UKHS -Thank you for your time, Cortney and welcome to UK Horror Scene. I know you are a theatrically trained actress. Can you please tell us how did the transition into film occur and what is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?
CP – The transition into film was gradual. I was studying at California Lutheran University and was a part of the theater program when I saw a casting notice for a short film. I decided to submit to the notice (which was an extra role) and on that set I learned what SAG was and more about what it takes to make a film. I later signed up with Central Casting and began working in the background of film and TV. I always wanted to be a film actor, but I literally knew nothing coming into it. I am still learning!
I have always enjoyed watching horror films and to be honest, they were the easiest films to book and the community is so small that I was able to get some form of consistent work.
UKHS – Congratulations on the UK TV premiere of ‘Zombeavers’. The film is showing daily on Sky Movies at the moment. I really enjoyed watching it and loved your performance as Zoe. How cool was it playing a sexy zombeaver-killing badass and are you ever going to look at beavers the same way again?
CP – First of all, thank you! Second of all Zoe was quite an amazing character to play and I had a blast getting to know everyone on set and work each day.
I went to Idaho last year and saw beavers in across a river and I was a bit fearful! Not because the beavers could be zombies, but because I really have never seen a real beaver before! (stealing a line from the movie!) I absolutely love and respect animals, but I doubt I would have gotten in the water near them with my new irrational fear. haha!
UKHS – I have seen some great footage of you doing gymnastics on Youtube and I know you did all your own stunts on ‘Silent Night’ and this is awesome, well done! Did you do all your own stunts in ‘Zombeavers’ and was that really you or a stunt double in the scene when Zoe escapes by jumping through a window?
CP – I miss gymnastics so much. I think there needs to be a film about it and I could play a coach who is nostalgic and is living through her gymnasts careers and in the end she finds some form of acceptance and joy. As we age we tend to miss the things we used to do as kids and I feel like we make ourselves grow up instead of staying young. Anyway, I do most of my own stunts; however, on *Zombeavers* my double jumped out the window and crashed the car through the house. I did the rest of the stunts. I did get injured on set from a stunt that malfunctioned, and that just reiterates why we have a stunt double team. If the actors get hurt, you don’t have a movie. I would love to be in a film where I can do more. Something such as Underworld or Tomb Raider, both Kate and Angelina did most of their own work!
UKHS – Talking of ‘Silent Night’. I loved your role in this as Maria and the wood chipper scene which was brilliant. How scary was it filming a scene like this and how long did it take to shoot?
CP – If I remember correctly it was a three day shoot for me and we shot the wood chipper scene the first day! No one can really teach you how to die a horrible death like that, so I had really one shot to make it work and a really great SFX team behind me. I remember getting into the shaft and sticking to the blood. We had to pour water on me so I could slide down! But it was fun and I lived to tell the tale!
UKHS – OK, I have to ask you about ‘Sushi Girl’. How did you get the role ? Did you enjoy working with Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and how difficult were the scenes when Sushi is served on your beautiful naked body as the con men eat their dinner and you are lying completely still?
CP – I always browse LA Casting looking for roles and I saw a casting which said must be comfortable nude. I have done a lot of nude and implied modelling so I was comfortable with the content. I was called in and the next thing I know I was naked at call-backs lying on a table! Pretty sure my amazing boobs got me the part! That aside… :)….. I thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone. Each actor brought their A game every day and I didn’t mind having to lay for hours on the table. The only downside was if I had to use the ladies room we would have to undress the sushi and then redress it when I came back. So I tried not to eat or drink! Otherwise, lying still for so long wasn’t a big deal because I was completely invested in that character and it didn’t bother Sushi Girl because she was on a mission and she wasn’t about to fail.
UKHS – What is the hardest role that you have had to play and do you go to extreme lengths to prep for your parts and stay in character?
CP -Well extreme would be Shia pulling out his own tooth and I am nowhere near THAT! I definitely take the time to read the script multiple times, and not just my scenes because there is always something in the script that can help shape your character, especially given circumstances. The hardest role hasn’t really come my way yet, but I do look forward to that day. My favourite role was Sushi Girl, and I also loved Zoe. Keep an eye out for my new exciting role of Detective Kate in Bond: Kizuna (which we are currently getting funding for and I will post the crowd-funding information as it comes) She is someone I can’t wait to tackle!
CP – Now this is a tough one. Are the items something we can bring with us, or items we hope the deserted island has? If the first, then I would bring my two dogs, a water purifier, and a machete. If the latter, then I would hope for coconuts, large palm fronds, and wood!
UKHS – Finally, are you currently working on any new projects which you can tell UKHS all about?
CP – I am currently involved the development of several films and trying to get a few others off the ground. I am going to be working on The Final Table, Blood Moon, Bond: Kizuna and hopefully I will be able to get two scripts off the ground that my amazing writer colleagues have written. One is a horror feature and the other is a futuristic apocalypse story. Otherwise, I am still looking for the next big role that I can sink my teeth into. Hopefully something soon!
Thank you for the interview! Cheers!
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