A reimagining of George A. Romero’s cult classic, DAY OF THE DEAD: BLOODLINE stars Johnathon Schaech (“Legends of Tomorrow,” Prom Night), Sophie Skelton (Starz’s “Outlander,” 211), Marcus Vanco (“The Shannara Chronicles,” Unbroken) and Jeff Gum (The Forgiven, Primal). The film was directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens (The Corpse of Anna Fritz) and was written by Mark Tonderai (House at the End of the Street, Hush) and Lars Jacobson (Baby Blues).
Saban Films will be releasing DAY OF THE DEAD: BLOODLINE in Theaters and on VOD and Digital HD on January 5th. We talked with Sophie while she was at the airport to travel from the U.S.A. to Scotland for Christmas.
AMFM: How was filming in Bulgaria?
Sophie Skelton: It was wonderful, I’d never been to Bulgaria before, I didn’t know what to expect. It’s such a mix of culture. We were there in summer, so we were super lucky, it was so beautiful, and as you know from the film a lot of the shooting was on location, so we were out in the mountains, which were just incredible.
That aspect was great, but it was funny too, we had a Bulgarian crew with English, Australian and American actors…and then a Spanish Director. There was a lot of miscommunication and different languages going on…it was great…created a lot of funny moments.
AMFM: International film crew! Can you tell us about some of those funny moments? There’s so many things that people watching the movie don’t get to see that are completely hilarious.
Sophie: There were times when someone would say something and the crew would stop and all speaking to each other in Bulgarian and be laughing. In England and American we nod our heads for yes and shake our heads for no, and in Bulgaria it’s the opposite way around. We didn’t learn that until halfway through filming.
There was another time, and this wasn’t a language or communication problem, but a very funny outtake. Do you remember the bit where the blood spurts onto Zoe’s face?
Sophie: They sit underneath the camera with a little gun machine that shoots the blood out at you. I’d never done this before, and they told me that it’s just a little puff of air, you won’t feel anything. But this Bulgarian man put too much blood in it by accident, and when he shot it, it went everywhere. It was all in my eyes and everything. It was really funny because someone had just said “oh you won’t feel it,” and it actually felt like having a paintball shot in your face. It was quite funny, he sort of ran away, and then we had to pause filming while I got cleaned up, and did the scene again.
AMFM: Let’s talk about your character in the film, she’s a very strong woman. What did you bring to develop that?
Sophie: I think what’s great about Zoe is because she starts off as mellow and meek, and weak really, in the beginning, in a way and then being able to show off her strength at the end – that was really great. It was trying to keep the meekness of Zoe in that she was still scarred from the attack, but keep her true to the person that she was. I mean, she doesn’t completely change personality. Incorporating the initial aspects and then layering in that strength over it both physically and mentally.
Also, she’s surrounded by a lot of men. It’s a military bunker, and she isn’t a military woman, but she’s almost had to become one, and stamp her own place in this community.
I suppose that, sort of , I’m a competitive person and that sort of helped. There is that thing between Zoe and Miguel, whereby they both think they’re right, they’re both stubborn, Miguel is happy to live in the world as it is, he’s thriving on the apocalpyse because it’s put him in a position of power,
Making sure that Zoe has that personality whereby she can stand up for herself and what she thinks is right and in the end will get her way but still keeps her as an endearing character. She’s keeping it real, not just diving headfirst into the situation.
AMFM: When you were filming this you probably didn’t realize the news that was going to break out in Hollywood about the sexual harassment. Did you think of this film later when you saw all these accusations coming out? It’s very timely with the call for more strong female leads.
Sophie: Obviously a lot of people have come forward with this #metoo and things that were circulating. You never know what has happened and what is going on. Things that cannot be talked about. It’s wonderful now that women are starting to talk about things that have happened. Zoe doesn’t talk about it for a very long time, we see how that affects her relationship with Marco. Hopefully Zoe’s strength, and how much we see her change after the attack, that will affect women in some way and when they watch it they can see that strength can be found in themselves.
AMFM: And that’s the power of film, what you hope people will take away. Okay, this is the George Romero continiuation of Dawn of The Dead. Are you a fan of George Romero and Zombies, the Apocalypse, things like that?
Sophie: Yeah! Absolutely, he is the godfather of the zombie genre and zombies as we know them today. So yes, huge fan of George Romero. We incorporate what he made zombies to be, but then we added something a ittle different. You’ve never seen a hybrid zombie before. You’ve never seen a half-zombie half human. It’s wonderful to have his original in there but also change up so there’s something fresh and new for people.
AMFM: That’s why I enjoyed it, the little twist was refreshing. Thank you Sophie.