Interviews

Jemaine Clement Exclusive Interview- What We Do in the Shadows!

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Jemaine Clement Interview – What We Do In the Shadows

By Jessica Dwyer

What We Do In the Shadows was one of my favorite movies last year.  You can read my review of the film here.

The film was just released here in the US on Blu Ray this week and you need to get it NOW.  It’s packed with extras as well as the original short film the full length feature is based on.

I was given the opportunity to interview actor/writer/director Jemaine Clement about the film which I think is probably one of the best vampire movies of the last few years.  Enjoy!

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FG: The film, while being a comedy, was actually more of an homage and true vampire film than many in the last few years.  Can you talk about finding the balance for that and what led to you wanting to do a vampire film?

JC: I felt the film, while being a comedy, was an homage and true vampire film more than than many in the last few years.  

It spends more time with the vampires because it follows them rather than the vampire hunters or the victims. Part of the idea of the film was imagining what life would be like for vampires when they aren’t being cool and brooding. Dealing with the logistics of their lives, so we really tried to pay attention to all of the rules surrounding vampires.

They have so many rules.

FG:  How did you choose what sort of vampire characters were represented in the movie and did you always plan on being the “Vlad the Impaler” inspired one?

JC:  In the short we made in 2005 of the same idea I was trying to be like Antonio Banderas in Interview with a Vampire. Looking at that footage now, I can see that I really failed.

 FG:  How much of the film was improvised and what improvisation, if any, do we see in the final product?

JC:    Taika and I wrote a script which we wouldn’t show the actors. We wanted it to have a documentary feel which usually isn’t as smooth as something scripted. As Taika told the crew what they were shooting I would tell the actors what would happen in the scene. So, the story is scripted but all of the dialogue is improvised.

FG:  While the film shows us a lot of the history of the characters, did you and Taika write back stories for each of them apart from the script and if so, is there a chance of ever seeing something published of them?  (I personally would love a book of their histories because they were all so great.)

JC:  A lot of the histories of each character came from improv too, we made and found artwork to match the things each one said. Deacon has different versions of his history where he was a Manure salesman, a grass cutter (with scissors) and a cardboard box repairman. None of which were used. 

FG:  The special effects in the film are well done and in some cases subtle (like the werewolf eyes reflecting the light) was it a challenge for you to work with these effects?

JC:   It was fun. We had a limited budget so we could only use effects sparingly but because we live in the same city as Weta Digita there are a lot of people around here who are great at FX at the moment.

 FG:    Much of the film takes place in the roommates’ house…was this a set or an actual filming location?  Also what were the challenges of filming “documentary style” when making a film like this?

JC:   The outside is a real house, the inside a set made to look like it was the same era. It may not be realistic to have a camera person there to conveniently get the shot you want so you have to think whether what you want to show would have been seen by the camera.  

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 FG:  I was surprised by how moving the film was and  how much heart was in it, especially with the subplot involving Viago.  Did you realize how effecting that was while writing it?

JC:  Even in a comedy you want the audience to care about the characters, so yes. I think this might have even been the first plot line we thought of.

 FG:  I loved the costumes in this film…did you keep any of yours?

 JC:  I didn’t. You think it would be okay to wear them in real life even with glasses?

FG:  Lastly, I would love to see these characters again but part of me is hesitant to wish for a sequel.  What are the chances of a sequel to the film happening since it was such a success?

 JC: We have just pitched for a series for the two cops in NZ. We are also mulling over an idea for a sequel following the werewolves. It’s the same for us too though, it would be fun doing something more with the characters but we also don’t want the great experience with the first one ruined somehow. Personally as an audience member I don’t think that even the worst sequels ruin the original movies though.

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Uncovering the Pyramid: An Interview with star Ashley Hinshaw

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Uncovering the Pyramid

An Interview with star Ashley Hinshaw

By Jessica Dwyer

When people think of horror films set in Egypt they typically think mummies.  Undead creatures unleashed via a scroll or a curse that’s been uttered by an unwitting digger or grave robber.  But that’s not the case in The Pyramid, hitting Digital HD on 4/17.  This new take on Egyptian based horror goes a different route through the buried secrets of an ancient tomb.  In the realm of found footage horror The Pyramid stands out due to the subject matter as well.

A modern archeological dig finds a 3 sided Pyramid, a very unique discovery. The father/daughter team leading the dig, under pressure of time and results make the poor choice of entering the tomb for a “quick look” and things go as well as you can expect.

The Pyramid has a healthy horror pedigree.  It’s produced by Alexander Aja (Horns) and is the first directorial project for Gregory Levasseur who’s written the new version of Maniac starring Elijah Wood, The Hills Have Eyes, as well as High Tension.

Star wise it’s headed up by Ashley Hinshaw, who you may as the woman who turned Jason Stackhouse’s life around on the final season of TrueBlood.  Ashley plays Nora, the smart and tech savvy archeologist at odds with her father.  Along with Ashley is another TrueBlood veteran, Dennis O’Hare who plays Holden, Nora’s more old school archeologist father whose ambition leads both he and his daughter on a dangerous path.

I got the chance to talk with Ashley about her work on The Pyramid and also of having played one of the few “normal” women in TrueBlood.

FG:  What were the locations like for this?  It looked very claustrophobic in some spots and then there were these sweeping desert panorama shots.

AH:  We filmed in Morocco.  It was actually really great.  When something is set in such a remote location it helps to be filming in a remote location rather than the back lot at Warner Brothers.   It was really great.

We spent our first week in the middle of the desert, the Sahara where we’re in the desert before going into the pyramid.  And then once we get inside it was all sets in a soundstage in this tiny town in Morocco.  And there were many claustrophobic moments and I’m really lucky I don’t have a small confined spaces issue.  It was a rough shoot.

FG:  You had some real physical things that you were doing in this.  Were there any instances that will stick with you that you’ll never forget?

AH:  OH yeah.  I got two concussions on this film.  Only because I was I very persuasive and convincing to try and do my own stunts on this movie.  I mean it’s totally my own fault.  But it’s certainly the most physical I’ve ever been in a film.  But I’m really interested in that type of stuff.  But half way through filming I was a wreck.  I was beat up; I was just one massive bruise.  I had to work through it. 

But I’m really interested in doing these sorts of physical things.  I mean, there’s a scene where I’m being buried in sand.  What other type of movie are you going to get to do that in?  And I told them I really wanted to do it.  And they were like “No, we’re using a stunt double.  Are you an insane person?”  But I really wanted to try it.  A normal project you don’t get to do cool things like that.

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FG:  Were there any moments where you were in your head doing the Indiana Jones theme music while filming this?  Because I would have totally been doing that.

AH:  That was happening straight away.

FG:  Research wise for this did you study any of the mythology or books on this subject of archeology before filming?

AH:  Oh yes.  Playing an archeologist is something that I took very seriously.  I wanted to make sure I came off sounding like I knew what I was talking about and wasn’t just an actress saying words that she didn’t know what they meant.  So I read a lot about it and I watched a lot of documentaries about it.  And I was just always really fascinated by Egyptian mythology and the pyramids.

So it was actually really interesting for me to do.  It didn’t really feel like work at all.

FG:  It sounds like that is a lot of what attracted you to this project.  And plus I haven’t seen a lot of films set in the supernatural aspects of Egypt that utilize the Gods of their mythology…usually it’s a mummy.

AH:  That’s what I thought it was going to be.  I was going to turn around and there was going to be a mummy there wrapped up in toilet paper coming down the hallway at me.  But it didn’t happen.  And I love horror films and I love archeology and I thought what an interesting pairing of the two.

It is a typical horror film at some points.  So audiences are sitting there thinking “oh I know what’s coming…”  But it does take a few different twists and turns on that road.  It was really interesting as an actress to be a part of that.

And I think as horror movies go, I’d rather do something that is a little bit different than the average scary film.

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FG:  It was neat to see you paired up as a father and daughter with Denis O’Hare.  How was that to get to work with him?

AH:  I got so lucky to get to work with him.  He’s a great actor and an even greater human.  We became friends and it was just a learning experience for me.  He’s such a fantastic actor and he’s got very strong opinions on what he wants to bring to the project.  And it was such a blessing.  His involvement took the script from being a little more generic to a little more interesting.

FG:  Well one thing I have to say was I loved the fact that you and Dennis are in this and you were both in TrueBlood.  I just had to say I really liked your character and the fact that you were a normal person and not a supernatural but also…and this is going to sound really bad…but you weren’t out to bang Jason Stackhouse.

AH:  (Laughing) I have a lot of friends on the show including Dennis.  But I didn’t watch every episode before I got cast…but I kind of knew what the girls who got hooked up with Jason were typically like.  And I was just glad I was going to be a refreshing character.

And I think what I do as an actress best is very natural characters.  And I think I was really lucky that they let me do that.  Because that show is fantastic but very kitschy and every character has an agenda.  I think it was refreshing that at the end they let someone come in and change that up.

I was so excited to be a part of that show.  That was such a fantastic series and I wish I could have been on it longer.

FG:  And like you said I like the fact that you weren’t out to have like some insane vampire werewolf three way with Jason or something.

AH:  They actually shot a sex scene with us but they didn’t air it.  They decided it’s so nice as it is and we’re giving his character growth by showing the flash forward scene with his character end up with a girl who’s so different than the women he’s been with.  So you’re making more of a statement by not seeing them hook up.

FG:  You saved Jason Stackhouse!  Yay!

AH:  I just want to save people!

The Pyramid is on Digital HD right now and able to be purchased on Amazon digital download here

Check out the trailer:

Steven Moffat Talks to Fangirl Magazine about Christmas and the Doctor

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Your friendly neighborhood editor got a chance to talk to Doctor Who Showrunner Steven Moffat late last week about the upcoming Christmas special during a conference call.  During the chat Moffat defended the Doctor against some naughty accusations about the Doctor being the cause of some companions having their lives destroyed:

“I mean that’s not true about all the Doctor’s
companions. It’s maybe what the Doctor thinks in his darker moments and
when he’s dying in “Let’s Kill Hitler.” He worries that he might’ve done them
terrible harm.

But Rose is off in a parallel universe. She’ll be with her – with a human 

version of the Doctor. She’s fine. Martha learns to stand up for herself and got
over her crush on the Doctor and she soars off.

Yes Donna has a more miserable thing. But she doesn’t know she’s miserable.
She ends up actually quite happy and married to a good bloke. Rory and Amy
are perfectly happy in New York. They’re dead, but, you know, everyone
from that year is dead so that’s all right. They lived to a ripe old age and had a
lovely time.

The Doctor – so he’s not – they all don’t leave under terrible circumstances at 

all. I think the tragedy when Amy and Rory went was the Doctor lost them not
– and that in the end they, you know, of course that, you know, Amy would
choose Rory over the Doctor in a heartbeat. And he actually had some trouble
quite dealing with that.

But the fact is, no he doesn’t ruin their lives. He can induce a certain amount
of trauma, it must be said. But no they’re not all destroyed by any means. And
no, every time, every time the Doctor loses a regular character from this show
it will happen in a moment that makes people talk. Because the episode that
you described no one would talk about that. That wouldn’t be thrilling.”

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One of the more interesting bits though was when ComicMix turned the  conversation to the companions again, but this time it involved the recent discussions around the web of when we might see a different companion that WASN’T from modern day earth.  The response was practical and also made sense from a writers perspective when it comes to modern Who.  

“Now in fact, the old series doesn’t do a hell of a lot of it. If you looked at the
vast majority of the companions come from contemporary era. Even the ones
who don’t come from contemporary era are pretty much normalized ones like
with Jamie and Victoria. Then it’s hardly any time at all before Victoria is
wearing short skirts. No Victorian would actually do that.

You know, so the problem is – and I don’t say it’s an unsolvable problem, but
the majority solution will always be a contemporary companion. But the
problem is you need an anchoring point for the audience. You need someone
who represents their world and their point of view. And the simplest, purest
and best answer to that is somebody from their world.

Now somebody who’s watched Doctor Who for an unseasonably long time
like I have, like possibly you have, I don’t know, might get bored of that and
say I wish it was, you know, a two headed alien from the planet Prang. The
new audience don’t think that. They want an anchoring point on that
mysterious alien the Doctor. 

Doesn’t mean we’ll always do it this way. But the reality is it’s always going
to be somebody from contemporary era or somebody who ends up being very
like somebody from contemporary era.

I think it was great – the one that broke the mold really I would argue was
Leela. We actually went for somebody who was quite different. I would sort
of say that Jamie and Victoria ended up – when I was a kid watching I wasn’t
particularly aware that they were historical characters. And I do remember
watching them.

And Romana just came across as, you know, in the end like a very, very
clever young woman. She wasn’t that different from Liz Shaw. It’s going to
be – it’s going to be the relatable half of the partnership.

Keep in mind Doctor Who has to not just appeal to sci-fi fans, it has to appeal
to a huge mainstream audience who dwarf the sci-fi audience. You sort of
need that way in for them. Having said that, you know, who knows maybe
there’ll be a robot dog next. I don’t know.

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 My question though was more central to the issue at hand, which was the Christmas special itself and how it was about time Santa Claus was involved.

Jessica Dwyer:  So as a writer what is the process of planning and

plotting a Christmas Special every year for a series like Doctor Who, and what

are the challenges? And kind of as a backup to that as well, why did it take so

long for someone to use Santa as a plot point in a special?

Steven Moffat: What did it take – it’s not massively different from just writing an episode of

Doctor Who. The thing about Doctor Who and the way we approach it, and it

sort of has paid off is – I’m always saying to every writer and often myself

when I’m the writer – every episode of Doctor Who has to be an event. It has

to be an event. It has to be the thing the paper is talking about that day.

So when you come to do the Christmas Special, which has to be an event

episode obviously, I kind of think we’re fighting fit for that. We’re used to

that.

 The additional things that are different about Christmas, though they’re not

massively different, is that we have to remember that a lot of people will be

forced into watching it that don’t normally watch Doctor Who. Probably, you

know, there’s people – you know, your parents getting dragged in, grannies

getting dragged in. You have to sort of – you have to have a sort of quite basic

version of Doctor Who.

 But when I say that I know I’m lying because actually that happens with every

episode of Doctor Who. And people certainly in Britain know Doctor Who

incredibly well. So it doesn’t need a lot of introduction even to people who

don’t watch it that often.

 The other challenges – I do think a Christmas Special should be Christmassy. I

think there’s no point in trying to pretend an ordinary episode would pass

muster on Christmas Day. It wouldn’t.

 You know, it’s a highly sugared day. People are exhausted by six o’clock on a

Saturday. They’ve had food, they’ve been drinking champagne since 10

o’clock in the morning. They’re not – and they’ve probably eaten an amount of

chocolate that would kill a horse. You know, it’s not – they’re not in the same

place.

 So you have to sort of cut through an even louder living room than normal

with your story. And I can admit all these things are just exaggerations of

Doctor Who. Doctor Who is always like that.

 I don’t know how clear it is to an American audience and sometimes in the

way they react to it I wonder if it’s very unclear to them that Doctor Who is an

early evening Saturday show in Britain. It’s surrounded by shiny floor shows.

It’s shown in houses full of children all yelling and talking at once. And mum

and dad doing the cooking and maybe a Hoover. It has to be a loud clarion

call of a show to survive all that.

 I know you guys watch it later in the evening and I sometimes think it must

feel a bit loud for nine o’clock. But it seems to be going very well so I

shouldn’t complain.

Jessica Dwyer: And why did it take so long to have Santa be a plot point in a Christmas

Special for Doctor Who?

Steven Moffat: Well the simple dull – the dull answer is that it took me this long to think of it.

And so, no big deal. I think it’s oh so true that now that this is Doctor Who’s

tenth year at the heart of the Christmas schedule he’s now earned the right to

go toe to toe with Santa, you know? It feels about right.

 It’s one of those ideas that when you have it you just – for goodness sake why

has it not happened before now? Why haven’t we seen them, you know, in a

buddy movie together before now? They belong together. And it’s something

in the hearts I’m sure of the younger part of our audience Doctor Who and

Santa Claus live – and Robin Hood – all very much live in the same place.

 So that’s – it’s irresistible once you’ve thought of it. But, you know, and also

because of the format of the show we can contrive anything to happen. So

here we are.

Jessica Dwyer: That’s awesome. Thank you so much. And thank you for casting Nick Frost.  His name screams Christmas and Santa.

Steven Moffat: Yes, Nicholas Frost is a name Santa would choose isn’t it? If he was going for

a nom de plume. He’d call him – and it fit’s much better than Kris Kringle –

Nicholas Frost.

Jessica Dwyer: Exactly. Thank you so much.

Steven Moffat: Pleasure.

The Doctor Who Christmas Special airs Christmas Day!

Jessica’s Archives: David Tennant for Fright Night

I’ve been doing the writing gig for a while now and I’ve been blessed to have talked to some pretty amazing people over the years.  So starting with this entry I’m going to do what I call “Jessica’s Archives,”  some of the best and most interesting interviews I’ve done over the years.

The first I’ve chosen is David Tennant because he is simply amazing and is one of my favorite actors ever.  I was beyond thrilled to get to talk to him because of this and the fact I love Fright Night.  As it turns out I think I was one of only a few writers here in the States to get to talk to him about the film due to his schedule and locale in the UK.

A few facts about this interview:

1.  He’s just finished rehearsals for Much Ado About Nothing with Catherine Tate.  And by just finished I mean literally only a couple hours before.

2.  I sent the DVD of Fantastic Journey and they never gave it to him.  I sent it AGAIN to his agent and they never gave it to him either.  I know this because one of my co-writers for HorrorHound saw him over a year later and he remembered I was going to give it to him and told him he’d never gotten it.  So David, someday…I’ll just put it right in your hand.

3.  My friend’s kids are HUGE Doctor Who fans and David was kind enough to do the shout out to them.  Their faces upon hearing it were amazing.

4.  This was for HorrorHound issue 30 which you can purchase here

And here is David Tennant:

 

Fright Night 2- Redux Film Coverage

Fright Night 2 is coming to DVD next month.  The film is a sort of sequel but really more of a remake of the remake that starred Colin Farrell.  But its also sort of a remake of the sequel to the original.  All in all…its best just to enjoy the movie when it hits DVD this October.

Fangirl Magazine along with HorrorHound Magazine were given some exclusives for the release including the below interview with star Jamie Murray, a clip from the film showing Jamie in all her bloody glory, and an exclusive still for your viewing pleasure.

Be sure to tune into Fangirl Radio at 5pm Pacific on September 26th to hear our interview with the films director Eduardo Rodriguez on Jackalope Radio.

Our Exclusive Clip from Fright Night 2

 

Fright Night 2:  Fright Night Redux

By Jessica Dwyer

The Fright Night remake released in 2011 and starring Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin was a fun remake of the original film.  It didn’t try to copy it scene for scene, it updated the story and took key elements from it for the new film’s plot.

In the surprise direct to DVD follow up things are even more changed.  Fright Night 2 is a sequel/remake of the original Fright Night and also a remake of the originals sequel.  If you follow that good for you, if you don’t I’ll explain.

When high school student Charlie attends a study abroad program with his horror obsessed friend “Evil” Ed and ex-girlfriend AMY in Romania, he soon discovers their young attractive professor Gerri (Jaime Murray) is a real life vampire. Too bad no one believes him. In fact, Evil Ed finds it amusing and it only feeds his vampire obsession. When Gerri turns Ed, Charlie seeks out Peter Vincent, the infamous vampire hunter (well, he plays one on TV) who is in Romania filming his show “Fright Night,” to teach him how to take down Gerri before she gets to Amy, who’s blood will cure Gerri of spending eternity as a vampire.”

So yes, you read that right.  Gerri Dandridge is now a beautiful and seductive woman (not Jerry’s sister as the female vampire in Fright Night 2 “the original” was.)  And also the entire plot is a redux of sorts of the original (and remake) Fright Night.  It’s certainly a different way to follow up a film.  But one thing we can agree on is the casting of Jaime Murray as a beautiful and seductive vampires.

Jaime Murray is no stranger to genre TV or film.  Many horror fans will know her as Lila Tournay, Dexter’s equally as unbalanced girlfriend from early in the series.  She’s starred in Warehouse 13 on the SyFy channel and is currently starring in Defiance.  She’s also been in the films The Deaths of Ian Stone and Devil’s Playground.

Jaime’s excitement for Fright Night 2 is evident when I talked with her about the film and what it’s like for female characters to finally get to be the bad guy and the one to fear.

HH:  So how did you come to be a part of this film?

JM:  You know I was super lucky.   I think that if you look at me closely…I am genuinely the palest dark haired actress in the room.  And for years I was watching different vampire movies that were appearing and I was like “I’m a gaunt pale dark haired woman!  Why aren’t I doing one of these things?”  I mean I look like a vampire when I’m doing my grocery shopping.  So it kind of fell in my lap a little bit.

I spoke to the producers and after I read the script and I said this is really interesting to me.  There’s something really…when I was playing in Spartacus…there’s something about Gaia when she’s talking to the slave girls, which is kind of abusive and vampiric.  And she was almost toying with this girl when she was talking to her and kind of fascinated by her innocence.

And I think that the vampire myth is very prevalent in our times because it really is the story of the loss of innocence, the loss of self.  It’s about the seduction of charm and artifice which is essentially and emptiness and will never lead you to a happy place.  It’s that deal you make with the devil.  The moment when you’re feeling that charm or that ecstasy…or that light shown upon you.    And as any of these…the myth progresses that ugliness shows and you wonder…

HH:  What have I done?

JM:  Yeah! And with Colin there was this…you really looked at the element of addiction.  That kind that vampiric people and narcissists have.  And I think that was a really interesting way of grounding it.  And I was kind of really looking at vanity and narcissism and misuses of power.  It was pretty frightening.

HH:  The theme that I find interesting here is the fact that this is the first time Gerri has ever been a female in the movie.

JM:  First of all Charlie is still a male.  So we have our hero who’s not just dealing with the vampire neighbor next door but he’s dealing with a woman.  And you know for a teenage boy, dealing with a woman has all its own problems.  She’s very charming, she’s very seductive, and she’s very challenging.  She’s got no boundaries. There’s gender issues.  There’s something terrifying about him trying to deal with her.

HH:  And it sounds like the whole seduction of Amy thing is still happening…so he’s got to deal with a woman trying to take away his girlfriend…so it’s really flipped now.  How did you approach that part of the role?

JM:  It was interesting because I actually read a lot of Junging and Freud analysis of the vampire myth.  And there was this whole part that really interested me about vampiric mothers.  And it was using vampiric as a psychological term for narcissistic mothers.  So stage mothers.  And mothers who have not been given..It’s a generational thing that they weren’t appreciated themselves so when they have their own children they live through them vicariously.  So the child has no sense of self because they have no sense of self.  So there is something very uncomfortable and ugly with my scenes with Amy where I was kind of fascinated by her…and I was just wanting to drink her all in to fill my own emptiness.

HH:  That’s very creepy.

JM:  But I was also very maternal.

HH:  That’s even creepier.

JM:  There was something very loving about it, but then there was this desire to pervert her and take her my way.  It was very creepy and I got to tell you I didn’t sleep very well while I was filming this film.  But I was kind of looking at the real psychological ugliness.

HH:  That’s great to hear.  It really feels like recently female vampires are taking back the genre….which is great since Carmella was actually before Dracula.

JM:  We actually use the story of Elizabeth Bathory.   Gerri…she was turned as Elizabeth Bathory.  She was turned by a vampire so she was condemned.  And she is looking for a way out.  She is looking for the blood of a particular virgin to end her suffering.  So you may actually feel sympathy for her in some parts.

WalkingFigureFromBurningCarExclusive Image From Fright Night 

HH:  Talking to horror in general. You’ve played a couple of very strong characters in the genre, with Lila and now with Gerri.

JM:   I have done a lot of genre yeah.

HH:  Do you like where this is going now, where women can be just as bad and powerful as the guys?

JM:  I certainly don’t want anyone to emulate the women that I’ve played.  Because they are pretty twisted up and complex.  What I would say is I love the genre…the issues are so big.  Life and death, good and evil, avarice and greed, hope and courage.  I think that within those massive themes as an actor it is very fulfilling to play within them.

But it’s cathartic for the audience to watch the choices these characters make in these highly stressed heightened situations.  And yeah it’s nice to play women who are not just the window into the male psyche.  I don’t want to do that.  I don’t want to be color for the hero.  I don’t think I have been.  I’ve been really lucky to be acting at a time when things have changed and it’s possible for women to play individuals who stand alone and who are significantly strong and complex to engage and audience.

Just in time for Walking Dead 3.4 The Gov and Robert Kirkman!

Hey Fangirls and boys!  Jessica Dwyer here with some late coming treats post Halloween.

I got the chance to speak with the awesome David Morrissey, the man with the plan AKA The Governor as well as Robert Kirkman, the man who created The Walking Dead.  It was a great chance to learn some of the background behind this new take on the villain of the comic series and to see if Kirkman himself would ever be interested in doing a Marvel Zombies project in the future.  Here’s the three part interview:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

The Walking Dead: A couple of Questions

Hey Walkers,

Jessica Dwyer here with some goodies for your ears.

I had a chance to chat with Walking Dead star and resident scruffy sexy sheriff Andrew Lincoln and powerhouse producer Gale Anne Hurd recently.  With Season 3 already shaping up to be one of the best seasons of the show (and without question some of the best TV of this year) I was very excited to get to pick their brains (not eat them) in regards to the new season.

Here’s the audio of our conversation which covered the range of what led our heroes through the 7 months that have passed as well as the look of the show this season and weird duality of the good guys being in the darkest, dankest place while the bad guys are in brightly lit alternate Mayberry.

Enjoy!

Walking Dead Audio Part 1

Walking Dead Audio Part 2

Elijah Wood and his dog: Wilfred

Elijah Wood’s new series on FX, Wilfred, premiers Thursday June 23rd at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right before the Season Two premiere of Louie at 10:30. The show is based off an Australian comedy created by co-star Jason Gann about Wilfred, a man in a dog costume who’s really a regular size dog…but the man size alter ego can only be seen by the hapless Ryan (Elijah Wood).

Wilfred isn’t a nice cuddly puppy by any means. He’s crude, rude, and he’s starting to make Ryan doubt his sanity. If this sounds like something you’ve never seen before, you are right. FX has become the home to some pretty daring shows that audiences are amazed and glad to see come to their screens here in the states. Shows like Sons of Anarchy, Justified, and Nip/Tuck are some of the heavy hitters the network has served up that are edgy and have become hits. Wilfred looks to join that family in a leg humping, funny and hillarious way.

Fangirl Magazine’s Danni Stinger joined in on a Q and A with the stars of the show, Elijah Wood and Jason Gann, to discuss the unique series. Here are some of the highlights:
Amy Harrington from PopCulturePassionistas.

A. Harrington: Elijah, we imagine that you get offered a lot of TV roles and we’re wondering why you chose this one?

E. Wood I actually don’t get offered a lot of TV roles. I read a few scripts, mainly dramas. I was just interested in taking a look at television because I really had never seen what was kind of available and what people were making on television. It’s changed so much even in the last five years. I don’t know, I read this script … the last scripts that I was sent, and my manager sent it to me and said it was the funniest thing that she’d ever read. I loved it and it kind of blew my mind. It was unlike anything I’ve read or seen on television. A perfect extreme in funny but also sort of cerebral and strange and difficult to describe, which I think is always a good thing.

Jamie Ruby from Media Blvd.

J. Ruby Can you kind of talk to us about your characters in the show and kind of give us a little bit on them?

E. Wood Yes, Jason, you want to chime in on it?

J. Gann Well “Wilfred” is a dog. The world sees a dog. “Ryan” sees a man in a cheap dog suit who smokes bongs and pretty much terrorizes him. But you know, we sort of think that after a while that maybe “Wilfred” is an angel and a devil on his shoulder, giving him advice and trying to bring him back into the real world. That’s “Wilfred’s” character. Elijah?

E. Wood Yes, “Ryan” is essentially a guy who had followed a path that was ultimately not of his choosing for far too long. He listened to his family, listened to his father, did kind of what he thought everyone else wanted him to do as opposed to following his own interests. As a result of that in this pilot, we find him in a place where he’s hit a wall, essentially, and it’s made him suicidal.

He’s kind of a broken individual. He’s someone that hasn’t really busted out of himself to live freely and to live with confidence and to define himself, and ultimately that’s where “Wilfred” arrives. He arrives sort of in that moment of crisis to push “Ryan” outside of the self-imposed and sort of family-imposed boundaries that have been created around him.

Andrea Towers from VoiceofTV.

A. Towers There’s a huge influx of shows from Europe that have been brought overseas throughout the past few years. Some are successful. Some aren’t so successful. I’m curious to know how you think your show will be received over in the U.S. in terms of—I know it’s darker. It’s probably a little more unconventional than what normal audiences are used to.

J. Gann Despite the fact that the show is called Wilfred, and there’s a dog called “Wilfred” in it, and I’m in the suit playing “Wilfred,” it’s a really different show. Maybe the reason why some of those reboots don’t work is because they’re trying to just translate something from one territory into another and the only thing that’s different is sort of some accents and stuff, whereas this is a completely new show.

David Zuckerman, the show runner, had a completely new vision for it. When he first told me about it he said he saw a different vehicle for this great character that he loved. So I don’t even compare the two shows. This show really stands on its own, and so, look, I’m not worried about any comparisons or failed reboot of the successful show because they’re two different creatures.

Sheldon Wiebe from EclipseMagazine.com

S. Wiebe I, like most of the people on the call today, have never seen the Australian version, and I’m just wondering—now you say this is a totally different animal, Jason. How so?

J. Gann Well originally in November of this year will have been ten years since I wrote the seven-minute short film that won festivals around the world and went to Sundance. So that seven-minute short was already very popular, and so we just set up a premise in essentially a seven-minute short. So for the Australian series, we just used the first seven minutes in the pilot as the first seven minutes of the show.

So we didn’t go into a lot about what the psychology of the show, of the relationship between the guy and the dog. There was no background story for the guy. We didn’t go into his psychology at all. It was really a love triangle between the guy, the dog, and the girl. Whereas this show is, for starters, a buddy comedy more so than—it does have love triangle elements in it, but each episode is about “Ryan.” “Wilfred” kind of drives the stories and the audience is constantly left to argue with each other or with themselves as to whether this is all happening inside “Ryan’s” mind. Are we going crazy? What’s really going on?

In the Australian version, we just sort of said, “The guy can see the dog.” We said it in the first minute of the show, and then we just went on with it. The Australian show had more of a British kind of sensibility and the style of The Young Ones or The Mighty Boosh where things are a bit more abstract and absurdist. So this show goes into the psychology more, and I think it’s smarter … about “Ryan” rather than about a love triangle.

Jim Napier from GeekTyrant.com.

J. Napier So I can really tell that your chemistry on the phone call and from what I’ve seen of the show is amazing, and I’m really excited for the entirety of the season. One thing that sticks out to me when I first thought of this show is the fact that it reminds me of Jimmy Stewart’s Harvey. There’s obviously a big difference between Wilfred and that, but did you pull from any films or life experiences, obviously probably more life experience when crafting this show?

J. Gann Personally it is a role a lot of life experiences that poured into the creation of the Wilfred character, but it’s interesting. The Harvey reference has come up quite a bit. That wasn’t in our minds when we first created the character or the Australian version. But it’s interesting, like I just had a thought then like about like Jimmy Stewart like just how much—what it is I love about him as an actor and how he brings this incredible authenticity to his characters, unique authenticity that we actually as an audience. We’re sort of prompted to believe in him even though we can see that there’s no rabbit. We can see what everyone else is thinking, but we believe in him.

I don’t want to embarrass Elijah, but I think that Elijah brings something really similar and he really makes my job as playing “Wilfred” a lot easier, because seeing through his eyes it’s easier to believe it and so we’re ready, as an audience, hopefully ready to suspend our disbelief.

E. Wood Thanks, Jason. Yes that’s interesting that reference to Harvey. Jason and I immediately thought of that as well. I’m a huge fan of that film. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it, and it was interesting the parallel. I mean the parallel, it’s obviously similar but it’s extremely different, but that notion of our sort of imagined friend is quite similar and I think there’s something kind of beautiful about that.

Daniella Stinger from Fan Girl Magazine.

D. Stinger Elijah, the character of “Ryan” starts out fairly depressed. Do you feel that he’s essentially the straight man in a comedy double act or does he really fit that definition?

E. Wood Do I feel he’s a straight man? Yes, I think he is. I mean ultimately I think “Ryan’s” just trying to get everything together constantly. So he’s essentially reacting to the world around him and to the scenarios that “Wilfred” is trying to put him into and the direction that he’s being pulled constantly. So straight man, yes, but he’s also just in this time of crisis in his life and he’s just trying to hold it all together all the time. Having a genuine relationship with this man in a dog suit and then also trying to balance that relationship with the real people who he knows can’t see that man in a dog suit, and then in the midst of all that trying to rebuild himself and to be the best person that he can be.

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