Dreama Walker made a big impression on audiences this year in ABC’s “Don’t Trust the B—- In Apt. 23” as the fresh-faced ingénue new to the big city, bedeviled by her hedonistic, morals-free roommate (Krysten Ritter). But just before her big comedic break, the 26-year-old took on a harrowing role in writer-director Craig Zobel’s film “Compliance.”
Inspired by the disturbing real-life psychological hoaxes that plagued fast food chain restaurants and grocery stores in 2004, “Compliance” depicts a fictionalized but intensely realistic version of the chilling tableau that played out each time: a caller claiming to be a police detective calls the business and tells the supervisor that one of the female employees is suspected of theft and needs to be detained until the authorities arrive, instructing the manager and others present to perform a humiliating strip search that ultimately leads to even darker instruction.
Walker plays the teenage server targeted in the film’s increasingly harrowing scenario. It was a demanding role that required her to push herself in ways she never had before.
How did you get your head in the place it needed to be for this dark and taxing material?
Being there everyday in the small confines of this set that was constructed to look like an office and being in an apron and being naked every day and raising those stakes to myself. Allowing myself to really be frightened and to really be afraid for my freedom and life, essentially, was very taxing – every day. Coming home and decompressing and kind of letting all that out was a lot more difficult than it normally is.