Sophia, why don't you start us off with a visual
and describe the place where you are answered
Hi Owen! OK...Well I am
sitting on my bed, in my room with my laptop on
my lap. To my left there is a BIG Back to the
Future poster in a frame above my bedside table.
I have a cup of tea, little milk, one sugar....
you know just in case anyone was wondering! In
front of me is my TV and there are copious
amounts of DVD's behind it, as well as some BTTF
memorabilia on display. I am currently going
through all of The X-Files again (was a huge
fan!) and I am on series 7 at the moment. The
Truth is out there...and I'm gonna watch it!
So tell me how
your role as Anna McKenzie in 'The
Zombie Diaries' came about?
I met the
directors of the film through a mutual friend and
I was the first to be cast on the project, so I
ended up being involved from the beginning. I got
involved in a lot of aspects of the production
side, including location scouting and casting. As
an actress it was great to have the opportunity
to be on the other side of the coin, especially
the casting, and I learned a lot from the
process. Watching other actors, seeing what they
brought to the table and to the characters. I
have to be honest and say I also learnt a lot
about what NOT to do. But it was a welcome relief
to see that I am not the only one to get nervous
or to stuff up at a casting. Not that I do that
on a regular basis of course! But sometimes
nerves can get to the best of us! Anywho...every
aspect that I was involved in was a fantastic
learning experience. It has given me an even
greater respect to all the people involved in
film making, from the initial birth of a concept
right up to the packaging of the DVD. So to all
of you out there I quote (or sing) Aretha
Franklin - R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
For those of
us who haven't heard about the movie
'The Zombie Diaries', can you
give us a little teaser that will make it
irresistible to the www.racksandrazors.com readers?
way to describe it is 'Blair Witch meets 28 Days
Later', but with slow zombies a la Romero. The
film follows 3 video diaries during a plague of
an unknown virus which creates ZOMBIES! They
chart the early days of the plague, right through
to the last days of the apocalypse:
documentary film crew travel to the countryside
to make a movie about the virus. Unaware of what
is happening around the country, the team is
accidentally caught up in the outbreak. They
later take shelter in a nearby wood, where a much
more sinister fate awaits them.
husband and wife escape London and pick up a
mysterious hitchhiker as they scavenge the
remnants of dead towns, unaware of the dangers
that wait for them in the shadows.
of survivors flee to an old farm to seek refuge,
only to find themselves under siege from
creatures that attack in the dead of night.
what makes it irresistible? It's got ZOMBIES,
GORE, CHICKS WITH GUNS and some really MESSED UP
DUDES! It's dark, different and sick! Need I say
Zombie Diaries' has been such a
huge success...it's been bought here in the U.S.
by Dimension Extreme; in the U.K. it is the
second highest grossing film by an independent
distributor. Did you have any sense while you
were making it that the movie was going to be
such a hit?
that Zombie films were very popular and we hoped
it would get a DVD release at the very least. We
were just a small group of independent film
makers and actors out to make a kick ass ride of
a film, on a very tight budget. But I don't think
any of us expected how far it would go, and how
well it would actually end up doing. I remember
we were half way through filming when we heard
that Romero was going to make Diary of the Dead,
which was remarkably similar to our film.
However, The Zombie Diaries was made first (HA!)
and we were almost complete on production. I
think at first we were all a bit nervous about
Romero's film, I mean HELLO! It's Romero! But we
soon realized it was creating a stir on the
internet which was actually working in our favor.
To this day there are still arguments going on
online about the 2 films and who made theirs
first (ahem....OURS!). I love how passionate
people are about films and zombies! No matter
what side they are on. The whole cast were having
so much fun on the shoot of The Zombie Diaries,
we just knew we were having a blast, working with
some amazing, talented people and that we would
never forget the experience. Anything else was
just a bonus! I have some fantastic memories from
The Zombie Diaries and made some great friends
along the way. I am just so grateful to have been
a part of it. To date this is the still the BEST
shoot I have ever been on! ZOMBIES ROCK!
I also want to
hear about your newest movie the thriller/horror
Can you tell me a little bit about that?
You've heard about 'Lilly'! Fab stuff! Well
'Lilly' is 'Flatliners meets Nightmare on Elm
Street'. I play the lead role of Carly who has
the unique ability to pull people into her
dreams. The only problem is that there is a
demonic female spirit (succubus) called Lilly who
not only wants her power, but will kill by
sucking the life out her victims in their dreams,
in order to get it. Carly meets a group of people
who are currently seeking treatment for sleep
disorders and Lilly is waiting. If Lilly gets her
power, it will be open season on all of us!
Valesaro Pictures have 'Lilly' on their
production slate and we hope to receive funding
soon. So watch this space.......in the meantime
you can keep up to date with the news on this
film on their website and facebook fan page: www.lillythemovie.com http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lilly/112141595362\
In 2008 you
also did a play about a vampire called 'Valentine'.
What things did you enjoy about that project?
was so much fun! It's a new comedy play about the
worlds most hopeless Vampire called Valentine.
He's a florist with a flat in Putney. He can't
quite bring himself to bite people, he is
squeamish around blood, and he goes on a date at
Italian restaurants where everything comes with
garlic. Well he falls head over heels for a
mortal girl, much to the dismay of his
stereotypical Transylvanian Vampire sister,
Natalia. She sets about to split them up, with
hilarious consequences. I played American gal
Haley who he falls in love with. The play was
very well written and so much fun to do. The best
thing about this project was hearing the
audiences reaction - hearing them laugh! One
scene I particularly love was when he finally
plucks up the courage to tell Haley that he is a
vampire. Her reaction is classic! We plan to do a
run of the play again after some re-writing. But
this time I will be playing Natalia, the vampire
sister. Must practice my Transylvanian accent!
M-WAH HA HA HA!
Do you have
any other upcoming projects you want the
racksandrazors readers to know about?
I do have
a few but they are in very early stages at the
moment and I don't want to jinx them by saying
too much, I am a bit superstitious. But keep an
eye out on my website for upcoming news: www.sophiaellis.com
I also have
heard you are a 'Back to the
Future' fanatic and collect
memorabilia from the film. Lots of our readers
are avid collectors as well. First off - how long
has that been giong on? How much do you have? And
what are a couple of your favorite things from
your 'Back to the Future'
I am such a HUGE fan of the Trilogy. It started
back in 1985 when a young, pony tailed, wide
eyed, tomboy went to the cinema with the rentals
and saw the BEST FILM EVER! I fell in love with
the story, the characters, the time travel, the
Delorean! Just everything about this film is
awesome! It has SO many layers, it's SO clever,
witty, funny and it's just TIMELESS! Oh and I
just LOVE Michael J Fox! I have to admit that my
obsession is costly (I keep telling myself it's
an investment!) and ever growing. But I just
can't help it. I have A LOT! Everything from the
soundtrack LP's, mugs (many mugs), magazines,
comics to coasters, badges T-Shirts and books. My
favorite items are my Lobby Cards. I feel old
when I say I remember Lobby Cards!? And B&W
promo pics. Remember them? I have all the sets of
Lobby Cards made for all 3 films but not just the
UK ones, American ones and Spanish ones. They are
my pride and joy. I also have some personally
signed photos and boxed Deloreans. I really could
go on forever but I am already sounding like such
a geekette. And I would like to come away from
this interview still looking like a cool chick!
Well, at least a cool geekette chick! I am
strangely proud of my geek-ness!
werewolves, zombies, witches, creatures, aliens,
telemarketers...what does it for you horrorwise
Sophia and why?
OK I am
gonna come clean. Although I love horror, by heck
am I a wimp! I scare SOOOO easily. I am the girl
in the cinema who screams the loudest and hides
behind her eyes. But....BUT.....I still love it!
My cinema is my second home and I love that films
can bring out such extreme emotions in me. It's
why I became an actress. I want to be able to do
the same. Make people scream, cry and laugh.
There are few horror films that can do all 3. But
even so I just love being scared......that's it,
plain and simple. It doesn't matter which form it
comes in. Just as long as I scream the house
What was the
first movie to scare the shit out of you?
between 2 - mainly cause I was a kid when I saw
them both and was way too young to be seeing them
in the first place. I was only 6 or 7 when they
came out and had to wait to see them on TV, but
they still had a lasting effect on me! 'Nightmare
on Elm Street'. Freddy EEEEEEEEEEEEK! IT - I mean
seriously - how s**t scary is that clown?
pulling into the Sophia Ellis Drive In. What
three horror flicks are on the triple bill for
tonight and what goodies are they going to be
serving up at the concession stand?
Tough question! Hmmmm....... I am just gonna go
with my favs and the ones that scared me the
most. May not be everyone's cup of tea (do you
remember how I take mine?) but here goes:
'Nightmare on Elm Street'. 'The Thing'. and
'Paranormal Activity'. As for Scooby snacks! Well
at my drive in - you can order anything! Whatever
you want, we would get it for you! But everyone
gets free popcorn! A movie just isn't a movie
What is your
dream (or nightmare) horror movie role?
love to play a time travelling Buffy-esque demon,
zombie, alien, ghost, vampire fighting witch with
a cool side kick, tons of weapons and an expert
in martial arts. In a film described as the
scariest film of all time! Too much to ask for?
Nah! You can never dream too big I say! OK
seriously, I would just love to be in a horror
film that is so good that it's talked about by
horror film fans forever.
best Halloween costume you ever had?
like to mix things up. So this Halloween just
gone I went as a ZOMBIEFIED Little Red Riding
Hood. It was messed up!
you in real life?
end on a rather deep question. 4 things scare me:
Death, flying, failure and...HORROR FILMS! Thank
you Owen so much for asking to me to do this
interview. I leave you with 3 things to
remember.....ZOMBIES RULE, HORROR ROCKS and BACK
TO THE FUTURE IS TIMELESS!