Today we are thrilled to be able to say that we have actress, writer and director Pollyanna McIntosh in for a short interview about the Tales of Halloween. You’ll have seen her in films such as Offspring, The Woman and Filth, some of which we touch on today as well as finding out how she prepares for her roles and what it was like building a character without dialogue. Read on for our interview…
To start off with, do you want to tell our readers a bit about Tales of Halloween?
Yeah, it’s a comedy-horror anthology, and I’m in Lucky’s section [Lucky McKee directed the segment “Ding Dong”]. It was great working with Lucky again, and I liked the script, and it was great fun doing it.
Did you find it easier or more difficult working in a short, compared to working in a feature?
I hadn’t thought of it that way. No, I wouldn’t say it was any more difficult. It’s just really great to be working in film as much as possible, you know – whether it’s a short or a feature. But there were some difficulties, there were some two-hour crying sessions, just trying to get a shot. But it’s a lot of fun, as well. I loved the woman on this who played my arms. She was a sort of, creature feature person, I don’t know exactly what the term is, but I just thought of her as my twin.
And did you have a twin on The Woman?
No. I don’t think anyone had one. Actually, Angela [Bettis, her co-star] had one for the scene where she gets thrown. But we had wonderful stunt co-ordinators, you know, the people who would let me out of my manacles.
So you really were trussed up for hours at a time?
Yes. But it was fine, it wasn’t painful.
And what was it like acting without spoken dialogue?
Well, Lucky and I had spent a lot of time developing the character, before we started shooting, so we’d been going back and forth, talking about it. Lucky likes to work through things very closely with his actors so before we’d even started he would show me how he imagined certain scenes looking, and we’d compare notes, so by the time we started shooting I knew who this character was, what she thought about any given situation.
Yes, I’d played The Woman before in Andrew van den Houten’s Offspring. It was different – I mean they’re very different movies; Offspring is a sort of throwback slasher, and The Woman is more of an indie horror, and you get a different experience working with different directors as well. Andrew was very good to work with, and he was a producer on The Woman, so it was good to have him there, but Lucky’s approach was different.
And how helpful did you find the script? Was it quite instructive?
Well it mostly came from outside the script. I don’t want to say that any element isn’t important when you’re acting, so I did use the script, so it was very useful to have it there in terms of structure – that sort of understanding. But I was very lucky on The Woman, we had great support, and much more of that film came from the chemistry between the performances.
And what about training? It’s a very physical performance.
Well it was very important to me that this character looked as if she’d been living the way she’s supposed to have been living, so I did – I was out in the woods, you know, doing leapfrogs, that sort of thing, I must have looked very strange. But on an independent film no-one’s going to say to you, “You’ve got a month of training before we start shooting, here’s where you go, here’s the trainer you’re working with”. So anything I did was really my own thing. And I spent a lot of time around animals, wolves and so on, to get that aspect of the character.
And what’s coming up for you in the future?
I’ve got a lot of things on their way. There’s Brian McGuire’s Prevertere, that’s a sort of indie comedy, there’s Daniel Fitzsimmons’ Native, that’s a sci-fi film, and the digital release of The Blood Lands – that was White Settlers over here – that’s set in Scotland, where I grew up. And apart from that, I’m writing several things, there’s one that I’m going to be directing, and I’ve got something else that I can’t actually talk about!
And that’s all folks! Tales of Halloween is available on Digital Download now, will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comment box below!