Your new movie Survival
Knife - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us
about your character in it?
unique thing about Survival
is that it starts where a typical horror
movie would end. A serial killer goes on a rampage in the woods and
basically kills every person that means anything to this woman (Penny, my
character). She kills him, but then the killings start happening again. Is
it a copycat killer? Is the killer still alive? It keeps you guessing.
What did you draw upon to
bring your character to life, and how much Danielle Donahue can we
actually find in Penny?
I take on a role, I like to take something about the character that
relates to me, push that all the way forward, and push the rest back. It
was difficult with Penny because she had a really sad and traumatic
situation. I donít think I could have survived it like she did. She
clearly has mental healing to do, but she is at least trying. If it were
actually me in the movie, it would be a really short movie: As soon as I
woke up in the woods with blood on meÖ ďNope! Fuck this. Iím
Your role in Survival
Knife seems to be physically pretty demanding - so how did
you prepare for that aspect of the movie?
didnít really prepare physically for the role. Looking back I probably
should have. There is a scene where Iím in the woods and crawling up a
hill and a couple days after the shoot I had bruises all over me. I often
over-estimate what my body can physically handle. Just because I can do it
doesnít always mean itís a good idea. But I am all about realism and I
go all in.
How did you
get involved with the project in the first place?
done short films with Mike McKown [Mike
McKown interview - click here] and Jim Towns [Jim
Towns interview - click here] before. They were tinkering with this
concept for a while. Jim wrote this amazing script and Mike was on board
to direct, so when they asked me to play the role I was excited. They are
both really talented people and just great human beings all around.
can you tell us about your director Mike McKown [Mike
McKown interview - click here], and what was your
collaboration like? And also talk about your previous collaboration Scorned
for a bit?
love working with Mike. He has his own vision, but still welcomes ideas.
We like the same movies and TV shows, so we always have inside jokes.
Scorned was an interesting one. Itís based on this idea I had about a
serial killer couple that has comedic elements within a horror/suspense
situation. I have an idea for it as a feature and Iíve been meaning to
write a script. It has yet to happen, butÖ Some day!
Do talk about the shoot as such, and the
though the movie has serious subject matter, it was fun to shoot. Lots of
laughs and goofs. Shooting in the Carrie Furnace was incredible. It had
awesome lighting and a unique atmosphere. It was sort of its own character
in a way.
You of course have to talk about your
upcoming directorial debut Snowfall for a bit, and how did that
is still in preproduction. It is going to be very demanding since a lot of
it will be shot by me with no one holding the camera. The solitude setting
is two hours away from Pittsburgh and the concept is built around being
snowed in. The challenging shoot involves a lot of footage of me in lots
of snow. And when it comes to the cold, I am the biggest baby ever. It may
take some time to complete, but will be great.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
at this time but who knows what will happen tomorrow.
got you acting to begin with, and did you receive any formal education on
had no formal education and always used to think acting was silly. There
was a casting call for a movie (Dead Body
Man) that was being shot locally
back in 2003, so I got in on it. I hated it at first. I just didnít like
pretending to be someone else, but then I started getting more offers and
I just rolled with it. Iíve come to learn that even though it wasnít
the type of artistic expression I was used to (drawing, painting,
photography, musicÖ) it still was a creative process that had a life of
its own. And Iíve truly grown to love the art of filmmaking and the
challenges it presents.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Survival
first people that I really worked with before Robot Monkey was
Bros. Entertainment (Wildcat, Muckman,
Jurassic Prey). Both Robot Monkey
and Polonia Bros. productions are exceptionally professional and creative,
so I always look forward to opportunities to work with them. Mark
Polonia who is often the director always has his shit together and is
professional, talented and fun to work with. I usually have to travel 10
hours for a 3 day shoot and it is so worth it because they are such a
great bunch of people to be around.
One can't but notice that many of your
films are of the horror variety - purely by incident or is horror a genre
especially dear to you, and why (not)?
get asked that question a lot! And it is always difficult to answer. Even
before I started acting I was always drawn to the darker side of human
nature and having it a part of my creative expression. More in an attempt
to understand it rather than be part of it. Horror makes you feel
something that you normally would not feel in your daily life. Itís like
a vacation for your imagination. Itís funny because if you know me in
person you would never guess. I find humor in everything. Sometimes to the
point where it is borderline annoying.
How would you
describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your
characters to life?
like to describe myself as an ďundefined actressĒ. I really donít
have any specific technique and me being my biggest critic thinks it shows
on camera lol.
Actresses (and indeed actors) who
very drawn to actors who can just disappear in a role and who have a
range. Gary Oldman is someone I always enjoy watching. Cary Elwes is
another actor I really respect because he can take on any role no matter
the genre. Iím not really drawn to ďsuperstarsĒ. I think the most
famous person Iím a fan of is Milla Jovovich. Iíve got a bit of a girl
crush on her.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
of Darkness, Shadow of the Vampire, The Untouchables,
The Age of
InnocenceÖ Iím kind of all over the place.
of course, films you really deplore?
a tough question because I really donít watch movies that I know I
wonít be interested in.
Facebook, whatever else?
Instagram Ė danielledonahue
Twitter Ė @d2donahue
Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
YOU. Love your website!