Quantcast Tamara Feldman interview - HATCHET

Tamara Feldman!!!

If Victor Crowley is the new boogeyman, it’s only fitting that he’s matched against a new Jaime Lee Curtis. When the ensemble of HATCHET ventures into the Bayou for a light-hearted Haunted Swamp tour, one of them isn’t there for the legends or the fun. Marybeth may end up the group’s only hope when they venture too close to Victor’s abandoned homestead; and Icons of Fright caught up with the talented rising actress Tamara Feldman, who portrays her. - by Adam Barnick - 9/07

What are your earliest memories of the horror genre?

My first insane experience was Freddy Krueger. I was terrified of him, and always scared of that noise…

The screeching noise?

Yes, the screeching noise when he walks and scrapes his nails on the metal! I would hear it all the time. I used to cut through this guy’s yard to walk to school when I was little. And he hated when I would cut through his yard. He had this huge Halloween display in the neighborhood; we were always scared to go there, but it was the most amazing place in the neighborhood.. so one day when we cut through, he dressed up like Freddy, he had on the claw and everything! And he chased us! It wasn’t even near Halloween so none of us were expecting it. He came up to me, I stood there frozen, and he touched my face with his glove, which was actually metal.
Uh oh.

He made the real glove! I was terrified; I’ve always been scared of Freddy.

For those who have not seen it yet, can you tell me a little bit about your character Marybeth in Hatchet, and how she fits into the story? 
My character is the one who knows who Victor Crowley is. And every one else is unaware; they think they’re just going on a tour. I’m from there, I’m a local; so I’ve come armed and dangerous. Everyone else is pretty funny (in the film) and I’m the ‘straight man’, I don’t get any laughs because I’m on a mission. I want to kill him, and I know the danger we’re in when nobody else does. So I didn’t get any laughs, I was crying the whole time. (laughs)
How did you become involved in this project? What about the project or your character appealed to you?

I just auditioned for it! I had just gotten back in town; and they gave me the audition that day so I didn’t have it memorized. (I decided) I’m just going to go in and meet with them. And I had to do the big story where I explain the legend of Victor Crowley as my audition piece. And I told Adam (Green), the first time I’ve met him, “I just got it, I don’t have it memorized..” and he goes “You know what? Try to do it in 10 seconds or less.” “WHAT?” (laughs)
So I tried and it turned out to be such a fun exercise... I got really physical, jumping up and down, talking really fast and exaggerated- and everyone was dying laughing. That’s kind of how I got it, that was my first experience with Adam too. I thought ‘I’d love to work with these people.’
What did you think when you had a chance to settle in and see what you’re really in for?

(laughs) It really never stopped being exciting, because I was excited to work around everyone that I was with. It was a night shoot, always really cold, we all got along with each other; we would be jumping up and down-they wouldn’t LET you be tired, you know? Keep moving. We were running around, thinking of new jokes to play on each other.
How do you personally, as an actor, approach your role, or any role? Do you put a backstory together for yourself; do you work it all out on set? I know Adam didn’t want to do a lot of rehearsals way in advance.

It’s good to get all your lines down, but you don’t want to waste the emotion on a rehearsal. I did do backstory, I did think about where she came from; the story started off with me losing my family.

Yeah, you don’t get a light moment in the film!
Yeah I don’t! I don’t get any really light moments. I was doing a lot of personalization; just really thinking about my Dad and my brother. Adam would come up to me with stories about them right before we’d shoot something. Tell me about a vacation that my brother and I had just been on, and the fact that maybe me and my Dad had just been in a fight, and I was really upset that he’d disappeared, I never got to make up with him, and how I was my Dad’s favorite, and all of that. We did a lot of that kind of emotional backstory, for sure. Even though it looks really fun and easy, you really have to be scared, and really have to be sad, and cry a lot. I had to really try and get close to my “family members.”

I know Adam would not let you or anybody get a look at Victor until it was time to ‘meet’ him in the film so the scare would be genuine. Are you able to turn that off, does that reaction kind of linger? Or the emotions you have to go through in general?

It’s kind of a ‘ten’ on the emotional scale whenever Victor’s around. The first time we did see him was onscreen. Kane was also the stunt coordinator. He was like this big coat... because he would wear this coat with a mask over it so you couldn’t see anything. He wouldn’t talk in his normal voice, he would whisper to someone or he would kind of grunt to tell us direction for the stunts. And then he would go hide, and take off his coat; and we would go back on our marks..
We never saw him unless the camera was rolling. Even after we had already seen him in the movie. He would always be in character and he wouldn’t hang out. He wouldn’t be around. He would hide in the woods and you’d hear grunting and never know where he was. And that was really scary. When he would get close to us… I’m scared of those Halloween masks, that latex/foam. I can’t touch that stuff, it makes my skin crawl. So the whole time, I’m having a heart attack.

With that mask staring you down.

Yeah. I had one scene where I had to touch it, which was really hard. I was exhausted, just from being scared all the time!
In the scene where Kane plays Victor’s father, did you work with him on that, when he’s alone and mourning?

He was really sweet and amazing, he was really flattering. He said I had been crying the whole time, and he wanted to talk about it. That’s the best thing to do, is talk with other actors about your emotional stuff, and see what they do. We kind of connected on some levels, so he let me sit right by the camera (during his scene). We made eye contact and we kind of cried together.
It was a really good moment, to help another actor. To have the person that you’re scared of sit there and cry with you, it was really surreal.

Was that the one moment he let his guard down, in a sense, on set when you shared that?

He was really awesome when he wasn’t in the makeup, and we got to talk (then). It was just when he was in the makeup. Because he didn’t want us to get used to it.
Any particular event on set you’d care to share, to give people a sense of what the nights were like?

There was a time I had to be pulled into the water. There’s a stunt guy in a wetsuit out there to protect me, and the water’s disgusting. It’d been raining, it was freezing, and a snake had crawled up towards the boat. And the safety guy hit it with an oar, to make it swim away, and then he pulled me right in the water.

“OK, looks fine, now get in!”

(laughs) Yes! It’s totally fine. And then there was the time Adam locked me in the barn for 20 minutes, alone. All I had around me were dead animals and weird guts, and props… It’s pitch black, I had a little flashlight; I could hear Victor grunting, and Mercedes crying…(Mercedes and I) did a lot of feeding off of each other, crying with each other, screaming at each other when we weren’t together.

Did they tell you about Will running into the wrong condo?

Will, the DP?

We all got busted for swimming in a condo’s hot tubs when it was closed, off limits. The security guard came and we had to climb back over the fence and just started running, and Will ran into the wrong condo. Ask him about the lady chasing him yelling “Get out of my house!!” (laughs)
As an artist are there certain things you’re looking to accomplish or other types of roles you hope to do? Do you work in any other mediums?

I’m in a band too; but I’m working on a really great show right now called Dirty Sexy Money, on ABC, Wednesdays at 10 starting September 26. That is kind of the first time I get to be funny, sometimes. I usually play a straight role, or the emotional role. And I did really want to try to open that up. It’s still dramatic but I get some funny moments, which I’m really happy about. That’s what I was really hoping to do, be a little bit funnier. I get to do that on Dirty Sexy Money.
Can you tell me the band?

We’re mixing an EP right now and we’ve got a couple of shows coming up, we just played the Roxy, and we’re playing the Hotel Café. We’re called The Supersonic Jets, and I play bass.

Any films you’ve got coming up to share? I’ve been reading about a new one coming up called Rez Bomb.
I play a girl who’s half-Lakota, and half white. It’s kind of a love story/drama; we rob some money, and end up getting chased, I get pregnant by a white guy, so there’s drama because “Indians and white people aren’t supposed to be having kids”, so says my mother (in the film).

There’s a film coming out called A Woman Called Job, where I play the title character, Job. It’s a love story, Adam Garcia plays the lead- he was in Coyote Ugly and just finished doing Wicked in London, he’s done lots of musical theater. The writer is W. Watts Biggers, who created the character of Underdog, back in the day! Hopefully that will be out by the end of the year.
Any words of wisdom for anyone diving into the arts?

I would say that the biggest inspiration would be Adam Green! Hatchet has been “dead’ so many times, we’ve been told it was coming out, then it wasn’t coming out. It was going to go straight to video, then it wasn’t even going to video... then it was dropped, then it would come back. All through it, the only reason Hatchet is going to do anything, is because Adam won’t take no for an answer. He’ll do it himself, he’s so grassroots- and I think that’s the biggest thing is to not sit around and wait for someone to hand something to you. You’ve got to just go after it, and make it happen and be fearless. Like when I auditioned, and he said do it in ten seconds or less. You just dive in, and just do it!

Hatchet opens in theaters nationwide September 7.

The Supersonic Jets play the Hotel Café in Hollywood - September 9.


Dirty Sexy Money premieres on ABC September 26.

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