Hill House's Annabeth Gish Talks 'Playing With the Dark Arts' on Set and the Easter Egg That Almost Wasn't

TVLine | 11/2/2018 | Kimberly Roots
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Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Haunting of Hill House Season 1.

When Annabeth Gish agreed to join The Haunting of Hill House‘s cast, she didn’t know she was signing up to play a buttoned-up caretaker’s wife with a deep history related to the ghost-filled abode. She had no idea the horror-tinged drama would become such a buzzy success.

Writer/director - Mike - Flanagan - Movie

All she knew was that she’d worked with writer/director Mike Flanagan on a scary movie called Before I Wake. And if he was involved, she was in.

“He came around saying, ‘Hey, I have this role. I can’t show it to you, exactly. It’s very different from anything you’ve ever done before. It’s much more character-y. It’s not glamorous. Would you consider doing it, sight-unseen?'” she recalls. “And I was like, ‘Yes, because I think you’re a visionary.'”

Gish - Fan - Shirley - Jackson - Novel

Gish is also a fan of the Shirley Jackson novel on which the Netflix series is loosely based — and she says she and Flanagan discussed how the newest incarnation of Mrs. Dudley would use Rosalie Crutchley’s performance in the 1963 film adaptation as a starting point.

“We wanted her to be almost ghostly herself,” she says. “We wanted a tiny nod to the fact that she’s lived through all of these Hills, and the potential that you never really know. Like, is her daughter real? Is she real? What, exactly, is it?”

Q - A - Below - Gish - Brain

In the Q&A below, we picked Gish’s brain about all things Hill House. Topics included a cool visual that was a “happy accident,” the unique way one of her co-stars introduced himself and why in the world Clara Dudley would choose to stick around such a creepy place for so long.

TVLINE | Did you do any kind of special prep to get into Mrs. Dudley’s mindset?

It’s strange for me, because I’m not particularly religious in...
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