NYX: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an actress?
ADT: I have wanted to be an actress since I was a little e girl. I think the moment when I realised that’s what I wanted to do is when I watched Titanic for the first time. I remember feeling so emotional after watching the film and saying to my parents, why do I feel like this? They explained to me what acting was and I was in awe - I thought it was amazing. I have always wanted to act in something that makes people have feel something so strongly as what I felt when I watched Titanic. So when I was at school, I would take every opportunity to practice my acting skills, whether that was in a musical, play or pantomime – and eventually that transitioned into screen acting!
NYX: Are you a horror movie fan?
ADT: Horror is certainly one of my favourite film genres! Both of my parents are big horror fans, so I grew up watching a lot of horror movies. I remember watching the original Japanese Grudge film, probably when I was far too young, and I didn’t sleep for weeks! Some of my favourite horror franchises are Alien, Final Destination, Saw, Halloween, Paranormal Activity and The Purge. Some upcoming horror films I’m super excited for are The Boogeyman (directed by Rob Savage), Five Nights at Freddy’s (directed by Emma Tammi) and Thanksgiving (directed by Eli Roth). I always enjoy films directed by Sam Raimi or James Wan – they make fantastic films that always have a really great plots, alongside awesome action and the expected blood and guts!
NYX: How did you become part of Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey?
ADT: I‘d worked with the production company on another horror film previously called Return Of Krampus, and I saw the casting call online for Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey. They were casting for a role called ‘Alice’. I applied and was offered the role based off my performance in Krampus. I was so privileged to play Alice because she is in an LGBT relationship, so I was incredibly grateful to have the chance to bring authentic representation of a queer character to the screen. I also loved that she had such a great journey and story arc throughout the film, and she is the only character to successfully get revenge on Pooh or Piglet, so that was quite crazy to grasp in itself, being the first human character in Winnie The Pooh history to take down one of the beloved characters! I’ve been sent so many videos of audiences in cinemas around the world reacting to the scene where I get my revenge on Piglet, the response has been truly amazing, with a lot of people calling that scene in particular ‘iconic’ which is pretty cool. The victims in horror films don’t usually get revenge on the killers, so I was really pleased that my character got to break this stereotype.
NYX: What did you think when you read the script?
ADT: It was really exciting to hear that they were going to be turning Winnie The Pooh into a horror film. I was such a huge fan of Pooh growing up and I love horror film, so I thought I was really looking forward to being able to merge two things that I love together. I thought it was a really exciting concept because Winnie The Pooh has always been a children’s character. However, with this film we are redefining Winnie the Pooh characters for an adult audience - so hopefully there will be a whole new group of people who have not come across Pooh previously who will be able to appreciate this character as an adult.
I loved Winnie The Pooh growing up – I had the toys, read the books, played the games and loved the films – and horror is also one of my favourite genres to watch,so when I saw the synopsis for Blood and Honey I was very intrigued! It was a unique opportunity where these two things that I love were merged together, so I knew straight away that I wanted to be involved.
NYX: Did you and the rest of the cast have much time to rehearse?
ADT: We didn’t actually have any rehearsals before the shoot. Our principal production block took place over eight days, so there wasn’t really any time to rehearse.It was a case of turn up on the day, having prepared as much as you can individually, and then just before we shot each scene - we would run the lines a couple of times and figure out the blocking, where we were meant to be physically instead of sat in the scene. We would also rehearse with each other between scenes if there was any down time. That’s kind of the nature of the beast when it comes to low-budget independent filmmaking - you normally only have time to do one or two takes, and there is an often no rehearsals before the filming day. It’s very intense – you can be filming up to 18 hours outside,at night-time in the cold – but I love every second of i!
NYX: Was it all shot on location?
ADT: Yes,the film was entirely shot on location at two different Air Bnb’s. One was a beautiful cabin where the group of girls are staying in the woods, and the second was Pooh and Piglets lair (the really cool location with the metal vintage style caravans)! What was so great about the second location which we used for Pooh and Piglet’s lairise that how it looks in the film is how it looked when we all first showed up, it’s as if the Air BnB host designed the place to be the perfect location for a horror film! Some of the scenes were filmed in Ashdown Forest, which is the forest which 100 Acre Woods was originally based - on which was incredibly exciting! I do really enjoy it when you are able to shoot a film entirely on location - when everything is physically in front of you there is something tangible to work with which I think really helped you as an actor, and the fact that this film mostly used practical effects (instead of CGI) was also really cool!
NYX: Without giving too much away how would you describe the movie?
ADT: Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey takes a lot of influence from classic 80‘s slasher films. It’s a really fun film so don't take it too seriously! The start of the movie tells us that Christopher Robin grew up looking after Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, however, eventually leaves them and goes to university, leaving Pooh and Piglet to fend for themselves. They’re not used to being alone, as they’ve always been so dependent on Christopher – so they really struggle with this change and end up becoming feral and become bloodthirsty killers! The main plot of the film follows a group of university students who go to 100 Acre Woods for a relaxing weekend away, but obviously things do not go to plan! The story follows the girls as they try to survive Pooh and Piglet’s wrath – with dire consequences.The film has blood and guts galore, but it’s also surprisingly funny – which I think a lot of people were surprised by!
NYX: We’re you nervous when you heard the movie shows at Fright Fest Glasgow?
ADT: I was so excited when I heard that the UK Premiere would take place at FrightFest in Glasgow. I think that Glaswegians have the best sense of humour, so I knew that they would really appreciate the funny moments in this film. At the premiere, the audience were truly amazing! They gave such great reactions and after the premier, I stay behind for about an hour to talk to people in the audience, take photos, sign autographs, and talk about the film - and it was so heart-warming to hear how much people enjoyed the movie. It was my first-time attending FrightFest, and it was a wonderful experience, so I will definitely be attending every FrightFest in London moving forwards!
NYX: So, what are you up to next?
ADT: I am currently in preproduction for several Feature Films which I am really looking forward to filming! I’m really excited for ‘The Baby In The Basket’ (with Joliffe Productions and Shepka Productions), which is a Gothic horror set in a monastery in the 1940s. I played the lead character, Sister Agnes and I think this is going to be the most challenging role so far. We will be filming on location in Scotland later this year which I’m incredible excited about as I have a Scottish heritage, so it will be lovely to get back to my roots.
Anotherfeature film I’m working on is called “Mr Hyde: The Untold Story” (withDB13 Productions and Golden Gate Productions) which is a modern-day retellingof the classic story of Jekyll and Hyde, with a n unexpected twist. I play thevillain in the movie - so that is going to be a lot of fun!
Finally,I’m incredibly excited for the upcoming Viking film “Dying Breed” about the end of Slavic paganism which I’m coproducing, alongside playing the lead female role of ‘Mary’. It’s a beautiful story following several characters in their battle for love, freedom, and their beliefs. The film has just been picked up by Filmsnickeriet (a fantastic Swedish production company) in association with the wonderful ‘Light Till Dark’ film festival from Örebro, and we have a wonderful cinematographer, director and set of producers attached -so I’m incredibly excited for us to start filming! We’re hoping to film in either Ireland or Sweden within the next year, so stay tuned for more updates!
NYX: Amber Doig Thorne, thank you very much.