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Interview With Victoria Smurfit Star Of Bait
By James Whittington, Tuesday 8th September 2015
One of the strongest and most-talked about movies to come out of FrightFest 2015 was Bait. This brutal revenge movie caused quite a stir and is gaining rave reviews wherever it’s shown. Here we speak to one of its stars, Victoria Smurfit about this and her future acting plans.
HC: You’ve been acting for some time but how did you get your first big break?
VS: When I was at drama school there was a blanket call for Irish actresses for Run Of The Country. Albert Finney’s girlfriend, Penny had met me around that time and mentioned me to Albert. Ros and John Hubbard auditioned me and I spent my 2nd Drama School summer in Ireland filming. We took it to Toronto film fest and LA and hit the red carpets. It was an eye opener… and a gift.
HC: How did you become involved with Bait?
VS: Jo Mitchell and Dom Brunt and I were at drama school together. Jo and I shared a flat for the first two years. I was the pragmatic one and she the creative. I was essentially the husband until Dom took over! Way back then, Jo decreed that we would work together and several moons later, she made it happen.
HC: What did you think of the script when you first read it?
VS: The script firstly made me laugh, as they'd said they’d steered the dialogue for Bex in my direction - towards borderline Tourette’s! When the horror part kicked it, I was glued and scared as getting in to the position the girls did, is far too easily done. Obviously we took some license with the ending but ultimately its entertainment and not a documentary and it was a challenge to piece the arcs together so that you were rooting for the girls when push came to literal shove.
HC: Did you have much time to rehearse?
VS: Rehearsals were on the hoof. Dom knew what he wanted and has a clear way of asking for it. Being directed by an actor is like being taught to fly by a pilot and not ground control. I loved it. Not to mention that we all had such a hilarious and long standing history that our dialogue was open and frank. It cut out a lot of BS.
HC: You along with Joanne Mitchell and Jonathan Slinger give outstanding performances; what was the atmosphere like on set?
VS: We laughed like pigs most days. The most intense sets you can be on are usually comedies so when doing horror it’s vital to release the tension between set ups. Having said that, there were days where Jo and I would keep our distance from Jon as the scenes we were to do required a bucket of fear. Yes it’s acting, but it helps between set ups to step away and maintain the mental place you’re in. I remember at the wrap party Jon saying to me ‘I never saw you act, you were just you’. At first I thought he was giving me sh*t but then realised that that s my process, I stay vaguely in character all day so she s easily accessed. Then I d go home to my kids, dump the character at the door and make mash….
HC: Did you question the more violent moments at all?
VS: No. For two reasons, we set out to make a thriller, a genre movie, and secondly because there s nothing worse than thinking ‘meh’ at the end of any film. If you’re not pushing a boundary artistically, then what the hell are you bothering making it for?
HC: We know that some of the plot is based on real events; do you think that’s what makes it so powerful?
VS: Absolutely. It seems all too easy, with one wrong turn to end up knee deep in trouble.
HC: What do you think people will take away from this movie?
VS: To avoid loan sharks, that HONEST friendship can conquer all, and never ever mess with Jo and I!!!
HC: So, what projects are you working on at the moment?
VS: I’ve finished on Once Upon A Time playing Cruella De Ville. I also just wrapped on a movie called Homecoming with Lauren Bowles and Max Ryan set in Portland. I associate produced it with Paul Kampf and Radar Pictures (The Last Samurai). Its Mean Girls for grown-ups, and I as usual am the meanest of all….
HC: Victoria Smurfit, thank you very much.
MORE FRIGHTFEST Horror Channel FrightFest announces Glasgow Film Festival 2018 line-up
Posted on Thursday 11th January 2018
Be prepared to feast on a chilling cornucopia of savage shocks, unsettling surprises and devilish delights as the UK's favourite horror fantasy event returns to the Glasgow Film Festival for its 13th year, from Thursday 1 March to Saturday 3 March 2018.
This year's bold line-up, once again housed at the iconic Glasgow Film Theatre, embraces the latest horror, fantasy and sci-fi discoveries from ten countries, spanning four continents, reflecting the world-wide popularity of the genre.
Ghost Stories remains one of the scariest stage shows ever seen and on Thursday night FrightFest kicks off with a special screening of Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson's smash hit phenomenon. Starring Martin Freedman, ...SHARE: READ MORE Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson join judges panel for FrightFest and Glasgow Film Festival's 90 Second Film Challenge
Posted on Tuesday 9th January 2018
Ghost Stories writer and director team Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson will join Hex Studio's Lawrie Brewster, FrightFest's Paul McEvoy and Glasgow Film Festival head honcho Allison Gardner on the judge's panel for the FrightFest Glasgow 90 Second Challenge.
Aspiring filmmakers living in Scotland are invited to create an entertaining Horror, Sci-Fi or Fantasy film within just 90 seconds.
Films must be shot in Scotland by Scottish residents and entries must not currently be available online. All submissions are free and must be received by Tuesday 13th February 2018. Filmmakers of entries selected to be screened will be notified by 23rd February 2018.
Here's where to apply and read terms and condi...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest and Glasgow Film Festival send out challenge to aspiring Scottish filmmakers
Posted on Wednesday 20th December 2017
FrightFest, in association with Glasgow Film Festival, are delighted to announce an exciting new initiative to discover the next wave of emerging Scottish talent. FrightFest has always championed new film-makers since its inception in 2000. Now, for the very first time they are encouraging talent to rise to the challenge of creating an entertaining film within just 90 seconds.
The winning shorts will be screened both at the Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow Film Festival event, held at the Glasgow Film Theatre on the 2nd/3rd March 2018 and FrightFest's London event in August 2018.
The rules for submission are that films should be no longer than 90 seconds and be in the Horror, Thriller, Scie...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Damien Leone director of Terrifier
Posted on Saturday 28th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Terrifier at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event today, director Damien Leone talks about the 'Art' of extreme clowning, his debt to Tom Savini and a terrifying Halloween experience...
Art, The Clown initially appeared in your 2008 short The 9th Circle, then the 2011 award-winning short Terrifier and in your first feature All Hallow's Eve. What made you decide to give him a fourth outing?
DL: Up until this point I never felt like I fully showcased Art's potential. I believe between the short films and All Hallows' Eve, there only exists about 20 minutes of Art the Clown screen time. For a character who's done so little, he seems to really resonate with horr...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Mathieu Turi director of Hostile
Posted on Wednesday 25th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his debut feature Hostile at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Mathieu Turi shares his admiration for Tarantino, describes the challenges of filming in three continents and reveals his 'magic hour'.
You were born in Cannes so you grew up with film all around? When did you know for sure you wanted to direct?
MT: I think it's always been there. As a child, I used to steal my dad's VHS camera to make mini-movies. They were basically all about my Jurassic Park toys eating my dog or invading the garden. Later, I did more elaborate short films with friends, instead of studying. Then, I remember watching Braveheart and the making of the ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Marko Makilaakso director of It Came From The Desert
Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film It Came From The Desert at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Marko Makilaakso shares his admiration for Roger Corman, love of B-Movies, spoofing and overcoming homeland obstacles.
It Came From The Desert is inspired by Cinemaware's cult 1980s video game, which in turn was motivated by the giant creature feature craze infesting 1950s Hollywood. What was the main inspiration for you?
MM: There's so many movies and makers which inspired ICFTD, but the main inspiration was exactly that; creature feature infested 1950s Hollywood films, and the legendary Cinemaware Desert games and creature features and action comedies I grew up with in the 19...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Can Evrenol director of Housewife
Posted on Thursday 12th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Housewife at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Can Evrenol tells us why film is a 'pervert's art' shares his feelings for Fulci and reveals his contribution to Horror anthology, The Field Guide To Evil.
Was it important to make your follow-up film to Baskin in the English language?
CE: I wanted to make the film available for a wider audience and to test myself with a different language movie. I thought it was a fun thing to do.
How do you describe Housewife? What would be your perfect pitch line?
CE: Man, I had this crazy f****d-up dream last night! Do you want to see it?
Like Baskin, Housewife shares man...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2017 event
Posted on Thursday 28th September 2017
Horror Channel FrightFest Halloween 2017 unleashes seven choice shockers for the 7th annual West End Halloween chillorama - a wits-end wallow in all things gruesome, gory and glorious.
This year, the all-day shocktoberfest is at the Empire Haymarket on Sat Oct 28, 2017 and embraces one world, one European and five UK premieres, spanning three continents.
From the emotional making of a low-budget slasher to zombie nightmares, Gothic horrors, an outrageously strange mind cult, a sci-fi alien action extravaganza, a comic strip creature feature and the last word in Killer Clowns, this year-s line-up is an eclectic mix of the quirky, unusual and extreme.
Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director sai...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Damien Power, director of Killing Ground
Posted on Monday 25th September 2017
One of the best from Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 was a superior thriller, Killing Ground. This tension packed movie looked incredible on the big screen so we decided to chat to its director, Damien Power.
HC: Did Killing Ground take a long time to write and did it change as you progressed?
DP: It took eleven years from the germ of the idea to stepping onto location to start shooting. Luckily I wasn't working on it full time! Once we had a draft we were happy with, it took five years to put the financing jigsaw together. It's a long journey! The biggest change was that for a number of years it didn't really have a third act. It ended very abruptly at the moment of maximum jeopardy. Fort...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 5: Organs, pumpkins and emojis!
Posted on Tuesday 29th August 2017
The final day of Horror Channel FrightFest is usually the most anticipated especially towards the final movie of the event, more on that later. There was so much going on with what possibly be the strongest line up of the whole festival.
Anyone with even just the passing interest in cinema couldn't have failed to have been impressed by Lowlife, the superb thriller from Ryan Prows. When a simple organ-harvesting caper goes awry, a twist of fate unites three of society's forgotten and ignored: El Monstruo, a disgraced Mexican Wrestler working as hired muscle for the local crime boss; Crystal, a recovering addict desperate enough to arrange a black-market kidney transplant to save her husband's life; and Randy, a t...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Michael Boucherie writer and director of Where the Skin Lies
Posted on Monday 28th August 2017
More new talent seemed to be around at Horror Channel FrightFest this year and one of the stand out movies for me was Where The Skin Lies from Michael Boucherie. Here he chats about this emotional movie.
HC: Did you know from a young age you wanted to be in the film-making business?
MB: Going to the movies with my family is a favourite childhood memory. There was no cinema in our home town, so it always involved a bit of a car trip. Afterwards we'd recount and quote our favourite scenes, for some movies up to this day. My mother also filmed and edited our home movies on Super 8, and she involved me in that. So, on some level I grew up with it. It didn't dawn on me that this was a v...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 4: No more camping holidays for me!
Posted on Monday 28th August 2017
Sunday is traditionally a more quiet day at Horror Channel FrightFest as the attendees gear up for a fourth day of cutting edge horror cinema.
This wasn't the case as the event packed as much violence, blood, gore, tension, skin-crawling and gory programme of movies yet!
Killing Ground, an Australian bushland nerve shredder is an exceptionally tight piece of work that tells a story retrospectively and then brings everything up to date in one, nail-biting conclusion. It's strange to find a movie set in the open claustrophobic but this truly is. It's also incredibly heartfelt and honest, no one is safe in this movie believe me.
We were back in Blightly for the next premiere which was the v...SHARE: READ MORE Frightfest Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
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