Icons of Fright Interviews THE BLOOD LANDS’ Pollyanna McIntosh

3D_RGB_BloodLands_BluRayWrapMagnolia Pictures recently released the very intense home invasion thriller THE BLOOD LANDS onto DVD/Bluray (now available), and it’s definitely a film that makes you think that you know what kind of film it is, before throwing quite a few curve balls. Revolving around a young British couple who buy a new home in Scotland, and are stalked and preyed upon by masked intruders, the film is not only a home invasion film, but also steers into some interesting statements on the social history and feud between England and Scotland.

We spoke to the film’s star, Pollyanna McIntosh, who is always absolutely wonderful in everything she does (THE WOMAN and LET US PREY are both phenomenal genre films that add something new to the mix), about the film and what leads her to take on such intense roles. Read on!

THE BLOOD LANDS was such an interesting and intense ride, what attracted you to the role?

You may have answered that one yourself! I couldn’t put the script down, I liked Sim and Rachel (the director/producer team behind the project) and I thought I’d have a good time doing a straight up thriller that still had some politics at its roots, namely the banking bubble and the lack of affordable housing. (You’d be forgiven if you missed them, it was mainly a fun cat and mouse movie.) Sarah is not a straight up heroine and I liked the complexity of her and Ed’s relationship as well as her relationship with her own fear. None of it is black and white so that appealed too.

You’ve done such a great job playing such versatile roles in your genre work, THE WOMAN, LET US PREY and now THE BLOOD LANDS all being so entertaining but completely different projects in their tone and approach. When looking for roles, what do you look for, something you haven’t done perhaps?

Thank you. I’d say trying something new is definitely appealing but it’s really just instinct, script, team and taste. I’m a feminist so I’ve perhaps also always chosen characters that felt they could be made real, relatable, not holding up some patriarchal myth. I love a challenge too.
I’m curious about your background as far as acting, the way you play your characters I find to be quite enthralling, did you attend any special kind of schooling for the arts?

That’s kind, thank you. I studied at a lot of different places. I started doing classes when I was a kid, musical theatre and pantomimes mostly but also Shakespeare. My first “serious” play was at 14 when I was in La Ronde. I played the whore!
I did a Uni degree in Drama and Theatre Studies in London and have been in one class or another in the UK or US much of the time since.

Are you a fan of the genre and if so, what are your favorite horror films?

I am these days, though I wasn’t raised with it. I love Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby. Have a soft spot for The Omen as I did sneak that one in as a kid. Also, The Shining had a huge impact as Jack is so truly terrifying and Shelley Duvall so truly terrified and, well, every actor is fantastic. It’s a wonder to me that I’ve never seen a single performance in a Kubrick film that isn’t perfect, even extras.
Saw a great new film at Frightfest this year: Nina Forever. One to watch. (*Editor’s note– she’s right, it’s great!)

What’s next for you? Are there any particular types of films that interest you that you might not have had the chance to tackle but are interested in doing?

People who follow my genre work don’t tend to know how into comedy I am but I hope to continue doing more of that. I’ve got a couple of genre projects coming up, one that I’m writing at the moment and will direct. I can’t say anything more about it at the moment but it’s an exciting one. I’ve got a new TV show coming to The Sundance Channel next year: Hap and Leonard, which I hope people will tune in for.
I’m also in the middle of shooting a dark comedy I’m in which I wrote and am directing. It’s called Perfect. It’s a great joy to do as it’s very personal and I have a fab cast and crew.

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