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Interview With Shian Denovan From Sawney: Flesh Of Man
By James Whittington, Thursday 20th February 2014

Shian DenovanHorror Channel is proudly showing the acclaimed shocker Sawney: Flesh Of Man on Friday at 10.55pm. One of its stars, Shian Denovan took time out to talk about this celebrated, grisly gore-fest as well as her future movie plans.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an actress?

SD: Yeah, I’ve always loved performing and I think I was about 9 years old when I realised that acting was what I wanted to do with my life. It was a bit of an epiphany actually, I was on holiday at my Grandpa’s when I suddenly just had this realisation and I’ve never looked back since.

HC: How did you get your big break?

SD: Ha, well it’s still coming I hope…! No, I wouldn’t say there’s been a big break as such, not any one moment that I could define, just lots of hard work and gradually building my career.

HC: Did you have to audition for the part of Rebecca?

SD: I didn’t actually, the guys making Sawney saw the rushes of another feature horror I’d just finished shooting and actually offered me the role straight off the back of that, which was very nice!

HC: What did you think of the script?

SD: I thought it was pretty gruesome! I’ve joked around with the writer Rick a few times about what must be going on in his twisted mind to come up with some of it! It’s a great story though, Sawney Bean is a classic Scottish legend and I can’t believe there hasn’t already been a film made directly about him.

HC: What was the shoot like?

SD: It was lots of fun, working with a really great bunch of people. And the locations were beautiful, I got to see some really breath-taking places. It was also tough though, the scenes I have in the water were really hard work, it was shot in Autumn in the North of Scotland and it was absolutely freezing! I spent two days filming in ice cold water, which was so cold it was painful and one of those days was all footage for an alternative ending that wasn’t even used. But I was well looked after and had a trailer to go and warm up in between shots. There was also some quite distressing stuff to shoot with David Hayman when my character Rebecca is being held captive. Although, by random coincidence David and myself actually worked together on another film beforehand that had some similar scenes, so that made it a bit easier and he’s a really lovely guy, very easy to work with.

HC: The film already has a huge following, has this come as a surprise?

SD: You never really know how a film is going to turn out, and a lot of them don’t go anywhere, so in that sense it’s a surprise – a very pleasant one! Though when I watched some of the footage back I was blown away by Ranald’s beautiful cinematography and certainly had a good feeling about it! Ricky was a great director to work with I’m glad to see it’s getting the recognition it deserves.

HC: You must be please its being shown on the Horror Channel?

SD: Absolutely, I’m thrilled! I’ve always loved horror, since I was a kid and it’s a privilege to have some of my own work shown on such a respected platform. Quite a few friends watch the channel and I’ve been getting a few messages from people saying they’ve just seen me in the trailer, which has got me rather excited.

HC: What advice would you give to aspiring actors and actresses?

SD: I think it’s important to remember you’re a business as well as an artist and keep on top of that side of things. Also, build relationships with casting directors. They’re the ones who can get you jobs, and they’re not as scary as it might seem when you’re first starting out, actually they’re nice people who like actors and want to find new talent! So find ways to meet them, be remembered and keep in touch.

HC: So what projects are you working on at the moment?

SD: I’ve just finished a run of a play which went well, we had sold out audiences every night which was great. I do mostly film so I’d kind of forgotten how scary it is performing in front of a live audience. Quite the adrenaline rush! I have a few short films that will be doing the festival circuits this year. Siren directed by Louise Marie Cooke, which I’ve actually just watched the final cut of this afternoon and is an incredibly beautiful film. Also, you horror fans can look out for me in Andy Stewart’s Split which has just been completed, it’s the second film in his body shock trilogy following on from the success of Dysmorphia. It’s only just been completed but has already been getting some amazing reviews and I reckon you’ll hear a lot about it on the horror circuit this year. I've also just been offered a role in another horror feature, don't want to say too much until the contracts have been signed but watch this space!

HC: Shian Denovan, thank you very much.


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