MyAnna Buring Interview

MyAnna Buring

MyAnna Buring is a Swedish born actress who moved to England when she was sixteen. She graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), started a theatre company (called MahWaff) and has starred in a large range of film and television roles.

Ticking off the usual British TV essentials such as The Bill and Casualty, she can also proudly add roles in comedy series The Wrong Door (where she dated a Tyrannosaurus Rex…!), Doctor Who episode The Impossible Planet and films like Red Mist and Credo to her C.V. She even appeared in one of the fake trailers on Tarantino / Rodriguez’s horror Grindhouse (“Don’t” directed by Britain’s Edgar Wright).

Most notably, however, MyAnna Buring will be recognised for her role as Sam in The Descent and as Lotte in Lesbian Vampire Killers.

Gorepress’s Boston Haverhill had the pleasure of chatting to her at Collectormania 2010, about Neil Marshall, CGI, an encounter with Patrick Stewart and how she’s actually a bit of a scaredy cat…

Despite the rain, wind and the nightmarishly grey sameness of Milton Keynes’ MK Dons stadium, MyAnna was exceptionally chirpy, very sweet and utterly at ease with chatting with me. When I arrived at her signing desk, she was ribbing table neighbour Tommy Knight (Luke from The Sarah Jane Adventures) over his obsession with Pom-Bear crisps and his distinct lack of crisp-sharing. It said a lot about MyAnna before I even began talking to her – she was approachable, good humoured and genuinely funny.

So I went into the interview confident she wouldn’t punch me in the face or set me on fire. Which was nice.

GP : How’re you finding Collectormania 2010?

MB : It’s amazing! It’s incredible. I had no idea it was this huge. We’re currently in Milton Keynes stadium, which is enormous and there are people all around the stadium. And it’s been raining and it’s freezing cold and everyone is trooping through. I think that it’s extraordinary and a testament to what a cool little gathering this really is.

Have you been to many of these events?

Not Collectormania. I’ve been to Doctor Who conventions – but this is the largest thing I’ve ever been to by far.

It’s a very strange event – what do you think brings so many people to events like this?

It’s a love of film isn’t it? It’s a love of sci-fi, horror, genre films and I think it’s exciting to see to what extent people like to express their love for films. Some people like coming along, some express it by buying lots of autographs and pictures, which is incredible and amazing and baffling, and some people really go the full mile.

And dress up.

Yeah, and dress up. It’s extraordinary. And the lengths to which people really make the effort to really dress up and find the costumes and make the costumes. Some of the stuff we’ve seen today is exceptional. Exceptional.

As you mentioned, it’s an event for the fans to express their love. Is there anyone here you want to see yourself?

I saw Patrick Stewart, which I thought was fab.

Did you meet him?

Yeah, yeah I met him. He worked with a friend of mine so I sort of said hello from my friend… in such a deflective fan way! Like “Hello Patrick… it’s just my friend says hi. Nothing to do with me wanting to shake your hand. Oh no, no, not that at all”. Patrick is very lovely, very polite.

It is interesting what this event brings out of people. It’s very bizarre –

It’s great. Bizarre is not a bad thing – absolutely not. It think that’s why everyone’s here – they all have a love of the bizarre.

In regards to your acting career, how did you get into acting in the first place?

Well, I kind of always wanted to do it, but I never really got how people like me got into it. I ended up getting involved in a lot of theatre and projects like short films, and then I applied to drama school. From there I set up a theatre company with some friends, so we did a lot of work together and did some shows and took them to Edinburgh. Then about three months after drama school I got The Descent. I couldn’t believe someone would hire me, and they did, and they just continued hiring me… It’s amazing.

MyAnna Buring in The Descent

Your work seems to lean more towards horror and science fiction. Is this something you set about aiming for, or just by chance?

It’s the way it’s gone. However, I’ve really enjoyed that aspect of it. Somebody was saying that a lot of actors look down on that sort of role, which I think is ridiculous because it’s a lot of fun. It’s quite amazing to work with these people, as there’s so much imagination that goes into the work. Bringing a two dimensional vision into a three dimensional vision is an exciting place to be, and I enjoy it. I love playing straighter things as well, and dramatic parts too, but I have no complaints whatsoever about what I’ve done. It’s been a blast so far.

Well, everyone at Gorepress obviously has a real love of horror films. I think it’s a fantastic genre.

Well, you know what? The older I get, the more and more difficult I find it to watch horror. I mean, I love making horror, which is bizarre. I think it’s a lot of fun to do, but my imagination is getting better as I get older, so I just get terrified by it, even though I know how everything’s done now!

So what scares you most? In a horror film, what would really terrify you?

Well, I’m scared of the dark, which is a bit embarrassing…

That’s pretty much all horror films you’re scared of then!

[LAUGH] Yeah, yeah – it’s the fear of the unknown. For me and horror it’s often the music and the sound that really sells it, and I think my ears are getting more sensitive as I’m getting older. I literally get terrified watching horror films. I have to psyche myself to do it now, but if someone says “Do you want to do a horror film?” I’m like “Yep, definitely!”

You’ve worked with Neil Marshall on two occasions, right?

Yeah, that’s right.

The Descent and Doomsday. He’s a great director – how’ve you found it working with him?

He’s fab. Well, Neil and Christian Colson (who produced The Descent), they were the guys who gave me my break, and Gail Stevens who cast it – they picked someone unknown when they could’ve picked someone who had a bit more experience, perhaps, but they picked someone straight out of drama school. I’ll always be grateful for that, and I’ll be grateful for Neil bringing me back on Doomsday. They were the two best films I ever did in terms of experience and the people who were working on it – they all did incredible jobs.

The Descent was fantastically well received, so much so it got a sequel. You even returned for The Descent 2, for a small role as flashback footage found on a video camera… and as a corpse.

[LAUGHS] My corpse. Yep. My corpse.

How did they approach about that?

We were told [about the sequel] and we were asked and there was no question from any of the girls. We all said yes immediately.

It did well as a sequel, which surprised a lot of people.

Well, Jon Harris who directed Descent 2 was the editor on the first Descent, so it was nice that it stayed within the family. And Sam McCurdy and his crew returned, who shot the first one, which was great. There were a lot of people who came back from the first one, so that kept the family feel going about it.

You also did Lesbian Vampire Killers.

Yes, I did.

That was less well received than The Descent was. Why do you think that is?

I don’t know. You never know why something is more or less well received. Possibly it’s because it had been talked about for a long time. Sometimes when things get built up, and hyped up, it’s easier for them to fall – unlike films that are discovered by people. I think that can affect the reception. Maybe that’s what it needed, to be discovered as opposed to people being told they should go and see it.

MyAnna Buring in Lesbian Vampire Killers

Well a lot of people discovered The Descent and are still discovering it. Whereas Lesbian Vampire Killers… well, the title said a lot about it in advance.

Yeah, definitely.

Did you enjoy it?

Yeah, yeah. Phil Claydon [L.V.K.’s Director], it was one of his first features, and he’s up-and-coming and just has fab ideas and an amazing energy about him. That’s always fun to work with. It was a fun concept, it was meant to be a sort of tongue-in-cheek film, and never meant to be, you know, hugely serious –

It was an homage, of sorts.

Yeah, absolutely, and I think it achieved that on certain levels. And I know you said that some people didn’t feel that, but equally I’ve met people who have really enjoyed it.

How were James Corden and Matthew Horne to work with?

Funny… funny. You know, they’ve worked together for such a long time they have this really great banter between them, which you don’t often get that with actors. Most actors are just thrown together, but they [Horne & Corden] speak in a different language with each other, which is great to watch. And also it’s great to work with young actors who have already been incredibly successful, with Gavin and Stacey doing so well, which is something that should be celebrated.

Well, James Corden has done so well he’s in Doctor Who, which is something you beat him to. It’s such an iconic television show – a British institute. How was your experience on Doctor Who?

Well, I didn’t know Doctor Who that well – I knew of Doctor Who, but not much else – so when I rocked up on set I was hit by just how huge it was. And then the reception afterwards… to come to things like this and realising that several years after it people are still talking about it and remember it… that’s amazing.

I think it’s because it bridges the usual divide between horror, sci-fi, family and drama, in a way no other show ever has.

Absolutely. It’s very inclusive.

You’ve done a lot with CGI and green screen technology, on Doctor Who and The Wrong Door – is it a difficult thing to work with?

You get used to it. Maybe that’s why my imagination getting better is a good thing – you have to suddenly imagine these things in front of you. You hear of actors who do a lot of work with CGI, and this hasn’t happened with me, who go crazy, constantly having to work with pretend. I’ve always found it quite exciting. I think anything that’s thrown at you that’s different is a challenge – so on one hand it’s great working and on the other it’s great to be thrown challenges. I feel very lucky.

MyAnna Buring in The Wrong Door

You’ve done comedy, horror, sci-fi – are their any more genres you’d like to be involved in?

I’d love to more some more dramatic parts. I’m doing something later on in the year with Face Films, who I’ve worked with before, which is sort of a dark drama, so that’s going to be quite exciting to work on.

Are you looking to do more film than theatre, as you went to drama school and…

Yeah, well I ran a theatre company with some friends, so I always thought I’d do theatre, but then I ended up getting jobs in the film and TV and it kind of works that way, and if you do a lot of film and TV you have to adapt yourself. I love theatre as well, but acting for me is acting, and all mediums are just as good as each other. I never thought I’d do film and TV ever, so I feel really lucky that I’ve had the chance to do it and still get employed to do stuff, so it’s fantastic.

Is there anyone who you really want to work with? Obviously we’re surrounded by talent here, but is there an icon or an iconic figure you’d really love to work with?

Um… I’d love to work with David Fincher. Also Clare Higgins. I worked with Jim Broadbent earlier in the year, which was great. That was a bit of a dream cast, just a couple of scenes, but still it was amazing. So, so many people I’d like to work with. I’d love to do more stuff with Ben Wheatley, who I did The Wrong Door with – his Down Terrace, his feature which just came out, is a great film – I love the way his brain works. Corin Hardy, another young director I’ve known for years, I think is exceptional. He’s a bit of a British Tim Burton, so look out for him.

So, are planning on staying a few days in Milton Keynes?

No, no I’m not! I’m filming in Bulgaria at the moment. I flew in this morning.

This morning?!

Yeah, I flew in this morning at four-thirty, which is two-thirty British time –

My God.

[LAUGHS] And I’m flying back tomorrow at six-thirty in the morning… so I want to get back home this evening, spend about an hour with family and friends and go to bed for hopefully about three hours…

Well that’s a disturbing amount of dedication to your fans. That’s hardcore.

A little bit hardcore. Well, once you said you’d do something I think you should commit to it. I didn’t want to let people down.

That’s quite a commitment.

Yeah, I told myself “I will come to Milton Keynes, I will come!” And I have – I’ve arrived!

And finally, what’s your favourite horror film?

Evil Dead 2. Definitely.

Great choice! Thanks for talking to Gorepress, MyAnna.


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