Natalie Victoria plays Ellie in Deadheads, the girl who Mike is devoted to, even after zombification. We caught up with her to talk about love, clothes that won’t stay on and of course – the Deadheads movie.
Q: What is Deadheads in one sentence?
Q: And how did you become involved?
A: Oh it’s a long story…. You want to hear it? 😉
I was cast in a theatre show in Los Angeles. About 30minutes before show time, we discovered one of our comedic actresses had decided not to show up due to a personal meltdown. (Hey – it’s LA!) Her scene partner, who happened to be an insanely talented comedian, was furious and threatened to walk out. Chaos
ensued, and the director quickly asked me to do this other girl’s role (comedy) and mine as well later in the show (drama) – and because I was too naïve to know better, I said yes. You see I had never done comedy before that evening. So I had 30 minutes to get my funny on!
Unbeknownst to me, sitting in the front row that evening were two brothers looking for their ELLIE in a little zombie/comedy movie called DEADHEADS. They had been looking all over town, auditioning, and still hadn’t found their girl yet. They had received a last minute invite to the show, and decided why not?
Well, the show opened and before I knew it –I was up on stage. Terrified but determined, I gave it everything I had, getting into it physically and really losing myself in the role. That role was similar to Sally from “When Harry Met Sally”, and I was re-enacting that famous restaurant scene from the film on a couch, on stage. I was almost to the end when, all of a sudden, I heard “SNAP”! Across the theatre were gasps, and I saw the whole audience lean forward. The strap from my halter dress had popped right off, on stage; in the scene as my scene partner and I were performing. Thankfully, I caught the strap just in time with my hand, before any more embarrassing moments could occur. Holding the broken strap in place I continued by improvising the incident into the scene –and eventually got back to the lines with my partner. We never missed a beat. I found out later, the audience thought it was part of the play. Boy, they had no idea…
The Pierce Brothers came up to me after the show, gave me a script, and asked me to read for ELLIE. I was like—okay?? Awesome! I couldn’t even believe it! When I read the DEADHEADS script that evening, I instantly fell in love with the film. It was so funny, so unique, so character driven and entertaining, action-packed. It even had a bit of romance and heart that made me cry (okay, I am both sappy and clumsy!)
From that point on, I emailed the directors incessantly about updates on the film, casting, etc…to ensure they knew my level of interest in their project. They made me audition three times over the course of a year. It was daunting. But I really wanted to play ELLIE, and I am so glad they felt the same! I look back at the overall journey and the finished product, and I cannot tell you how proud, lucky, and blessed I feel to have been a part of DEADHEADS. It is a really awesome movie, and I know audiences are going to love it as much as I do!
Q: Could you tell from the script that Deadheads was going to be a particularly good film to be part
A: Oh yes! I read a lot of scripts, and let me tell you – it’s rare to get good ones. So when you do read a script like Deadheads, you try to be apart of that project in any way you can. Even craft services! I make a mean cup of coffee!
No – seriously, Deadheads is the type of movie every actor wants to get on. It is an adventure movie! It’s very character-driven, and has a unique adventure story that is quite clever for a zombie movie. Add to that, the snappy dialogue– that I am sure will be quoted for years to come—and you have a pop culture served zombie style. It’s funny. It’s action-packed. It’s sassy. It’s smart. It’s entertaining. It’s loaded with fun! It’s heart warming. Its crazy!
The Pierce Brothers are great, and I hope to work with them again. I know these guys are going to make many more exciting films.
Q: Ever dated a guy like Mike in real life?
A: I think EVERY girl dreams of dating a guy like Mike! I mean he is sweet, good-looking, funny, sensitive, devoted, loyal, honest, and he never gives up on his love for Ellie. Even after three years has passed – all he can think about is finding her. What girl doesn’t want to date a guy like that?!
Q: Mike finally catches up with your character at a school dance right?
A: Yes, he does. But it isn’t what you think. See, Mike is embarrassed that he is a zombie and so he hides himself in the school mascot costume, which is this giant, goofy looking seal. Ellie has no idea of course, and ends up chatting the seal for a good part of the night. It’s pretty funny how it unfolds.
Q: Did it bring back any memories from your own prom night?
A: Oh thank God, no. Thankfully, I avoided any major embarrassments that evening.
Q: What’s your favourite part of Deadheads?
A: That characters and the ending! The characters are funny, relatable, and tons of fun – especially lovable Cheese. The ending is clever and you really don’t see it coming.
Q: Has starring in a horror left you hungry for more horror roles (and brains perhaps)?
A: Yes, yes, and yes! Absolutely! I am DYING to be cast in more horror-genre films. I’d love to do more horror-comedy, but I am also hoping to get cast in a scary horror role where I can be terrified, running through a corn field, screaming, dripping in blood, being chased by Leather-Face. He terrifies me. I mean the guy wears your friend’s faces like we wear a pair of socks! Creepy. I would run as fast as I could from that. No acting required.
Q: From what I’ve heard, you have a soft spot for zombie films…
A: Now who have you been talking to!?! Kidding aside, …yes, I do. I really love the genre. I love watching zombie films as much as I do acting in them. I’d really love to do more horror roles – especially a role on THE WALKING DEAD. That would amazing.
Q: Which do you think is the all time greatest zombie movie (other than Deadheads obviously)?
A: Well obviously DEADHEADS – But I also really liked Dawn of the Dead the remake… However, that said – I am HUGE fan of Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later. I really like both funny and scary zombie films. I’ll take a zombie movie any way it’s served, as long as they’re undead.
Q: As you know your zombie stuff, how about a zombie pop quiz?
A: Sure, hit me with your best shot.
Zombie Pop quiz
Q: If you were a zombie and could eat any celebrity, who would it be and why?
A: LeBron James – because no one wants to hear his whining anymore about how he wants a ring so bad.
You didn’t win last year did you? Long Live the real King – Michael Jordan. Go Chicago Bulls!
And…..I would eat Robert Pattinson. Take that Twilighters!
Q: Which Part of the body would you start eating first?
A: Thighs, definitely thighs. They are always pretty meaty. But after that, brains would be second for sure!
Q: If you were a zombie, where would you hang out?
A: The Airport. There are always lots of people aimlessly walking around – not paying attention. Easy
Q: Will you be coming to the UK to promote Deadheads?
A: You bet I will! I have never been to London before, so look out! I am pretty excited to visit the UK and be there for nearly a full week during Fright Fest in late August this year. It will be great to check out all the films, meet people, support others there, and hang out. It should be a blast!
Q: Where else should we look out for you?
A: Right now I am gearing up to shoot the lead role in a crime/drama entitled THE LOOKOUT from director Gustavo Morales. It’s a story about the decisions we make in life, and their inevitable consequences that follow. The film has action, drama, revenge, betrayal, love, and redemption. I was easily drawn to the material and the role – as it isn’t the type of film I usually get cast in. In fact, I had to fight long and hard for the role. (I will spare you how many times I read for the director/producers).
In the end it was all worth it, when I found out I booked it! I think the Producer will tell you he lost his hearing for a day or two, I screamed so loud in the phone. To have the opportunity to stretch myself as an actress, bring this character to life, and show another side audiences have yet to see of me – is very exciting and humbling.
Shooting begins in September 2011.
I just finished a few projects too; a feature called Inspectres (based on Jared Sorenson’s role playing game by the same name), a short called “First Kiss” about a guy and a girl encountering all kinds of obstacles while trying for their first kiss, and another short called “For You” about a day in the life of an unorthodox kidnapper.
I hope to work more throughout this year and next. I just love being on set and being a part of interesting projects.
Thank you so much for your support LOVE HORROR-UK! And Thank you for having me!
If you want to know more about Natalie better try using one of the following links:
You haven’t got long now until the premier of Deadheads. It’ll be showing at Frightfest on Monday August 29th. Don’t miss it!
You can check out our other Deadheads interviews here: