Duluth teen makes leap to big screen in ‘The Remaining’

You might say Northview High School student Liz E. Morgan has two kinds of senior pictures. The first one finds her posing in a gown for that traditional yearbook-ready snapshot. The other, however, proves a bit more unique.

In the future, she’ll be able to look back at her former senior self in a motion picture. Morgan co-stars in “The Remaining,” an end-of-times thriller that gives the rapture concept a horror flick overhaul. As a group of young friends gathers for a wedding, they’re smacked by a wave of cataclysmic events, which turns into a fight for survival.

Morgan — who has done some commercials and student films, but whose background is primarily theater — remains in the midst of her own brand of life changes. The release of “The Remaining,” which opens Friday, brings with it a bundle of transitions. Appearing in her debut film, Morgan’s image jumps from that yearbook page to the big screen. And instead of readying for college, she plans on heading off to Hollywood upon graduation.

So how does a Duluth teen deal with all of this? Here’s Morgan in her own words.

On preparing for her schoolmates’ reactions to her being in a feature film:

“My friends (already) make fun of me for it, actually. If I’m in a bad mood one day and kind of keep to myself, they’ll say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot you’re a movie star. Excuse me.’ Even my theater teacher brings it up and presses my buttons a little bit.”

On what appealed to her about the script for “The Remaining”:

“When you just look at the story of the rapture, it is a scary story, so I think it’s great that Casey La Scala, the director, took this opportunity to make it into a horror movie. I think it will appeal to so many audiences, whether you’re Christian or you’re not. … I was definitely on the edge of my seat when I was reading the script. My whole family was reading it in the same room, and we would gasp at different times depending on where we were in the script.”

On sharing the screen in her debut film with film veterans, including Alexa Vega, Johnny Pacar and Shaun Sipos:

“I was terrified the first day of filming. I was so scared. But they were so nice, and I was so surprised at how normal they all are. (All of the actors) and even the crew were so welcoming. I was really surprised at how goofy everyone was.”

On what she’s learned the most as a theater actor in Atlanta:

“I’ve done work at the New American Shakespeare Tavern as part of their teen high school program they offer during the summer. One of the main things I’ve learned because of the Tavern is how to be honest with my emotions and not be afraid of sharing them with complete strangers, which has helped for film. It was difficult to learn. Actually, clowning really helps. I took several classes on clowning, and it’s one of my favorite things to do. When you’re a clown, you have to completely wear your heart on your sleeve, so that’s definitely helped me become more honest with my emotions.”

On what she’ll miss most about Atlanta when moving to Los Angeles:

“I’ll probably miss the people the most. They’re so much nicer than people in L.A. It’s definitely a different culture. Of course, I’ll miss the Shakespeare Tavern so much and all of the great theater companies here in Atlanta. Shakespeare Tavern is like my second home, and I go there all the time. They have this really cool thing called original practice. When they’re acting onstage, they literally talk to the audience and make eye contact with audience members. I’ve never seen anyone else do that before, and I love it so much. The people are amazing, and I’ll miss everything about it, because it’s so great.”

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