Lisa McAllister Interview
With lead roles in British fare already in the bag, things look bright for Lisa McAllister who, this year alone, has major parts in two exciting upcoming horror movies; Dead Cert and Devil’s Playground, both under the umbrella of Black & Blue Films. Gorepress managed to grab a few minutes of her precious time in order to ask some pressing questions.
GP : It seems that these days most jobbing actors in the UK have to cut their teeth on bit parts in long established shows like Casualty before moving onto bigger and better, but your very first role was in feature film Number One Girl. Was it a little like a baptism of fire or did you already have acting experience outside of TV and film?
LM : I was very lucky to land a leading role straight off the bat! Everyone was extremely supportive. Previously I had done a short film called Carpet Garden Flowers, which had a great cast and crew. Other than that my acting career had been school plays and local youth theatre.
Had you always wanted to be an actress or did you explore alternative careers first?
Always, always, always! Although, I’m interested in the whole film making process, so have worked in various areas of production. I think it’s good to understand the importance of everybody’s role in the machine.
You worked with Doug Bradley and Lance Henrikson, and were directed by Jake West in 2006’s Pumpkinhead : Ashes To Ashes. What was it like being around so many people who are so well respected in the horror industry?
Fantastic. We shot it in Romania for a month doing night shoots almost all of the time. So we all became pretty close pretty quickly, you have to in those circumstances. Doug and Lance are brilliant actors, I learnt so much from just watching them. Jake is a fantastic director. The proof is in the pudding, he’s gone on to make Doghouse, which I think is great film.
Once Devil s Playground has wrapped you’ll have been a big part of 3 separate films that have all been produced by Black & Blue Films. What’s it like working with the same actors and crew time and time again? Is it like having an extended family on set?
I’ve enjoyed making all of those films immensely and am extremely flattered that they keep asking me back! Although I love the element of constant change that goes with my job, there is something so lovely about working with people who you know are not only incredibly talented and dedicated, but a bloody good laugh! I hope I am part of Black and Blue productions for a long time to come.
How did your affiliation with the production company come about?
Jonathan Sothcott gate crashed my birthday party So I blackmailed him with the threat of drunken photographs of him dressed up as a giant hot dog…. Just kidding! But he did crash my party…. Since then I have been lucky enough to get to know and work with one of Black and Blue’s other partners, the iconic British actor, Billy Murray. He has become a good friend and a great mentor in this crazy industry. I’m yet to work with Martin Kemp, but who knows, with some heavy hints he might audition me for his next film! I know the last one, a re-make of the horror film Exposé is looking great.
You’ll have tackled both vampires and gangsters in the upcoming movie Dead Cert and a zombie apocalypse in Devil s Playground, both of which have very exciting casts. Did you find it inspiring and/or nerve-wracking to be around such a well-established roster of UK talent?
A bit of both! I find the first day on set like the first day at school, a mixture of nerves and excitement. Both films have stellar casts. In Dead Cert I had quite a lot of scenes to do with Craig Fairbrass. Craig is a fantastic actor, not to mention a born action star! We wanted to make our characters and their relationship as real as possible, so that when the surreal kicks in the audience can really get behind them.
Devil’s Playground was a great production. As part of the lead cast I got to do a lot of my scenes alongside Danny Dyer, who I think is amazing, he has so many more strings to his bow than people realise. I can’t leave out how great it was to work with Jaime Murray, Myanna Buring, Craig Conway, Shane Taylor and Mark McQueen – the director, who I have no doubt is going to go on to do great things. Watch this space!
You also appeared briefly in The Dark Knight. Did you enjoy working on such a big budget blockbuster or would you rather opt for more intimate home-grown fare? Is it nice to have had the opportunity to experience both?
Absolutely, it’s great to be able to experience both. No matter how things progress with my career I think I will always want to do smaller projects too. You get really interesting stories from them that you don’t always get in big blockbusters, mainly because there aren’t as many boxes that have to be ticked, which allows for more artistic freedom. For example, I went to the premier of a film called Malice In Wonderland last night… Amazing! Simon Fellows has brilliantly directed Danny Dyer amongst others in a modern day take on Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice in wonderland – A truly unique film that makes me proud to be part of the British film industry.
Finally, are you a fan of horror movies? If so, what are some of your favourites and who do you admire most within the genre?
I have to say anything with Christopher Lee. He really is the Godfather of Horror!