25th Jul2017

Interview: Becky Fletcher talks ‘Darker Shades of Elise’ and more!

by Philip Rogers

With the recent release of the erotic thriller Darker Shades of Elise, I got a chance to talk to Becky Fletcher about her feature films coming out 2017, the challenges of acting and her morbidly unique acting bucket list. Check out the interview, in full, below:

becky-fletcher

How did you first get into acting?

I have done it my whole life. I started off doing stage at school and progress my studies to A level university. I didn’t come into screen acting until I moved to London, it’s one of the things I came here for, I wanted to do more film and stuff behind the camera. I didn’t really start training in that discipline until I moved here a couple of years ago, but it’s kind of been an ongoing thing since then.

You are currently working with Proportion Productions who are releasing five films this year and you are involved with all five. How did you first get involved with Proportion Productions?

I am on the core team for Proportions. There are a few of us that got together and we started making really low budget stuff, because we wanted to make our own films. We were all quite young filmmakers at the time, so we were like, we will just go out, try it and see what happens. Since then it has grown and although the team has changed a bit, you will see on IMDB its always the same names that circulate. We have such a good rapport with each other and we know how each other works. We come from that that birthplace, from figuring things out, to getting interest and being able to it distributed, so that was spurring us on. I didn’t think we ever thought we would be doing five features in the space of a couple of years, it just kind of happened. I have just been along for the ride really, it’s been really fun and I just hope we continue.

With those five films what would you say is your most challenging role?

I think the role of Franky in Fox Trap was the most challenging, because it was the biggest scale project we have done and the most intricate script. There was so much going on and you had so many layers to your character and so many twists and turns. It’s quite an ensemble cast, so every character you’ve got a different background story, relationship. So to get into the nitty-gritty detail and have that with each actor its quite confusing, so I had to do a lot of prep for that. I wanted to be clear on how Franky felt about each of these people and the background story with all of them. I thought that was pivotal to the script and you needed to believe that they all had relationships with each other. It’s all that backstabbing and who’s closer to who, it’s all very cliquey. I think that was hard because there’s a lot going on and obviously my character comes from a very dark place. She’s the isolated member of the group who they all turned on, so it was quite a thing for me to be in that mindset and be thrown into this reunion when they’re all there. I wanted to make it as real as possible, so that was the most challenging for me. It was relentless night shoots in January, freezing cold in the middle of nowhere, so that was probably the most challenging…

I did talk to the director Jamie (Weston) regarding the film and he said it was long night shoots long, cold, wet…

Thankfully a lot of it is kept indoors. But there would be a few scenes where we was running around the outside of the house and it was so cold. A few people had it worse than others. The actress Julia (Eringer) who plays Dina, she’s got a scene hiding in the barn and I just remember it being freezing cold that night. I felt so sorry for her. It was really hard FX scene, so it took ages. She was stuck in the cold, running away, trying to hide away in this pitch black dirty barn. It was still loads of fun, but really quite challenging.

Would you say that’s the hardest one to film as well?

I think with that one we had the luxury of having a bit more time than we usually did, so even though the days were full on it wasn’t a crazy made rush, where some of the other films the time was quite restricted. I think one of the hardest ones for me personally that we filmed is 12 Deaths of Christmas. We are currently toying with the title at the moment, it might be Mother Krampus in the US.

The SFX were very intricate so they were very time consuming. The Witch character had to get her make up on every day which took hours, and I remember the time frame for filming – it was so tight that it was chaos. You had a limited number of time to get your takes and your shots done, you had to be on and you had to get it right. There were a lot of different locations so it was quite hectic in that respect, because you were here there and everywhere. I only have a small role in that one, but I helped on the production side, so I saw how it was all getting done.

I remember for my scene we had literally half an evening to do it. I was strung up on this thing outside on the balcony and I was like, “I could literally fall off and plummet to my death right now, just don’t look down, don’t look down”. I have never done anything quite so stunt-y before.

Talking of time, both The House on Elm Lake and Twelve Deaths of Christmas were shot back to back. But you were involved a lot more in Elm Lake…

We did a version of that film years ago and it never got released. It was something we did when we first started off. We always really liked it, but it was of a time when we had no budget and we were still learning. We tried to get as many people from the cast as we could and we revamped the story with Jim (James Klass) a few years later. It was nice because I got to revisit a role, I felt like I knew the character quite well because I had done it before. But the leading actor was different and some of the other cast were different, so that changes your performance.

Jim put a totally different spin. It’s quite surreal and bizarre, which is a parallel of two different worlds throughout and that was a cool twist. One minute your filming the normal world and then you’ve got to jump into a surrealist, obscure kind of vision. It was done in 8 days. But everyone threw themselves into that one.

You currently have a new film out, Darker Shades of Elise, were you nervous about how your character would be portrayed on the screen?

Absolutely, even a couple of days before it was released I was freaking out because I was wondering how this would be perceived by people, I really didn’t have any idea. But I just had to remember what drew me to doing the role in the first place. When I got asked to do it, there was so much drama and darkness in the end of the film. I think when people watch it at the beginning they think what is this and you kind of laugh along, this is outrageous. Then later when it hits home and gets more serious, you think, should I have been laughing along and getting into it. That the whole idea. Elise is kind of in that mindset at the beginning, it’s exciting, it’s new it’s a fantasy. Then, oh, its quite seedy and it wasn’t cool and she feels a bit disgusted. I think that is a nice journey which I hope the viewer interprets. It was scary because I wasn’t sure how it would be perceived at all. In a way you feel quite vulnerable, when you have done these scenes where you are a little bit nude. But at the end of the day it was necessary for the film and it makes people buy into the reality and fantasy element of it. Later in the film where its quite horrible you think, actually this isn’t glamorous, its not nice.

I wanted Elise to be a strong character in the end I didn’t want Elise to be a housewife staying at home. When we did the backstory, that is touched on in the film, she’s got a really bad depression, feeling worthless and lost. She lost his child and even though she didn’t want to go into the family territory with Rick, she bought into the idea of having a family with him. When that was taken away she was falling to pieces and to not have the support of Rick, who has his own mindset because he’s not dealing with it very well. You have two people and the communication is not there. In the beginning, it’s like I need to have someone to make me happy, but at the end she takes things into her own hands and she is like I am going to take care of my own happiness. I liked that she comes around and kicks a bit of arse.

The director Jamie has confirmed that there is an extended version of the film, which has more of the sex scenes and an additional kill. Do you think the film works better with the drama of the current cut or would an extended version work better?

I think the scenes were cut because the film was too long and if it had been shorter I am sure it would have been in there, but it runs to an hour thirty-seven minutes. If you had the extra death and love scenes, like a scene where Felix (Arron Blake) and Elise go away together, that would have been nice to see, but that would have taken it to two and a half hours long. Something needed to go, I think it’s just the pace of the film. It’s all about creating a nice journey throughout the story, but it would be nice for people to see the deleted scenes. There’s a death scene with one of the characters who unfortunately isn’t in it as much. We were following that character’s journey, but because we cut the death scene, little bits were cut away because we had too much stuff. I think the way they cut it now  hits the marks better.

At the moment you have done four horrors with Proportion Productions, is horror something you would like to continue doing?

I love to try different things. Horror is such a fun genre because you get thrown into so many extreme emotions. It is fun to do little action sequences when you are running away or fighting, screaming, or crying in those emotional scenes were you have lost someone. It’s great because its so extreme and you can really throw yourself into it. It takes so much stamina to do the night shoots and crying for hours on end and actually generally feel horrified all the time. Its quite stressing.

I really want to do Sci-Fi, we have been talking about Sci-Fi a lot, so that would be good. A good drama script are always fun and something lighthearted like a comedy, without the drama or the stress. But I am always open to doing other things but it is always good to mix it up.

I believe you have one more coming up which is Deadly Callback?

That one is a bit different though as it has a really cool twist and a really good thriller script. I am working with Kate Lister again, she is really good to work with, so it’s gonna be fun. That is going to be a harrowing one, the influences for it are a merge between Starry Eyes and Nightcrawler, so it’s a bit weird… in a good way.

Have you got any other projects you are working on?

I haven’t at the moment, I am in talks with a few people about doing stuff. It’s a shame with indie films, because it takes so long to get them off the ground. They have so many great ideas and they have things in place, but it takes a while to get thing properly going. I pencilled in a few bits, one is a shoot abroad, which is an improvised piece. So it’s currently just Deadly Callback and trying to enjoy the release of the films and everything coming out.

What is the most extreme change you have done when preparing for a role?

I haven’t done anything extreme but I remember we were talking about a project once, and we intend to do it in the future, where I would have to shave my hair. I am really up for it because I think it would be really cool to do a body transformation, because you really immerse yourself into another person. So, to have the opportunity to do that I would be really up for it. But the most I have done at the minute is change my hair colour. I have been covered in SFX before to make myself look disfigured which isn’t the most comfortable, but nothing to my personal self, so its not permanent.

What is your favourite role you have played so far?

I really liked playing Gina in Unhinged because I got to be a bit tomboyish. I got to be this confident, powerful, strong girl who is going for it all the time and keeping the team together. We also got to do these American accents which was fun and I got to design my own character, with the costumes style and stuff. I wanted to be this really trendy American girl, so I had these snap backs, my nose ring in and I thought it was so cool. She is the kind of person I really want to hang out with. Even though I wasn’t the lead, she was just a fun gal.

The death scene, which was horrendous to film, I actually got to put a bit of input into that as well. They were like “what do you want to tick off your acting bucket list?” and for some reason I was like I would really like that to happen to me, buried alive. That was something I got to tick off, but the reality of it was horrific. I think she was the most fun because it was a role which I could just have fun with. A lot of the other roles were intense, but with that one I got to relax and enjoy.

Talking of your acting bucket list what else have you got on the list that you want to do in your career?

I want to be a vampire at some point, one I ticked off in Unhinged. I did tick this off in a film we did ages ago where I got drowned. They’re all really morbid things. (Laughs) I want to do the Sci-Fi, because it would be really could to do something with Aliens or spaceships. Be Pregnant in a film, I’ve done that one. Give birth in a film, shave my head. Maybe be a magical creature where I have to wear wings or a tail. I am sure there are more, tons of crazy stuff.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into filmmaking themselves?

They need to just go with it. Not be afraid to try things out and not be afraid to fail. Really take matters into your own hands, a lot of people are making their own work now in a way to get ahead with progressing yourself, your career and ideas. Because you can try and give your ideas to somebody, try and get them on board to make it or collaborate with, but people are often doing their own thing. I think why wait around for someone to try and help you out, just do it. Just get a good team together and do it. That’s what we did and I am glad we did, because if we hadn’t just got up and started doing it ourselves, what would we all be doing now? We would all still be trying. Obviously, that works for a lot of people, but if you don’t just want to be sitting around, just go do it now.

Be realistic as well. In the beginning when we didn’t have a lot of money we were really ambitious and even though that’s a good thing, just be realistic know what you want to get out of making the film and set your goals around that.
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Check out our reviews of Darker Shades of Elise and Fox Trap by clicking the links. And you can buy Darker Shades of Elise from Amazon right now.

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