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Exploring The Red House with Kat Sheridan

Posted on May 30, 2012 by Flames

We have a new interview with actress and filmmaker Kat Sheridan today. Kat is here to tell us a little about her role in The Red House, an independent horror film.

Tell us a little about your background as an actress.

    I’ve been acting since the age of six. For a long time I focused only on stage acting, classical theatre, Shakespeare, Checkov, that sort of thing, but after receiving my B.A. in Performance Arts I decided to try to branch out into the film and TV industry. My first professional acting gig was a promo for a Showtime reality series called “Lock N’ Load”. Since then I worked on a few student films, a short film, a music video, a couple low budget features still in post, and then had the good fortune of being cast in the Red House. I also have some other great projects on the horizon…

    Give us the “elevator pitch on The Red House

      A young woman, Shelby, inherits a house from her recently deceased paternal grandfather, and decides to take a trip with her friends (Lindsey, Carissa, Chelsea and her boyfriend Travis) into remote Copperhead County to investigate and clean the place so she can sell it. The house is in an isolated, wooded area that is difficult to get to, so the group hikes to the place and decides to stay for a few days. But they get more than they bargained for when they are visited by some of the “locals” and the Red House begins to reveal it’s terrifying secrets to the friends, one by one…

      What movie is The Red House most similar too?

        I read an early review of the post-production stills that compared it to ‘Black Christmas’, but I think there’s similarities between “The Red House” and the new “Friday the 13th”, another movie called “Cabin Fever”, and a horror parody called “Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil”.

        How did you get involved with this project?

          My manager was one of the casting assistants for the film, and she got me in front of the director and producer. I’m not sure if I would’ve gotten in the door without her, being that I was so new to the business, but once I was in there, the casting director, director and producer really enjoyed my performance, so much so that despite the fact they initially went with an actress that had more credits on her resume, when she dropped out because of a scheduling conflict they called me back immediately and cast me for the part. The rest, as they say, is history. I feel very fortunate to be so new in my career and to have such a strong feature film under my belt.

          What can you tell us about your co-stars?

            The film has an extremely talented cast which includes star Kate French, film and television actress (her credits include Wicked Wicked Games and The L Word), Cristen Coppen (Road Trip, Art School Confidential), Yvette Yates (Without Men, El Gringo), Lawrence Adimora (Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS), Brendan Wanye (Cowboys and Aliens) and John Otrin (Friday the 13th).

            What about the filmmakers?

              Gregory Avellone, the director, worked as an executive at Tig Productions, Kevin Costner’s company. While at Tig, Mr. Avellone helped develop a string of films that have grossed around 1 billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Greg has been an actor as well as a director, so he really understands things from both sides of the camera, and is a skilled storyteller. Carmen Cabana, our Director of Photography, is a brilliant cinematographer as well, and worked her magic with the RED camera to produce a film that looks like a high-budget studio pic on a low budget indie pic’s funds. All of them were terrific to work with.

              How did you prepare for your role?

                My character is very new-agey and bohemian, all about theta-waves and crystals and energy aura’s, so I did some online research and asked some questions of friends of mine that are very into New Age living themselves. Other than that, I bought some sunscreen and mosquito repellent for the outdoor scenes, and cut my hair.

                Can you tell us about the shoot?

                  What was great about this shoot was that all the filming took place at two locations, both located in Alta Dena, CA. No driving long distances to different locations. Alta Dena is a neat area because it’s got suburban residential areas and forested woodsy locations and all in one place. I think one of the biggest problems we had were the peacocks. Yup, I said peacocks. They run wild in that area, believe it or not, and their calls would screw up our sound more times than I can count. On the plus side, for certain scenes the sound was really eerie, and fit the mood we were trying to create. We had a few shooting days that required pretty late hours, some rough action scenes. The day we wrapped, we shot the hiking through the woods scene, which was exhausting and full of unexpected perils, like rogue snakes and black widows. But overall, everyone were such great team players and so easy to work with, any issues we had with hours or physically challenging scenes were taken in stride.

                  Any fun tales from the set?

                    On the last day, we we all slightly delirious from fatigue, and star Kate French decided this would be the perfect time to demonstrate her pitch-perfect physical impression of “Tom Cruise running in a movie”…I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a delicately petite woman run elbow to knees down a steep hill like a crazed bat outta hell, but let me tell you, it is a thing not to be missed. I think I laughed for 5 minutes straight. The hilarity only increased when co-star Christen Coppen jumped in with her “Keanu Reeves running in a movie impression”.

                      Ripley from the “Alien” franchise, Sissy Spacek in “Carrie”, Milla Jovavich in the “Resident Evil” films, and Baby from House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. I think it’s important to have good female roles in horror because the typical “hot girl in peril” formula is over done and eventually it becomes boring and cliche. I’m not saying females in horror should be plain janes, sexy women are part of the draw for horror audiences, but it’s more interesting and exciting to see a strong, provocative, or even deeply trouble female character in a horror film…the most popular female characters are never just run-of-the-mill victims, that’s why they’re popular.

                      What is the benefit of being an up-and-coming actress in this genre?

                        I think this genre lends itself to up and coming talent in a way that most mainstream genres don’t. Audiences seem to be far more willing to see a horror film with actors they don’t recognize than say, a romantic comedy or a big action movie. Several famous actors and actresses got their start in horror, which, as a currently unknown to the masses actress, is very encouraging to me.

                        Why do you think people will like this project?

                          Because it’s just good horror fun. It’s got some great and unexpected twists and turns, dark humor, demented pot heads, bloody mayhem, sexy girls with spunk and kickass-ery, and exposed breasts…what’s not to like?!

                          What are some of your favorite horror films?

                            Alien, Friday the 13th, The Ring, The Exorcist, The Devil’s Rejects, Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil, Cabin in the Woods, Carrie, Resident Evil, Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Fright Night (remake), 28 Days Later, Scream 4, Misery, The Shinning, and The Mist.

                            What can you tell us about some of your other current projects?

                              I’m co-producing and starring in a low budget found footage vampire horror film called “Night of the Carnivores”. I’m working with indie film company Derek Easley Pictures, and I’m excited about how much fun its going to be, and would love to bring Flames Rising more details as they come. We have a great desert location some talented actors and makeup & prosthetic people involved, and a pretty awesome creature actor attached. I’m also currently working on two webseries. The first, “Just Cos”, is a comedic webseries about the wide and wonderful world of cosplaying, comic cons, and general geekery. The second is a Star Wars based webseries called “Die Jedi” about a tortured Sith bounty hunter named Sila Varis, secret apprentice to Emperor Palpatine, who seeks out and kills Jedi during the time of the Empire and the Rebellion. Both are currently in production and should be up on the web soon.

                              Get updates on Kat’s latest projects on her Facebook Page.

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