Spotlight

Internet Sensations NO FRILLS TWINS Talk THE SCHOOL!

19 July 2018

Australian internet sensations the No Frills Twins have become famous for their striking and gothic inspired sense of style and the creative theatricality they pour into their musical performances. Made up of sisters Vanessa and Arna Rogers, the NSW-born twins are making their acting debut in this year’s powerfully original Australian horror film THE SCHOOL – a perfect fit for their boldly gothic style and incisively shockingly inventive approach to their art.

THE SCHOOL concerns Amy (Megan Drury), a doctor, wife and grieving mother who is failing. It has been two years and she still cannot manage to leave her comatose son David’s side. Amy falls further into her own selfish and twisted world of obsession and denial, blocking out everything and everyone around her. Meanwhile the walls of the hospital she is neglecting begin to fall apart. Awakening in what seems to be an abandoned old school, Amy finds herself a prisoner to a hoard of displaced cultish and feral kids. Trapped in a hostile supernatural purgatory for children, Amy becomes an unwilling surrogate mother and must try and escape an impending evil. As supernatural and psychological terror ensues, Amy must find her way out, fighting against the demonic, supernatural and ultimately her own demons.

The No Frills Twins play an integral role in THE SCHOOL’s emotionally gripping plot, with their aesthetic perfectly complementing the beautifully nightmarish world the film creates. To wet your appetite for THE SCHOOL’s World Premiere on Friday July 27th at Monster Fest Travelling Sideshow Adelaide, Cult of Monster’s David Churack caught up with the Twins to discuss being mistaken for the creepy twins of THE SHINING, their favourite horror films, and how their twin collaboration works!
What about THE SCHOOL convinced you to become involved in it?

We’re very big horror movie fans and when people say we remind them of the creepy twins from THE SHINING we actually take it as a massive compliment! So of course the opportunity of channelling our inner creepiness was beyond exciting! It has been a long-time dream of ours to be in a horror film so no convincing was needed! Storm Ashwood is a brilliant Australian director and writer so we felt honoured to be involved in this project of his. 

What can you tell us about your characters and their role in the film?

Our characters are evil dead 13-year-old twins from the 1930’s era. We are very sadistic and enjoy other people’s pain and fear. In fact, we thrive off it and are cheerleaders for it. When our mum (who’s had a lot of acting experience) was preparing us to embody these characters she explained that for such young children to possess such darkness they must have endured a lot of pain in their lives. Thus, we had fun creating our own horrible back stories which helped us to actually feel the darkness our characters possessed instead of fake it.
You two have a very bold as striking sense of style. How did you develop this, and what do you think of striking gothic look of THE SCHOOL?

We’ve always loved dress ups since we were young but in High School fashion took on an important role in our sense of identity, confidence and power. We struggled with isolation at school, being excluded and not being welcomed into friendship circles. However the more ignored and invisible we felt, the more high visibility our fashion became as a form of rebellion. It was therapeutic to decorate our appearance each morning because it put us in control of our own value. We LOVE Gothic fashion and we actually felt beautiful with the gore makeup and cloudy blind eye on the set of THE SCHOOL. Our custom designed 1930’s dresses were gorgeous and something we’d totally get around in paired with our favourite gothic platform boots.

How did you get into acting? And were you nervous to start work on your first film?

As young children we made a bunch of homemade short films with a family friend who was a videographer as well as some of our own borrowing mums video camera. Funny thing is most of them were little horror films and we liked to play on the “good twin, evil twin” concept. We’ve always loved being in front of the camera as well as behind the camera (we’re currently studying film making). It’s so fun and imaginative to play somebody else for a day.
Tell us about your experiences on set working with the other actors!

Being around like-minded people who are all excited about the same project is really bonding. It felt like a family. The best work environment is when colleagues feel like friends. Almost the entire cast were children younger than us and it was really amusing to see their absolute sweetness and innocence off camera in contrast to the evil roles they were playing. We still keep in touch with cast and crew which is awesome. 

Are you fans of horror genre films generally? If so, what are some of your favourites?

YES HUGE FANS! When we were young our dad introduced us to THE SHINING, Hannibal Lecter, MISERY and it was a family event to watch LAW & ORDER together every weeknight.  By the time we were 13 we’d watched enough horror films that nothing made our adrenaline pump anymore, so we took a couple years break and now the shock/fear factor has thankfully returned to us! These days we prefer psychological thrillers over gore and guts.
Your strong twin bond is obviously integral to your creative success. Can you talk about your creative collaboration?

We have an incredibly strong and deep -seeded twin bond that could never be broken. We’ve got each other’s back 100% and nothing comes before each other. We work so well as a collaboration because we can be completely open and honest with each other and bypass all of the “treading carefully” that’s sometimes required working with other people. 

We not only understand how each other’s creative process works but they happen to be really similar to each other. It also works in our favour that we have different strengths to combine. For example, Vanessa is better at the creative side, naturally dreaming up big ideas and Arna is better at the managerial side, naturally rationalising, organising and figuring out how to execute them. 

Now that you’ve finished working on your first film, do you think you’ll pursue more acting projects?

Totally! We loved the acting experience in The School and hope this film opens doors to more acting opportunities!

THE SCHOOL will  have its World Premiere on Friday July 27th as the Opening Night Film of Monster Fest Travelling Sideshow Adelaide!