From a small town girl in New Jersey to starring alongside Lindsay Lohan, Casie Chegwidden proves that talent and dedication can get you far. This beautiful model first made national headlines when she beat out thousands of other models for the lead in celebrity photographer Indrani’s new short film, Till Human Voices Wake Us. With a natural grace and stunning charisma, Chegwidden was ultimately able to edge out the rest of her competition, including Hollywood star Lindsay Lohan, for the main role in her first acting job. Although this decision created some tension between the stars, the two women were able to stay professional and work together flawlessly to deliver a truly beautiful piece.
Chegwidden is surrounded by phenomenal talent in the film. With a cast that includes, Lohan, Jordan Weller, Sara Santos, and Alissa Bourne, it is no surprise that this movie has already won awards, including the International Fashion Film Award. In Till Human Voices Wake Us, award winning director Indrani takes viewers on a mystical journey based on the ancient Celtic myths of Selkies, who live as seals in the sea but become human on land.
Filthy: What drew you to the project?
Casie Chegwidden: I went to the casting because I really loved Indrani’s work as a photographer. The opportunity to work with her – in whatever medium – was what first interested me. Because I've mainly worked with male photographers and directors, I was really excited to see what it was like with a woman in charge. And Indrani didn’t disappoint – she’s a real badass!
Are you a model or an actress?
I’m really a model – print, commercial etc. but I’ve also done some acting. I’ve loved all of the classes I’ve taken when I’ve had the time. The best thing about modeling is the travel, getting to go all over the world and meet different types of people, explore cultures. I’d love to explore new things through acting as well.
How was the filming process?
The conditions were more difficult than on a typical modeling shoot. The days – and nights – were equally long – but since we shot scenes in real New York locations, we sometimes had to just do what New Yorkers do: man up and get it done. There’s a scene where Jordan (Weller, the male lead) and I were swimming in the Hudson River, being fake shot at by fake SWAT guys. I remember looking around and thinking, “is this really happening? What if the real police show up?” I don’t remember seeing any permits to shoot there… :)
Was it scary to be the lead in your first film?
I didn’t really look at it as the “lead”, it seemed like an ensemble and I was just part of it. There were obviously a lot of good-looking women and men on set so it felt at times like a giant photo shoot where we each had our chance to shine.
What do you think the message of the movie is?
I’m not big on messages, I like when things are more open to interpretation. If it’s too black and white then it bores me, and this film doesn’t bore me at all – I think that different people will take away different things from it. I guess that’s why they call it art.
How was working with Lindsay Lohan?
I didn’t really have many scenes with her, but it was fun to see the energy change when she was on set. Like most people, I’m a fan of hers from Mean Girls, Parent Trap and other classics so it’s cool to share the screen with her.
What are 3 things people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a tomboy. I walked the Santiago de Campostela Camino by myself. I was born a man. (laughs) Just kidding!