After viewing the anthology film called Scare Package, I had the opportunity to speak with actress Zoe Graham, who starred in her first horror short.
BARON CRAZE: How did you become involved with Horror Hypothesis story of Scare Package?
ZOE GRAHAM: I auditioned for the role. I know that’s not a thrilling story but that’s how it happened. It was the first time I met the director Aaron Koontz and I really enjoyed working with him in the audition. I loved his attitude and I got the sense that working with him would be a really good time and so I was all in and it turned out they were too.
BC: What was like working on your first horror movie?
ZG: Yes, it was, one of the things that really sold me on the project was they were doing practical effects as opposed to CGI and I was really excited to do some of those stunts and also to see others do acting and stunt scenes; though I wasn’t involved like being thrown through a wall. I was amazed to see the people that were brought on to see all those things happen and look really real. You could tell they were really skilled crafts people and that was really awesome to witness.
BC: Let’s dive a bit into the misdirection suggestive scene, where you give sounds of ‘one thing’ clearly not that at all? The feeling on set? How did you react when first reading that scene?
ZG: Do you mind if I spoil it? Well the scene in the movie – my character [Jessie] is the stereotypical slut because of what she’s wearing and then they do a fake out where you hear me hypothetically making sex noises but it’s that I’m injured and someone is bandaging my wound. It was really tricky to shoot because Aaron is a really respectful guy he’s commenting and not trying to make it… So it was a delicate thing to talk about on set and everybody kind of knew that but it was difficult to figure out the positioning; how can we make it sort of look like sex but also make it look like this guy is helping this girl who was injured so that was one conversation. The other conversation was now we just need these noises. Have you ever been in a room where someone is recording you with fake sex noises and 20 people trying not to laugh really hard? It was very weird – a weird experience.
BC: So, I take it that there were many takes to it then?
ZG: No, everyone was respectful enough not to laugh so I didn’t have to do it very much.
BC: Ok but I take it that it was an uncomfortable moment probably on set for you?
ZG: Sure, there was a moment of can I really do this? It’s not something I’ve done before – any romantic scene I’ve done has been – I’ve never had to make faces or sounds like that before on the set – it was a moment of stepping up for me for sure.
BC: For an actress do you think it was really appropriate or would you rather it have been something else? When you read the script did it elude to what it was going to be – the visuals that were presented for you?
ZG: Totally, yes, I’m somebody who’s deeply involved in how sets are run like learning more about it and trying to make it as respectful as possible. That scene when I read the script didn’t set off any alarm bells for me just because I knew it was a comment on what was happening and that I wasn’t going to be naked and it wasn’t like I was continuously getting objectified on screen. It was a depiction of sex not actual sex and thinking it was sex, because of how your brain is trained from previous horror movies so I think it was a really clever way to comment. Why do we think that this girl who is dressed this way is having sex right now like why would she be having sex when she is being chased by a monster so I thought it was a really clever way to comment on that so it didn’t really phase me in talking about the concept of feminism – it didn’t bother me.
BC: I found the scene very interesting. I like scenes where there’s misdirection or inuendo where we’re given one thought or one suggestion and then in reality it’s something completely different. So, I really like that. I also liked it’s not a closed door, so we’re given an illusion of it’s this but in reality, it’s that.
BC: Aaron Koontz was quoted that you were up for everything they threw at you – is that really true?
ZG: Laughs – no, Aaron is extremely respectful and he would never suggest something to someone that wasn’t extremely safe, it’s something he had thought about fully. I don’t want give away everything but there’s a massive explosion we did and it’s not CGI and the way that it was handled on set was so respectfully done – everyone was very serious on set even though it was exciting and cool and everyone wanted to be there. It was handled really professionally so when Aaron ways he threw things at me it didn’t feel like that at all just someone who was making very professional choices never putting me in danger or putting me in a bad situation – it was a great experience .
BC: Before we end is there any social media information you would like to put into the interview?
ZG: sure, my Instagram @zoegraham
BC: Thank you for your time & interview
ZG: Thank you.