Victoria Pedretti doesn't scare so easily anymore. At least not since she's become TV's favorite new horror queen, a sort of "Jamie Lee Curtis, millennial edition."
Fans of the acclaimed Netflix series "The Haunting of Hill House" know Pedretti from her breakout performance as the warm and sympathetic twin Nell Crain. She nabbed that role just seconds after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017.
She returns to that series for its second season next year; called "The Haunting of Bly Manor," it's an all-new spookfest in which she plays a completely different character. She also stars in the second season of "You," another Netflix hit, playing the object of Penn Badgley's affection. Unfortunately, he's a sweet but obsessive serial killer and in the show's first season last year, well, things didn't work out so well for his lady friend.
Pedretti, 24, who grew up in and around Philadelphia, also recently appeared as a murderous Manson hippie in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." She recently spoke by phone from Vancouver, on a break from "Bly Manor."
Q: In the first season of "You," Penn Badgley plays Joe Goldberg, who falls for a young writer. In Season 2, he's drawn to your character, Love Quinn, an aspiring chef. He seems to go for creative types.
A: Seemingly. He's definitely drawn to women who seem to have their own goals and ambitions. Which is a good quality, I guess.
Q: Sure, aside from the pesky psychopath thing.
Q: You're getting to be an old pro when it comes to horror stories and thrillers. Do you like to watch those kinds of tales?
A: Not really. Most of my life I've avoided that. I find life scary enough. I'm an actor. (She laughs.) I'm already really sensitive, I've got to admit. ... So much of my experience with horror growing up was with kids trying to get everybody to go to the basement to watch a movie to see who could handle it the most.
Q: Like a slasher pic?
A: Yeah. Those movies are all jump-scares. They mean a lot to some people but it's never been my cup of tea. But I'm figuring it out. I've begun to see how horror isn't so different from a lot of the things you experience in a regular drama. And I'm appreciating the fact that these horror stories we tell relate to the folklore with which we've explained the world for so long. Monsters and ghosts and ghouls — societies have always been wrestling with the idea of death and what it means to die. So I've been watching a lot of horror, actually, to see how it's constructed.
Q: What was it like working with "Gossip Girl" heartthrob Penn Badgley?
A: Omigod! I miss him. He's the most lovely, creative, exuberant, intelligent man. He's really a great person to work with. A great collaborator and friend. I'm so excited for everybody to see the amazing work he's done this season.
Q: Did he sort of welcome you to "You?"
A: Honestly, he was kind of on his lonesome, being one of the only people left from the first season. We shot in an entirely different place with an entirely different crew. And almost the entire cast was different. I feel a lot like him now on this second season of "Haunting," being one of the only people from the first season. It's interesting to go into another season of a show with such a different vibe. There's a lot of readjusting to do.