The Haunting of Bly Manor begins a brand new horror story from the makers of The Haunting of Hill House. Victoria Pedretti returns in the new role of Dani, a woman who moves into Bly Manor to babysit Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) and Flora (Amelie Bea Smith). Hauntings and other supernatural occurrences make this a tough assignment.
Pedretti spoke with reporters in a Zoom roundtable on Sept. 30 to discuss The Haunting of Bly Manor, now streaming on Netflix. We’ll have more with the cast of the show at Showbiz Cheat Sheet, but first Pedretti discussed her new haunted character.
Victoria Pedretti said this was the same as ‘The Haunting of Hill House’
In The Haunting of Hill House, Pedretti played Nell, a tragic character in the family haunting tale. Even though Dani is a more active, central character in The Haunting of Bly Manor, Pedretti’s process remained consistent.
“Technically I feel like there’s a similarity,” Pedretti said. “You’re establishing a [character to] tell the story best utilizing your body and your vocal chords. So it’s just about how do you imagine the character moves and how do you imagine they vocalize. But beyond that, I feel like I work pretty intuitively and the seasons required different things and I’m also a different person so I feel like the process is always changing.”
Dani is haunted by more than ghosts in ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’
Dani takes the job to run from her past. As she experiences the haunting of Bly Manor, Pedretti feels there’s more haunting Dani inside.
At the beginning, we find her haunted by her past and her experiences that she comes to Bly with. I’ve been kind of thinking about it and expressing it as almost her feelings towards herself. Her inability to move forward beyond a certain experience that makes her see herself in a way where she is isolated, that she’s seeing something that nobody else can see, which is that she is not good, that she’s bad. So she doesn’t deserve love or care. That’s a horrible thing to be haunted with and I think a lot of us deal with feelings of not fitting in or not being deserving. But she eventually tries to confront those things.
‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ kids helped Victoria Pedretti get through intense hauntings
Miles and Flora are intense in The Haunting of Bly Manor. Between takes, Pedretti said the young actors, and costar T’Nia Miller, helped her not take the work too seriously.
“Particularly T’Nia had an incredible knack for getting on their level play-wise,” Pedretti said. “Because we have both of these things where we teach ourselves not to get too silly, especially in a professional environment, but when we’re acting, we have to maintain, especially doing this dark material, we have to maintain a sense of buoyancy and lightness within our work because we are playing after all. It isn’t real life. It is magic that we’re creating. So I learned a lot from all three of them.”
Pedretti added that she joined her costars in play time after work too.
“First of all, a lot of great art,” Pedretti said. “They are creative beyond just their acting talents and I’ve got a lot of beautiful things that they made in class was always a treat. Sometimes I would find things on my chair, all of us did. They were so generous. They taught me so much, just being able to talk through everything and how open and honest they were. We cultivated trust between each other so it was a real gift.”
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