Thanksgiving, Eli Roth’s upcoming slasher, has cast a huge TikTok star as the female lead. The film is a feature-length expansion of the parody trailer he created as part of the 2007 retro-themed Grindhouse double feature. While plot details have yet to be confirmed, it will be a holiday-themed slasher in the vein of Silent Night, Deadly Night or My Bloody Valentine.
Per Deadline, Addison Rae has joined the cast of Thanksgiving in a lead role opposite Patrick Dempsey. As of August 2020, Rae was ranked as the world’s highest-earning TikTok influencer, and she is also the fourth most-followed on the platform at the time of writing with over 88 million followers. This would be her second live-action film after Netflix’s gender-bent remake He’s All That, which premiered in 2021.
Eli Roth Casting Addison Rae Makes Sense
While there are quite a few influencers who have given acting a shot, few have had quite the success in Hollywood that Rae has. While He’s All That was a divisive film, earning a rotten 29 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it brought big numbers for the platform. It premiered at No. 2 on the Netflix English Language films Top 10 chart, but it rose to No. 1 the following week and stayed in the Top 10 for another week after that, racking up a total of 90.5 million minutes watched during that time.
While Roth casting such an untested actress might seem unusual, it makes sense that the Hostel and Hostel: Part II director would give a role to such a major influencer. In addition to her proven ability to draw eyes to a film, he has a history of working with influencers in various capacities. This largely occurred through his company Crypt TV, which he co-founded with Jack Davis.
Crypt TV focused on creating unique and terrifying short-form horror for the Snapchat generation, introducing new characters like Birch and the Look-See to the genre canon. Given the fact that they largely premiere content on YouTube and Facebook Watch, their casts tend to include influencers and other figures meant to appeal to young audiences including Vine star Wesley Armstrong. Thanksgiving will mark the director’s first time casting a major influencer in one of his own features, a filmography that also includes The Green Inferno and Cabin Fever.
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