HORRORMOVIESANDSTUFF got the opportunity recently to talk with Italian/British Actress Joanna Finata! The up and coming Starlet is currently immersing herself in our beloved genre with her recent appearances in a Zombie-Horror production called "Death Walks", Lovecraftian Horror-Short Death Cult, and Supernatural-Occult Thriller "Eva's Diamond". With much more to come! Read on below for the Interview!
Mr. Horror:For our readers who are just meeting you for the first time, how'd you get your start in acting, what originally attracted you to doing Movies and Films?
Joanna:I've always loved the idea of being somebody else, bringing to life a new person, exploring reality from a different perspective each time and experiencing things I wouldn't experience normally. I started out with theatre and then I moved on to movies. What I love about film is that it gives the chance to tell a beautiful story through images where words are not always necessary.
Mr. Horror:What to date has been the easiest part of your career as an actress, and at the other end of the spectrum... what's been the hardest?
Joanna:I can't recall anything being easy as of yet. Acting is amazing but it's hard work! I'd say the hardest is dealing with the rejection and frustration that you have to go through constantly as an actor and getting used to the fact that your life is always going to be uncertain and unstable to a certain extent.
Mr. Horror:Horror has been the hot genre for the last few years and within that... Zombie movies have been even hotter. You've done one recently called DEATH WALKS, a UK production. What's the overall premise behind that movie and who appears with you in it?
Joanna:"Death Walks" is a psychological horror in which a shopping centre in Essex, East London is invaded by zombies and its late night workers end up fighting for their lives in order to survive. It's quite claustrophobic and dark as it's filmed almost entirely in this centre at night time. There's an unexpected twist happening which makes it quite unique. It also stars among others, Francesca Ciardi (Cannibal Holocaust) who returned to film after almost 20 years, Lucinda Rhodes, Jesse Williams, Scott Mullins and Daniel Smales.
Mr. Horror:Are you a fan of the zombie genre as a whole? It's been reinvented more than a few times... with dramatic series like THE WALKING DEAD being it's most current and Mainstream incarnation. What do you think is the psychology behind making a zombie movie work, and what do you see as the fascination people have with it?
Joanna:I like the genre and really enjoyed doing "Death Walks" although I tend to get more scared by clowns, demons or ghosts! I think the interest and fascination come from the fact that zombies embody humans' inner fears of death and of contagion. They have human features but the majority of them are heartless, fearless and have no feelings. Also, the fear of a zombie apocalypse in a way can be associated to the fear of terrorism and violence in today's society. The more it relates to reality the more receptive people get.
Mr.Horror:The most famous UK zombie movie post.... the genre's golden era of the 70's and 80's is of course still "28 Days Later." People both across the pond and stateside always have that one in their Favorite or Top Zombie Movie "lists." What do you think UK Filmmakers bring to the table that make their takes on the zombie sub-genre so unique, different, and effective?
Joanna:Yes, "28 Days Later" is a brilliant movie and I enjoyed the sequel too. I think it is well regarded because it belongs to the category of the so called 'intelligent' horrors. The zombies are depicted differently, they aren't the typically dead figures walking around with creepy dead eyes but they are still alive, they move fast and are basically humans infected by a virus. I think the uniqueness in such movies (from the UK but not only) comes from the fact that they have a strong connection to what's going on in the modern society, to its breakdown, to people's fear of disease and violence and there is also a very good study on the characters' psychology.
Mr. Horror:You've also completed work on an "Occult/Thriller" called EVA'S DIAMOND. Auspicious title.... what's the story behind "Eva's Diamond"?
Joanna:"Eva's Diamond" talks about a teenage boy accused of murdering an expert in the occult who is then sent to prison and his mother's attempt to prove his innocence. She will find herself into a world of black magic and time travelling spirits. It explores elements of spirituality, love, loss and family relations.
Mr. Horror:Being an "Occult/Thriller", involving Black Magic and such... EVA'S DIAMOND unavoidably shares a strong connection with the Paranormal. What in your opinion, does it take to make a scary movie or scare-thriller that falls into that sub-genre, work? And keep the audiences interest throughout?
Joanna:I personally like intelligent horrors so I'd say a very good story, well written characters, and the director's vision are crucial. Also, a good rhythm to create the suspense and the way it is filmed. Because sometimes the story has good potential but the end result is disappointing due to the way it is shot.
Mr. Horror:Still on the topic of EVA'S DIAMOND ... do you think the overall market for Paranormal or Occult related genre fare has been saturated? Between all the TWILIGHT films, shows like TRUE BLOOD, the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films... and the other countless Supernatural, Vampire, or Paranormal related stuff floating around on t.v. every night, or on DVD every other week. Sure... there's still a market for it, but is it harder now, in your opinion to come up with a fresh take on that sort of thing?
Joanna:It's definitely becoming more and more challenging because people's expectations are higher. But I wouldn't say it's overly saturated. I've seen so many good ones lately... Screenwriters and directors can be very inventive and have good imagination, some better than others and manage to come up with some great and original ideas. Take "Only Lovers Left Alive", a vampire movie which is about an eternal love story between two very fascinating characters and in which humans are seen as the damaged ones and are called 'zombies'. Plus the soundtrack is simply amazing. Or Insidious from which I learned about the existence of astral travels and the out of body experience. I became so fascinated by it that I did a research about it and found out there are places where you can learn how to do it!
Mr.Horror:Tell us about the HP Lovecraft inspired Short you completed recently, called DEATH CULT.
Joanna:"Death Cult" is a dark sci-fi project set in the near future where there are signs that the world is about to be invaded by obscure forces. I play an occult investigator named Anak who is trying to find out what happened and interrogates a man named Ramsey whose body becomes possessed by a demon. And things soon get out of control. It was fun to shoot, my face was painted blue and the set was surreal!
Mr. Horror:You'll also be appearing in the future, in an intriguing Crime/Action/Horror Flick called ROAD RAGE. Directed by Spencer Hawken. Playing a character called Franca. What's the scoop on your character in the movie, and how does she fit into this little dark mystery where the films two female leads seem to have "secrets"?
Joanna:I'm really excited about this one. I will be playing a policewoman who, together with another policewoman (played again by Francesca Ciardi) are investigating a case of people being killed on the road by a mysterious car. They're gonna come across some pretty creepy stuff!