LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview With Contortionist Bonnie Morgan
By James Whittington, Thursday 17th May 2012 Bonnie Morgan is an actress, stunt woman and contortionist who recently starred as demonically possessed Rosa in The Devil Inside. Well known in the horror genre, Bonnie is also responsible for the spider walk that Samara performs in The Ring Two, and appeared in the sci-fi action feature Minority Report.
She also takes on stunts and wire work, with credits in features including Peter Pan and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, as well as television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Chuck and Castle to name a few.
We recently caught up with Bonnie to chat about her career, her on set experiences on The Devil Inside and her plans for the future.
HC: When did you discover that you could contort your body?
BM: When I was around 8 years old my big sister wanted to play on a diving board I was dangling from, so like most caring siblings, she tried every way to dislodge me from it... including attempting to peel me off it by prying my legs in the wrong direction. But they kept going and going until she finally called our dad for assistance... he made the contortion connection and literally said, "I can make a buck with that".
HC: How did you get your first big break into show business?
BM: My parents started me off in the business before I was a year old, so I spent a lot of my childhood working on sitcoms and commercials, I was even an Oscar Mayer Weiner kid. As far as "big breaks" go, I did an episode of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman when I was a kid, where I played a rape victim, that was a big step in my dramatic acting career. But I think the coolest was when Steven Spielberg singled me out in Minority Report.
HC: Was your family supportive of your career choice?
BM: My incredible family is the reason I am in this crazy business. I am a third generation actress, circus, and stunt performer... my Grandparents were in Vaudeville. My Grandma Dotty opened for Frank Sinatra in 1942, my Grandpa Barney was a running gag on The Tonight Show with his trampoline act, and my dad Gary was the original Little Richey in the Dick Van Dyke pilot, Billy in Logan's Run, and has been in countless other shows and films. One might say my career was less of a choice as it was self defense.
HC: You've worked on some major movies, do you have any stand out memories from any of these?
BM: Ooooooh... there are so many good ones. My recent favorite was on The Muppets Movie when the actor Ken Jeong went doctor on me and attempted to diagnose me contortion abilities on set. So Cool! He is the BEST!
HC: Have you ever been asked to perform a stunt that you considered too dangerous?
BM: I have never turned down a job, but there were a few I didn't tell my mom about until they were over. There was one movie that was a fairly simple stunt when I accepted it, but escalated into me jumping off the roof of a moving bus into the arms of two girls who were catching me... I'm not sure I would have taken that one if I'd known that was what they planned in the first place.
HC: How did you become involved with The Devil Inside?
BM: The old fashioned way... I got a call to come in and audition for a demon possessed Italian girl. Which was interesting because I have flaming red hair, blue eyes... and I do not speak Italian. So I went out and purchased a brunette wig and a set of brown contacts, and asked a friend to translate the English sides into Italian. When I walked through that door, they were not looking for a contortionist, and I kept my stunt background in the dark, lest it jeopardize their opinion of me as an actress... as it has in the past. I sort of freaked out the Casting Director on my first call; she was very concerned about my shoulders and all the screaming. Then for the callback I met Brent the director, and the producers Morris and Matt. When I walked in, the three of them grinned like kids at a sideshow.
HC: What did you think of the script?
BM: To be perfectly honest the script was more or less kept a secret form me, though not intentionally - my agent just forgot to send it. When I got on the plane to Romania, all I had were the scenes I auditioned with. The joke around my house was that with a title like The Devil Inside and no script... I was on my way to shoot porn! When I arrived, Morris presented me with the script and a promise that this was not the case. But when we shot the basement "she's hemorrhaging" scene, I was tied to the bed with a blood tube running up my leg and taped near my unmentionables. Just before we rolled cameras the special effects man ran in and patted the tape down to secure it...I yelled, "Hey!" Morris laughed and said, "I guess your family was right, you did come to Romania to shoot porn!"
HC: The movie has shocked audiences across the globe, are you a fan of the horror genre?
BM: I am a huge horror fan! I am fulfilling my secret childhood dream of being a scary monster!
HC: How do you stay so fit?
BM: I lead a very active life. I grew up with a trampoline, a gyroscope, and a trapeze in the yard. So naturally I now have a room in my house with a spring loaded floor and an aerial rig for single trapeze, silk, or lyra hoop. I still perform my contortion acts, and also do several acts with my sister and my dad, which we rehearse and perform at benefits and charity events. I guess you can take the girl out of the circus...
HC: Do you feel that using someone with your skills will always be more "believable" than a CGI effect?
BM: Honestly even when it IS me performing, people think its CGI! That being said I am a firm believer that real is always more believable, that goes for any performance, be it stunts, contortion, or just being real. The technology is bounding toward looking like "reality", but there will always be a need for performers to show the computer how to be human.
HC: There will come a time when you won’t be as supple as you are now, do you have a career plan?
BM: What I really want to do is direct. Kidding. Maybe. Who knows, I could follow in Andy Serkis' footsteps toward motion capture. I just intend on having as much fun and playing as long as possible. Eventually I'd like to come out from under the makeup and latex and perform some real villainy... but till then I will continue to do both!
HC: What projects are you working on at the moment?
BM: Most recently, I worked on the film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone with Steve Carell, Stave Buscemi, and Jim Carrey. I have a small but hopefully memorable part.
HC: Bonnie Morgan, thank you very much.
BM: It has been my pleasure!
MORE INTERVIEWS Interview with Stewart Sparke, director of Book of Monsters
Posted on Friday 29th April 2022
A birthday bash becomes a bloodbath when monsters escape from a supernatural storybook, leaving a group of teenagers to fight for their lives and shut the party down in the UK TV premiere of Book of Monsters on May 16th on Horror. We chatted to its director, Stewart Sparke about this fun, retro-filled fright-fest.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a film director?
SS: I remember first realising that I wanted to make films during one of many viewings of The Mummy (1999) on VHS in my bedroom on an old 15" TV. I became quite obsessed with the film and tried to make all my friends come over to watch it ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Paul Hyett, director of Peripheral
Posted on Wednesday 16th February 2022
Paul Hyett is a multi-disciplined creative whose work is as inventive as it is imaginative. His latest movie is a dark sci-fi chiller named Peripheral and it will have its UK TV premiere on Horror, Friday 25th February at 11.05pm.
Here he chats about this incredible movie and his plans for the future.
HC: How did you become attached to Peripheral?
PH: The producer Craig Touhy and I had been friends for a while and had nearly done another movie together and he'd liked the claustrophobia and tension of The Seasoning House so we met up to discuss Peripheral. When he pitched it to me, very much a low budget, contained movie, in one apartment. I must say I was a little hesitant. I...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Abigail Blackmore, writer and director of Tales From The Lodge
Posted on Tuesday 14th December 2021
Ahead of Horror Channel's Xmas Day broadcast of her horror comedy feature Tales From The Lodge, director Abigail Blackmore recalls the brutal weather conditions, the challenges of casting and the joy of playing at FrightFest.
HC: Thanks to Horror Channel, Tales From The Lodge finally gets its UK TV premiere on British TV. Excited or what?
AB: So excited! I know a huge amount of people watch the Horror Channel so I'm hoping it opens TFTL up to a whole new audience.
HC: Looking back to its showcase screening at FrightFest in 2019, what are your abiding memories?
AB: It was a wonderful experience! FrightFest has long been one of the highlights of my ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Barbara Crampton, star of chilling horror Sacrifice
Posted on Wednesday 8th December 2021
Barbara Crampton is a Horror Channel favourite. This much loved and much admired creative is starring in the UK TV premiere of Sacrifice, which is showing December 12th at 9pm on Horror so we chatted to her about this movie and her plans for the future.
Note that there are some spoilers for Sacrifice in the interview.
HC: Can you recall how you felt the first time you stepped onto a TV or film set?
BC: Yes, I remember the first time I was ever on a television set, it was for the soap opera, Days of Our Lives, and it was my very first job, and I had one line, "Hi. I'm your cousin Trista from Colorado". It was to the character Marlena Evans and subsequently I had w...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Michael Mayer and Guy Ayal from the acclaimed movie Happy Times
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
Happy Times, which is showing at Grimmfest Online, is a movie that takes the home invasion genre and turns it inside out! Directed by Michael Mayer and co-written with composer Guy Ayal, the movie is a bombastic, bloody and hilarious piece of cinema. I chatted to them both about this dinner party from hell.
HC: Where did the idea for Happy Times come from?
MM: The idea for the movie started forming when I was invited to a Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year's) dinner in Los Angeles. It was the first year of Trump's presidency and wherever you went all people wanted to talk about was politics. One thing to know about the Israeli expat com...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a director?
DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ben Charles Edwards, co-writer and director of Father of Flies
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman in Father of Flies, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her. This intense and chilling movie is showing at Grimmfest Online Edition so we chatted to director and co-writer Ben Charles Edwards about this movie.
HC: Where did the idea for Father of Flies come from?
BE: It came from my childhood experiences. When my good friend and journalist Dominic Wells was talking to me about my next project, he told me to draw on real life experiences. So, I did. My own experiences were neither as heightened nor as traumatic as they may...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted on Friday 15th October 2021
Showing at Grimmfest Online Edition is the incredibly inventive horror/sci-fi hybrid Faceless. Here, co-writer and director Marcel Sarmiento speaks about this superb movie.
HC: Have you always been a big horror movie fan?
MS: Definitely as a kid. My first movies made with my Betamax were all about scaring one other and how gross we could push makeup effects. We mostly strangled, stabbed, and threw each other off buildings. I think as I got older, I appreciated what you could do with horror more than horror for horror's sake. I love that you can make characters do things that in any other genre you couldn't make them do and still come out the other end liking them and routi...SHARE: READ MORE Tom Paton, director of G-LOC chats about his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman
Posted on Tuesday 14th September 2021
Ahead of the Horror Channel premiere of his sci-fi action thriller G-LOC, director Tom Paton reflects on why making movies is like solving a puzzle, his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman.
Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of your Sci-fi adventure G-LOC. Excited or what?
It's honesty so strange to me every time Horror Channel debuts one of my movies. The channel has been such a big part of my life growing up and informing my taste in films, that it's always a "pinch myself moment" when I see something that I've made appear on their TV listing. G-LOC is much more of a SCI-FI adventure than any ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Alexis Kendra, the writer and producer of The Cleaning Lady
Posted on Tuesday 15th June 2021
Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of The Cleaning Lady on June 26, the film's star, writer and producer Alexis Kendra talks about playing a 'Goddess', coping with lockdown and why she can't watch horror films on her own.
HC: The Cleaning Lady is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?
AK: I love you guys. Always have, always will. I'm honoured.
HC: It's a very disturbing film, dealing with abuse, addiction and hidden rage, yet the characters are sympathetic and have real depth. It's horror with a twisted heart. As a co-writer, alongside your director Jon Knautz, what were the main challenges in getting the balance right between acting and writing? <...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Rabid
Posted on Tuesday 1st June 2021
Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of Rabid on June 12, Jen and Sylvia Soska reflect on the challenges of re-imagining Cronenberg's body horror classic, meeting the great man and their new monster movie, Bob.
HC: Rabid is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?
SS: The Horror Channel has supported us and our work since the beginning, so it's a special treat to have the newest film premiere there!
Js: We are so excited. Having Rabid on Horror Channel feels like coming home. They've been very kind to us. We are happy to have so many of our films on there.
HC: We all, of course, remember that Rabid was one of David Cronenberg's earli...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.
The series begins on Horror May 11th so, we decided to chat to its creator, Mickey Fisher about how the series came to be produced and what it was like working with Hollywood royalty.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a writer?
MF: From the time I was maybe five or six years old I wanted to be an actor. Going to see Star...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Monday 27th June
Monday 27th June
Tuesday 28th June