Keven Talks with The Cast of ONE LAST SUNSET
Published: October 29, 2010 - 2:21pm
EXCLUSIVE: The leading ladies of indie horror flick One Last Sunset recently had a chance to talk with the BLAM! about the zombie apocalypse and what to expect from the down and dirty movie about survival in a world without hope.
One Last Sunset, written and directed by Kevin Richmond (check out his exclusive interview with the BLAM! here) is the story of two sisters, Bridgot ( Brandy Brown ) and Nita ( Alma Hill ) and their struggle to exist after an apocalyptic virus has turned the entire human population into flesh eating zombies. Whereas, it is a zombie film, it’s core strength lies within the characters and their mental, as well as, physical struggles required to survive this type of cataclysmic experience where attempting to maintain hope in a seemingly hopeless situation are worth dying for.
Keven: Tell us a little about your characters in the film.
Alma Hill: My characters name is Anita, but throughout the film, she's just called Nita. She's about my age, 19, and she's kind of an... interesting girl. She's full of hope and is always trying to find the lighter side of things, even in a zombie apocalypse. She clings to simple things that she sees as "normal" that remind her of her life before the epidemic. Nita is one of those people who can find the fun or the beautiful aspect of anything. Throughout the film, her positive attitude stays with her. She just wants things to go back to normal. But as the film moves on, we see her struggle as she begins to wonder what is left to hope for.
Brandy Brown: My character is Brigot. She is the oldest of the two sisters. Brigot is taking everything in stride. I wouldn't say she was really hopeful. Just surviving and trying to keep her sister alive while not squashing her hope. Brigot does evolve. She finally stops running scared and dwelling on all the horrible things that have occurred around her to seek the one thing she's been missing... and ironically enough she is motivated by her kid sister Nita. Throughout the movie it's obvious my character Brigot is always aware of her surroundings and spends so much time trying to take care of her sister she never realizes she can learn from her until it's too late...
Clemeen Connolly: Deidre was a challenging role to play. She went from being a happy, content person who enjoyed her life as a school teacher, then things took a turn for the worse, and she transitioned into this completely different person that was at war with herself as well as with the rest of the world around her.
The most difficult part was trying to connect with Deidre psychologically and get to know her inside and out after she had transitioned into this kill everything moving mode.
Deidre wasn't two faced, delusional or even crazy as a lot of people might characterize and see her. She was a sad, angry and misunderstood individual, that's what I saw her as.
She had no one but herself and the memories of her past to look back on. I liked playing Deidre. I didn't have a hard time jumping into full character once the camera started rolling and every time we would take multiple takes of the same scene or one take even, I was getting to know her even more and more and felt more comfortable being in her shoes. I was able to compare myself with her in some ways like being a loner, independent, and having some trust issues with individuals.
Keven: Do you have a favorite scene in the film?
Alma: I have a couple actually. But one that sticks out in particular, is the scene where Nita and Bidgot are driving in the car and Michael Jackson's "Blame in on the Boogie" comes on and Nita startes jammin out. It was so much fun and it played as really funny. It was a good relief scene that got away from the gore for a minute and reminds us "Hey, these girls are real people". It was good to see Nita just having fun. That, and I got to go through like 2 bottles of bubbles while singing blame it on the boogie, at the top of my lungs.
Brandy: My favorite scene is after Deidre is introduced and we got back to her campsite and it's Brigot, Nita and Deidre sitting around the table. The scene plays out beautifully. The characters all contrast each other so much yet it meshes so well. The actual shot is just beautiful. There are actually no zombies in the scene and not a lot of action but you are learning about the characters and how they feel about each other... it's intense but in a good way.
Clemeen: My favorite would have to be the fight scene in the woods with the Zombies. I really got into it 100% and just locked my body and mind into that whole scene. It was also a very important scene because its when my character, Deidre, meets the other two characters, Bridgot and Nita for the first time. I loved getting active and physical throughout that whole scene.
Keven: There are children that play zombies in One Last Sunset – is that something that freaks you out, or do you just have a disconnect when you're in acting mode?
Clemeen: (Laughs) It didn't bother me to much, but I'll have to say that some of the little kids that were between the ages of 8 and 12 looked sick when we did the school scene, but it worked out great! I loved working with the kids in the classroom because they all did their part perfectly and I couldn't have asked for a better selection of kids to work with. I got a little worried for them the first time we shot the scene where they had to run out of the classroom and away from the zombies because
not one of them had seen the zombies in full makeup yet before the camera started rolling
and I thought to myself "Oh no, are these kids going to be ready for what they are about to see?" They nailed the fist take with flying colors because your first reaction is always your best, and that's what I say with everything. For Deidre, that was the day her normal, happy life as a teacher ended and another person took over and was never the same again.
Alma: To be honest, the kids were almost the best part of filming. Yes zombie children are pretty much disturbing on all counts but the kids themselves were so much fun off screen that when we got to filming, it made the disturbing factor a whole lot better to deal with. The fact that they were all so incredibly talented made it an even greater experience. Bottom line: great kids make great zombies, and even better scene partners.
It's just totally confusing because part of you wants to run to them and help but the other part knows that's probably a life ending move.
When we were shooting Addy Miller plays, Cricket and she's wearing this pink dress and I would be like awww how Cute?!?! I guess...Creepy!! When we were shooting some of the zombie scenes it was the kids that freaked me out the most so yes there has to be a disconnect... which pretty much requires me to just stay in character.
Keven: Brandy and Alma, you play sisters in the movie, when you have to act with this person who plays such a close character to you in the movie, how do you draw up that inspiration to really believe this woman is not only a family member, but holy crap she could die at any second – was that tough?
Alma: Honestly, it was a little tough. Especially considering the fact that Brandy and I developed a real, lasting friendship. I feel like that only helped the performance, though. When the emotions onscreen are real, when that love, that connection is real, it makes the performance so much better and in the end, the actors, the director, and the audiences get a lot more out of the performance.
Brandy: It wasn't as hard as someone would think. I met Alma at the call backs for One Last Sunset and we did a re-through privately and something just clicked. We felt it and then we read and I think casting saw it as well. Our relationship is so strange because from the moment I met Alma it's like we had this common bond. So that comes into play naturally. The more time we spent together it's so obvious that we COULD totally be sisters in real life! ... So the transition may not sound easy but it was for me... because Alma is younger than me and we do relate to each other so well... in life I would want to protect her and give her advice (and I do) so on screen when we do get into character it just intensifies... so I guess what I'm trying to say is, it wasn't tough. Alma and I have great chemistry.
Keven: Clemeen, How do you get into the mindset of someone that can live in a world that has such a bleak future?
Clemeen: I always say, you never know what tomorrow is going to bring, so I sort of incorporated that into my characters actions and personality, only in her case, their was very little hope of a new tomorrow. Just getting into the mind of Deidre alone was challenging because there was so much going on inside her head, like this never endless teeter tottering emotional, mental and physical roller coaster.
Keven: Are you ladies fans of horror movies and are there any that stand out to you?
I started when I was 3 or 4 years old, really young. My very first horror film was The Blob in 1988.
I was to young to go to the local video store up the block so I would wait for Halloween to come every year and had to resorted to the TV. Horror films didn't have that nightmare affect on me like my parents were worried about when I was small, funny to say they got more concerned that I wasn't scared, (laughs). I started watching a lot of Stephen Kings films and tales of terror like Creepshow, which was my favorite! I wasn't into simple little scary films because I was drawn to heavy, gory, messing with your psych type horror flicks like Hellraiser, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Child's Play, Night of the Living Dead, The Exorcist, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Poltergeist, Pet Semetary, IT, Jaws, etc....I loved the early 70's, all the 80's, and early 90's horror films, I know them all by heart! Never had a favorite. I could go on and on about horror movies, I get a rush just talking about it.
Brandy: I do LOVE horror films!!! My favorites would probably have to be the Nightmare on Elm Street Saga... can I call it a Saga?
As a child I was absolutely terrified of Freddy Kruger... What am I talking about I still am!
It's no secret. I also love IT. Stephen King stories when put on film are absolutely terrifying! It like gets in your mind...I think its the "what If" factor. Like what if that could really happen?
Actually, I'm kind of a punk. (laughs) I like horror films but I always end up traumatized by the time the credits roll.
As far as favorites, I absolutely love the Japanese versions of One Missed Call (Chakushin Ari) and The Ring (Ringu). Those are literally the most terrifying movies I have ever seen. Ever.