LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview with Emily Booth, Horror Star
By James Whittington, Friday 14th July 2006 Emily Booth is a show business dynamo, a person with enough energy she could power a city. Luckily for us we caught her taking a break from her presenting duties to give us this exclusive interview.
ZH: Emily, your big break came in 1997 when you had the lead role in the cult feature Pervirella. How did that happen and were you nervous at all?
EM: I was studying film at Goldsmiths at the time and my brother – also a filmmaker, knew this amazing group of people who seemed to be stuck in the hippest time warp ever – the 60’s – they were making a very weird unique film called Pervirella which they needed a young actress for the title role. They wanted someone both fresh and innocent but with a simmering almost dangerous sexuality underneath!!! I did a 2-hour screen test after my brother suggested his sister would be perfect (!!) and the rest is history. I wasn’t nervous – it felt easy and natural.
ZH: In the same year you starred in Witchcraft X: Mistress of the Craft and had a part in the sci fi epic Event Horizon. How different was each experience?
EM: Witchcraft X was quite possibly the worst film experience of my life!!! – I’ve honestly never ever seen the film – they never even sent me a copy of it! Badly made, we weren’t really looked after – and really – so tacky!! (Well that’s how it felt on set anyway – maybe its better in the cut!) We were fed pot noodles and they stuck one of my fangs onto my tooth with blue tack – hmmm – that’s a bit too low budget I think! Event Horizon was the opposite!! Amazing, big budget, stunning set – I was even taken out to dinner by the crew! But I was part of the 2nd Unit team which meant the scenes were shot at Pinewood – London – actually I think most of it was – as the crew showed me round that amazing space ship which was on the 007 stage at Pinewood – really was stunning. You don’t really see me in that film as I was playing one of the crew that went through the black hole – and the new team are watching what happened to us on CCTV footage – so its all a bit mad and fuzzy looking! I had to cannibalise this man who was fighting with me. A mad bad 2 days getting covered in blood and fighting and eating human flesh! Loved it.
ZH: You achieved a BA in Film and Media, was this hard slog? Has it helped your career in any way?
EM: Yes I did didn’t I – I sometimes forget! But it hasn’t really come into my life at all – I’ve never really utilised it. I was a hard worker – bit of geek really – did my dissertation on the role of Women in horror – surprise surprise (but was very lazy with that and did it all in a week!) I was going to try and get into production – on some fun TV show – but ended up auditioning for L!VE TV and presenting Blue Review instead – so I never got to become a producer.
ZH: You worked with the legendary Michael Ironside on the movie Fallen Angels. Now, this guy always gives an intense performance, what’s he like in real life. Did you learn anything from him?
EM: Michael Ironside was really cool and lovely. All the budget from the film went on his fee I think! I was mainly excited about meeting him due to my obsession with ‘V’ as a child. He kind of kept himself to himself as the rest of the cast were just unknowns like me! But then he arranged a big party for all the cast and crew on the set of the film one night and bought all the drink for everyone – I chatted to him about ‘V’ – was very cool. Was bit drunk though!
ZH: What happened to you character of Fly Girl in the spoof movie Spider-Babe? Was it a big part?
EM: I’ve no idea why people think I was in that film – I’m not in it am I?! It was part of a ‘film experience’ for my show Shock Movie Massacre – I had to pretend I was scoring a part in the film and training in kick boxing – but really I did it all for Shock Movie – and so we could get a good in depth look at the film in production. The girls were lovely – why they’re in soft porn I don’t know – they were both really quite talented and could move onto proper movies I think. I guess it’s good money!
ZH: You’ve been a cover girl on numerous magazines; do you still get a kick seeing your image on a cover?
EM: I’ve not seen it for a while! I loved doing the 2 shoots for FRONT magazine – when they did me the 2nd time for the cover shoot – they asked me exactly what styles I liked and what kind of look I wanted for the shoot – I quoted Kylie Minogue / 70’s J – Lo / Bond / High Glam!! I’ve always maintained that I don’t mind doing sexy shoots as long as I’m not just standing there in bad lighting and horrible backgrounds wearing very little! There’s a good way and a bad way to do those shoots! I did enjoy seeing the finished result – but I’m not sure I could pull it off again! Maybe…. You have to feel super confident.
ZH: How did you get to work with Dani Filth for the movie Cradle of Fear?
EM: I’m good friends with Alex Chandon and he directed Pervirella – so he just asked me to play the part of MEL in his feature film Cradle of FEAR – that was another good film experience in terms of gore and physical acting – my body was ‘dressed’ with real bits of meat and prosthetics to look like it had been rotting for 3 days after I’d stabbed myself in the stomach to try and get rid of the devil’s spawn inside me! Was brilliant. Dani Filth was in the film and there was a big tie in with the band Cradle of Filth (hence the name of the movie) – Dani played the prince of darkness – and he was the man I ended up having ‘sex’ with – but if you’ve seen the film – that scene turns into a weird nasty nightmare as my Prince kind of becomes the devil and implants me with evil! Kind of fun.
ZH: Your new movie Evil Aliens is probably your most high profile film role, how did that come about? Did you have to audition for the part of Michelle Fox?
EM: Yes it is definitely the most high profile – biggest budget and it did get a small cinema release – I met Jake West I think through Eileen Daly – who I was very good friends with – he also helped out on some of the Shock Movie Massacre stuff (he filmed the title sequence at the beginning with my head blowing up!) Very luckily I didn’t have to audition for Michelle Fox – I think because Jake had written a part that was so like me anyway – I really was a TV presenter on weird cult TV – like Out There and Shock Movie – so he said he just wanted me for it – very lucky – as I’ve not done that may acting screen tests – lots of presenting ones – but less acting! It was one of the best experiences of my life!
ZH: The movie has had some great reviews, is there any chance of the same team making a follow up?
EM: I think we all died didn’t we?! So I know I can’t come back – damn! The soundman survived so – he could have another close encounter – but not me! I think Jake wants to do other films – he’s always writing and I know he’s just finished directing a Pumpkin Head movie. So hopefully yes – the same team will do another film – but it will be a different kind of horror! Sometimes it takes a while to have a finished script and get it all properly funded and cast – the whole process can take years – but fingers crossed! I know Jake has got another few scripts under his belt and just wants to keep making movies – so keep an eye out!
ZH: How do you keep so fit?
EM: Oh – you flatter me!! Its funny I used to be a real gym bunny because I had to for certain shows like Out There and I do think it’s important to be fit and healthy – but recently I’ve stopped! I’m just too busy and hectic at the mo so I just watch what I eat instead. Sometimes I just run – but here’s a tip if you’ve not got time (or can’t be arsed!!) for the gym – whenever you can - tense your muscles – even when your just hanging around – you can tense your tummy muscles and your arse muscles – squeeze them in!
ZH: Thanks to some of your roles and presenting work you’ve become a well-known personality, is being recognised in the street hard to deal with and have you had any weird experiences or encounters with fans?
EM: I don’t think I am well known though! I probably am in some circles – like horror! Its nice when people ask me for an autograph – which happens sometimes in the street – but not that often! The only time I’ve not liked it was when I was just shopping in my local supermarket and this guy was following me round – I wasn’t prepared and looked like shit – was just trying to do boring shopping! Not had weird encounters – but some weird requests – people write to me and ask me to send them something personal of mine for a good luck token!!
ZH: Have you any unfulfilled ambitions at the moment?
EM: Well – one of them was to meet Johnny Depp – which ALMOST happened! I was so close as I was presenting from the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 – but he didn’t really talk to the press! So unfair – I had a real flutter in my heart when I saw him step out of the car and had a tear in my eye! The reception was huge – everyone was screaming his name – he’s incredibly cute and the only actor I’ve loved and fancied the pants off for years and years! What else…. I’d love to do a serious horror movie – something psychological. I want to have a baby too. I also want to go abroad and work with primates! I love animals – they’re incredibly important and beautiful and they need a helping hand.
ZH: You’re a keen gamer and presented the much missed review show Bits for four series. What would you recommend at the moment?
EM: You know I’ve not really gamed for a while now – as I’m just busy on this new cinema channel – so ummm not sure – I do like the sound of that new brain game on Nintendo – the hand held – I think doing those little brain exercises is really good for you – we’ve probably all got brain rot with the amount of stress and partying so anything to keep the grey cells ticking over has to be good! But as ever – nothing beats a good survival horror. There’s lots of games that come out now that are direct games versions of films – I had a quick go on Da Vinci Code game the other day – but it didn’t hook me in unfortunately. It was almost TOO slick.
ZH: XBOX 360 or PS 3? Which one will triumph!?
EM: Ooooh tough. Everyone I know who has a 360 says it is amazing – but Playstation will always have a huge instant market and loyal fan base – so not sure!
ZH: What’s your perfect Friday night movie and what kind of pizza would come with it?
EM: Perfect Friday night movie….. Well Friday night is a fun night so nothing too heavy and serious – I do like my trash and my fun blockbusters – I have to say! Maybe Pirates of the Caribbean number one? If I can’t think of any new movies I go for an old favourite like American Werewolf in London or Bitter Moon. Pizza – sorry to say I’m a bit of a girly girl and get a bit guilty about all that dough and cheese – but I do like a Florentina – egg and spinach and tuna? Urgh - sounds really yuk when you write it down!
ZH: So what’s next in your career?
EM: I’m working pretty much full time now on a new Cinema Channel called EAT CINEMA which is dedicated to getting people back into the cinemas and showing the enjoyment of watching a movie on the big screen – which is something I want to promote and be a part of – it’s a shame lots of people just sit in their living room watching TV when nothing beats old school cinema! I do a few things on the channel like my own show First Night Bites which gets the public to review new movies – but I also get to report from all the premieres which is fun – plus I’m doing lots of interviews like Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis which is always interesting!! Its fun and informative and you can catch it on SKY 199. Ooh – and in case you didn’t catch Evil Aliens it’s coming out on DVD in August or September – I’m doing the audio commentary with the gang tomorrow so should be fun reminiscing. Other than that – if anyone can write and get funded a new original horror movie – I’m all ears.
ZH: Emily Booth, thank you very much
EM: Pleasure was all mine.
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