Credit: Daniel Prakopcyk

If you’ve seen Netflix‘s No One Gets Out Alive, you’ve seen the suspenseful, intense and masterful acting of Cristina Rodlo. Playing the character of Ambar, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who relocates to Ohio after the death of her mother, Rodlo stepped up to the ever-shifting and demanding challenges of bringing a horror movie from the screen into the most fearful parts of our mind..

In No One Gets Out Alive, Rodlo stars in most every scene, oftentimes completely by herself, having only her imagination, focus and talent to make the character come to life. Upon first glance, this may seem like a triumphant feat of acting akin to the likes of Sandra Bullock in Bird Box or Kate Siegel in Hush, but Rodlo embodies the suspense, fear and hope of Ambar in such a way that she becomes human right in front of our eyes.

Rodlo sat down with GRAZIA to talk filming during a pandemic, getting into the character of Ambar and bringing an aspect of hope into her characterization.

JS: What was the filming process like for “No One Gets Out Alive?”

CR: It was hard at the beginning because we started shooting before the COVID-19 pandemic started. The first day of shooting was on March 13, 2020, and the producers came to us and said “guys, we gotta stop.”

We got back in September of 2020, and then it was awesome. We were shooting during the pandemic when everyone was home, not knowing what was going to happen, and we were in Romania shooting a film. We were all very grateful to be part of that, and we all wanted to do an amazing film. We were all very grateful that we all got along very well, the cast, the crew, the directors, the producers, it was all just a really great energy.

JS: It must have been very nice to have a bit of escapism from the problems of the world for a second

CR: It was great honestly, to be shooting a film and doing what I love when the whole world was pretty much collapsing, I was just very happy to have the opportunity to be where I love.

JS: What are both the challenging and the rewarding aspects to working on a horror-genre film and having to get into the character of Ambar?

CR: Making a horror film is really hard. You have to imagine a lot when you’re an actor, obviously, but when you do horror, most of the things are in your imagination. The sounds? You don’t actually hear them. The ghosts? You don’t actually see them.

Imagine the director coming to you and saying “Imagine a ghost is going to come out of here, then there’s going to be a sound.” You feel dumb, right? Like “oh my god am I doing this right? But director and I need to be on the same page, if I’m imagining something else, then it’s not going to work.

Credit: Daniel Prakopcyk

JS: It sounds like a constant exercise in how to be a better actor, and it feels like horror really lends itself to those exercises.

CR: If you’ve seen the film, you’ll see that I’m pretty much by myself. It was about having a lot of focus, even more than usual. Really having to know what was happening to my character in that specific moment in the scene

JS: What was it like to see all of the positive responses to the film?

CR: So far, it’s been really good. All the messages that I’ve been receiving on Instagram and on Twitter and even in the reviews have been really, really good. I think the film works really well, and I think it’s a different proposal for a horror film, it’s not your typical horror movie. The reaction has been great.

JS: How did “No One Gets Out Alive” differ from other projects that you’ve worked on?

CR: The first one is, obviously, shooting during a pandemic. Having to wear a mask and adjusting to all of that as well as getting tested three times a week..

Every project is different, and having a character that is in every scene of the film is a another layer for me as an actor. The character is very different from anything I’ve played before. Ambar doesn’t get a break at all, it’s just one thing after another after another. But I tried to give Ambar hope that she’s going to be able to get out of this.