Welcome to the third and final AcChat for this evening, I’m really excited for this one because this was the first one that I did an recorded interview with, please welcome Deadheads actress Natalie Victoria who plays Ellie. So Enjoy!
MG:Hi There, Thanks for taking the Time to fill out this Q and A
NV:Thanks for having me. Fire away!
NV: BAD A** ZOMEDY buddy action-adventure with a hint of romance.
Deadheads is the type of movie every actor wants to get on. It is an adventure movie! It’s very character-driven, and has a unique adventure story that is quite clever for a zombie movie. Add to that, the snappy dialogue– that I am sure will be quoted for years to come—and you have a pop culture served zombie style. It’s funny. It’s action-packed. It’s sassy. It’s smart. It’s entertaining. It’s loaded with fun! It’s heart warming. Its crazy!
MG:First of All, can you tell us your name and who you play in Deadheads?
NV: I play the role of Ellie, Mike’s long lost love, who he sets out to find once he wakes up as a zombie from a 3 year sleep. Ellie is the sweet girl-next-door who is slightly clumsy and awkward in her own way. She was fun to play. Oh and I also play the zombie bride – which was even more of a BLAST to do! I mean really, what actress wouldn’t love ripping a guy’s chest open, pulling his heart out, and sinking her teeth into the flesh of his still beating heart?
MG:So how did it come to be that you would appear in Deadheads?
NV: I was cast in a theatre show in Los Angeles. About 30minutes before show time, we discovered one of our comedic actresses had decided not to show up due to a personal meltdown. (Hey – it’s LA!) Her scene partner, who happened to be an insanely talented comedian, was furious and threatened to walk out. Chaos
ensued, and the director quickly asked me to do this other girl’s role (comedy) and mine as well later in the show (drama) – and because I was too naïve to know better, I said yes. You see I had never done comedy before that evening. So I had 30 minutes to get my funny on!
I had no idea but sitting in the front row that evening were two brothers looking for their ELLIE in a little zombie/comedy movie called DEADHEADS. They had been looking all over town, auditioning, and still hadn’t found their girl yet. They had received a last minute invite to the show, and decided why the heck not?
Well, the show opened and before I knew it –I was up on stage. Terrified but determined, I gave it everything I had, getting into it physically and really losing myself in the role. That role was similar to Sally from “When Harry Met Sally”, and I was re-enacting that famous restaurant scene from the film on a couch, on stage. I was almost to the end when, all of a sudden, I heard “SNAP”! Across the theatre were gasps, and I saw the whole audience lean forward. The strap from my halter dress had popped right off, on stage; in the scene as my scene partner and I were performing. Thankfully, I caught the strap just in time with my hand, before any more embarrassing moments could occur. Holding the broken strap in place I continued by improvising the incident into the scene –and eventually got back to the lines with my partner. We never missed a beat. I found out later, the audience thought it was part of the play. Boy, they had no idea…
The Pierce Brothers came up to me after the show, gave me a script, and asked me to read for ELLIE. I was like—okay?? Awesome! I couldn’t even believe it! When I read the DEADHEADS script that evening, I instantly fell in love with the film. It was so funny, so unique, so character driven and entertaining, action-packed. It even had a bit of romance and heart that made me cry (okay, I am both sappy and clumsy!)
From that point on, I emailed the directors incessantly about updates on the film, casting, etc…to ensure they knew my level of interest in their project. They made me audition three or four times over the course of a year (I lost count). It was daunting. But I really wanted to play ELLIE, and I am so glad they felt the same! I look back at the overall journey and the finished product, and I cannot tell you how proud, lucky, and blessed I feel to have been a part of DEADHEADS. It is a really awesome movie, and I know audiences are going to love it as much as I do!
MG:Can you tell us how long you were on set as characters?
NV: I was on set for about 6weeks. Ellie’s role was initially larger but due to creative decisions and final cuts – Many of my scenes were snipped on the cutting room floor. So I was on set for a long time, shooting and working with the other actors – as well as coming on set to support everyone when I wasn’t filming. I love to watch my fellow artists work and come out to support!
MG:Is there one part of the character that reminds you of yourself?
NV:Ellie’s tendency to say what she is thinking—I’ve been known to do that in many of a comedic and awkward situation. I can’t help myself sometimes. It’s a good thing I don’t take myself that seriously, and I laugh a lot!
MG: Can you tell us about the production of the film and what moment really stood out for you?
NV: Oh there are so many for me to choose from…the whole experience was one of the best ones I have had on a film set this far in my career. That said, I think my favorite moment was shooting the zombie bride scene. We had been shooting the finale of the movie all day and I had gone into makeup that early evening to shoot the zombie bride that night.
Unbeknownst to me, the SpecialFX Guy (Chappy), had left the blood that was going into the heart outside all day and all evening. Keep in mind, we are shooting in Michigan in early September and the temperatures are freezing!
I came out of makeup in the full wedding dress and zombie makeup, as Chappy began taping the tubes to the heart along my arm (so that camera wouldn’t catch it in the scene). I didn’t notice his sinister smile. I climbed into the truck (freezing at this point) and got ready to shoot.
The Pierce Brothers (directing team) called “Action!” and the scene began – I was ripping the heart from Mike’s chest and sinking my teeth into the heart as hard as I could. In the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of Chappy in the rear view mirror, pounding the blood pump as hard as he could with an evil smile, trying to muffle laughs…
The blood is spurting EVERYWHERE all over me, soaking the truck, the seat, everywhere – I mean I am covered in blood in every crevice of my body. The Pierce Brothers call, “Cut!” and I can hear them laughing along with the crew. At this point I can barely move, but I am holding it together. You see, the temperature of the blood was so cold on my bare skin that it was burning. It felt like ice daggers on my skin.
Meanwhile, being the torturers they are – The Pierce Brothers insist on more takes. So we went again and again. Blood everywhere, over and over again. It was quite a night! By the time, we got the last shot — I was so cold I could barely utter a sound and my sentences were coming out in sporadic words. The guys had to grab me out of the truck and cover me in blankets to get me warm again. It was pretty funny.
But you gotta love them (Brett and Drew Pierce, the cast, the crew)! The movie turned out amazing and that scene, no matter how challenging it was, is still one of my most favorite moments on the DEADHEADS set. And Chappy…..I still owe you!
MG:What was it like to Work with the Cast and Crew on Set?
NV: I am not going to say “Amazing” because that word is so OVER-used in this business. Rather, DEADHEADS cast & crew were simply magical. It’s rare you go onto a set where everything just clicks. I can honestly say that DEADHEADS was one of the best experiences I have had on any set – and I have worked on all types of projects from large to small and everything in between. The other actors are all so talented in their own rights, and I have tried my best to continue working with each and every one of them. Mike, Ross, Markus, Ben, Greg, Eden will all go on to do exciting work as actors and artists. As for the crew–they have all gone on to do astounding projects since DEADHEADS and I look forward to working with them all again too. No one makes me pretty like our DP Rob Toth and Lighting Guru, Marc-Antoine Serou. And no one designs a set like Steven Milosavleski. Steve creates magic! And of course, the Pierce Brothers (Brett Pierce and Drew pierce) are great. They work so well together, complimenting each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes it was like talking to one person on set—that’s how in sync they are! Fun loving film fans, and creative visionaries, I hope to work with them again. I know these guys are going to make many more exciting adventure & genre films.
MG: After you’re experiences on Deadheads , what is next for you?
NV: I have shot 6 feature films this year that are all in post production now, so I have incredibly blessed to have given the opportunities to read and win roles since wrapping DEADHEADS. Nabbing 2 leads and 4 co-stars and a recent booking for 2013, I have stayed busy! I am hoping to shoot something else before 2012 ends. In the meantime, you can expect to see the following from me over the next year ;
Just booked CoStar in; Summer of ’76 – a drama/comedy about Rock ‘n Roll and coming of age (shooting 2013)
Leading roles in;
- The Lookout – a drama / Love Triangle / Revenge / Redemption feature (in post production)
- Chemical Peel – a survival thriller/horror (in post production)
CoStarring roles in;
- Abstraction – an action thriller heist feature (in post production)
- Always Faithful – A drama about an Iraq vet returning home. (in post production)
- Natalie’s Lose Lose – a suspense/horror/thriller (in post production)
- InSpectres – a comedy (in post production)
And I am promoting my charity fundraiser, “Bowling for Boobies” for the Busted Foundation – since I am on the bowling team “the Horror Starlet’s” this year. We bowl October 21, 2012 in Hollywood – but we are all horrible bowlers, so I am hoping to meet my fundraising goal of $2,000 to help women suffering from breast cancer. It’s rax deductible and helps those in need. So do something good for someone else and donate here > www.stayclassy.org/natalievictoria
MG:Thank you for taking the Time out to do this Q & A, I really do appreciate it: D
NV: Thanks for having me! 😉
Thanks to the Wonderful Natalie Victoria for this amazing and one of the longest AcChats on the site, I should also point out with the Help of Natalie, I managed to interview all of the cast of Deadheads and made some great friends out of it, Natalie one of them, I really appricate what you’ve done for the site! – Jamie
Be sure to check out her following pages…
- @natalietweet (Twitter)
Join us again soon for Another AcChat…