Natalie Victoria takes time out from her day job to chat to @ventspleen about Chemical Peel and playing a zombies girlfriend...
Hi Natalie, thanks for taking the time to chat with me and right in the middle of a huge promo push for Chemical Peel.
You are welcome! We are promoting like crazy all of October through the end of November…and I am juggling some new projects – so it's a thrill!
- Can you tell me a little about what we can expect, aside from some very unpleasant scenes which I'm sure we will love.
Sure! I don't want to give anything away… so I'll say it's definitely a unique survival/horror with an all girl cast in the tradition of "The Mist" and "The Descent". Chemical Peel is about a bachelorette party that suddenly turns deadly when a chemical reaction overtakes a valley after a train wreck. However as the girls realise what's happened, it becomes clear its just as dangerous being indoors as being outside. It's a great character study for thriller/suspense fans along with plenty of gore for the horror hounds.
- I'm so excited that Chemical Peel has secured distribution through Lionsgate, surely a wider audience is a dead cert ?
As the lead actress, I wouldn't know too much about the distribution details…that said, I am OVERJOYED whenever a company picks up a movie I am in – especially one like LionsGate!!! Can you hear me screaming with glee? No, seriously I am just happy people are going to get to see all of hard work and hopefully enjoy it and be entertained. It's what I live for.
-I think now is a fantastic time for many Indie film lovers as there are so many awesome projects in the works. Can you share your experiences of working within this often overlooked area?
Indie Film is painful and torturous at times; long hours, no comforts, no fancy craft services, sometimes unorganised and frustrating beyond belief, fear of constantly being shut-down by one thing or another…It's a battle, a war field. That said, Indie Film is also one of the best places to cut your teeth and see what you are truly made of as an artist, push yourself to places you didn't dream you could reach as an actress, find a film family, learn, grow, fail, fail again, get up on your feet and try again. It's everything – all wrapped into one. So when I see that call sheet come in for the next day, I know what waits me…a tough struggle, unforeseen challenges for sure---but rewards…oh rewards that you can't possibly imagine as an actress and artist….priceless to my soul. Learning, every day is a new lesson and new opportunity to make something special out of nothing. That's Indie Film to me.
- I have to say you really grabbed my attention with your performance in DeadHeads. It really is a film that stands shoulder to shoulder with the greats.
The gore is certainly not removed but the humour is of an outstandingly high quality. What was it like playing Ellie? I loved playing the "girl next door" on screen because I could really relate to her. From the outside, she looks like she has it all together, but on the inside she's just a clumsy awkward girl who suffers from social anxiety like anyone else. I loved her joy, honesty, and earnestness. She was a fantastic character for me to play. I mean really, I couldn't have asked for a better first leading lady role for me to play on screen. Ellie was just fantastic!
- What interests me with Deadheads is that it's never explained why Mike and Brent are so coherent as zombies yet it doesn't seem to matter either. Is that what attracted you to being involved?
HA! I never realised that… but I think you are right!?!? hahaha.. But No, that's not what attracted me to the script. I liked how fun the story was and how different and unique it was from other zombie movies. It was a comedy but also an adventure story, but most of all it was about love. Up to that point, I personally had not seen a movie about a guy who is in love, becomes a zombie, and then still goes after the girl even though he is not human anymore. This guy's love is so strong even death and rotting flesh are not going to stop him. I really liked the passion in that exploration of love when I read the script. Also, I love to laugh and I certainly giggled and smiled a lot reading the other quirky characters. DEADHEADS was a great experience, a great project, a great film with talented folks ---and I count myself lucky that I was able to be a part of it.
- You cut your acting teeth on the stage, have you found the transition to film a challenge?
I did at first, yes. I am certainly not a "prodigy" or "natural" by any means, but I am a quick learner. That and I just work really really hard at what I do and never stop asking questions and learning. So for me, transitioning to a smaller space was challenging at first, but I got there pretty quickly. While the stage is large and grand, shooting indie film is often times very small and intimate. In film you get to play more with facial expressions and nonverbal communication and smaller nuances of a character. I love both mediums truly, but they do require different acting tools. I count myself lucky to be blessed with opportunities to explore and grow in both film and theater as an actress. I am hoping to break into TV soon, and add some more tools to my toolbox. It's not even close to being full yet! I am just getting started!
- Everyone comments on how great it is to work with you. From the roles I've seen you have a talent of bringing out the best in every character. What are your future plans?
Oh my! That's so nice of you to say. I think people are sweet for ever bothering to say anything about me period. WOW! The truth is, every time I walk on set I feel like I am going to be fired. I never think I have enough preparation or talent, or I am pretty enough, or studied at the right school, or anything. I wrestle with insecurities just like anyone else... It certainly helps that I have been lucky to work with great people and honestly I just really love making movies and telling stories! I mean I am overjoyed when I get the opportunity to act or even audition ---just the chance to be SEEN is a HUGE deal to me, to be given the opportunity to read for a Casting Director or Producer or Director in a room…I get really really giddy! On set, I guess it's contagious to others and yea, I just love making moves and acting, you know? I love it soooo much and its hard to hold it in. I love pulling cable, I love watching the monitor, I love working with my fellow actors, I love helping wardrobe or makeup depts carry stuff to new locations, I mean I just love the whole experience & process! If I could live on set, I just might…
- What would be your dream role to play?
I have a few… too many to name, but here's some highlights. Ginger McKenna from Casino (Sharon Stone), Alabama from True Romance (Patricia Arquette) Virginia Wolf from stage play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Alice from stage play Closer, Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie (TV Show), The Bride from KILL BILL (Uma Thurman), Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction (Glenn Close), Blanche DuBois from A StreetCar Named Desire (Vivien Leigh), Jenny from Forrest Gump (Robin Wright), Claire Underwood from House of Cards (also Robin Wright), (and any kick-ass, strong woman role with Star Wars, Jurassic Park, or SciFi Elements. Wait.. I think I have some more… did I tell you how much I love movies? Hahaha! Oh WAIT… One more HUGE Dream role to play…. Tess McGill from Working Girl (Melanie Griffith) ---That role is near perfect!
- Ok, final question, what was your first acting role, perhaps the one that fuelled your desire to act?
First acting role? Hmmmm….. Well it wasn't what made me pursue it as a career (that's another story entirely) but when I was 9 years old, I played an Revolutionary dressed as an Indian during a re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party in a school play. One of the boys pushed me instead of a box of tea off the "boat" and then kept throwing tea boxes at my head while "the British" approached (other 9 year old students). So I decided to abandon the rehearsal and Director's clear vision for the play, and I started throwing all the tea boxes that were floating in the "sea" back at this boy's face even though that wasn't part of the story (obviously). He fell off the "boat" pretty hard and then the "British" blew their whistles and it was chaos…everyone and I mean every 9 year old student was throwing tea boxes at each other, feathers flying everywhere… Indians, British, and even the one kid in charge of making the "water" move. He got in on too. The curtains came down pretty fast. I thought….. I like this acting. Yes, I like it a lot.
It's been a real pleasure to chat to you. perhaps I can chat to you again soon. All the best for Chemical Peel.
You can watch the trailer for Chemical Peel below.
Chemical Peel was released in the USA October 14, 2014 – Available everywhere On Demand, Digital VOD, and rental stores.
You can buy DeadHeads here from Amazon. Natalie can be found on Twitter follow her at @Natalietweet.
Follow David Martin on Twitter at @ventspleen.
photo courtesy of Natalie Victoria.