*Editor’s note: All of us at ICONS OF FRIGHT are more than happy to welcome Kalyn Corrigan to the Icons gang, as she is going to be a contributor to the site, beginning with this great interview with Emma Bell that she conducted at the 2013 Dallas Sci-Fi Expo. Welcome aboard Kalyn! * -Jerry Smith
No matter what role she’s playing, Emma Bell always delivers. It’s hard to think of Adam Green’s chiller FROZEN without recalling Parker’s heartfelt monologue about her dog, who would surely starve if she didn’t make it back home. In the post-apocalyptic show THE WALKING DEAD, one of the most memorable moments was in season one, when Andrea lost her sister Amy to a herd of walkers. Bell’s undeniable talent is evident by her strong presence in any feature. Her ability to bring emotion to any scene makes every project she participates in that much more elegant. I was fortunate enough to interview Bell at the Dallas Comic Con Sci-Fi Expo. In the interview, she discussed meeting Adam Green, her opinions on the horror genre, and her new show DALLAS.
Kalyn Corrigan: So, you were in Adam Green’s FROZEN, which is a movie about three friends that were trapped on a ski lift. How did you go about meeting Adam Green, and how did the audition process go?
Emma Bell: I met Adam at the audition, actually, and I almost didn’t go in for it because I was ill that morning. I wasn’t feeling well, I sort of had flu-like symptoms and I thought, “Ugh!” And my audition scene was a very dramatic scene, where I had to cry, and I thought, “I just don’t have the energy for this scene today, maybe I won’t go in for it.” But then I kind of, you know, smacked myself around and was like “Emma, you’re new to L.A., you should go to auditions, so I went and maybe it was because I was ill, or I was already feeling bad, but it was just right there.
KC: It just brought it out of you?
EB: It just brought it right out and I don’t think they were anticipating someone as upset as I was in my audition. I mean, I was using the chair like a ski lift and I was screaming and crying and hitting it, and when I was done, Adam looked over to the person next to him and was like “Can we stop now?” I was the first person they saw. And he looked over at the guy who was the producer and was like “Okay, we’re done right?” I think they wanted to have a whole day of auditions, but pretty much soon after that I got the call that they wanted me, so that’s pretty awesome.
KC: Do you think he knew immediately from your reaction that you had it?
EB: I mean, you never expect that, but I did feel like the juju juice was with me that day. Like, “the magic is here!” And I could tell from their reactions that they were very impressed and you know. I don’t know if this is real or not, but he said that yes, he knew from the minute after he saw me do it, he knew he wanted me, but they sort of had to go through the protocol, but either way, it was great. Whether I was originally what they wanted, or if they circled back to me after a full day, either way, I’ll take it.
KC: So what were filming conditions like? I know that you had to deal with a lot of real snow…
EB: Yeah, there was a lot of real snow, we were up in Utah, we shot everything practically, it was on a lift, it was ten degrees below, we had forty mile per hour winds, it was hellish. (Laughs) But it made for really good performances because we were just reacting to what was around us, or just being, really, instead of having to pretend to be cold. There was no pretending, I mean I had layers, about ten layers of clothes on, and I was still freezing cold.
KC: Yeah, it seems like whenever conditions are bad for horror movies, it just makes them better.
EB: Yeah, absolutely, just abuse us, it’s fine, it’s great. (Laughs) It’ll make a better film.
KC: You were in FROZEN, FINAL DESTINATION 5, and THE WALKING DEAD, so what draws you to the horror genre?
EB: The horror genre likes me, I think. I don’t know, I keep getting cast in all of these things. You know, I think there’s something really cool about horror. It’s mostly about the human condition. When you strip away everything, and specifically like THE WALKING DEAD, it attests to this, FINAL DESTINATION maybe not so much, but even like FROZEN, situations where pretty much everything is gone from you, and you just have to survive. It brings out your true nature as a person. Because it’s your choice and that’s the only thing that you have left, how you deal with that situation. And I think that that’s a wonderful condition to watch as people. I think that’s why people love horror, for the most part; I think that everyone loves to watch that kind of battle that goes on with humans and our humanity. We’re surrounded by it daily, watching the news, we see war zones, we see people getting killed in schools, you know horror is very real out there. So I think we try to process it through our entertainment.
KC: That’s a great way to look at it.
EB: Yeah, and you know, part of being an actress for me is being able to communicate and connect with people and I think that the horror genre is a wonderful way to do that.
KC: What is your favorite horror movie? Or do you have one?
EB: Oh, wow, I have a lot of favorite horror movies. Let’s see…I really love SEVEN. That’s considered horror, right?
KC: Yeah, that’s a great movie.
EB: Yeah, that’s horror. But I love the horror movies that have not just the horrific killing, but the mental process as well, like I was talking about. So Seven, I think, is great. Um, The Ring is really cool. I love the supernatural horror as well.
KC: So, you were in FROZEN, like I said, and you made a cameo in HATCHET II. Is there any chance that you’ll be making an appearance on HOLLISTON, Adam’s new show?
EB: Possibly, I mean Adam and I are still friends. I’m in Dallas right now, shooting DALLAS for TNT so I have not been able to be in L.A. while he’s shooting HOLLISTON, but yeah, you never know.
KC: How is DALLAS going, what is that show about?
EB: DALLAS is great; it’s very different from the horror genre. It’s about a feuding family over oil rights. It’s very dramatic, as TNT states, they know drama. My character is named Emma. She’s an equestrian who’s very cold. She comes and kind of shakes things up at South Fork.
KC: Is it filmed in Dallas?
EB: Yup, it’s filmed in Dallas.
KC: So you’re here [in Dallas] a lot?
EB: Yeah, I’m here a lot.
KC: Is there any chance of you making a reappearance on THE WALKING DEAD, maybe in a flashback?
EB: I would love that, they’re very aware that I would love that, (laughs) I was very outspoken about me being back on the show at some point. But yeah, I did a voiceover for it, in the third season I think it’s episode five or something, five or six, and that was really cool to come back, even in that small way. You never know, everything’s up in the air. They don’t tend to do flashbacks a lot, so I’m not holding my breath, but you never know.