Director Jeremiah Kepp got in touch with me via the gift of facebook. Admittedly, I had not heard of his work beforehand, however I'm very glad that he did as whilst viewing his short Contact, it was not difficult to see why he won the job to direct The Sadist starring the legendary Tom Savini. The trailer has plenty to get all horror fans excited about and is certainly one to look forward to. The film features the legendary Tom Savini as a war veteran who suffers from severe psychological damage and stalks his victims in the woods. In addition, this is the feature directorial debut of Fangoria writer Kipp.
Contact, is a beautiful - yet horrific - story focused upon a couple trying to deepen their relationship by taking a mysterious drug. The drug trip goes horribly wrong, yet despite getting more than they bargained for, they also got exactly what they wanted. The beauty about this film - despite being shot in black and white and mostly silent - is that its ambiguity leaves lots of room for interpretation which works to its advantage, as it doesn't leave the viewer feeling disappointed or insulted by it. Whilst watching it, Zoe Daelman Chlanda's eclectic performance prominently stands out. She is both very strong & naturalistic (similar to Jennifer Aniston yet thankfully Zoe is not stuck in rom-com world) and has a warm yet strong chemistry with her co-star Robb Leigh Davis, which ultimately makes everything in the film feel all the more real - and frightening. Kepp was right, she is an amazing actress and certainly a woman who deserves to be seen more of and have more of a higher profile. Kepp put me in touch with Zoe as he mentioned that she is a bona fide horror film star in the making.
Through his brilliant networking this gave me an opportunity to conduct an interview with her. In addition, he mentioned that all the interviews she gives are her amazing, and once again he was not wrong, Daelman Chlanda knows what she wants from her career, is sharp and straight to the point. I began asking her what her experience of making Contact was like and why she chose to become an actress. 'If only all shoots were like this! Jeremiah runs a tight set. Everyone's prepared, focused, and thrilled to be there. And it's because we know when all is said and done we're going to have a great film. This is what you can expect from working with Kipp and the team he puts together. When Jeremiah is a part of a project, it puts my mind at ease. I'll always work with him. It's the best job in the world. Through acting I can potentially do each and every job I've ever wanted to do. I can try on so many different hats. Live out countless scenarios. It's exciting, engaging, hard, fun.... It's perfect'.
Moving on to horror, I asked Zoe what she learnt from her experience of making I'll Bury you Tomorrow? ''I'll Bury You Tomorrow' taught me a lot of things. It was my first lead in a feature. I learned about patience (it was a long, hard shoot), working with other people (cast and crew), and most important for me as an actress - I learned to keep my energy up and to stay focused (as my character - Dolores Finley). We shot out of sequence, most films do, and the challenge is to be your character in the moment of whatever scene you're shooting, taking into consideration what happened previously (in the characters life) as opposed to what was shot previously. Also not to assume (as the character) where the next scene will take you (emotionally), even though you as the actor know exactly what's happening next (in terms of script). I learned a great deal on that set. I love that movie'. When we began discussing the horror genre more broadly, the main problem that she perceives currently occurring is that it's losing narrative focus; 'I think the genre needs to focus more on the stories. I think stories are what drive the success of a movie. Without it, it doesn't matter how good the acting, cinematography, special effects, etc. are'.
Interestingly, a female horror actress whom she admires is Debbie Rochon. 'I haven't worked with her, but I've met her. She is lovely - extremely supportive of her peers, and anyone making a go of it in this industry. She's been in numerous films and, therefore, is extremely knowledgeable of the industry as a whole. I like the way she handles herself - personally and professionally. Debbie is a class act'. During the interview Zoe mentioned to me that she thrives for difficult, challenging roles 'because it gives me lots to do! I love preparing for a role. I love rehearsing. The bigger the challenge, the more work it is for me - and it's the work that I love'. Preparing is what she is currently doing at present, as one of her next projects' 'Don't Look in the Basement' is currently in pre-production, and is her 'dream role' purely because it's such a big challenge. She doesn't give too much away except that she is in the safe hands of Alan Rowe Kelly and Anthony G. Sumner - 'two of the BEST'...sounds exciting!...
Interviewee: Zoe Daelman Chlanda, www.Zoedchlanda.com. Zoe features in The Sadist and plays a college professor describing the illegal use of animal steroids. The film will hopefully get a US cinema release during summer 2011 - I'll be writing more on this in the near future. Zoe was also featured as Scream Queen of the Month for April 2010!