I have to say it’s great to see you all here supporting each other even on your time off.
Me Jen and Abby were training for three months before we even started filming, and Vanessa and Jamie came in with a month to go. I was worried with five girls on a film together it could get bitchy, but it’s not like that at all. Jen and I live together. If I don’t see one of them every day I freak out. It’s a total sisterhood. I think it’s because we trained together and so the first time we met we were sweating and crying and bleeding and that makes crazy bonds.
Beyond the physical stuff you have this character who exists in so many layers of reality. That must be really challenging.
For me there’s because it’s my fantasy there’s no differentiation in character. Maybe for the others the girls being in the asylum or the brothel it’s very different. I get off very easy.
But there is the difficult physical stuff and the dancing.
I don’t get to dance! And looking at this right now I’m so broken hearted. But every time I dance we go into the fantasy world.
Each of the characters have a certain iconography that goes along with them. Did you have any input in that, and what do you think of your schoolgirl look?
I like that I’m the most innocent looking. Despite that Baby Doll is… I don’t want to say toughest, because they’re all tough, but I love the fact that it’s this total flip from what you would expect from that schoolgirl. She’s stoic and tough and angry and I like that kind of juxtaposition.
We heard you have zero days off.
Pretty much. It’s been tiring and insane, and it sounds cheesy but I love everyone so much it’s not been that tough. When the girls are not here and I’m by myself I get tired a lot quicker. But Zack is… you can see the set right now, it’s a fucking party.
Do you want to maintain that friendship with the girls when the shoot is done?
It’s hard because I live in Australia and they all live in LA. I never wanted to live in LA until now! I don’t even want to think about it – I don’t even know what it’ll be like when I don’t see them every day.
It’s unusual for an actor to get so many levels of fantasy and reality. What was your thought when you first read the script?
It’s a dream come true. To get to do the brothel world and then the fighting and then some really intense emotional stuff – it’s a total dream come true.
What’s been the most challenging physical thing?
Learning to fight was pretty hardcore. When I first went to the gym they asked ‘How often do you go to the gym?’ and I was like, ‘What is a gym?’ I never work out. So learning to fight and learning the martial arts.
When did you get comfortable with the guns?
Coming from Australia I had never even touched a gun. It’s so not part of our culture. It was kind of bizarre the first time I had it I was freaked out. But now I’m freaked out by how much I enjoy shooting it.
You shoot with your left hand, right?
Yeah, because I have my samurai sword in my right hand.
You wear a lot of different outfits in this film. What was your reaction when you realized the revealing nature of them?
When I signed on the film was still R-rated and there was going to be a scene where I was almost completely nude. I knew that from the beginning. But I think the costumes are more intimidating to wear than being topless because everything is pushed up and sucked in… I felt like a woman, which I’ve never felt like before! But I don’t know, it’s fine I guess because the set is so comfortable. It’s not nudity for nudity’s sake – they work in a brothel so it makes it sense. And the costume designer made sure we were so comfortable and that he wasn’t revealing anything we didn’t want revealed.
For a lot of movie fans Zack Snyder is a macho director because of 300. This film is very different, with five strong female leads. Were you surprised that Zack was able to get women the way that he did?
I think in terms of the emotional stuff and the relationships I think the girls had input. And these aren’t regular everyday women! It is surprising that he understands the way he does. But a lot of times he’s also like, in terms of the emotional stuff, he’ll ask us if it’s okay.
So he turns to you guys for the input.
I think so. I don’t want to say that we’re directing it, but he’s definitely sensitive that if we feel something’s not right he changes it.
What set pieces have you shot already?
The first thing we did was WWI. I’m filming my solo piece of that right now. Those guys are in the trenches and I go into the bunker to fight the Colonel while they get locked out. There are crazy robot zombie Germans we fight. Then there’s dragon world, where we fight knights and then slay a dragon at the end. It’s total nerd fantasy and it’s the most exciting thing for me ever! And then the last one is train world, which we don’t know much about. I don’t think it’s so much martial arts as guns and swords.
What’s your connection to the other girls in the film?
I come into the insane asylum. When I get to the asylum it’s just me seeing them and incorporating them into the fantasy. Rocket and I get really close, Sweet Pea and I butt heads because she thinks I’ll lead Rocket astray. Blondie is Sweet Pea’s little offsider, and she doesn’t like me that much. Amber is just really naive and sweet and wants to be my friend. I take a leader position and help them escape.
How would you describe this movie? How would you get someone to see it based on your experience so far?
I think when you tell people it’s set in an insane asylum and a brothel and there’s dragons and orcs and 12 foot samurai… I’m pretty sure they’ll want to see it.
Will you be singing?
I am. I have never sung before in my life, but the girls and I sing together.
Have you done any vocal training?
I didn’t do any. I went into the studio and recorded the song and luckily it worked. When I auditioned I auditioned for every role except Baby Doll. Zack called me and he’s like “I want you to audition for Baby Doll, but I need you to sing.” I put myself on tape and sent him a tape of me singing and I guess it worked out. We haven’t had any vocal training or anything.