Hello Kate, thank you for your time and welcome to UKHS.
UKHS – First of all, can you please introduce yourself to fans of UKHS who don’t already know you and tell us how you become an actress?
KMD – Hello everyone at UKHS, what a pleasure it is for me to be asked to answer some questions. I’m a big fan of horror, this is a true honour. My name is Kate Marie Davies, I’m an actress from England, I’ve been in the industry for just over ten years now and am slowly gliding through from one fantastic opportunity to the next.
Like most actors, I spent most of my training and first couple of years performing on the stage. I got hooked in after playing the character Anita in a musical production of ‘West Side Story’, I was sucked in hook, line and sinker. I’ve not looked back since…It’s only been the last two years when I have fully devoted my time to working on film. I can now say with total certainty that film is my deepest passion and drive. I love every aspect of the industry but obviously it’s the acting role that I am most in love with.
UKHS – Can you tell us a little about your role as Elena Pontecorvo in the Italian Horror flick ‘Beautiful People’ and what was it about the character and the script that convinced you to take on the role?
KMD – I was really excited about playing Elena, she was a character who had many layers; mother, victim, protector, fighter, she ticked many boxes. As an actor, I was pulled in because I felt that it was important to play someone who enabled me to express a diverse emotional range, I hope that is the case when you see the finished edit, the other actor’s gave me so very much to work with. It was wonderful.
I was first attracted to the script because I am a big fan of horror and more specifically, the ‘home invasion’ genre. I probably shouldn’t say too much about the movie as it’s currently unreleased, I hope you all like violence and gore though! I like the underlying message of the movie (as hinted in the trailer) the burning question ‘who is the real monster?’ think on that when you watch the film…
KMD – I started talking to many of the team through social media, it’s amsmall world when you are an actor who is into horror. You soon see the same faces often and I was being nosy really! I approached David VG Davies and asked if I could audition.
I loved working with Sabrina, Juliette and Nathan. It’s a real dream for an actor to work alongside such talented professionals. It takes much of the effort out of the job, I just had to react to what they were doing. I enjoyed playing Sabrina’s sister, I felt we were well cast in that. She’s a little star and I’m excited to watch her career grow.
UKHS – What is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?
KMD – I have enjoyed watching horror and thriller movies since I was VERY young! I love the feeling of being scared (within reason, I am a total wimp in real life). I grew up watching movies such as The Fog, Nightmare on Elm Street, An American Werewolf In London, etc.
I love anything scary, it’s hard to explain. I remember one particular occasion, during a shoot working on Beautiful People, it was about 2am, my actor buddy Alex turned to me and said “Kate we are actually living out our dreams right now” he was totally right. Running through a woodland, in a stunning part of Italy, filming a horror chase scene, was as close to perfection as I was able to imagine..I wish I could go back to visit myself as a child and let her know that she’d get a piece of the action one day. My school friends still remind me of how I used to jump out of a ‘coffin’ and chase them with a ‘knife’ (ruler) when I was still at Primary School. See, it didn’t mess me up…Much…
KMD – I have just finished shooting a Sci-Fi web-series that is set to be released in the summer, it’s called Horizon, I am really excited for you to see that! We wrapped this past weekend and I miss it already. I was proud to work with the team at Hanover Pictures right here in Bristol, keep your eyes peeled for teasers and trailers for that very soon…
Aliens: RTE should be a great project, I was drawn in by their funding campaign, they are building animatronics of the Alien creature from the movies and even the face-huggers too. I know some of the cast attached to it and I am certain we will do fans of the Alien films some justice. In fact Ripley has been a role model of mine for a large part of my life so I am excited to play a similar role in this.
Regarding choosing projects, I am fortunate enough to have this option. As I was working my way up the scale, I would agree to be in anything, from student short films to no-budget and art house horror. However, I think that it’s important for anyone in any line of work to raise the bar after a while, allow yourself the luxury to be selective over time, once you feel that you’ve earned the right to. Use the other opportunities to experiment, practice, play around with different styles and methods of acting. Learn to explore the difference with several types of film companies as they all work very differently. It’s all a great way to learn to become comfortable on the set of a film, tv or web-series production. It’s taken me a long time to figure out what I do well and what I don’t do well. I am far more confident in who I am now as an actor so those opportunities were worth their weight in gold.
Now I chose films that I really like the script of, or if I like the writer, director and so on. Also there’s the usual business side, wages, how everyone is treated. It’s important. From an acting perspective I have to play characters that I can believe in, I like playing people with a good character arc, you’ll see this if you watch Horizon when it’s released…
Also, please check out Kaleidoscope Man, an epic Sci-Fi if you haven’t already. These guys hired me to play the part of Lt Claire Dangerfield in it. I’m very excited about this and hope you all like to see what happens with this Sci-Fi.
KMD – I think I have mainly learnt that it’s important to respect that they know what they want. They see the whole picture taking place, if they want us to go away and do extensive character research then that’s exactly what we should do. If they have their own directing styles then embrace it, I worked with a fantastic director, Paul Dudbridge who teaches at ITV acting school in Bristol, his advice helped a lot (using verbs to change the intensions of the actor) when it comes to filming time is expensive so it’s great if you can find a quick, efficient way of achieving what they want to see on screen.
I also echo what every great actor will tell you, it’s all about re-acting to the situation and the other actors, it’s not all about you.
UKHS – If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
KMD – I am working on aiming higher. I tend to sell myself short and feel out of my league. I want this to change. I have my goals for this year written down on paper and I am looking at them every single day.
UKHS – What is your favourite horror movie?
KMD – My favourite horror movie of all time has to be…The Decent. I love British horror! What really draws me to this film is the fact that it’s utterly terrifying BEFORE the creatures are even shown, the idea of being trapped underground, in a dark place, with a bunch of women who don’t even trust each other…Then all hell breaks lose. It’s perfect. I’m proud to know some of the people attached to that film, I am probably going to pester them forever until they audition me for something…
Another favourite is Sinister, I didn’t expect that to get to me so much, the music makes my stomach turn over.
KMD – 1) Music score, absolutely essential. The Fog, Halloween, they wouldn’t be anywhere near as great without the memorable music.
2) Believable acting. You want people to experience that moment with you, they shouldn’t even know that you’re acting.
3) Things being hinted at rather than always seen. It’s always scarier when your imagination does the work.
UKHS – Anything else you would like to share with us?
KMD – Yes, Fans of the horror genre should keep their eyes peeled for information on exciting British independent horror film makers David Hawk and Mark Kenna (who are on the full length photo with me) at Bad Blood Films who are making a slate of horror movies to be released over the next couple of years. Starting with Facility 31 which looks to be similar to some of my favourite titles; Alien, The Fog, The Decent and Session 9. Both these guys are very passionate about helping raise the bar on UK independent movies and from what they’ve been able to release so far, are definitely worth keeping tabs on.
Here’s a link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/badbloodfilms?fref=ts
KMD – With any luck I will have appeared on your TV screens in one awesome film or another. I’m seriously so happy to be on this journey and I get excited just thinking about what could happen in the future. There are a few film companies that I would like to work with, Bad Blood Films, Twinstar Productions and White Noise Films are to name a few.
Watch this space…I would also like a chance to audition for the part of Lara Croft at some point in my life. Knowing my luck I’ll be way too old by then…
UKHS – Thank you for talking to us Kate and good luck with all your awesome projects.
Image Courtesy: Kate Marie Davies