Like many actresses who gravitate toward horror, Krystal Akin Stevenson grew up watching horror films. She cites being a big fan of the cable TV show USA Up All Night and watching it every weekend with her best friend when she was a kid, as fueling her passion for horror.
A proud born and raised Mississippi girl, Krystal landed her first role in a horror film in Peter Keir’s 2003 slasher, Psycho Santa. Since then, she’s added such titles as Dead Clowns (2005), Rise of the Ghosts (2007), Aberrations (2012), and House of Spirits (2018) to her resume. Krystal’s also not afraid to take the bumps and bruises that go with the territory. A good thing since most indie horror productions don’t provide the luxury of stunt doubles.
Learn more on Krystal in this interview she did exclusively for Idol Features, which is probably her first interview in a non-horror-focused publication. All accompanying photos courtesy of Krystal, Luc Bernier, and Greenlite Photography.
KRYSTAL AKIN STEVENSON: I was born in the Pascagoula, Mississippi hospital. My mom’s gyno was located in Pascagoula. They lived and still do live in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. So I was raised in Ocean Springs, which I love! I’ve lived here all my life, besides a few months in Kentucky, and I’m 38 years old.
CHRIS: Are you content living in Mississippi and traveling for shoots or do you have plans to someday move to LA?
KRYSTAL: I’m a Mississippi girl through and through. I don’t see myself moving to LA. I love it here! The only reason I would ever see myself moving anywhere is for love. And it would have to be the true, can’t-live-without-him love.
CHRIS: When was the first time you ever acted, whether it was on stage or in front of a camera?
KRYSTAL: Oh, it was in my early 20’s, I believe. It’s called Psycho Santa. It was so much fun! I believe it took three days. It was summer in Mississippi, and we had to dress like it was Christmas time. It got very hot, and I regretted wearing boots! (laughs)! The whole movie was supposed to be about me and my brother,” but unfortunately, the microphone didn’t work that well. Eric Spudic, who played my brother, had already went back home, so other characters were added and the script had to be changed.
CHRIS: When did you begin your love for horror?
KRYSTAL: Oh, I grew up on it, watching USA Up All Night especially! My best friend of 38 years Elizabeth would stay over almost every weekend, and we would stay up all night watching horror movies. I’d say we were about eight years old.
CHRIS: Are you ever offered roles in non-horror productions?
KRYSTAL: I believe I’ve just played in one non-horror movie with my ex-husband. It’s called The Job. That’s the only one I recall. Usually I am offered horror roles. Apparently I’m good at dying! (laughs)
CHRIS: What role would you say has been your most psychically challenging, so far?
KRYSTAL: Well, Psycho Santa, due to the weather and wearing thick clothing in summer ….then also wearing boots (laughs). The other would have to be “Geocacher” on the DVD Aberrations. I did a lot of running through the woods, and fell many times for my death scene. Few scratches and bruises, but I loved it! It’s one of my favorites! So, I do my own stunts! (laughs)!
CHRIS: According to you IMDb page, 2018’s Faces of Fear has been your most recent film. What are you currently working on?
KRYSTAL: Right now I’m not working on anything. Enjoying the holidays. My regular job is at “Your CBD Store” and is switching owners, so waiting to get back to work! Luc Bernier is going to be doing his own anthology once he gets it all written up, and he wants me to be a part of it! So yay!
CHRIS: Is there anyone in particular in indie films, on either side of the camera, you’d especially like to work with, but haven’t yet?
KRYSTAL: Hmmm ….well, Kimberly Cole Zemke. We have been in the same movie, but never met. Filmed on separate days. We are friends on Facebook, but don’t live close. So definitely her!
CHRIS: As we know, in indie films, a lot of times actors and actresses have to serve double duty. Have you had many roles behind the camera on any films you’ve been in?
KRYSTAL: Only a couple have I done that. Held another camera to do some extra filming and taking pictures. Which I loved also.
CHRIS: Are there any Scream Queens of yesteryear you particularly admire.
KRYSTAL: Rhonda Shear ….USA Up All Night!
CHRIS: What do you think about horror film remakes?
KRYSTAL: It can depend. Some I actually like, others they should have left alone. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was a great remake. Nightmare on Elm Street with a new Freddy actor was not.
CHRIS: I read in another interview of yours, that the house you lived in at that time was haunted. Do you still live there and if so, have you ever had a paranormal investigator visit it and give their take on it?
CHRIS: I saw you started a Facebook page last year as a movement to reopen the Springs Cinema in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Has any progress been made toward that goal?
KRYSTAL: As far as I know, the Ocean Springs School District owns it, and uses it as storage. I would love to see it reopen, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. I would still love to get in touch with someone to let me in, just so I can just remember some great memories I had there.
CHRIS: Do you have any hobbies or skills that most people don’t know about?
KRYSTAL: I have been told that I can sing. As I’ve aged and stopped going to karaoke, I can tell my voice cracks more. But I still got it!
CHRIS: With that, I’ll again say thank you for doing this with me, Krystal. In closing, any shout-outs to anyone?
KRYSTAL: Shout out to my best friend of 38 years and counting, Elizabeth Strait. And my heart, my son, Dean Gingrich! And also to the greatest parents in the world; Lynwood and Marie Stevenson! And to Luc Bernier, who is an awesome B-horror brother!
“Strange Shoot” photo set courtesy of Krystal and Greenlite Photography
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