Tuesday, June 5, 2012
KELSEY ZUKOWSKI - JACK OF ALL TRADES IN FILM- AMAZING ACTRESS
MODEL MAYHEM: http://www.modelmayhem.com/KelseyZukowski
THANKS KELSEY - THANK YOU FOR THIS INTERVIEW- A VERY BUSY GIRL YOU ARE- AND TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE AND YOU HONOR ME AND THE READERS WITH AN AWESOME INTERVIEW!!! THANK YOU FROM BOTTOM OF MY HEART~~~~~ JOHN
JG -I WAS IMPRESSED WITH YOUR RESUME , ALL THE FEATURES AND SHORTS YOU HAVE DONE- WHAT DO YOU FEEL HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT THUS FAR IN YOUR ACTING CAREER ( AND NOT MEANING TO SLIGHT ANY PROJECT YOU HAVE BEEN A PART OF !!)
KZ -I would have to say one of my most recent films, Words Like Knives. The character goes through so much turmoil and destruction, being hysterical and losing her grip on reality for most of the film. The film is very much based on real life horrors, things like bullying and abuse that many people suffer with everyday, often pushing them to death. In some ways, it is very much based in reality, yet you never know what is real and what isn’t. The bullying is what starts everything, but you don’t know whether the rumor they are taunting her with is true or if it is just manifesting in her mind with her worries creating something so unbearable that it pushes her to this state.
Also, as the writer, I had put a lot of pressure on myself to push myself and do what was necessary to get there. Not long ago I had realized I am more of a physical actor so I had to make things as physically real as possible, it was about more than just imagining or trying to relate it to me. Some things you can never really become without actually experiencing them, but I strived to get as close to that as I could. Both physically and emotionally, I had to use any negative feeling I could to portray this overwhelming pain my character is going through. Words Like Knives marked a far more dramatic role that a lot of the film really depended on, it was a major step in moving forward as an actress as it was such a difficult and dark role with depth.
JG-“WHAT THEY SAY”- AWESOME- NOT ONLY STARRING BUT ALSO WROTE !! IT HAS HAD SOME EARLY SUCCESS IN CHICAGO HORROR FILM FEST –WITH THAT BEING SAID- DO YOU FEEL THE WRITING BUG HAS GRABBED YOU ??? MAYBE A LITTLE DESIRE TO DIRECT SOME DAY ???
KZ -Oh yes, that is certainly safe to say. Honestly, it probably grabbed me by age 7. I remember writing story books and had aspired to be a writer then. Of course, the material has changed a good deal. My passion for film brought the writing bug out once again when I started writing movie reviews at 14. The reviews transitioned in to screenwriting which was like discovering an entirely new passion in me. I majored in Digital Cinema with a concentration in Screenwriting in college. I am blessed a few of the right people gave me a chance and got me involved with independent horror filmmaking. Although this was primarily acting, it made way for getting my writing out there. I love acting, but writing is more than a love; it’s a necessity. It’s really part of my identity, I simply operate like a writer and when there’s passion or intrigue involved it all comes to life. I don’t think directing is going to be something I do all the time, but I am looking forward to co-directing within this next year on a project I’ve really put my all in to; The Hazed.
JG-ON IMDB IT HAS A LITTLE BLURB ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS ON HORROR – “ ……..HORROR GENRE IS CAPABLE OF ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES IN COMMUNICATING DISTURBING TRUTHS.” I AM A BELIEVER IN THIS STATEMENT ! HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT THESE TRUTHS ARE BEING COMMUNICATED? WHAT I MEAN IS THIS, OUTSIDE OF THE HORROR COMMUNITY , DO YOU THINK THAT THE GENRE IS REACHING FOLKS ABOUT THE DARKNESS IN OUR WORLD TODAY , THE TRAGEDIES THAT WE ALL MUST FACE ,AND HOW DO YOU FEEL THIS IS BEING HANDLED? ( DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?? LOL- HARD ONE TO WORD PROPERLY !)
KZ -This is really a statement that inspires me and motivates my mindset as a horror fan and actress/ writer in the genre. Horror gets a bad rep. There are plenty of senseless horror films and there is a lot of trash out there. The genre as a whole is capable of so much it’s truly mindboggling though. Anything ugly, dark, or even complicated whether in our reality or creating another reality that has similar themes, characters, or story we can relate to, has the capabilities to be beautifully transform to utilize all of the best components of horror. Societal wrongs and exploring human nature-the good and the bad- that is in us all and where that potential can go, are among my favorite things to explore. I find it far more provocative to explore these things through the gritty realism and brutality of horror. Even if they are exaggerated from things we see in real life in some sense, it brings light to them and depicts the severity of inherent terror involved.
Do I feel like the average person is being exposed to this? Absolutely not. That fact saddens me, but most people aren’t being exposed to the type of horror that you and I know and love. You have to really have a love and interest in horror and dive deeper in the horror community to find the indie and foreign gems. Once in a while there’s a mainstream case of this, but generally it’s all watered –down and senseless remakes, sequels, or are just void of any creativity or purpose other than to make money. Hollywood horror takes shortcuts because they know they can get away with it. People think this is horror which is a horrible disgrace. Indie and foreign is where it’s at. Making these films whether for ourselves, the fans, or as a way to bring out and examine the horridly intriguing gray area in our world. These films are the definition of true horror in my eyes. Other people recognize this, which is part of the reason there is such passion and understanding in the tight knit indie horror community.
JG-SO NOW THE WHOLE IDEA OF SUFFERING FOR ONES ART- YOU HAVE DISLOCATED YOUR KNEE CAP 3 TIMES IN YOUR CAREER – THAT’S BEYOND PUTTING YOUR BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS INTO YOUR ROLES- THIS IS A KNEE CAP !!! HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PASSION FOR WHAT YOU DO ??
KZ -Well I wish I could say that was for the good of a film! I first dislocated my knee when I was 13. I have really bad genetics and brittle bones when it comes down to it. It was always simple things, but I was going to keep on dislocating my knee continuously until I got surgery to bolt it in place. That surgery was my personal horror; it was really the most horrible time in my life. My other knee is still at the risk of the same thing so I’m very cautious and sometimes a bit paranoid of it happening again.
But to more directly answer your question I like to call it an undying love for horror. I really live and breath the genre. I love films of all kinds and I love writing and acting, but it is horror that really makes me feel most alive; that drives me, and inspires. To an extent it is certainly a part of me and so much of my life, what appeals to me, and the people I have become close with are very directly related to that.
JG-HALLOWEEN , NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET AND PSYCHO- 3 FILMS THAT MADE A MARK ON YOU , WHAT DO YOU FEEL THOUGH, WAS THE MOST IMPACTFUL FILM THAT YOU SAW THAT GAVE YOU THE CLINCHER ABOUT ACTING?
KZ -Hmmm, these are 3 of the most important films to me ever, because of what they inspired in me, how iconic they became, and most importantly what they ignited in me. Acting wise I would probably have to go with A Nightmare on Elm Street, a film that almost always wins out over all else in my book. Robert Englund will always be one of my favorites and what he did with that role is truly unbelievable. The marriage of two of my horror favorites, Englund and Wes Craven, brought this terrifying vision to life in Freddy Krueger. There will never be another truly like him and he has become such a face of horror over the years. It’s Englund’s quirks, energy, comedic timing, a lot of his improving, and truly embarking on the mind of supernatural crazed dream master, that made the role and the film the horrifying and lasting cinematic milestone that they became.
JG-SOMETHING THAT I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN KINDA CURIOUS ABOUT- WHAT IS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FILMING AND STARRING IN A SHORT FILM COMPARED TO A FEATURE LENGTH? COMING FROM A FANBOY PERSPECTIVE- IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THERE WOULD BE SOME DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY THEY ARE APPROACHED!
KZ -There is so much more involved in a feature film, far more than you would think beyond simply more scenes to film. Far larger budgets are needed, schedules, locations, and pretty much anything else you can think of is much more complex. Getting away from the producing side of it, simply as an actor it’s wonderful. You’re given more time to really live through a character and explore them more deeply. There’s more of a gradual escalation to how they change from beginning to end. Not that short films are any less intriguing to dive in, but it’s more of a peak in to one moment of their life, a very important one that triggers and communicates so much, but things are kept fairly simple even amongst complex themes in most cases.
JG-ONTO SOME EASIER AND MAYBE MORE FUN QUESTIONS – ONE I ASK EVERYONE- I SNAG YOUR IPOD- OR IPHONE- AND I GO TO YOUR MUSIC- WHO WOULD WE FIND ON IT ? WHATS YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC ???
KZ -Believe it or not it’s not death metal. I get a lot of assumptions and surprises by the type of music I listen to given my love for horror. I have been getting in to more alternative and pop punk stuff lately. Really I appreciate good lyrics that hit on relatable human emotions, whatever they are, that are still pleasing to the ear. I can really appreciate a smooth sounding voice. In the past some of my favorite genres have been hip hop and reggae. Within these genres it’s specifically music about life, love, freedom, drive and determination, views of society and humanity, and creatively making a statement through personal resonates and universal themes that really speak to me.
JG-DO YOU ENJOY READING? WHAT KIND OF BOOKS DO YOU ENJOY? (MAYBE SOME NARNIA HEHEEHE)
KZ -I am absolutely in love with Narnia and Harry Potter. I really love fantasy worlds like these that can serve as an escape, but also are so heavily related to life grounded in reality with so many enticing themes. I am particularly a huge Harry Potter geek, even the littlest reference can make my day. Hopefully one day I will make it to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I don’t even know what I would do with myself. I would be so overwhelmed and in gleeful awe I doubt I would ever be able to leave. I’ll have to make horror movies at Hogwarts from then on.
I can’t answer this without mentioning the vampire freak in me though. I absolutely love vampire and supernatural books. There’s so much thrilling potential and a compelling darkness that can be achieved through them. I don’t believe that the vampire trend is a trend at all. We have had them as part of our world for centuries. They have taken on so many forms, meanings, and realities in that time; the genre constantly reinventing itself. Anything can be related and put in to this scope, but what really makes the possibilities endless is it has no real limitations because while it’s a part of our culture, literature, and mythology it’s not something we have in our lives firsthand. As a writer this allows so much freedom. You can make your own rules, strengths, limitations, creatures, and anything else you can think of without risking not being realistic.
I totally understand those who think vampires should be hideous, animalistic monsters without an ounce of anything else in them. I agree with most of that statement actually. The alluring, otherworldly quality that entrances victims has always been a part of vampires though. I like my vampires to have equal parts alluring thrill and blood thirsty viciousness and embracing and thriving off of everything they are. My favorites include Vampire Academy, House of Night, The Vampire Diaries, and The Southern Vampire Mysteries series. They are all very unique from one another and the world of vampires they portray, but all hold on to the darkness and intrigue within in so many interesting ways and very strong characters.
JG -LAST BUT NOT LEAST- WHATS IN STORE IN THE FUTURE FOR YOU , THAT YOU CAN DIVULGE??
KZ -I’m very excited about The Hazed, a gritty psychological slasher I wrote and am producing, starring in, and co-directing with the very talented Cory Graham. We are getting together a poster and teaser trailer this month and will be launching the Indiegogo before long. We’re likely going to need a decent budget, but I’m very much looking forward to setting down the long road ahead to bring this vision to life.
I’m also very excited about an upcoming project I have with true crime writer/director, Kevin Jamison. Unfortunately, I really can’t tell you much about the specific project, but it is a sub-genre of horror I really love that holds so much potential for exploration of human nature and society. Between Jamison and his special FX artist, James Bett Jr., expect one gritty, disturbing movie with great story and characters surrounding it; a terrifying tale of horror with real depth and substance.
JG-NOW- FREE PROMO KELSEY- WHAT IS GOING ON WITH YOU- ANY PROJECTS, CONVENTIONS – ANYTHING- ANYTHING YOU WANNA ADD TO BE SHARED- AND TO LET FANS KNOW WHERE THEY MAY CATCH A GLIMPSE OF YOU!!!!
KZ -I will be at Fright Night Film Festival June 29-July 1. What They Say is screening there and I should have promo material for both Words Like Knives and The Hazed. Aside from the films I have already mentioned Year of the Ox is one to look out for. It is directed by Rob Sepulveda, he co-wrote the script with Grant Anderson. It’s a neo noir thriller starring Ron Fitzgerald and myself. It has an amazing script, one of the most professional yet fun sets I have been on, and it was an incredible role; giving me the opportunity to explore both of the extremes she holds.