Spotlight

Interview with LIVING SPACE Actors Georgia Chara & Leigh Scully!

05 March 2018

On the eve of LIVING SPACE‘s World Premiere this Saturday at the MONSTER FEST TRAVELLING SIDESHOW in Sydney at Event Cinemas George St, we’re psyched to announce that actors Georgia Chara & Leigh Scully will now be in attendance at the screening and helping to field the post-film Q&A.

No strangers to the screen, audiences will be familiar with Georgia’s Logie-nominated work on WENTWORTH along with turns on both NEIGHBOURS and HOME & AWAY while Leigh has been seen in A PLACE TO CALL HOME and CATCHING MILAT among others.

To celebrate the thrilling news of their appearance at LIVING SPACE’s World Premiere, Cult of Monster‘s David Churack caught up with both Georgia & Leigh to discuss their time on LIVING SPACE, working with an undead Nazi captor and their greatest fears.
CULT OF MONSTER: An obvious one to start off with – are you both horror film fans in general, or is this something new for you?

LEIGH SCULLY: I know that big fans of horror have seen so so many films in the genre, and know an incredible amount about its history, and so I hesitate in calling myself a fan! But I definitely do enjoy a good scary film, that’s for sure.

GEORGIA CHARA: I am a fan, though I can’t watch them on a regular basis. I get too freaked out. Horror films with paranormal subjects give me nightmares and slasher films make me nauseous. This was the first time I had explored this genre in detail and now I have a new found respect for it. The stamina required in playing with those themes are demanding along with the technical aspects.

COM: Georgia, how does it feel to join the rich filmic tradition of ‘final girls’ with this film?

GC: It’s great, I’m so thrilled to be ‘final girl’! It’s an honour.
COM: Leigh, without spoiling anything about the movie, I think it’s fair to say that you have to act under particularly ‘grisly’ circumstances. How did you manage that?

LS: It’s always a wonderful challenge to work with really intense material. I think it’s important that you manage your energy levels carefully, and get yourself into a good, confident headspace, before entering the territory of whatever intense material you’re working with. It also helps that Georgia and I quickly developed a wonderful connection and friendship, and so being present in those scenes became much easier and satisfying, and makes the whole process so enjoyable and really memorable.

COM: What was it about this film that made you want to be a part of it?

GC: I had an instant connection with Steven and Natalie the film makers and I just knew I wanted to work with them. When I read the script I was intrigued with the psychological aspect of it and was excited by the character.

LS: I think there’s depth to this film, in terms of the timing of the subject matter. The film was written and filmed alongside the re-emergence of fundamentalist right wing politics, both locally and globally. I wouldn’t call this a political film, but it certainly has relevance and a depth of meaning to be mined by those looking for it, and I loved my first reading of the script for that reason.
COM: Having seen the film, I must say the house you shot in comes off as very creepy. Did it seem creepy to you while you were there?

LS: The house was DEFINITELY creepy! I know Georgia and I both saw things in mirrors, or out of the corners of our eyes, that made us jump – and I think I remember a couple of crew members saying the same. And the room under the house, where one of the more gruesome scenes was filled, was this weird, low-ceilinged, stuffy dungeon that made my hairs stand on end.

GC: Initially no, it’s just a house right? But after a week of filming we all became a little spooked in there. The atmosphere, the size of the house and the basement all unnerved us.

COM: How were relations on set with your undead Nazi torturer Andy McPhee?

GC: Andy is an amazing scene partner. He brings a wonderful calm energy to set and was extremely respectful while I was exploring the vulnerability of Ashley. I’d love to work with him again in the future.

LS: Andy is such a lovely man, and incredibly funny. He was always telling stories about his experiences on all the amazing jobs he’s had, and about his life away from acting. There was definitely no weird method stone-walling going on, he was such a warm presence on set.
COM: How did the experience of making LIVING SPACE compare to other films you have worked on? Does shooting horror feel any different to shooting other types of film?

LS: LIVING SPACE was only my second film, but it was such a real pleasure to come to work every day. The whole cast and crew got along really well, and bought into the project and supported each other in any way that we could. It was such a fun, safe environment to work in, and it definitely made my job easier being surrounded by that energy.

GC: Shooting LIVING SPACE was unlike anything I had done before. I had played with intense emotions in other roles but because of the nature of horror it was unrelenting. There was no lighthearted scenes so you were constantly in a heightened state. Lucky the cast and crew laughed a lot between scenes.

COM: Aside from undead Nazis, what are you afraid of?

GC: Ants. I am terrified of ants.

LS: Bees. I’m not so bad anymore, but if one catches me by surprise … . ugh. I used to be deathly allergic, but have been stung so many times I don’t have any reaction at all now (I hope). Watching My Girl as a kid was so terrifying. And you know, the regular existential stuff – failing at life, being a terrible person … haha, doesn’t get much scarier than that!
COM: What would you say about LIVING SPACE to convince someone to see it?

GC: It’s unlike any horror you have seen before. It’s a film that really make you think and has all the brilliant qualities of the genre. I guarantee you’ll want to watch it more than once.

LS: I’ll be your best friend?? Haha, it’s hard to convince a non-horror fan to see a scary movie… But I can say that it looks beautiful thanks to Steve and our wonderful DOP Branco, and operator Cameron. I’d say the cast is wonderful assembly of talented Aussie actors in an independent, homegrown production. And for fans of the genre, I’d be confident in saying that the scares won’t disappoint!

COM: Finally – what’s next for the both of you?

LS: I wrote, produced, and starred in a short film called HARM that is so very nearly festival-ready, so I’ll be working on getting that up and running. I’m also a part of Melbourne-based theatre company Bad Ducks Co, and we’re in the early stages of developing another project.

GC: I’m currently rehearsing for Ibsen’s A DOLL’S HOUSE with Geelong theatre company, Theatre of the Winged Unicorn. The play is clever and complex, I feel very lucky to have landed the role of Nora.

LIVING SPACE will have its World Premiere at MONSTER FEST TRAVELLING SIDESHOW this Saturday March 10th at Event Cinemas George St and will be followed by a series of Special Event Screenings across Australia.

SCREENING DATES, VENUES & TICKETING

SYDNEY (World Premiere)
Saturday the 10th of March 7:30pm – Event Cinemas George St
Filmmaker Q&A with actors Georgia Chara, Leigh Scully & Emma Leonard, writer/director Steven Spiel, producer Natalie Forward and cinematographer Branco Grabovac.
Tickets

BRISBANE
Tuesday the 14th of March 7pm – Event Cinemas Myer Centre
Filmmaker Q&A with writer/director Steven Spiel, producer Natalie Forward, cinematographer Branco Grabovac & SFX artist Steven Boyle.
Tickets

MELBOURNE
Thursday the 15th of March 7pm – Cinema Nova
Filmmaker Q&A with actors Leigh Scully, Georgia Chara & Andy McPhee, writer/director Steven Spiel, producer Natalie Forward & cinematographer Branco Grabovac.
Tickets

ADELAIDE
Friday the 16th of March 7pm – GU Film House (Hindley Street)
Filmmaker Q&A with writer/director Steven Spiel, producer Natalie Forward & cinematographer Branco Grabovac.
Tickets

GEELONG
Monday the 19th of March 7pm – Village Cinemas Geelong
Filmmaker Q&A with writer/director Steven Spiel, producer Natalie Forward & cinematographer Branco Grabovac.
Tickets