JoBlo.com/AITH interviews Asia Argento
If you know the site, then you're aware that we're really Pro Asia Argento over here for various reasons. I have interviewed the dame 3 times now (read my previous interviews here and here), and was real glad to see her again. I was even more elated to know that she has a lead role in "Land of the Dead". Romero + Argento = my red-wet dream come true. Asia took some time off the set to talk to a bunch of us journalists about the film and here's what came out...bitter, sweet...ALL Asia Argento!
Did your father have a role in you getting the part?
My fatherís role? As a producer and a writer? No. I certainly met George years ago through my father when they were shooting a movie called Two Evil Eyes in Pittsburg, I was 12 I think and I met Tom Savini too. And then I met George, while I was shooting a movie in Hungary, we met in a restaurant about 6 years ago. So its not like my father and George talk everyday, although they love and respect each other. George has wanted to cast me for his past three movies and we got in contact when I was shooting my movie in Tennessee; thatís when we started talking about Land of the Dead.
So what is your role about?
Sheís a girl that was trained to work in the military but they thought that they would make more money from her by making her a hooker. We see her for the first time in an arena with Zombies and people are betting on whoís going to eat her first. But then sheís saved by the hero and she becomes part of the team. Her name is Slack.
Is the role physically demanding in terms of action sequences and all?
Yes, pretty much, I did all of my stunts in the scenes where I fight the Zombies. I usually do most of my own stuff.
Do you use doubles at all?
Were you training?
I was trained for 10 years in boxing, I use to compete when I was young and I studied Martial Arts, grapplingÖ
You work with any weapons?
Iíve worked with weapons in movies but I despise weapons.
Do you work with weapons in this film?
Yes I do but itís very easy, you just pull the trigger.
Whatís you characterís relationship with the hero Riley?
Thereís definitely some chemistry but we donít have time to think about getting laid when the world is falling apart.
You seem to flourish well within the horror genre!
Well Iíve worked with my father whom I admire very much and now George who is part of the genre directorsí that my father respects. I always said that I was not going to do a horror movie if my father wasnít directing but this is different; itís another great director. I love good horror movies but I donít love just any splatter horror, it has to mean something. Iím also interested in horror, sometimes that is not fantasy but that is realistic.
What are your passions?
Acting is the least of my passion, directing for sure is what I want to do and photography, musicÖ
You think youíll ever direct a horror movie?
No I canít compete with my father.
Itís not about competing!
In a way I do think I do horror movies; they talk about the monsters inside, the horror of every day life.
Will you get a ďDEADĒ tattoo to commemorate the experience?
I never get tattoos to commemorate movies; I think it would be silly.
I think it would be great!
What to get a Zombie tattooed somewhere? Iíll get a skull maybe.
Have you seen both DAWN OF THE DEAD versions, Georgeís cut and your fatherís cut?
Yes I have?
What is your opinion on the two?
I only watched my fatherís version throughout my life, because that was the available version. And I liked it a lot; I would watch it sometimes 5 times a day. It was one of the forbidden movies and of course it was one of my favorites. And then later on I finally saw Georgeís version with a all of the humor that my father had cut out. I liked Georgeís version too; I might like it more since it develops in a different way; less rushed.
Are you learning anything from George when watching him work?
Itís not like going to film school where Iím too busy acting to really observe whatís going on. But a couple of times, and this is going to feed my ego, I gave George some ideas for shots, just to simplify things.
How important was it for you that your character to be a strong character? If she had been the damsel in distress would you have taken the role?
Why not, maybe I wouldíve done that too; I like playing things that are different from me. For some reason, strong women is all Iím offered, I donít inspire weak females.
Would you like to play one?
I played it when I was younger but I donít know if it was credible.
How much did growing up in Italy with a horror director as a father shape your personal affinities today?
I have certain esthetics, I donít know if they come from my father and my mother because my sisters didnít turn out like me. But I was always hungry for information. I wouldnítí say I was ever a Goth, maybe in the 80ís, when I was 9 years old, I liked The Cure and I would dress in black but I never belonged to any group.
How hard has the shoot been thus far?
Weíre all so tired; weíve been shooting always nights, so that was difficult to change the time around and sleep everyday at 8AM. Itís also been incredibly cold shooting outside. The rest was all fun to do!
What are your thoughts on the actors youíre working with, specially Simon?
With John (Leguizamo) I only had one brief scene but heís somebody I admire and like very much. Same thing for Simon, heís a really good guy, I like the choice they made for the hero, I believe him, where heís very human and you can see that heís a good person in life and it shines through,. There are no egos on this set. And Dennis (Hopper) we shot a movie just me and him the whole time and I wish I had scenes with him where heís one of my favorite directors; heís amazing. I studied movies like ďOut of the BlueĒ; they were a huge inspiration for me. I would love to talk to him more about that.
What would you like to direct next?
I directed two features already; Iím not ready to do my third one. Iíve definitely learned my lesson though; Iím never going to act again in a film that I direct.
Are you reading scripts?
No I donít read scripts, I write my own. Iíd be very happy if I could find a script that I relate too but thatís never happened. And usually they offer me scripts as a director that donít touch me. Making movies is such a war so itís got to be something you believe in.
What attracted you to this script as an actress besides Romero?
I think the script is solid and fun. It really worked.
Whatís the distributions status of your last film in America?
The film is coming out all over Europe in January and the rest hasnít been bought. It was well received in Toronto and at the AFM in LA but when I went to Cannes, there were two people, one from Variety and the other from The Hollywood Reporter and those two mindless, corporate, zombies hated the movie. We only had two bad reviews but because it was those two corporate mutantsÖit hasnít found North American distribution. When I think about it though; if they would have understood my movie and there are the same people who like ďShakespeare in LoveĒ, that would mean Iím fucked.
As the set been a serious or jockey set?
Itís been laid back because George is a very nice man, he listen to actors, he doesnít even watch the monitor, heís really there and it creates a good atmosphere. I never saw him get mad once at anyone so itís pretty friendly.
I'd like to thank Asia for her time and candor. Looking forward to seeing ya whoop Zombie skulls into ashes for our viewing pleasure. ASIA ROCKS! f