Quinn McColgan, 13, is no stranger to filmmaking, having acted already alongside Kate Winslet and Julianne Moore. But, this summer, the Millsboro native is costaring with zombies, in the film “Extinction,” coming to theaters and video-on-demand on July 31.
Starring Matthew Fox (“Lost”) and Jeffrey Donovan (“Burn Notice”), the story takes place nine years after an infection turns most of humanity into rabid creatures. Patrick, Jack and Lu (McColgan), have survived in the snowy town of Harmony, which is too cold for the infected. But when the humanoids begin to attack again, neighbors Patrick and Jack must overcome their mutual hatred to keep Lu alive.
“I just fell in love with my character,” McColgan said. “The character, in a way, is like me. She just has this kind of rebellious side to her.”
The Clayton Theatre will even show the R-rated film in late-night showings, at 9:30 p.m. from July 31 to Aug. 6.
McColgan will be at the theater on opening night, Friday, July 31, and she will host a question-and-answer segment afterward.
Filming was a little eerier than usual, McColgan said. The filmmakers preferred to spend eight hours on zombie makeup, rather than rely solely on special effects. It was pretty authentic, even with goop dripping from the zombies’ mouths, said McColgan. Also, the zombie actors were dancers or gymnasts, tightly controlling their limbs to portray the weird, undead movements.
“I think [audiences] are going to like it mostly because it’s going to have them very, very scared… You don’t know what happening next,” McColgan said.
She said people will be jumping out of their seats.
McColgan left for filming on location in Budapest, Hungary, in January of 2014, but was stuck there for more than two months, when the weather didn’t cooperate.
“It was the least snowy winter they’ve ever had. And that was the one time we needed snow,” she said.
“We would try to film inside scenes with fake snow as much as we could,” said McColgan, who spent her spare time hanging out with the cast, crew or her tutor.
Directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas, the movie premiered in July at the 19th Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal.
The Movies at Midway will have several night showings from July 31 to Aug. 2.
Before getting saved by Liam Neeson in the 2012 thriller “Non-Stop,” McColgan was seen on TV sets nationwide in several commercials. She’s also booked several pilots and episodes for ABC’s “Dark Horse,” “The Odd Squad” on PBS and “Unforgettable” on CBS.
Four years after her HBO debut in “Mildred Pierce,” McColgan said she is excited to work with actors she now knows.
“Every new project, I always end up learning something new — new ways to film, completely different characters every single time,” she said.
McColgan will play a younger version of Diane Keaton’s character in the upcoming film “Love the Coopers,” also starring Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried and Marisa Tomei. She’s also auditioning for other roles this summer.
McColgan will enter eighth grade at Worcester Preparatory School in the fall. She said she gets much support from her parents, Noelle and John, and her younger brother.