Interview with Cherish Hamutoff (“Alexandra”)

Cherish Hamutoff

Was there a film that inspired you to get into the movie business?

Gone With the Wind.  I always loved movies growing up.  I dreamed of being Scarlett O’Hara, which is so dysfunctional when I think about it now.  I loved that she was very strong and had a journey and she didn’t know who she was and she had to discover who she was during the film.  I loved the epic scope of it, too, the whole thing.

Can you tell us a little about the character of Alexandra? 

Well, like Scarlett, she is someone who is a little lost, but unlike Scarlett she found a more self-destructive path. Alexandra has a hard time in LA and lets LA take her down.  In her own way she wants to help others succeed but doesn’t realize she’s hurting them.  She means well and thinks her advice will help them succeed but doesn’t realize ultimately it will make her fail too.

How does Alexandra compare to Cherish? 

I like to help people, and I always have good intentions.  Alexandra is a bit more broken.  It was fun to play her.  Alexandra is smart, successful, and goes after what she wants.  Plus, she uses all her assets to her advantage.  She’s very capable person.

You have a great monolog in the film – how did you prepare for it? 

(laughs) That was a long time ago.  I don’t know.  As an actor, you make sure you memorize the material, know what it means, and know how it relates to the other characters.

 Did you have a favorite scene to play? 

I loved driving the fancy car (the Lotus Elise) – that was really fun.

Any fun stories from on the set? 

There was a scene in the morgue, where I had to lay down on the table, and the headrest that I laid my head on was very uncomfortable.  It kept digging into my neck.   I enjoyed getting that scene over with.

How do you think Natalie relates to Alexandra? 

I think Alexandra loves Natalie, and they’re kind of the same, at a certain point, but then Natalie chooses another path.  They have the same journey I would say.  Natalie is just 10 steps behind Alexandra.

 What was the scariest moment from the set? 

The scariest moment was having to perform the crying scene with everyone around.  It’s scary because you have to get into this emotional state, make sure to get the lines right, make sure you don’t mumble, and the clock is ticking.  The pressure is on.

 What are your favorite horror movies? 

I loved “Cabin in the Woods” because of its send-up of reality TV. And the “Scream” franchise is really enjoyable.

Anything else to add? 

I think the film turned out great, I think we did a great job with it.  Everyone involved was nice.  It was a very nice set to work on.

Interview with Kathleen Newell (“Hope”)



You play the character of Hope.  How was it playing her and who do you think she is?

It was fun to play Hope.  Hope comes from a small town where everyone knows one another & honesty is rule #1.   So, when she moved to Los Angeles to become an actress she quickly found through trial and error that not everyone is truthful or nice.   Because of that she sometimes has a hard time making friends or taking risks in life and she also wants to protect her true friends – like her roommate – from people who may be in it for themselves.  She still believes there is good in the world, but you have to be intelligent about the choices you make in life to stay on the right side of the line.

How did you prepare for the role?

Breaking down the script for me is always primary.  Each line gives a detail or insight into the way this person thinks and what they have lived through in the past to get where they are today.  From the script you can devise a back-story so that you really know who she is and what her goals are in life.  For Hope the hardest part to reconcile was the fact that she is a highly religious person who wants to make it as an actress in Los Angeles – two things that are not easily reconciled in the real world.

What was your favorite scene to play?

I really liked the scene where the Soul Killer is in the apartment.  It was fun to be in a horror movie scene because it’s quite different from the other roles I’ve played. …. I think that I’ve only done one other scary movie and it was a short…

How did you pick out Hope’s wardrobe?  I noticed you wear a lot of white. 

I wanted really innocent gentle clothes – Something that brought out her soft side.  Especially since she is the contrast to Natalie who’s attire is darker/bolder.  I think that Hope would be comfortable lounging in a long skirt on the couch watching a movie.

Any cool or fun stories from the set? 

We had so much fun making this movie; it’s hard to think of any specific parts that were better than the others.  I really enjoyed learning martial arts during the training for the final scenes (even though I was not the actress being filmed for these, it was so fun to practice along & watch the training).  I remember lying under the bed holding the dog’s leash so that he wouldn’t leave during one of Natalie’s scenes in her bedroom, I think it’s hilarious to watch that scene now and say, “There I am!  …under the bed…”

What is your acting style?

When I follow a strict style I really like Uta Hagen’s techniques for breaking down the script/realizing back story / relating to the character.  However, when I’m acting and filming I find that I always go back to Stanislavsky’s method acting – that was my first formal training for acting so I find that I shift back to that without really thinking about it.

You also did make-up on the set.  Can you tell me about that?

I have done make-up for fun forever, so I just naturally fell into doing that when I was in a play or acting for film/TV.  I love making up new characters using make-up, so my favorite is of course doing the death/blood/bruises make-up.   I’m really proud of how the make-up turned out when Natalie burns her hand in the pool – I have done burn make-up for stage before, but it’s completely different for film!

You did a great make-up job on one actor in the morgue.  How did you make that actor look so dead and lifeless?

I used Ben Nye make-up (“corpse” color, I think) and applied some shading underneath before so that it would blend a little more to create a more “horror” movie look than what you would see on television.  Mostly it’s just applying, looking through the lens, re-applying, looking through the lens.…always seemed like painting to me…

Are you scared of the Soul Killer?

I think anyone who is truly “pure of heart” need not fear the Soul Killer, Hope is a beacon of light in the dark city of Los Angeles.

….I, on the other hand, should probably be afraid of the Soul Killer  *smiley*

What are your other favorite horror films?

I really appreciate the classics like HALLOWEEN, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, etc.  I also like the more obscure ones like the LADY IN WHITE and HIGH TENSION (HAUTE TENSION) because they have a un-nerving suspense to them.  One of my favorites, which is more of a fairy tale/real world horror story is PAN’S LABYRINTH (EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO).  I could go on all day about different obscure horror movies that I like – wow!  THE EYE (original 2002 version) – SO SCARY!!!