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INT: Ashton Holmes

03.30.2007by: Ammon Gilbert

It's been quite the chilly experience visiting the set of WIND CHILL in Vancouver, B.C.. I've had the awesome opportunity to check out one amazing set (see part 1 HERE), and interview director Gregory Jacobs (see that interview HERE) and star Emily Blunt (see her interview HERE). But it hasn't stopped there, oh no, we have one more interview for ya- star Ashton Holmes, who blew us all away in A HISTORY A VIOLENCE, and is looking to bring those intensely good looks to the big screen again with WIND CHILL. Let's check out what he had to say:


Emily talked to us about the physical and the cold, can you talk to us about some of that?

We just got back from being on location at about 5 and a half hours north of hear at this place called Summerland, donít be confused by the sweet sounding name of this town, summer was nowhere to be found there. We were dealing with negative 28 degree temperatures and it was just bitterly, bitterly cold. I grew up on the East coast, so I know cold, and it was so cold that I couldnít concentrate or focus. As an actor you need concentration and focus because you have to remember your lines and where you have to put your feet and what your intentions are in this scene, and it all went out the window. I said to Greg afterwards, am I doing it right? And heís like, Ďyeah, it was great- perfect. I can see how cold you are and thatís what we need, we need the audience to see what you guys are up against. The weather is really like the third main character in this movie, hence the title WIND CHILL.

We were on top of a mountain for a bit on this deserted road, and weíre falling up and down these hills and running away from these. It was really physical, but I really havenít gotten to do that yet, so it was really a cool experience.

Can you tell us about your character?

Iím a college student, and he majors in philosophy. I think my characterís University is the majority of the Ďcoolí student body whoís made up of the fraternity guys, and those are the guys who get all the girls. And my character is more isolated and to himself, so heís not really apart of that cool crowd. But I think heís a really passive guy and if these girls were to get to know him, and give him a chance I think theyíd see heís really a wonderful guy, he just never gets that opportunity. He sees something in the Ďgirlí character right off the bat- heís really attracted to her. Not just her physical appearance, but that sheís really a special person, and I think the audience can see that right away. Sheís really charming, sheís really smart. My character at first glance is not very special, heís rough around the edges, and through the course of this movie we really see how wonderful he is at how he treats her. Even though this is definitely a horror movie and thereís this genre element to it, at the core thereís a really beautiful love story between these two people, and thatís who really drew me to this part.

Did you enjoy working on A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE?

It was my first movie so I feltÖ it was really hard to watch myself, I had to kind of watch it through my fingers, you know. I think thatís how Iím gonna be in my career. I really donít like to watch dailies and I donít like to watch the playback, I just like to experience the moment when Iím in it, and not later. Iím very critical of my own work. HISTORY was an amazing experience. Those were some of my heroes that I got to work with.

What was it like working with David Cronenberg?

Heís amazing. Before I met David and started working with him I had seen some of his movies, and I was like Ďwhatís this guy gonna be likeí? you know, his movies are so perverse and dark. And you meet him, and heís this lovable family guy, who comes to the set and greets you with a hug and a kiss and heís just very playful and treats everyone on his set like theyíre a part of his family. He always hires back the same crew and he loves work the same people for years- down to the set maker, and I think thatís apart of the reason why heís so successful, people just want to see him succeed and they want to win for him.

Were there any scenes when you acted against CG characters for the supernatural stuff?

I did, I had to do a few scenes where I did it in front of a green screen. Itís different. You donít have the facial expressions of the person youíre acting against to trigger something, but I think a lot of acting is preparation, and if you prepare well and do your homework then when you have to get in front of that screen and call upon something you can. For example, I still audition as an actor, and I go into this room, which is like a cubicle basically with a tripod, and Iím giving my lines to a camera. If I can do that, I can act in front of a green screen.

Steven Katz has said this movie is about not trusting your first instinct. Is that how you see the horror in this movie too?

Yeah, I think so. For sure. To expand on what he said, I think just looking at history you canít always judge a book by its cover and what you see is what you get, and thatís not always the case. And thatís also a thread in this movie. When you first meet me, you think Iím one way, and as the story unravels, you think, oh geez, maybe heís another way, and by the end thereís another revelation and you see something different. These characters are so layered, and for a genre movie theyíre really layered, character wise. Thatís really drew me to it. Thatís what drew Greg and Emily to it. We didnít want to do just blood and guts, none of us are really too interested in that, we wanted to tell really unique story between two people.

I'd like to thank Ashton for sitting down and talking with us, as well as the entire cast and crew of WIND CHILL. Be sure to check out WIND CHILL in theaters, as it's released nationwide April 27th!
Source: AITH



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