Axelle Carolyn is one of those excellent all round type of people who do numerous things well when many of us would just like to have a go at one of them – She is an author (It Lives Again!: Horror Movies in the New Millennium), actress, horror fan and journalist.
She has appeared in many films and will soon be seen in Centurion directed by her Husband, Neil Marshall.
Being a super nice person she took some time out to have a chat with LFF’s Richard Bodsworth.
Your character in Centurion does look like a proper badass, what can you tell us about her?
My character, Aeron, is a Pict warrior. She loves fighting, and unlike most other characters who have higher motivations, she kills Romans just for the fun of it. It was a fantastic part to play: I spent 6 weeks riding horses, shooting arrows and learning how to fight. I only had a few lines (in Gaelic!), so it was all about making her physically threatening and believable.
It’s quite a stellar cast, how was the banter on set?
Half the shoot was on location in the Highlands of Scotland, so we spent a lot of time together in the evenings, hanging out at the hotel. They were such a great bunch! I got along really well with Olga Kurylenko; we spent a lot of time speaking French, so no one could understand our gossiping. Michael Fassbender is one of those guys who can do anything: accents, languages, stunts… and yet remain the most charming and down to earth. And Liam Cunningham are hilarious.
Noel seemed very focused on set, and never complained despite the cold and getting some early frostbite. And he was great to hang out with. If he’s a troublemaker, it’s not a side of him we got to see at all!
Most of filming took place up in Aviemore, right? Was it nice and warm?
Ah, the Highlands in February… Yeah, it was really cold. Though I can’t complain too much: I was riding a horse most of the time, and strange as it may seem, they really help you keep warm. There’s a lot of scenes in the film where you can really see how cold we all were, though. All those red noses were no make-up!
Last time we interviewed Leslie Simpson he was going on about how he was “bollock naked” and cold in The Descent, this time you guys were up in the freezing Scottish mountains, does Neil enjoy putting his actors through those conditions?!
Yes he does… yes he does. Although you know, it may not looking like it on screen but the shoot of Doomsday was warm pretty comfortable. We were in South Africa in the summer. What an amazing time that was.
Talking of The Descent, how was it working on the sequel?
I only had a tiny role. I did two days and got cut out. I still haven’t seen the film.
You’re mainly in horror films, do you fancy yourself as a bit of a ‘scream queen’?
I love horror movies. LOVE them. I mean, I wrote an entire book about them (“It Lives Again! Horror Movies in the New Millennium”, from Telos Publishing)! I’d be happy to work in horror for the rest of my days. But I hate the expression “scream queen”. It implies playing victims, and that’s the type of role I’m generally not interested in. I’d love to play more villains… Parts like Angela Bettis’s in May or Beatrice Dalle in Inside are the kinds of roles I’d love to be given.
What’s your favourite horror film you’ve worked on?
Would it be odd if I chose a film we haven’t filmed yet? I’ve spent the past 6 months writing and developing a feature called The Ghost of Slaughterford, which Neil is executive producing. I love writing, and being given the chance to put a project together is wonderful. We’re hoping to shoot this summer; I can’t wait.
Do you have any updates on Straw Man?
No. I believe post-production is over, but I haven’t seen the finished film yet.
Seemed like that was a chilly set too!
Hell yes. On my last day I had to walk in the sea, with water up to my knees, in a skimpy summer dress. It was minus 10 on the beach and I don’t think I’d ever been that cold in my whole life. The tide was pretty strong and I was nearly swept away by the waves. But the team was great, and thanks to them, I remember it as a tough but really good experience.
How was it working with Leslie? (check out our interview with Leslie Simpson and director Andrew Barker)
Leslie’s wonderful. He’s very intense, almost in a Crispin Glover kind of way – I’m saying almost, because I think Les is much more versatile. By then we already knew each other pretty well, too; we met on the set of Doomsday, and we’d already worked together on a great little short film, I Love You, by Tristan Versluis.
What are you most excited about for the future?
Seeing the Ghost feature I mentioned get made. Developing more of my own projects, and working with talented filmmakers – I’ve got a few projects lined up I’m excited about. I’m also working on two short films: one I’ll be directing myself, and the other Neil will direct.
Right, we usually wrap up with our quickfire questions, so here we go!
What’s your favourite horror film?
David Cronenberg’s The Fly.
What is the coolest film death of all time?
Mmh, that’s a tough one. Dr Hill’s death in Re-Animator? Recently there’s been quite a few good ones in The Crazies and Zombieland, too! And wait until you see Centurion…
If you had to be killed by a movie monster, what would it be?
Freddy Krueger. He’s one of my earliest horror movie memories, so I’ve always had a soft spot for Freddy,
And what would be your final words?
Thanks for your time!
It Lives Again! Horror Movies in the New Millennium – Amazon.co.uk