Interview: Brittany AllenOctober 15, 2017
Recently we had the chance to talk with Brittany about her unconventional zombie apocalypse move It Stains the Sands Red.
Was acting something you always wanted to do or did you discover it later on, like a happy accident?
Brittany: It was something I always wanted to do. I would invite all the neighbors over and friends I grew up with would help me put on shows. Getting up on stage, singing and acting always seemed a part of me when I was young and when I was about nine years old I really kind of begged my parents to help me get into the film business, help me get an agent and they were really supportive. They drove me to all my auditions all throughout high school so yeah, it’s been a part of my life for a very long time now.
You’ve done a lot of work in both television and movies. Do you have a preference or do they both have their own individual charms?
Brittany: Yeah, they both have things about them that I like. I find that generally with film there’s a little bit more time to explore, especially independent films, generally it’s a very collaborative experience. There are less people waiting to be told what to do so there’s more of an immediate interaction between you and the directors and the other actors, a lot less waiting around and you can really communicate with people and it’s an intimate setting that allows for a lot more exploration in the moment, which I really thrive off of. In TV you have to move at a faster pace, it’s more of a machine as you are just one piece of many but what I do like about TV is you have the opportunity to explore a character’s arc over a long period of time. Generally in each episode they’re trying to fill it with something dramatic so you get a lot of juicy stuff throughout your time on the show so yeah, those are generally the things I like about both.
What was your reaction when you read the script for It Stains the Sands Red?
Brittany: I had been aware of the project for a while before I read the finished script because I had worked with Colin on the last film, Colin and I are partners, we’re together as a couple and Colin was writing and creating the story a block from where we live so I was aware of it through most of the process. Initially they had written the script for a man to play the lead, another great actor that they work with often, Sean Rogerson, and after shopping the script around, getting people to weigh in on it, one of the things that came up is that this might work better if a female was under the threat of zombies. I was so grateful that they ended up writing the role with me in mind, it’s not the kind of character I get to read for very often but it’s the kind of role I’ve always wanted to play. I think one of the biggest things that draws me to acting is being able to empathize with people, who are from a very different life from my own and show the audience the human side of the people that I play.
Your character Molly was pretty much on screen throughout the whole movie. What was the biggest challenge for you as an actor shooting this film?
Brittany: It’s funny, it wasn’t until I was on set the first day, and I don’t know why it took me that long, that I realized oh wow, I am in almost every scene in this movie. There was literally not a moment to breathe, to take a breath, every single day was incredibly challenging. Besides the twenty day shoot schedule, physically it was a big challenge, running and walking in the desert and the temperature was really cold while we were shooting so that was a real challenge and on top of that mentally, there was the enormous amount of lines I had to learn and process as well. It was a huge challenge overall but I long for another challenge like that with a future role, that would be great.
There are some great moments of humor in the film, to go with the obvious terror of the situation. Did you find it hard balancing the lighter side with the horror of what Molly was going through?
Brittany: I found Molly to be so naïve and ill-equipped for her situation, which is one of the things I loved about her, that I didn’t necessarily find it hard to balance that. I wanted to make sure I didn’t push the comedy aspect too much because of her situation so I that was a concern but I also knew I had to go for it and let her deal with the fear and harsh realities, making sure she just didn’t push it away. It was all about who she was and once I connected with that it wasn’t necessarily a challenge, it was just a lot of fun.
Since you were in almost every scene, did that give you an opportunity to improvise at all?
Brittany: Actually, there was very little improvisation. Leading up to the shoot we had talked through a number of scenes and Colin was open to some suggestions that I had and we definitely made a few dialogue tweaks leading up to the shoot but we stuck pretty close to the script. There was one day where I improvised quite a bit, it was near the end of the shoot and I thought I could get away with it but yeah, for the most part I stuck to the script.
So what do you have coming up next?
Brittany: I have quite a few things, actually. I’m going to be in Jigsaw, the next chapter in the Saw franchise so that will be fun. I’m excited for that, it was a lot of fun to shoot. I working on a new show now called Falling Water, on the USA Network, which has a lot of great people, I’m honored to be on that show. Colin and I just finished our next film, we shot it in June and it’s in post right now and I not only acted in that film but I’m now working on the musical score for it as well so yeah, I’ve got a lot on the go right now.
I want to thank Brittany for taking the time to talk with us