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An Interview with Ivana Stojanovic, Star of The Scarehouse

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2014

Films starring Ivana Stojanovic on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your upcoming movie The Scarehouse - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?

 

The Scarehouse is about two sorority girls who are out for revenge against their "sisters" - if I was to describe it using existing movies I'd go with Mean Girls meets Saw with the witty banter of Cabin in the Woods. I play Caitlin Bowden, and I think she's the only truly innocent girl in the film. Caitlin may not be the brightest bulb but she's positive and always tried to make the best of any situation, but she's not a pushover.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much of Ivana Stojanovic can we find in Caitlin?

 

When I read the script, prior to auditioning, I fell in love with Caitlin immediately. There was something about this girl that jumped out of the page and made my heart flutter. To be honest I don't think that I needed to do anything to bring her to life, I felt connected to her very being from the moment I read the script, all I needed to do was let Caitlin shine through my performance. 

As for things we have in common, I think we both like to see the best in people and look to the positive rather than dwelling on the negative. I also loved that Caitlin is an honest person, neither of us like to lie, nor are we any good at it.

 

How did you get hooked up with the project in the first place, and to what extent can you identify with the film's horror theme?

 

I learned about the project from a friend of mine, read the script and then put together a self-taped audition to send to the director Gavin Michael Booth [Gavin Michael Booth interview - click here]. From there, I went in for a callback and soon after learned that I had gotten the part. 

As for the film itself, I LOVE all genre, but especially horror films. As a kid I grew up watching, reading and writing horror, nothing captivated me more than gore, blood and monsters. I was reading Stephen King when all my friends were reading Baby Sitters' Club. So I always get excited when I'm cast in a horror film - I'm a horror junkie.

 

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

 

Gavin Michael Booth, Teagan Vincze, Ivana Stojanovic

I loved working with Gavin! Gavin knows what he wants and he communicates with his cast and crew about his goals, while at the same time giving us the freedom to experiment and collaborate with him. I think it's so important for an actor to feel the freedom to just dive into a character and trust that the director will be watching to ensure that everything is coming across visually, because I can't see myself when I'm on camera. Gavin was just a dream. He'd give me the freedom to explore and bring my own ideas to set and be honest if something I tried wasn't working. I loved it!

 

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

 

The Scarehouse set was literally a scarehouse, which was pretty incredible but also a little frightening. When I first arrived to set I was even taken for a tour of the building including rooms that we weren't using - and I'll be honest they were pretty creepy. Luckily there were always plenty of people around, and to me set sorta felt like camp.

 

The Scarehouse literally just premiered, right? So what can you tell us from that event?

 

The Scarehouse premiere was incredible! We filled 5 theatres at Lakeshore Cinemas in Windsor - we pretty much took over the entire cineplex complex. It was fantastic to be surrounded by so much positive energy and support. I don't think it would have been the same in a bigger city like Toronto, where it can be cool to be apathetic. I think that everyone involved in this film is truly passionate, proud and excited and it was such an amazing feeling to premiere the film to audiences who felt the same way!

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I'm currently in rehearsals for a one-act play festival which will be performing at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre from Oct. 23 - 26, called Onesies, which is being produced by Daisy Productions. This is my second project with the company, and I'm in a comedic play called Sometimes Looking Up Isn't Good for your Health, written by Gavin Harrison.

 

What got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I have been captivated by stories for as long as I can remember. When I was a child I'd watch fairy tales every day and then approach strangers pretending to be Cinderella or Snow White.

I've studied acting since I was a kid too. I took lots of classes and participated in community theatre projects. Eventually I went to Bishops University where I received an honours in drama. I've also taken a lot of on-camera classes as well. 

 

photo by Denise Grant

As far as I know, before you got into movies and TV, you did a lot of theatre. So what can you tell us about your career on stage, and how does performing on stage compare to acting in front of a camera - and which do you prefer, actually?

 

Film and theatre are two very different beasts and each have their own draw. There's nothing more exhilarating than a live audience, it's an electrifying energy.

At the same time, I've been doing theatre almost all of my life and I only transitioned to film and TV after graduating from University. So for me, there are so many challenges in film, it's new and exciting. I also think that film is more personal than theatre. In film you can express your thoughts in a more natural and realistic way because they translate through the screen - in theatre you need to vocalize your soul.

As for choosing a preference, I'm not sure I'd be able to do that. Theatre has been a part of my life as long as I can remember, but film and TV challenge me in ways that make me a stronger performer. It's much more nuanced than theatre. 

 

Can you still remember your first time in front of a movie or TV camera, and what was that experience like?

 

My first professional television acting gig was actually for a pilot that was never picked up. I was a host of a "reality" type production that would provide people with the opportunity to do something wild and crazy from their bucket list. It was very surreal because I didn't really have a script to dig into, the show relied on interviews and improvised introductions. It was a great experience but I felt far too inexperienced to be acting like a leader in a situation I knew nothing about. I found the crew very intimidating as well, because I was worried I'd be in their way and they all knew where they were supposed to be and what they were supposed to do and I knew nothing.

 

photo by Christopher Frampton

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The Scarehouse?

 

I love working in genre films! And I've had the opportunity to work on a number of horror films and a successful web series about superheroes that was eventually picked up on television. Overall I just love working in film and TV and feel privileged that I can be passionate about my career.

 

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

 

To be honest that is a very difficult question to answer. I think that the best part of being an actor is the fact that there is no end to growth. I continuously take classes and read books about various acting techniques and I take bits and pieces from all of them. I also find that a big part of acting is primal and so I think every role requires a different mix of techniques.

At the end of the day an actor is someone who brings a story to life in a tangible and relatable way for audiences. So before any choices can be made, an actor must work to understand the script and what role they'll play in progressing and enriching the story. After you discover a character's role then you can start to apply bits and pieces of techniques and build a three-dimensional character out of pieces of yourself and your imagination.

 

Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?

 

Susan Sarandon is my idol, she is incredible.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

photo by Denise Grant

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That's a hard one... I'm a film buff and I love it all. In the horror world I'm a fan of classics like Evil Dead, The Shining, A Nightmare on Elm Street, but also new masterpieces like Cabin in the Woods and The Conjuring.

My favourite comedies include Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Wedding Crashers, 10 Things I Hate about You, Clueless and Bridesmaids.

I also love dark movies. Requiem for a Dream might be one of the best masterpieces of our time. Chinatown is also a fantastic film.

I'm going to stop myself now, because I could keep going.

 

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

 

Hmm... this is a much shorter list because I even enjoy some horrible films. But I'd have to say that I really detested Observe and Protect. I regret that I didn't walk out of the theatre when I watched it.

 

Your website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

www.itsivana.com

www.twitter.com/itsivana

http://instagram.com/itsivanas

 

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

 

Nope that's it!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank you for interviewing me.

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

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