Sunday, September 26, 2010

Interview with Georgia King, April Pearson, Calvin Dean, Alex Pettyfer and Tom Hopper (stars of Tormented) - April 24th, 2009

Promoting: Tormented
Venue: The Soho Hotel
Interview type: One-on-one (actually one-on-three and one-on-two)

ViewLondon (VL): What's the story of the film and who do you play?

Tom Hopper (TH): I play a character called Marcus. The film starts off at a funeral of a character who killed himself. And we play the characters in the in-crowd and we have a big party and stuff and basically people start getting killed or injured and something is doing it to them. So it's basically how all these people start getting killed off in very grusome lovely ways.

Alex Pettyfer (AP): I play Bradley, who's kind of a manipulative psychopath and the story's basically about revenge.

April Pearson (APn): I play Tasha. She's a bit of a cow, in fact, a complete cow. She's got her two cronies, Kalilah and Sophie, and she's got no remorse, she bullies everyone. She'd stab her friends in the back if she could, she'd probably stab her boyfriend in the back.

Georgia King (GK): I play Sophie. She's one of the in-crowd and she's a total bitch. She's the sidekick of April's character and she follows the in-crowd. She's horrifically mean, she's air-heady, she's slutty, she goes out with the main football guy and she laughs a lot, when she shouldn't.

Calvin Dean (CD): I play Darren Mullet, who's a bit of a loner, a bit of a geek. He gets bullied a lot and through this he commits suicide and comes back as a zombie-ghost-creature thing and takes his revenge over the in-crowd kids.

VL: I was going to ask you about that, because the press notes say Darren's a “zombie-ghost-thing”. How did you see him?

CD: Do they really say that? Zombie-ghost-thing? I see him mainly as a zombie, although he can sort of make himself appear or disappear with different people.

GK: And I think their conscience starts to maybe creep up on them, so he's part of that too. So it's like, is that imagination or is it not and I think sometimes he is a ghost because he appears and disappears and only certain people see him. And he's referred to like Banquo's ghost in Macbeth. But then he's also a zombie in that he's very much real and does sit on people and kill them and swing shovels and so on.

VL: Alex, you're obviously cast against type, since you normally play good-looking hero types. Was it important to you to move away from that?

AP: I just wanted to take the role because it scared me, man. And if I was honest, yeah, I hadn't played anything like this and I kind of am breaking away from that, but I think any actor at one point or another has a choice to break away and if they do or don't, it's really up to them. And I think, you know, breaking away and showing that you're versatile kind of shows you as an actor and going into this role and not knowing what to do was my biggest challenge and my biggest fear and pulling it off was – well, I don't know if I pulled it off, but trying to pull it off was hard.

VL: The press notes say that you originally read for one of the other parts, but you decided you'd rather play Bradley.

AP: Yeah, that's right. I was originally going to play Alexis (the good-looking hero type).

VL: How did you get involved in the film and who was already on board when you came on?

TH: When I came on board, April was already on board, as Tasha and Alex was set to do Bradley. But I got a call about this character called Marcus in a teen horror and I thought 'Okay, cool' and I read the script and thought it was my kind of thing. I did think I was a little bit too out of the age bracket, because I'm 24, but, you know. So, yeah, I went to this meeting with Jon [Wright], the director and Manny, the casting director, had a meeting, had a read-through and then we did some workshops. In fact, in our group, apart from Tuppence and Dimitri, that was pretty much the group that got picked.

VL: So you did workshops before everyone was properly cast?

TH: Yeah, just to see how we all sort of gelled together and what relationship we had. I mean, me and Alex got on really well straight away, so that was really important. And I thought – I don't know if Alex thought this or not – but I thought 'If I get the part, I hope Alex gets Bradley.'

AP: Yeah, I wanted someone else to play Marcus.

TH: (laughs) I knew it! I set myself up for that.

VL: Again, the press notes say that you're a bit of a horror fan. Is that true?

AP: No, they got that wrong. I'm a bit of a wimp, actually. When I watch horror, I'm watching from behind my hands, like this (mimes). But I loved making Tormented and I like making horror movies. And I would definitely make another one.

CD: I wasn't a horror fan before, but I bought around 40 horror DVDs and watched them in preparation and I'm a total convert now.

VL: Was there anything that stood out for you in the films you watched?

CD: I did take quite a lot from the original Halloween, actually. Just the stillness that you get from Michael Myers, which I hope I got a bit into Darren, because I think that works quite well and is really creepy.

VL: Did you see anything in the film that was similar to your own school experiences, in terms of bullying?

GK: Absolutely. I think every school has those crowds, be it like a grammar school or private school or whatever kind of school, you will get groups and you will get bullying and you will get power-play and gossiping and manipulation and what-not. So I think it's pretty relevant to everyone, actually.

VL: Was it weird filming your death scenes?

GK: Yeah, it's weird watching yourself die. Mine's a very open death so you see me stop, like...yeah, it's weird.

AP: Yeah, I had my head chopped off, so that was weird. But even then, I had to lie on the ground as if my head was cut off and they cut my body off in post, even though I did have a prosthetic head made. So that was really odd, to imagine that your head is still working when it's detached from your body. I actually really enjoyed filming my death scene.

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