By the end of this year, horror fans will have seen newcomer Janet Montgomery fend off maniacal cinephiles and backwoods mutants in the Warner Premiere release The Hills Run Red and Fox Home Entertainment's Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead, respectively. Quite a feat for an actress trained in dance and who was thrown into the genre fray in rapid time. ShockTillYouDrop.com spoke with the British actress briefly about both experiences when she dropped in on Los Angeles.
ShockTillYouDrop.com: Back to back survival horror films for you! How much time did you have between The Hills Run Red and Wrong Turn 3?
Janet Montgomery: I had about three weeks in between. I shot The Hills Run Red then I came over to Los Angeles and then I got a call saying I was going back to shoot in roughly the same location. It was pretty much the same crew, which was fun.
Shock: What did you do in the three week interim and how did Hills go?
Montgomery: Oh, I got like white hairs after The Hills Run Red. Horror movies are the most stressful things to film. It was all night shoots, so much to fit in, every scene is so intense. It's so much fun though, I really enjoy horror films. Before all of this I wasn't into horror, I watched Scream and was up for a week afterwards. So there you have it. But I loved working on The Hills Run Red, just because that's their baby. Dave [Parker] really poured his heart into that.
Shock: Well, talk a bit about that experience transitioning from one nightmare to the next.
Montgomery: I was lucky to be honest. I originally trained as a dancer, when I finished I got a fantastic agent in the UK. He took me on and I literally had been acting for a few months. But it was great to jump into Wrong Turn 3 and to work for Fox. I haven't seen the first two... But Hills and Wrong Turn 3, they're two different types of movies, actually, as far as horror goes. The Hills Run Red is really shocking horror, torture and stuff like that. Wrong Turn 3 is more subjective, I liked that. I liked that they are different. My characters are so different as well.
Shock: Who do you play in Wrong Turn 3?
Montgomery: Basically, the film starts with me and my boyfriend, and a couple of friends, we decide to go whitewater rafting. Then Three Finger comes along and kills all of my friends and I'm on my own running through the forest. Then I meet all of these prisoners so it's me and ten guys filming. I turn into a guy, drinking whiskey.
Shock: Did being around so much testosterone help you muster up the courage to take on some of the stunts you perform?
Montgomery: Definitely. I had this one particular scene and I've got a lot of fights scenes, she's a feisty character. She picks on guys bigger than her, she's not afraid to smack someone in the mouth. I have this fight scene with Tamer Hassan, he's a big guy with a temper. He was pissed off that day and he had to hold me up and flip me over his back. The acting from me is really good there because I'm actually in pain with his hand around my neck. But I don't get to chop off any limbs or anything, I'm the fighter. The last girl standing. Miraculously.
Shock: Having never seen the first two films, what did you think of the Three Finger and mutant makeup?
Montgomery: When I saw Three Finger, I was like, "What? I don't know if I find him scary?" But as soon as I got on set, it started to get freaky. Then you watch it back on the monitor and you think, "That's f**kin' weird." The guy who plays Three Finger is so nice and we had this one scene where he has to lick my face which is pretty great. That was hard to watch.
Shock: Did Declan's enthusiasm rub off on you? We talked to the guy earlier and his sounded like he had a great time on set.
Montgomery: Yeah, he's great. He lets the actor decide what to do and decides on whether it works or not. He lets you experiment and he knew that I was just coming off The Hills Run Red, so he was supportive in my choices to let my character be as different as I could make it.
Shock: You have another film coming up entitled The Rapture, what can you tell us about that?
Montgomery: That's a British independent movie which I play an angel. It's got Danny Dyer and Jaime Murray in it and it's very DaVinci Code, but a British take on it. You've got the whole religious aspects of it with the Spear of Destiny, then the science element as well. Then I've got a psychological thriller with Christian Slater coming up called Paranoia.
The Hills Run Red makes its world premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival on June 12th (click here for details). Look for Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead on DVD and Blu-Ray this fall.