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Set Visit: Skinwalkers (3/3)

11.18.2005by:

PART 1 / PART 2 / PART 3

After the second set of interviews, the rest of the journalists and I went to lunch. It was there I got to talk to the few female journalists there about my new found crush for the almost unrecognizable Jason Behr (hottie!!). I felt a little childish swooning over a celebrity like a school girl until we went back to the set and saw Rhona Mitra (Nip/Tuck) in plain sight chatting away on her cell phone. It was then the male journalists' turn to swoon. A few of them were staring at her as if they were trying to send some kind of subliminal message such as "Marry Me" or "Have my baby." I know what you guys are thinking. "Is she as hot as she looks on TV?" Being "strictly dickly", I don't look at girls that way, but I can say she's very striking. Intimidatingly so. (There! That's the best you're going to get out of me. Not satisfied? Then look at the Mistress of the week section....I'm sure the Arrow has put her up some where.)

So without further ado, here are the final set of interviews with producer Don Carmody, Sarah Carter and the "striking" Rhona Mitra. Enjoy!

Rhona Mitra Sarah Carter

Can you tell us about your character?

RM: Iím the only non-werewolf. (laughs) Rachel represents a strong matriarch maternal figure, who has to protect her son. I think she represents a really great combination of masculine and feminine energy, sorted of melded into a maternal figure, which is nice because she doesnít victimize herself or her son in the situation. She just takes charge with the matter at hand, and deals with it when itís presented.

Do you think that level of complexity in a womanís character is a sort of a new faÁade of the genre, which really hasnít celebrated strong, intelligent women in a long time?

RM: I think itís been creeping in for the last decade Iíd say in my experience. Iíve definitely been aware of it having grown up, and myself, seeking for that role model out there in any different form. Whether itís pixilated or in real life. I think itís possible to men and women have been looking for that. I think itís got lost along the way. I think women have sagged way and either tried to latch onto one too much of the masculine force or too much of whatever they consider to be a feminine force, which only presents itself sexually, and through out sexuality. Tits and ass, if you want to call it. Thereís this balance that needs to be struck, which I think anybody is looking for. So, itís automatically attractive to find that role, and to actually see it presented.

Do you think that the maternal energy is one of the strongest forces?

RM: Yeah, I do. It is. I know it is.

What attracted you to this role?

RM: That! (laughs) Iím just at that point where itís incredibly appealing to me. To not be the power yielding woman whoís a bitch, or an over frail woman, or this over sexual woman. Itís just this balance that strikes in between. Itís only driven by one thing. Thatís maternal instinct. It doesnít come from external forces. Itís just an internal force. It feels like a fulcrum to a universe really, as opposed to even just a genre.

For this kind of role, how long did you have to get to know Matthew [Knight] for to build a relationship there?

RM: Umm...a week (laughs). He's just like butter. He's incredibly open. He's really professional too. I think he knows what needs to be done in order to get to that place, and he was instantly on my lap, giving me kisses, and opened himself up. And then on the other hand, as an actor, he's so well prepared. He's covered all his bases, so it's just like working with the most malleable clay. He's just incredibly warm. It was from the get go we've already kind of melded. So that was a blessing and a half, because that to me, and for the audience that needs to be plausible.

Are you also finding that the women in this movie are strong? We've met your evil opposite.

SC: I do. I was right on the same page with Rhona with that. I think Katherine, my character is also a hero. It is that balance between strength and vulnerability, sense of power my character gets to go through, and through all that, she maintains her strength and sense of purpose. There's a mission in this film and all the female characters stay very true to this mission.

There's how many aggressive female werewolves? One?

RM: Two. Well no...aggressive full blown ones?

SC: There's one.

RM: She's a goodie (talking about Sarah Carter).

RM: It's Wolves gone wild. (laughs)

I was wondering if there was some sense of gender parody going on here, where the women bring a different sort of a strength to the film than the most dangerous werewolves in the film, which seem to be men.

SC: Yeah, I think the women definitely have that animalistic, perceptive thing happening. The concept of werewolves is animalistic...

RM: Primal.

SC: As women, all of those primal instincts are heightened. Women have certain strengths men don't have, and men have strengths women don't have, and both are equally as valuable.

RM: It wears out in the end though, because it's the female force that wins through in this particular story. Unless you believe there is part 2. (laughs)

Is that something that's more modern in today's filmmaking? The complexity of female roles?

RM: I'd say so wouldn't you?

Yeah, but I want to hear you say it (laughs).

RM: Yes! (Laughs)

Were either of you fans of the genre before?

RM: Of horror? I'm really scared of it.

You are?

RM: Yeah, and for me watching it, I have a very over-active, pretty dark imagination as it is. I don't need too much assistance in that department. I need to, because I know there is some beautiful stuff made out there. I have two brothers that are knee deep in it, so it creeps through. But I'm not drawn to films necessarily that will scare the crap out of me.

Have there been any moments on set that have scared you while filming?

SC: Shooting the guns. (laughs) It is scary. In fact, when we were at the range learning to shoot guns for the first time, I pulled the trigger and it was incredibly emotional. It just felt so wrong, and you're using a weapon that is only made to kill. So when we were shooting the scene, we were in such a close proximity, it was frightening. I can't imagine doing a war movie.

RM: I think the scary stuff has been going on at Stan Winston's studio (laughs). Everything was hypothetical up until a point. I had conversations with Jim [Isaac] and he was explaining, and I said, 'This is fascinating, because I haven't seen a representation you're talking about.' It hasn't been done I think to my knowledge. I've tried to trace back and think about what has been represented as this kind of amalgamation of man and wolf and there really hasn't. So until we went down there, which really wasn't a week before we came out here, I had no idea when I actually saw it [werewolf]. The amount of work and the level of expertise is absolutely incredible, and it really is to the truth of your imagination what this thing would look like and how you want it to be. It's going to be pretty frightening, because these guys all done an amazing job.

SC: It's frightening having all the wounds all over you. Yesterday I was completely ripped up. Stan Winston and his people are phenomenal It was a scary experience

Are you finding the prosthetics tasking?

SC: It was a long procedure.

How long does it take?

SC: It takes two to two and a half hours to apply and a half and a half to remove.

Is it uncomfortable?

SC: No. It's only uncomfortable because of the power of my imagination. (laughs)

DON CARMODY
(producer)

How did you become involved in this project?

I was told by Jim [Isaac] about two and a half years ago. He was working with James Demonaco. He's a writer I've been working with on Assault on Precinct 13. I read the script and I really liked the content. I felt that I could put the picture together and package it. I definitely wanted to get Stan Winston involved in doing the creatures. I've known Stan for 25 years, and I've known he's always had a thing for doing a werewolf movie. It's something that's fascinated him for years. We sort of put that together with financing from Constantine , which has done a quite a few of my movies, and Lion's Gate. So, that sort of came together in a two year period.

Did you have any questions about whether or not the genre was ready for a shift into werewolf movies? Because they haven't been done for a long, long time.

Well they haven't been, and I thought that it could definitely use one. When I saw Underworld, I thought, 'This movie's all about these poor werewolves having bad press agents.' And they really should be treated nicer. (laughs) I mean, there are so many vampire movies out there. No one's ever done in my mind, a really cool werewolf movie.

Was there something that was intrinsically North-American or western about a werewolf that appealed?

That was something that appealed me to about the script was this kind of western feel to it. That was definitely an attraction to it. Itís inheritably American, where as the vampire is definitely European.

Even with the suspension of disbelief factor, do you think that werewolves would be a bit more believable to an audience?

I think the way weíre doing it, itís absolutely believable. Thatís the thing. They donít all of a sudden become giant wolves. They become humans that take on wolf-like attributes, and that makes them creepier, scarier and sexier in my mind.

Do you think that gives you more latitude with the story? Since it is basically a human-based story?

Yeah, I do. It also keeps the acting going. These terrific actors are bringing themselves to the parts. Theyíre not just dressed up in big dog outfits. (laughs) Itís them, and you know itís them.

Well thatís it! Will the bad clan of werewolves get what they what or will the good clan triumph over evil? Will the look of Stan Winstonís werewolves match the hype? Will the transformation sequences make the famous AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON transformation scene look like something out of CURSED? Will Jason Behr ever be single? (Oops! Off topic!) You will have to wait until next Halloween (when this film hits theaters) to answer any of those questions. I would like to thank Cynthia Amsden, the cast and crew, Todd from Twitchfilm.net and the other journalists that made this set visit an awesome one!

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