I recently got the chance to talk to Natalie Wetta about her role in ‘Episode 50’. Here, Natalie talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew in an abandoned hospital and how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Natalie. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. Of course we‘re here to talk to you about your new film ‘Episode 50‘.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
Bleiberg summed it up perfectly: “The film focuses on two television crews of paranormal experts: one team of skeptics looking to de-bunk myths about ghosts and another consisting of believers looking to prove their existence. Teaming up for the first time for a special episode, the crews get more than they bargained for when they actually make contact with a spirit of tremendous power and must band together to stop it before it destroys them all”.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I found the auditions through the breakdowns and was called into read for Joe, Tess and the writer Ian Holt.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play one of the leads, Andi, who is on the team of skeptics running the reality television show. Andi is on an all-male broadcast team and I really enjoyed the dialogue where there was a lot of banter with the guys. My character was also the riskier and more daring one of the bunch and was always running off to take care of something on my own — so that was always fun.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
It was shot much different from your average horror movie. It’s a film but it’s shot like a reality TV show. It created some interesting dynamics and is definitely unique in that respect.
The film stars Josh Folan, Chris Perry, your good self, Eleanor Wilson and Justin Brutico – with Joe and Tess Smalley onboard as directors – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Joe and Tess were amazing directors. They work perfectly together and Joe is hilarious. It was a small cast and crew. We would get the scenes early in the morning and come together as a group to get everything shot. It was a collaborative and supportive environment.
The film was shot in an actual abandoned psych ward/hospital. The place literally looked like one day everyone just said “Screw this place” and left — really pissed off (tipped over chairs, papers scattered everywhere). It was a really eerie place. The cast and crew would stick together because everyone was scared of being left alone in that place. Very surreal — I can’t say that I miss it.
Let’s talk a bit about you Natalie. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I’ve been playing ‘make believe’ all my life. My first actual acting performance was playing the sassy feather duster—Babette—in ‘Beauty And The Beast’ during high school. After graduating I moved out to New York to go to college and have been steadily and happily acting since! I have done mostly independent films, with a little theatre, television and modeling on the side.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
Recently, The Pod F. Tompkast show. He’s hysterical. So entertaining. I listen to him while I get ready in the mornings. I have a girl crush on both Katy Perry and Britney Spears. Britney’s new CD keeps me on the treadmill.
You’ve been in a number of shorts and indie-based projects – how important do you think the indie industry is nowadays, what with the recession and economic climates?
I love the New York indie film scene. It was the perfect vehicle for me to transition as an acting student into a full-time actor. Indie films tend to be more quaint, artistic and welcoming. There’s always a close community of people working together with lots of passion behind each project.
The economy has definitely been tough but the cost of making a film has also gone way down. Lower-budget films can be made beautifully and look just like higher budget Hollywood films. New York is a great place for making independent movies because of the blend of talent and financing. You always have to be worried about the economy but there seems to be plenty of resources and motivation in this city to make high-quality independent films.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
In this stage of my life, my favourite holiday destination is Arizona, I love being able to go home and lay low with my family. So adventurous and exotic, right?! My brother is the closest person to me and I love spending time with him. We end up watching endless episodes of ‘Reno 911’ and anything Will Ferrell related.
What’s been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
Every day there is shocking news either here in the US or overseas. It’s definitely a strange period of time. The one that really stands are the recent Occupy Wall Street protests. I inadvertently ran into this mob the other day and it was literally thousands of scantly-clad men and women screaming. I’m still not completely sure what their point was and I don’t even know if they knew what they were doing. Their signs ranged from stopping capitalism to not being a slut. It was confusing, entertaining and slightly erotic.
What’s coming up for you in 2011/12?
I’ve shot a few supporting roles in feature films that will have theatrical releases over the next year. ‘Darkroom’ is a thriller/horror film and I played a rehab patient. I booked a small role in ‘Bert And Arnie’s Guide To Friendship’. It’s an off-beat comedy where I died laughing the first time I read the script. I have a few projects lined up before the end of the year that I’m looking forward to. I hope to keep doing indie features and hopefully some television in the near future.
Thanks for the interview!