INT: Ashton Holmes

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.

Ashton Holmes

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, don’t 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 couldn’t 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 he’s like, ‘yeah, it was great- perfect. I can see how cold you are and that’s 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 we’re falling up and down these hills and running away from these. It was really physical, but I really haven’t gotten to do that yet, so it was really a cool experience.

Can you tell us about your character?

I’m a college student, and he majors in philosophy. I think my character’s University is the majority of the ‘cool’ student body who’s 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 he’s not really apart of that cool crowd. But I think he’s a really passive guy and if these girls were to get to know him, and give him a chance I think they’d see he’s really a wonderful guy, he just never gets that opportunity. He sees something in the ‘girl’ character right off the bat- he’s really attracted to her.

Not just her physical appearance, but that she’s really a special person, and I think the audience can see that right away. She’s really charming, she’s really smart. My character at first glance is not very special, he’s 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 there’s this genre element to it, at the core there’s a really beautiful love story between these two people, and that’s who really drew me to this part.

Did you enjoy working on A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE?

It was my first movie so I felt… it was really hard to watch myself, I had to kind of watch it through my fingers, you know. I think that’s how I’m gonna be in my career. I really don’t like to watch dailies and I don’t like to watch the playback, I just like to experience the moment when I’m in it, and not later. I’m 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?

He’s amazing. Before I met David and started working with him I had seen some of his movies, and I was like ‘what’s this guy gonna be like’? you know, his movies are so perverse and dark. And you meet him, and he’s this lovable family guy, who comes to the set and greets you with a hug and a kiss and he’s just very playful and treats everyone on his set like they’re 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 that’s apart of the reason why he’s 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. It’s different. You don’t have the facial expressions of the person you’re 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 I’m 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 can’t always judge a book by its cover and what you see is what you get, and that’s not always the case. And that’s also a thread in this movie. When you first meet me, you think I’m one way, and as the story unravels, you think, oh geez, maybe he’s another way, and by the end there’s another revelation and you see something different. These characters are so layered, and for a genre movie they’re really layered, character wise. That’s really drew me to it. That’s what drew Greg and Emily to it. We didn’t 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!



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