Carmel Savage – (The Killage – 2011).

I recently got the chance to talk to Carmel Savage about her role in ‘The Killage’. Here, Carmel talks about how she got involved in the project and how she got into acting in the first place…

Hey Carmel. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film ‘The Killage’.

It’s an absolute pleasure Matt! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.

What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?

‘The Killage’ is a comedy/horror film about a group of eleven work recruits (all social stereotypes) who travel to a remote location in Australia to participate in a weekend long ‘team building’ retreat. Everything goes horribly wrong when one of the group turns out to be a homicidal maniac, initiating a very creative and fantastically gory killing spree.

Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…

I play the character of Hannah, the ‘yuppie bitch’ of the group who is far more interested in the latest range of high-fashion heels than getting to know any of her co-workers. Hannah takes ‘high maintenance’ to a new level, wearing completely impractical clothing to the retreat and she struggles to cope with absolutely no mobile phone coverage.

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

I was sent a casting call in January 2010 by The Actor’s Workshop, a training organisation based in Brisbane (where I graduated in 2003), and auditioned for the roles of Hannah and Madison, the gothic. It was so much fun to audition for two very contrasting roles, but the producers felt I was more suited to play the role of Hannah.

How would you say this film is different and unique?

‘The Killage’ is certainly different to the typical B-grade gore-fest (lacking in plot and character development) and is the perfect balance of humour and horror, with a distinct Aussie edge. The fact it was filmed in only two weekends, with a very limited budget, makes it a truly unique feature and is testament of the remarkable talents of ArtSpear Entertainment.

The film stars Rita Artmann, Michael Gerard Bauer, Dryden Bingham, Daniel Johnston and Meisha Lowe – with Joe Bauer onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?

I hadn’t performed with any of the cast members before and they were an absolute dream to work with – professional, considerate and a heap of fun. The shooting of the film was plagued by bad weather and with so many external shots, we had limited time to capture the scenes and everyone pulled together and worked really well under pressure. It was fantastic to work with Joe Bauer, the man of many talents! He has a very unique directing technique and his (normally introverted) personality disappears when he’s acting – the camera just loves him!

I have so much respect and gratitude for the amazing crew. We were lucky enough to have a rotating crew which allowed us to film 24 hours a day. It was such a diverse, hard working team of people, all with different levels of experience, who created a great atmosphere on set and made my experience totally enjoyable.

Let’s talk a bit about you Carmel. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?

I have always enjoyed performing, creating and entertaining. I know it’s cliché, but I wanted to be an actress since I was a little girl. One of my big sisters, Anne, was always an incredible performer and I decided I wanted to be exactly the same…I just never grew out of it. I aspired for a career where the possibilities are endless and the stories are forever changing. I attended private speech and drama classes in primary school and studied drama and theatre arts subjects all throughout high school, before making the decision to focus on film and television acting and completing a two year course at a private training organisation in Brisbane.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?

I was taught that “luck is when preparation meets opportunity” and I think that resonates through every aspect of the entertainment industry . It’s essential to continue refining your craft, whether it’s through full-time training or just weekend courses with industry professionals – practice makes perfect.

Persistence and determination are key – there is no such thing as an ‘overnight success’.

Always be your business – the way you conduct yourself on set (and in public) matters, as you are always auditioning for your next role.

Lastly, surround yourself with supportive, like-minded and successful people.

What is currently on your I-Pod right now?

A mix of Aloe Blacc, Alicia Keys, Eminem, Adele, Florence And The Machine, (old-school) Madonna and a selection of songs from the ‘Juno’ and ‘Empire Records’ soundtracks.

If you could invite three guests to dinner – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

That is such a hard question – there’s so many inspirational people I would love to meet! I think I’ll opt for a ‘hilariously entertaining’ dinner with Drew Barrymore, Mark Wahlberg and Ricky Gervais.

I have always loved Drew Barrymore – she projects such a genuine, free-spirited personality and I think she would embrace my love of interpretive dance.

Mark Wahlberg –apart from being very easy on the eyes, he really is at the top of his game as a producer with titles such as ‘The Fighter’, ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and ‘Entourage’ to name a few. I would love to pick his brain about his transition from actor to producer and everything in between.

Ricky Gervais for pure entertainment value – he has a fabulous sense of humour. As my love of laughter is as great as my passion for acting, I think he would be the perfect dinner guest.

If you were stranded on a desert island – what three things could you not live without?

Provided there is an endless supply of delicious food, I couldn’t live without a sense of humour, a comfortable bed and a hot shower.

What’s coming up for you in 2012?

There are a number of projects on the cards for 2012, including the release of ‘Still Waters’ (a feature length horror film I was involved in after ‘The Killage’), as well as filming the second season of ‘The Void’ (a TV show skit-com) and relocating to Los Angeles to pursue further acting opportunities.

Thanks for the interview!

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