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Int: Asia Argento

Jun. 7, 2005by: The Arrow 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 fathers 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; thats when we started talking about Land of the Dead.

So what is your role about?

Shes 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 whos going to eat her first. But then shes 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, grappling

You work with any weapons?

Ive worked with weapons in movies but I despise weapons.

Do you work with weapons in this film?

Yes I do but its very easy, you just pull the trigger.

Whats you characters relationship with the hero Riley?

Theres definitely some chemistry but we dont have time to think about getting laid when the world is falling apart.

You seem to flourish well within the horror genre!

Well Ive worked with my father whom I admire very much and now George who is part of the genre directors that my father respects. I always said that I was not going to do a horror movie if my father wasnt directing but this is different; its another great director. I love good horror movies but I dont love just any splatter horror, it has to mean something. Im 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, music

You think youll ever direct a horror movie?

No I cant compete with my father.

Its 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 DEAD 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? Ill get a skull maybe.

Have you seen both DAWN OF THE DEAD versions, Georges cut and your fathers cut?

Yes I have?

What is your opinion on the two?

I only watched my fathers 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 Georges version with a all of the humor that my father had cut out. I liked Georges 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?

Its not like going to film school where Im too busy acting to really observe whats 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 wouldve done that too; I like playing things that are different from me. For some reason, strong women is all Im offered, I dont inspire weak females.

Would you like to play one?

I played it when I was younger but I dont 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 dont know if they come from my father and my mother because my sisters didnt turn out like me. But I was always hungry for information. I wouldnt say I was ever a Goth, maybe in the 80s, 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?

Were all so tired; weve been shooting always nights, so that was difficult to change the time around and sleep everyday at 8AM. Its also been incredibly cold shooting outside. The rest was all fun to do!

What are your thoughts on the actors youre working with, specially Simon?

With John (Leguizamo) I only had one brief scene but hes somebody I admire and like very much. Same thing for Simon, hes a really good guy, I like the choice they made for the hero, I believe him, where hes very human and you can see that hes 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 hes one of my favorite directors; hes amazing. I studied movies like Out of the Blue; 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; Im not ready to do my third one. Ive definitely learned my lesson though; Im never going to act again in a film that I direct.

Are you reading scripts?

No I dont read scripts, I write my own. Id be very happy if I could find a script that I relate too but thats never happened. And usually they offer me scripts as a director that dont touch me. Making movies is such a war so its 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.

Whats the distributions status of your last film in America?

The film is coming out all over Europe in January and the rest hasnt 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 mutantsit hasnt 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 Shakespeare in Love, that would mean Im fucked.

As the set been a serious or jockey set?

Its been laid back because George is a very nice man, he listen to actors, he doesnt even watch the monitor, hes really there and it creates a good atmosphere. I never saw him get mad once at anyone so its 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



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