literally be like the Stones’ released their social media content for the world.

L-R: AnnaLynne McCord and Giovannie Espiritu in TITANIC 666, which begins streaming Friday, April 15, 2022 on Tubi. © 2022 TUBI. CR: TUBI.
I also think that this movie had a very interesting commentary about honoring the dead and I was just wondering what your take on that commentary was?

AnnaLynne: Yeah, I thought it was really interesting and very important and I love that Mia was also someone who voiced that, you know, it was a little bit much. She did try to have her moment of silence for the tragedy and everything in her own little way. But I think knowing the history, as I do, and the lives that were lost and the fascination with it, you know, we’re not fascinated by the deaths so much as the lives specifically that were lost. I think one of the things about the Titanic that is perhaps so profound is that even though when the 706 souls that were actually boarded onto lifeboats, those 706 that survived the sinking of the Titanic. Of the 1500 plus, I think it was 1512 that died; there were first class, there were steerage, there were staff, there was the captain, there was the band that played, it didn’t discriminate. We did. Humans did when they were deciding who was going in the boats, but tragedy does not discriminate. It comes for us all at some point in different ways. And I think there’s a fascination with the fact that we constantly make man made things and we go against nature and we do these creations and we’ve done some incredible things as human beings, but we’ve also caused a lot of harm. And sometimes, when we assume that we are bigger than the ocean, the ocean shows that it’s bigger than us. And so, there’s an aspect to all of this, that I think, is a lesson in and of itself. And one of the things that we need to learn from life is to not take ourselves too seriously. And otherwise, you miss life. So the ability to be in an industry where I get to create escapisms for people, who are dealing with real life shit in their lives, where the last two years we’ve all gone through it, and the people who came off of that ship and survived, lost a major piece of themselves, even though they retained their lives. So, what we do in the aftermath, there’s an aspect of being sacred and there’s also an aspect of honoring life that is alive and living it to the fullest and part of that is having fun. And I think that when we do films like this, it’s an escapism, it’s a moment to have a thrill, have a streak, have a little moment of terror, but then hopefully a laugh after and to take ourselves out of the so serious moments that overwhelm our systems so often. So, I am one for the duality of life. This is a tragedy. We’re creating entertainment. It seems like it could be something that’s not honoring, but I like to think that it is. I think that it’s honoring the parts of life that make us the most human.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about Titanic 666?

AnnaLynne: Well, you guys can check it out. Obviously, it’s streaming on Tubi, the subscription free streaming network app. And I think that’s really exciting for everyone to know that you don’t have to sign up for this. You can just go watch it on Tubi. It starts April 15. And yeah, if you’re someone like me who loves the history of the Titanic and the regalness of it all and the narrative and the history, there’s some yumminess for you. And if you like Alexis Rose from “Schitt’s Creek,” I throw a little bit of that in there. If you like seances, if you like ghosts and ghouls, there’s a lot for everyone.

Photo Provided by Tubi
Titanic 666 sets sail on Tubi today for the 110th anniversary of the famous liner’s sinking.