Margo Harshman has come a long way from playing Tawny Dean on The Disney Channel’s Even Stevens alongside Shia LaBeouf back when she was in her early teens. She’s now 23 and playing the sexually voracious, darkly wry and possibly sociopathic alcoholic Chugs, the most memorable role in the female-driven horror flick Sorority Row. Despite being the type of girl who would service her psychiatrist in exchange for drugs and the instigator of the practical joke that goes horribly wrong, Harshman says she felt no intimidation taking on this role.
“I was just stoked to be a part of it,” Harshman said of the film co-starring Briana Evigan (Step Up 2 The Streets), Leah Pipes (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Jamie Chung (The Real World), Rumer Willis (The House Bunny) and Audrina Patridge (The Hills). “When I first read the script, I never knew who the killer was, so I think that right there made for great horror. The character, I never felt intimidated by her. I just grabbed that bull by the horns, man. She was so funny. I just loved the comedy in it. The director just made being on set great. We improv-ed a bunch, too. It was a blast. It was really fun.”
She’d had no prior experience with sororities, but she learned quickly. “The director gave us a book called Pledged to read before we started working, and that was my first taste of what it was like. But living with these girls in Pittsburgh for two months, I feel like it was all the best parts of a sorority. We just hung out in each other’s hotel rooms. We’d try to get out as much as possible, we went to Steelers games. There’s this really awesome house called Falling Water, we went out there one day. We went up to New York one weekend. Just hung out and had a great time, lots of dinners.”
The same went for when Patridge showed up on set, too. “The first night she came in, we had already been there for a couple weeks, and we just decided ‘let’s go have a great time tonight.’ It was just such a great group of people. I know coming into a situation where you don’t know anyone, it can be kind of weird. So we all went out, we had a great dinner and salsa danced. It was a great night. It was a good way to break her in.” Harshman had nothing but kinds words for her, too. “She definitely didn’t burn any bridges in Pittsburgh. She was so professional, seriously. The first night she was there, they threw her on the ground. I never heard a complaint, knew all the lines, smooth sailing.”
How about her old co-star Shia? Do they still keep in touch? “I talked to him a couple weeks ago, yeah,” she confirms. When asked about his success, she reveals she knew it all along – and it sounds like Shia knew it would happen, too. “I’m not surprised at all. Oh man, I wish I could tell you the first thing he ever said to me. He was a precocious little kid, let me just tell you that. He’s always been so talented and driven, and he would just make adults’ jaws drop with his humor, which I always respected. I think he deserves every bit of the work that he gets.”