First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us
unfortunate enough to not already know you?
the MOnster that is MOnsterworks66, lol! Also known as The Irritating
Blonde and Fearless Actress…
I’m Maria Olsen – actor, producer, casting director, writer and
director – originally from South Africa and now living in Los Angeles!
As far as I
know, you have only very recently been attached to the horror film Haddie
- so what can you tell us about that one, your character in it, and how
did you become involved?
happened solely due to Facebook…or that’s how I see it, anyway :D
good friend of mine, the awesome Dawna Lee Heising of Eye on
Entertainment, put me in touch with the Haddie production team, Wain
Bradley and Jimmy Jett Westmoreland [Jett
West interview - click here], on Facebook, and it wasn’t long
before they sent me the script. I liked what I read and so was happy
to accept their offer to play Haddie when it came thru to me a week or two
later. Their original offer email somehow got lost in cyberspace,
actually, so the first I heard of it was when I received a follow up email
saying “um…are you not interested…?” Of COURSE I was interested,
lol, and I made real sure they got to know that real quickly!
where you can find all things Haddie:
Another future project of yours
is Happy Endings, which you also co-produced - so obviously you
have to talk about that one?
co-producing Happy Ending along with the mastermind behind the project,
Phil Condit of Sick Puppy Pictures. Phil wrote the script and will
also direct the film, and, at present, I’m assisting with casting,
marketing and publicity. Happy Ending stars the awesome Ange Maya,
and is a hilariously racy and fast-paced horror/scifi comedy where a large
and broody alien invader attacks the ladies of the night at the local
bordello, who suddenly find themselves fighting for their lives and the
fate of mankind! This should be a super-fun project to work on, and I
can’t wait to start shooting… I also get to play Dominique the
Dominatrix, where I’ll be cracking my whip while trying not to hit
myself in the face!
can follow us on Twitter at @HappyEndingSPP and here’s our website:
also have this cool Facebook page:
Blood Angel -
anything you can tell us about that one?
Angel is a dark, psychological horror with S&M overtones that’s
written, and going to be directed, by Carl Lindbergh of Bunnyman
franchise fame [Carl Lindbergh
interview - click here]. It will be an ANOC
Productions – Carl’s company
– and MOnsterworks66 co-production, and we’re thrilled to have the
great Bill Oberst Jr attached in the leading role of Icarus. At the
moment, we’re finalizing funding, and we hope to shoot in the first half
can learn all about the project here on Carl’s website:
Mother - another project you helped to produce - just sounds too nice
to not talk about ... so please do!
Griffin of Griffin Studios LA and I teamed up to make Patrick’s creation
– Our Zombie
Mother – into a web/TV series starring siblings Tyler
Griffin (Insidious Chapter 2), Naomi Griffin (A House Is Not A
little ol’ me. The pilot episode, which we shot in June, is aaaaalmost
out of post-production (and is looking fabulous) and, in our downtime(!)
we found time to create the off-shoot zombie actuality series OZM
We’re thrilled to say that OZM NewZ now has its own channel on
and the feedback we’re getting is awesome! Our Zombie
Mother is a
zom-com / horrormedy that’s aimed at kids and that asks them the
question: what would YOU do if you woke up one day and found your mother
was a zombie???
information can be found here:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OurZombieMother
Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_UYjIrRU65p3y_bitsiJNQ?sub_confirmation=1
BLIP TV OZM NewZ channel: http://blip.tv/ozmnewz
current/future movies you'd like to talk about?
that I’m in that will shortly be released (in no particular order!):
Bunnyman Massacre (Carl Lindbergh of ANOC
Lindbergh interview - click here])
Levenger Tapes (Mark Edwin Robinson of Castlight Pictures/Lionsgate)
(Jason Bognacki of Destroy Rock Music)
Time (Rochelle Vallese of King Kai Productions)
Eyes (Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch/Snowfort Pictures)
Down in Chinatown (22mm Productions, Lionfish and MOnsterworks66)
Faraway (Soliloquy Films and MOnsterworks66)
Scarlet Samurai: Incarnation (Tara Cardinal of Reel Heroine
Productions [Tara Cardinal
interview - click here])
Cohasset Snuff Film (Edward Payson of An Anti Hero Production)
that I recently wrapped and that are presently in post-production:
Conduit (Rock Soup Productions)
Better Place (Digital Jungle Productions)
Sinister (Dyenamic Films and MOnsterworks66)
Fear (Iodine Sky Productions and MOnsterworks66)
(Christoffer Aldell of Roachtown Productions)
Broken Legacy (Miguel Garzon Martinez)
to breathe I think!!!
that I’m co-producing include Barry Morgan’s The Covenant, which is
based on a true story. This is a MOnsterwork66 / Hanged Man
co-production, and we’re presently involved in casting (with callbacks
to be held early in the new year). This is – even if I say so myself –
a unique film: it’s a found footage thriller with more twists and turns
than you can shake a stick at!
you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
guess what got me into acting at the very start was wanting to be like the
great ladies I saw on-screen: Jane Fonda, Sigourney Weaver, Kathleen
Turner, Jodie Foster…THOSE great ladies… But years before I started
acting, I was performing on stage in dance reviews, and that was completely
my mother’s fault!
from a couple of years’ drama classes in high school, no, I’ve never
received formal training. As far as technique is concerned, I do whatever
feels right to me to get the desired effect.
Can you still remember your first time in front of a
movie/TV camera, and what was that experience like?
My very first on-camera role was Nurse Kelly in the horror feature Sam
Hell, a stunning film made under the experienced eye of Michael Bayouth of
Son of Jason Productions. I remember not being sure what to do with
my hands – who knew what I normally did with my hands while I walked
down a corridor! – and I must have looked so odd that Michael was forced
to solve the problem by stuffing a clipboard in my hot little grasp…
This was also the time that my-now-trademarked intense creepiness appeared
on screen… I didn’t know that was happening at the time either!
I obviously enjoyed the process enough to come back, tho…
past films of yours you'd like to talk about, and what can you tell us
about your evolution as an actress?
I have learned a few things over the years… After I wrapped Dan
Donley’s Shellter – my third feature – for instance, I inadvertently
retained traces of my character in my mind, and this did affect my later
behavior. As the woman I played had been incredibly damaged, this
proved not to be the best thing I had ever done, but, since then, I’ve
figured out how to back away from the precipice, so to speak, when someone
yells cut… From my taking over an extremely complex role in the
Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater production of Poe’s The Tell-Tale
Heart and The Bells after having but one rehearsal, I learned that I could
basically do anything I put my mind to if I just tried hard and believed
in myself. Overall, though, the best things I’ve learned to do are
learn my lines and try to not fall on my face. Listening to your
director and doing everything he or she asks also helps… And: oh
yes… be grateful for every opportunity… that’s real important.
Also: Try not to sneeze when you’re wearing a face prosthetic…
& the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
You've been in
dozens of indie features, but also big budget movies like Percy Jackson
& the Olympians: The Lightning Thief - so how do the two
approaches to filmmaking compare?
best way I can describe the difference is by metaphor: working on the big
budget moves is like working for a corporation while working on the indies
is like working in a mom 'n' pop store. The overall objective is
the same, but, while one is rather impersonal due to the sheer number of
cast and crew on set, the other creates a family in a very short amount of
time. Both are epic, though, and both have their place.
Quite a few of your
movies are of the horror variety - pure coincidence, or is this a genre
you're especially fond of, and why (not)?
it’s no pure co-incidence. For whatever reason, I have an extremely
intense on-screen presence, which I discovered after the first couple
times of seeing myself on screen. Once I had realized that, I figured the
best way to get ahead was to accept what I had to bring and use it to get
ahead. I DO love the genre, though, which is a good thing, I’m thinking!
I still, for instance, have my dog-eared collection of Fangoria from the
early 70s or so… I distinctly remember thinking “oh THAT was how they
turned Regan’s head around… cool!”.
How would you
describe yourself as an actress, and what do you draw upon to bring your
characters to life?
would describe myself as committed, a perfectionist, confident but not
cocky (hopefully lol!), intense, willing to take risks and incredibly open
emotionally. I also know which roles work for me and which don’t,
and I generally stay away from those in that second category. Yes,
I’ve turned down a role that was offered to me because I thought I was
too old… I actually think I irritate my manager and agent sometimes by
asking not to be submitted for younger roles.
draw upon a combination of the character’s back-story and my own
personality and experiences to bring a character to life. I feel that
every role I portray is merely a specific portion of my own personality
that’s let out to play and put under a spotlight. Yes, I play very
dark roles, and, yes, there is that portion of my personality that IS
dark, but I see no reason whatsoever to indulge it in real life, and I’d
much rather play on set or on stage. Interestingly enough, when I’m told
to smile for the camera, I find it hard to do, and I feel fake…that’s
the ONE thing I’ve had to practice: how to smile for pictures!
Actresses (and indeed actors) who
Streep, who is beyond amazing. Marilyn
Monroe, who is greatly underestimated. Brigitte
Helm, who has a physical presence like no other. Lon
Chaney, who I’ve been told I take after!
Your favourite movies?
Music Man, Chicago, Gone
with the Wind, The
Sound of Music, Nosferatu,
A Symphony of Horrors (yup, the original), Metropolis
(both Giorgio Morodor’s version and the longer, fully restored version).
and of course, films you really deplore?
nothing coming to mind right now… I guess I forget the bad and remember
yeah… here’s one… and this is sure to create controversy: Kubrick’s
The Shining… I. Just. Can’t. Connect. With. It…
Facebook, whatever else?
My IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1864017/
MOnsterworks66’s IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0361544/?ref_=fn_al_co_1
Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/MariaOlsenFanPage
MOnsterworks66 fan page: https://www.facebook.com/MOnsterworks66
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have really forgotten to ask?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
own my own production company called MOnsterworks66.
co-host, along with Barry Morgan & Edward Payson, the 1313 Blood Lane
horror podcast. Here’s where you can find us: https://www.facebook.com/1313BloodLane
like cats and knitting.
recently had my first ever short story published, and I’m working on my
the 8th great-grand-daughter of Dutch painter, Rembrandt van
is believed I was almost kidnapped by aliens when I was a kid.
grew up in a hotel and, consequently, am majorly domestically challenged!
worked for accountants for twenty years and practiced as a bankruptcy
a cancer-leo, an empath, a lightworker and classed as profoundly gifted (I
have an IQ of 181).
I’m usually very modest (altho that might be a bit hard to believe right
like licorice… salty licorice… :D
sign all my emails “me”; I mean…who else would they be from???