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An Interview with Hannah Levien, Star of Blood Brothers

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2016

Films starring Hannah Levien on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Blood Brothers - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your characters in it?

 

The film is about two brothers who are attempting to commit their first murder. I play two women that the brothers attempt to kill: Genevieve, a friendly waitress and Vanity, a street walker.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your characters to life, and how much of Hannah Levien do we find in either of them?

 

With Genevieve I drew on a very trusting and kind energy - from within myself, and also by spending time with the actress who played my daughter, Maddie. I spent a fair bit of time with the actress' real mother as well. 

With Vanity I spent quite a bit of time with the choreographer of the film, and listening to a lot of influential music. Vanity says "I always wanted to be a dancer", and I found music & movement very helpful and tapping into that character. Costume definitely helped also.

 


Playing two rather opposite characters in the same movie, is that at all straining or what's the experience like, actually?

 

It's definitely a challenge, one I wish I got to experience more often. It was a very interesting experience - because it allowed me to different ways to tell a story in the same film. It was challenging because we were very limited on time and resources. But I felt very supported by Jose [Jose Prendes interview - click here], the director, and the team. Having quite a bit of time for rehearsals definitely helped also.

 

How did you get involved with the project in the first place?

 

I was approached by the producers who were familiar with my work from other projects. I then met with Jose and we got on really well and it went from there.

 

What can you tell us about your director Jose Prendes [Jose Prendes interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?

 

Jose and I had a great time working together and develop a strong friendship. He's a very talented writer/director with so many stories in his mind. He's very playful with what actors bring to the table. We both had ideas about both of my characters - it was quite a creatively inspiring process.

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

It was a great on-set atmosphere - everyone was really stoked to be there. You don't always get that on set!

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I have a few things in the pipeline but nothing I'm able to share just yet!

 

What got you into acting in the first place, and what can you tell us about your training on the subject?

 

I've always been passionate about stories and storytelling. I loved performing and collaborating from a young age. I grew up in Brisbane, Australia & trained at a company called the Australian Acting Academy during high school, and after school I went to university and got my BA in Acting. It's basically a three-year conservatory style training similar to the UK.

 

As far as I know, before you got into doing movies, you did quite a bit of stagework - so what can you tell us about Hannah Levien, the stage actress, and how does performing on stage compare to acting in front of a camera, and which do you prefer, actually?

 

I have to say I love both - and I feel they're quite different and feed different parts of me. Both have challenges - in film/TV, the days are long and often scenes are shot out of order, you can do the same line/moment/scene over & over again (pending budget & time). And there is often very little rehearsal time.

In theatre,  you have several weeks of rehearsal, and the experience is different every night you perform. But each time you perform you only get one take. Both require a different mindset and probably in some ways different preparation.

 

Supernatural

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Blood Brothers?

 

My first from experience was on an Australia thriller called The Horseman. It played a number festivals including SXSW. I cut my teeth on a number of short films to gain experience, and went on to work on a number of independent films once I was living in the States - including Children of Sorrow. I've also been working in TV over the last couple of years on such shows as Supernatural and The Magicians.

 

Your career eventually took you from your native Australia to LA - so what are the main differences regarding filming here and there?

 

I would say first and foremost American productions often have larger budgets - but that said Australian film is very strong and our TV is becoming stronger all the time especially with platforms like Netflix becoming available. I'd say I've personally experienced more diversity in American content in terms of the roles available to me and the stories.

 

How would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?

 

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The actress I'd like to be is someone who plays empowered female characters and is dedicated to telling good stories.

 

Actressess (or indeed actors) who inspire you?

 

Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Maggie Smith, Gillian Anderson.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Deerhunter, Short Cuts, Beginners, Shame, Jurassic Park, Stand by Me.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

Hahaha... I probably don't want to name names! But I'm not much of a fan of films that encourage style/VFX over substance.

 

Your website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

Twitter: @hannahlevien

Instagram: @hannahsaurusrex

Web: www.hannahlevien.com

 

Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

If you like a good horror film, get out and see Blood Brothers! And thanks for the support :-)

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD