Just when you thought it was safe to watch cursed videotapes again, there’s a new movie in The Ring franchise coming to a screen near you and starring newcomer Matilda Lutz.

A sunny 24-year-old with the barest hint of a European lilt, Lutz, the daughter of a famed Italian fashion photog­rapher, is unashamedly living the American dream.

“If you say you’re an actor in Italy, they kind of laugh in your face—it’s like it’s not a job,” explains Lutz, who moved to Los Angeles two years ago. “When I came here, I just fell in love with the fact that you can do anything you want. I felt like I could really, really be myself. So I called my mom and said I wasn’t coming home!” (Lutz had been in the United States on a month-long break from studying science in Milan.)

Despite having done a bit of acting in Italy, Lutz had to go through the usual Angeleno trial of “actress by night, waitress by day” until landing her breakout part in this year’s Rings.

As is inevitable when you’re talking to the star of a horror movie, the conversation first turns to things Lutz is afraid of—open water, being in a forest in the dark and bees (ever since she was swarmed while on a scooter in Greece)—and then it turns to the things she doesn’t fear (at least not anymore), like free-falling out of a plane: “I was really scared of flying when I was little, but I recently went skydiving, and it was the best experience of my life. You’re present like you’ve never felt before. You’re just thinking of you being in the air and feeling the wind on your body and your face.”

And next, with the kind of relentless optimism that America was built on, Lutz names the thing that scares most of us silly: what lies ahead. “It’s not useful to panic about the future. I have goals, but I don’t expect things. I just live every day and see what life brings me.”


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