Screamfest 2013: Amanda Adrienne & Michael S. Ojeda on Savaged
Savaged was one of the films I singled out of Screamfest 2013. Its female revenge story thrilled me enough to write a full review, and I ended up moderating the cast Q&A after the second screening. When I first saw the film, my priority was to interview the filmmakers.
Amanda Adrienne is the major discovery of Savaged. It is her first feature film, let alone leading role, and it’s a brutal one. The first thing that surprised me in person was that she had dark hair. In the film, Zoe (Adrienne) has blonde hair. Zoe is kidnapped, tied up in barbed wire, abused and left for dead when a Native American rescues her. Empowered with mystical spirits, Zoe returns for violent revenge on her attackers. In the post-screening Q&A, she revealed that she studied Wushu for nine months to prepare for the fight scenes. Director Michael S. Ojeda explained to the audience that the film took him six ears to make. As the theater cleared I approached both star and filmmaker for interviews to find out more.
CraveOnline: Are you naturally blonde or brunette?
Amanda Adrienne: I am naturally brunette, light brunette.
Was it your choice that Zoe be blonde?
I was actually blonde when I auditioned but I knew he wanted a blonde because the blood would look better on the hair and I’d look more angelic to start with.
Ah, important details I wouldn’t think of. Had you ever trained before this movie?
No, I mean I played basketball in high school but I never had any kind of martial arts training, so I definitely took advantage of the time when they were getting financing to train on my own.
Nine months is more than most Hollywood movies train.
Yeah, I know. It was intense. I was at this place called L.A. Wushu in Marina del Rey and those guys are Olympic Wushu masters.
Did you keep any of the skills?
I think I’ve lost a lot of my flexibility but it’s a great sport.
Training is one thing, and choreographing it is another.
Oh, that’s very true.
How did you take to movie fighting?
I just did a lot of training for that too with the stunt people. Then even at the Wushu school that I went to, they had movie stunt training as well.
As awesome as her revenge is, Zoe is still brutalized at the beginning of the movie. How hard was that to deal with?
It’s definitely an emotional scene but you just have to put yourself in it and go for it.
What were the wires actually made out of?
I don’t know what they were made of. They weren’t real wire, but they weren’t comfortable. I’ll say that as well.
Is this your first feature as the lead?
Yeah, it’s very exciting for me. I’ve done short films before but this is my first feature, my first time seeing it as well.
How long did you stay with the film, if it took Michael six years to make it?
I auditioned in August 2010 and then we shot the trailer in October 2010. We shot the movie in April 2012. Now we’re finally seeing it in 2013 so it’s a good three years.
When you got into acting, was action heroine something you always wanted to do?
It wasn’t something that I initially first thought of for myself but I definitely jumped at it eagerly. It’s an exciting role.
Where did you train in acting?
I went to Playhouse West for two years, studied Meisner, and right now I’m at Ivana Chubbuck Studio.