Everyone, we’re joined via Chat by none other than creative genius, actor, and one of my favorite humans, LOTTA LOSTEN! Good afternoon Lotta!
Lotta Losten (LL): Hello!!!
Thank you so much letting me drag you into this chat room.
LL: It’s my pleasure!
I have wanted to pick your brain ever since I showed your original Lights Out short film to my writing students.
LL: I remember that you told us that you showed it to your students when all of that happened and it made us SO happy! Pick away!
I’m honored. Yes! A few of them were struggling with brevity in their papers and I’m like HAVE I GOT A SHORT FILM FOR YOU…
The thing I’ve been dying to know first: Do you ever get creeped out on-set?
LL: Naaaah. People really want that to be the case but a filmset is just never creepy. Sorry!!
Noted! Are you an actor by day?
LL: Yes, I’m an actor but maybe a struggling one? It’s very on-and-off and so far I’ve only been acting in David’s (my husband’s) movies here in Hollywood so I LONG FOR THE DAY when I do get jobs with other directors too. David and I also have a production company now which is a lot of fun! We are developing a bunch of tv shows and STUFF right now and it’s all very exciting.
Oh, I like STUFF. Especially stuff you and David team up on.
What are your roles in the production company?
LL: It can be a lot of different things. We are producing a film called UNSOUND, based on a comic book, that we, together with BOOM studios and the writer Skylar James, worked up a pitch for and that sold to Netflix. We have a tv show that recently sold to Amazon that we’re producing with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, called Fear Agent, written by Mattson Tomlin and also based on a comic book. And then we have a few other things brewing that I can’t really talk about yet. But my role is as a creative producer. Some projects are for David to direct, and some we would want to find new directors for. Our production company is called Mångata. A Swedish word that no one will pronounce right, but that’s part of the fun.
That is all so freaking wonderful. Congratulations!
LL: Thank you!
What does Mångata mean?
LL: It is a non-translatable word that only exists in Swedish.
LL: It roughly translates to the glittering light effect that happens on a body of water when the moon touches it. It looks like a street leading straight to the moon. A moon street.
Oh my heart, that is a powerful word. What an awesome name.
LL: Isn’t it lovely? It’s my favorite word. That and Krumsprång. A word for the giddy jump that especially animals make in spring.
Speaking of Krumsprång, how do you unwind/recharge/not got stir-crazy when you’re decompressing?
LL: I listen to a lot of podcasts. Right now there’s a bunch of Swedish ones like Flashback Forever, Mina Vänner boken podden, Margarinet…But also English ones like How Did This Get Made, Off Camera, Off Menu, and Off Book because I seem to especially like podcasts that are OFF something.
LL: I also like to cook while listening to podcasts, scroll Etsy for vintage dresses or the perfect antique popcorn bowl, and I’m trying to learn how to draw. It’s not going great but it’s fun. And I play a lot of Bananagrams with David.
Did you find the perfect antique popcorn bowl?
LL: I did buy one but even though I measured beforehand it is EXTREMELY large and now I need to find one that is a bit smaller but not as small as my previous one. Yes. I am Goldilocks.
Goldilocks knew what she wanted. It’s admirable. Lotta, are you ready for Rapid Fire Favorites in which I Ask You Your Favorites And You Say Them Rapidly?
LL: Sure thang! Ready.
LL: Coffee maker gurgles!
LL: POPCORN!!!! With truffle salt. Stove-popped.
FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME EVER?!
LL: My MOST main all-time all-consuming hobby is and will always be Vintage clothes. Specifically dresses from the 1930s/40s/50s. I think about that probably 19 of the 24 hours of a day.
Why the 30s/40s/50s?
LL: Because they just knew how to make clothes back then. Like they understood how bodies work and what would look nice on them.
How long have vintage clothes held interest for you?
LL: Since I was a child. My mom used to take me to flea markets since before I could remember and I just fell in love with the hunt for great finds.
What is your most random vintage find to date?
LL: I found a dress once that was already hanging in the dressing room. I went in there to try on other things and it was just hanging there left there by a previous try-er on-er (yup that’s the word) and I looked at it and thought: that seems to be just what I’ve been searching for. Tried it on and it fit like it WAS MADE FOR ME! Still mind-blown over that. Sadly haven’t been able to wear that anywhere yet.
What should I look for in a vintage dress?
LL: Look for cotton dresses! Look in the armpits for stains because they cannot be removed. Dresses with zippers in the side are usually from the 1940’s.
What is your favorite-all-time-ever vintage find?
LL: Ooooh! Good question! The dress I bought for the Shazam! premiere is up there for sure. A black 1930s dress with Rhinestone details and cape arms. It was the epitome of these emojis: 🥀🦇🧛🖤
My giddy aunt that’s amazing.
LL: I know.
Any least-expected vintage finds?
LL: I don’t think I have any least-expected vintage finds. I am kind of expecting to find great stuff anywhere. Flea markets, thrift shops, estate sales, Etsy- anywhere!! I have a recurring dream though that I inherit the estate of an old lady that I didn’t really know that well but who knew I loved vintage and she just happened to be the same size as me, and her huge attic was filled to the brim with pretty dresses from the 1930s and 40s that just all fit me perfectly and I would find the best stuff there. Ah. What a dream that would be!
What if you were that lady in your previous life?!
Whoa. Or maybe I WILL BE that lady for someone else in the future?!?
That would make A LOT of sense to me. Vintage turtles all the way down. Any second-favorite hobbies?
LL: Yes, plants!! Love plants! Have so many plants! And hoop dancing!
What is hoop dancing?
LL: Dancing with a hula hoop and doing tricks and stuff. It’s wonderful!
How many plants do you have?
Over 60 plants.
Where do you get them?
LL: I buy them on online, in hardware stores, at my local grocery store, ANYWHERE I can find them. And then I raise them like babies.
Do you name them?
LL: I do not name them. They are just my babies.
How long does it take you to water your babies?
LL: About thirty minutes. I’m going to do that later today.
What is your secret power?
LL: Hm. Sweating profusely? It’s not a great power though. And not very secret either. I wish I was suaver. But suave is boring. So maybe not. I’m the best at popping popcorn. Yes. That’s my super power.
If you could star in any film what would it be?
LL: I have a dream of playing the crazy lady- Ms Dinsmoor- in GREAT EXPECTATIONS. It’s good because there is no stress, I’d have to be old for it so if my amazing acting career takes some time to happen, it’s fine. Also, Kathy Bates’s role in MISERY.
OMG. Yes. That. I would pay you to do that. You and David produce a lot of short horror films together and your characters are so well done and convincing. Do you believe in ghosts?
LL: No. I’m very rational to the point of being boring. I don’t believe in anything.
I am guessing that not believing in the creepy stuff helps with NOT getting scared on set?
LL: Exactly. Also, there is just camera angles and waiting for the lights to be right and everything to be ready and that is more boring than scary.
So, if you got a call that you were offered the role of Annie Wilkes in a Misery reboot, what would you do?
LL: Sweat profusely and start crying from excitement.
That checks out.
LL: And I would say YES PLEASE, of course.
Of course. Who would you want cast as the author?
LL: Hm. Michael Caine.
LL: Tom Hanks?
LL: Imagine Seth Rogen.
Oh my gosh.
LL: Or Nick Offerman.
OH MY GOSH.
Let’s talk a moment about what happened to Dr. Lynn Crosby, your character in Shazam!.
Shazam! SPOILERS AHEAD!
LL: Hehe. She ded.
She very ded! Lotta what did David do to her and how do you feel about it?
LL: Haha, he killed her! It was fun to get to die in David’s most family-friendly movie when everyone was like “oh it’s going to be so great to see you in a movie and not fear for your life.”
I screamed when I saw you and my husband was like WHAT IS WRONG and I’m like DAVID KILLED LOTTA AGAIN.
Do you have a collection of your work for all the amazing creepy shorts?
A few weeks ago I saw your tweet about not being referred to by name, only as ‘David Sandberg’s wife’ in a write-up about Shadowed. It was nice to see that called that out. Was there any response from the offending party?
LL: Nah, I don’t think they even saw the tweet. It happens quite often, and it does make me sad and angry, but every time I speak about it on Twitter I notice that it gets a little better. My followers make sure to change their language to include me when they tweet about our shorts, and that travels. It’s getting better but it sure can be tiresome to wait.
What type of language helps?
LL: I think a lot of people see me as “only the actress” and see the short films as being David’s when they are actually ours. We are the entire team and make them together. So a good example would be “Here is the new short from David F. Sandberg and Lotta Losten.” It’s okay to mention that we’re married, of course, but not if the sentence make it seem like I’m one of David’s belongings, like his camera or something. Yup, that happens.
Wow. Are you, Lotta Losten (and your husband David F. Sandberg), still making short films?
LL: Yes we are! We made Shadowed last month and that was the first one we did in four years but I think there might be more in the not-too-distant future.
Shadowed was creepy as h*ck. Which short are you most proud of?
How long does a 3-minute short take to produce from concept to premiere?
LL: Lights Out was only like four days or so, but Shadowed was probably a week. Maybe even a little bit longer. Lights Out was shot in one night. On Shadowed we shot four nights because we also wanted to play Bananagrams and eat popcorn.
With the truffle sauce or?
LL: Truffle salt!!!
Truffle SALT! YES! Where can we find more of your work, wardrobe, popcorn skills, and career info?
LL: Follow me on the Instagramz! On Fridays I dress up fancy. I started the hashtag #FancyFridayQuarantineEdition where I encourage people to dress up on Fridays so your dresses and buttoned shirts get some love during these weird times. So join in on that!
Instant YES. Lotta, thank you so much for
BECOMING MY BFFF FOR FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER AND EVER chatting with me today. Break a leg breaking Tom Hank’s leg!
LL: Thanks for having me, friend!