Stunning actress Tracy Coogan has just wrapped up shooting her new movie, Dark Woods. This mystery thriller follows a couple who move to a secluded cabin in the woods to cope with a terminal illness of the wife. As the wife’s condition drags her deeper into dementia and darkness, the husband’s friendship with a local teenage girl takes a dangerous and obsessive turn. Tracy is an Associate Producer on this movie so we thought we’d have a chat with this very interesting lady.
ZH: You were born in County Meath, Ireland; did you always know that you wanted to be an actress?
TC: I think so, I wasn’t very confident about it when I was younger but I loved creating these stories for myself, creating my own world. I watched all the old movies with my mother. She loved Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Vivienne Leigh all of them.
ZH: Did your parents encourage you?
TC: My mother always supports me and encourages me. My dad is my dad. He worries about his daughter. He supports me too, for sure but he would also like to have me back in Ireland near him.
ZH: How did you end up in New York?
TC: I was sponsored over by a modelling agency. I was part of this modelling convention and I was one of six who represented Ireland. I went there for a summer and that was it, I knew I wanted to live there. When I got back to Ireland I told my dad and I worked on getting my papers in order and then the next year I was living in New York. I’m a free bird, I needed to fly!
ZH: What was it like working in theatre at that time?
TC: Theatre is great. I loved being on stage and feeling the energy of live audience, even the little ladies with their candy wrappers. It’s amazing. Very exhilarating.
ZH: How did you make the move into movies?
TC: I was really lucky, I was written in into this short film called “Dryads” I was in class and Brian Prozak was producing and directing “Dryads” he really liked watching me work and so he wrote me into the script. It went to a few festivals and I really enjoyed it. I would play around with the camera also with my friends and I also remember when I was little playing around with the camera after school. I remember my teacher drove by and I was filming her and she smiled for me. It s was funny because I had no film in the camera but I’ll never forget it. It was kind of my joke on her. It always makes me laugh when I think about it. I can still see her face.
ZH: How different was it from theatre work?
TC: Theatre is live; it doesn’t get much better then that. Film, you get to do it again and again if you need to, it doesn’t get much better then that.
ZH: One of your most famous movies over here in the UK is the fright flick Zombie Honeymoon, what was that like to work on?
TC: I loved it. Dave Gebroe the director of Zombie Honeymoon, is a dream to work with. He really trusted us and let us go when we need to and pull it back if it need it. He’s supportive and enthusiastic and such a hard working guy. There were defiantly tense moments but it all tied into the movie perfectly.
ZH: It’s gory and bizarre, was it hard to keep a serious expression whilst acting?
TC: It was like there was a veil over me. Graham and I played it like it was terminal dieses, like cancer or aids so I never even noticed the zombie after a while.
ZH: It has a huge following, were you aware at time of shooting that it could become a cult favourite?
TC: I think Dave had a good idea that it may have a life like that but not until the first day of shooting did it hit me that we had something really different and special.
ZH: Your next horror movie was The Devil’s Dungeon, how did that experience differ from Zombie Honeymoon?
TC: BIGGER BUDGET!!!!!!!!
ZH: Tony Todd has a role, did you get to meet up with this horror legend?
TC: No, unfortunately but I did get to work with graham Mctavish form the new Rambo movie who is an awesome actor.
ZH: Would you like to do more horror work?
TC: Yes, I like this genre and I think people are really finding great ways of telling compelling stories through this genre.
ZH: Do you have a favourite horror movie?
TC: I really like Rob Zombie’s Devils Rejects and of course Friedkin’s the Exorcist.
ZH: So what’s next for you?
TC: I am currently in pre-production for dark woods I’m an associate producer on the
movie, and have also the lead in it. James Russo got also attached to Dark Woods, a real honour to act next to an actor like him , he was directed by roman Polanski in the Ninth Gate which also starred Johnny Depp who is one of my all time favourites.
ZH: Tracy Coogan, thank you very much.
TC: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about what I love!!!!