Interview: FLORENCE HARTIGAN of THE PHOENIX FORGOTTEN!

In Interviews, Movies by Beyond The GeekLeave a Comment

Thanks for doing this Florence! So did the Phoenix Forgotten make you a believer?

My pleasure! I’ve always been a believer. I’m still not sure if the Phoenix Lights was actually a real UFO sighting – but I don’t think that means there aren’t aliens out there!

If you were to get abducted, how’d do you think it go? Would you tell people after you get back–I find that if you told someone you’ve been violated by aliens, that’s just a label you can’t back from, maybe I have a poor choice of friends…

I can honestly say I have never thought about this before! I guess I figure if I was abducted I’d just try and charm my way out of anything unpleasant. And then it’d just be a great story, which I would absolutely tell EVERYBODY. My friends would be dying to know!

Working on a Ridley Scott film had to be amazing, was he on set much ?

Working with Scott Free was so cool. I’m a huge sci-fi fan, I studied film in college and wrote essays about Blade Runner, so it was such a dream come true to be part of this film. Ridley Scott wasn’t on set, but we got to work with our amazing producer Tom Moran from Scott Free who was there on the ground with us. I love working with people who are passionate about what they do, and Tom loves making movies. I have a fond memory of standing with Tom on location somewhere, both of us nerding out about how cool our jobs are.

Found footage sometimes gets a bad wrap, I like it, but do you have to prepare differently for a found footage movie as an actor?

Well I think one of the main goals of this film was to make it not so much feel like a found footage movie (although there is footage in the movie that IS actually “found” during the story) but to make you I think that you are watching the documentary my character Sophie has put together deliberately to uncover a mystery, about her family, and real things that have happened to her. So giving a performance that didn’t feel scripted, that felt like a real person was extra important to me. I did a lot of the actual research my character would have done, research into police protocols in missing persons cases like this, into the area the kids in our story go missing in, I made sure I knew the “facts” of the missing persons case in back to front – stuff like that, the stuff Sophie would have done to prepare for making her film, to help it all feel real to me, and to also prepare me for interviewing the real people I interact with in the film. We actually interview some real residents of Phoenix about their lives and experiences, so there was a lot of improv, and a lot of going with the flow, and changing things on the fly, which kept us all on our toes. Having real people in the film also set a high bar for our acting – and I think the cast does a wonderful job.

I know you have a background in improv and comedy–who are some of your comedy heroes? A Mount Rushmore if you will.

In New Zealand where I grew up we got a lot of British comedy so I grew up watching Monty Python, French and Saunders, Fry and Laurie, people like that. Nowadays I am obsessed with Julia Louis-Dreyfus – she’s so incredible in Veep. Lisa Kudrow is just flawless, The Comeback is one of the most hilarious and devastating things I’ve ever watched. She’s a force. And then Tina Fey in 30 Rock and Amy Poehler in Parks and Rec are two more of my heroes.

Any plans for more Funny or Die videos? The Bachelor one was rad–how sad are these people that go on that show!

I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Yeah I think what I find so fascinating about that show is that it’s a little character study of how people try to present themselves when they want to impress someone – what they think their best qualities are. And often you see them try to use these terrible things that have happened in their lives as emotional leverage – to get time with the Bachelor or Bachelorette. So I thought it would be fun to write something where I get to play someone who really thinks her best quality is that her family was murdered. I have a pretty dark sense of humor so I guess that’s what I tend to write… ! I have a couple of ideas bouncing around so I’ll be doing more soon when I have a little more free time.

Next up for you is a the animated horror film Malevolent? What’s it about and who you portray?

Malevolent stars Morena Baccarin (Deadpool), Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) and William Shatner (Star Trek), and it’s kind of Groundhog Day meets Saw. I play a spoiled valley girl with a lot of emotional problems and a super crazy family. This was my first animated feature and I had so much fun – firstly because I love playing really rich, spoiled women who are super emotionally unaware. I think that psychology is so weird and interesting. And also it’s gory, so that was weird and fun to voice.

Last question-where can folks keep up with you at, twitter, instagram?

I’m on twitter @flohasthoughts and instagram @fl0bie

Thanks again! Best of luck with everything!

Thanks and the same to you!

Phoenix Forgotten is now on Blu-ray, DVD and available at iTunes

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