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Friday, April 24, 2015

A Disturbingly Inhuman Drive For Horror: My Interview With “Axeman 2” Cast Member Maria Olsen

Maria OlsenMaria Olsen is a consummate force of talent in the independent film community. Her ability to transform into some of today’s most notable characters in both horror and science fiction is awe inspiring. She goes beyond what simple terms like  “stalwart” or “diligent” could ever give credit to in regards to her talent and dedication. Maria Olsen is a auteur, a woman of immeasurable creativity both on screen and behind the camera. She is also very passionate about the indie community-both as a professional and as a fan. Her IMDb is astounding, showing a constantly expanding career that goes beyond typical Scream Queen domain. There probably isn’t a horror or sci-fi fan out there who isn’t familiar with Maria Olsen’s work. She can give you Shakespear bizarro world as seen in “Way Down In Chinatown”, chilling non-human sinister girl like her characters in “Lost Time” and “Folklore”, not to mention the many disturbing “on the brink of bat shit crazy” characters she has brought to life like ‘mother’ in ‘Trophy Heads’ and ‘auntie’ in “Something Sinister”.

A character actor is not all that Maria Olsen is, she is a woman at work in the industry like no other. Producing, Promoting, Writing, Casting, you get my point. Maria is multifaceted and more than paramount within indie horror. She also puts out a monthly newsletter so that we fans can keep up with all that she has going on. Thankfully she shows no sign of slowing down and continues to bring attention to some truly creative projects. I just wonder if her latest character can manage to do so well against the Axeman. Maria plays Adele, one of Cutter’s Creek’s sheriffs. Check out my interview with Maria Olsen as we talk about Adele, and her career.

MO 1
A Southern Life: You play Adele in Axeman 2, tell me a bit about the character?
Maria Olsen: Adele is one of the Cutter's Creek sheriffs who gets pulled into the utter chaos caused by the Axeman's shenanigans! She's courageous, always first to follow the gutsy Deputy Darlene (Arielle Brachfeld) and doesn't back down even when the bad guy she confronts is the Axeman himself!

A Southern Life: Were you familiar with the franchise before auditioning for Axeman 2?
Maria Olsen: I hadn't seen Axeman at Cutter's Creek when I submitted for Axeman 2, but I did know that Arielle had been a part of it. Of course, any film that Arielle [Brachfeld] is a part of I want in! And I also wanted to work with Joston as I had heard so much about him (all good!).

A Southern Life: What do you relate to most with your character, and what do you relate to least?
Maria Olsen: At the time of shooting, I was reading the Laurell K Hamilton series Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, where US Marshal Blake goes up against supernatural bad guys in bullet vests, utility belts and armed with numerous weapons…and there was I: going up against the intimidating Axeman with my bullet vest, utility belt and weapons! It was AWESOME!!!

What did I relate to least? Not sure there WAS anything about Adele that I didn't relate to…hmmm…

MO 2
A Southern Life: You have been in over 40 feature films, plus writing, directing and producing so I think it is safe to say that you are passionate about film making, and the horror/sci-fi genre!

Maria Olsen: Not to blow my own horn, lol, but, at last count, it was just over 70 feature films!
Yes! I'm TOTALLY passionate about filmmaking, and scifi/horror genre filmmaking especially. At this particular point of time, it's the only thing I want to do with my life. I'm extremely lucky - and extremely grateful - that I'm able to do it.

A Southern Life: Considering all the projects currently in the works what drew you to Axeman 2: Overkill?
Maria Olsen: I was really interested in working with Arielle again, and with Joston for the first time, and the script was absolutely hilarious! I can't wait to see the finished product and enjoy watching others react to it!

A Southern Life: When did you first realize you wanted to make movies?
Maria Olsen: I watched a ton of movies when I was growing up in South Africa and always wanted to grow up to be what I saw the leading ladies in the films being - a psychologist after I saw Jane Fonda in Agnes of God, for instance, or a writer after I watched Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone - until the day I realized that I wanted to do what the actresses, and not their characters, did: ACT!!

I worked in theater and radio in South Africa and it was when I came to Los Angeles in 2005 that I started looking at film. It was around 2011, when I already had numerous on-screen credits under my belt, that I started to look at producing. Never a very patient person, I wasn't of a mind to sit around and wait for that phone to ring and for Spielberg to offer me that breakout role: I'd rather create opportunities myself!

MO 3A Southern Life: What are some of the most memorable roles you have had in the past, and did any of those characters help prepare you for this one?
Maria Olsen: My memorable roles include Mrs Dodds/The Fury in Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, the Casting Director in Starry Eyes, the Wicked Witch in Another/The Devil's Daughter and Sophomore, one of the mudmen in The Mudman (a completely silent role). None of these roles actually helped me in my preparations for Adele because none of those characters are human…yeah, I play a lot of characters who aren't human…

A Southern Life: Who is your all time favorite final girl of the past, and who is your favorite psycho killer past horror films?
Maria Olsen: My fave final girl must be Adrienne Barbeau, although Adrienne King comes a close second (what's up with the Adriennes lol??)

My fave psycho killer…hmmm…does Pinhead count? He's my fave Big Bad, and I would LOVE to play a Cenobite along with Doug Bradley in something directed by Clive Barker one day…just putting that out there to the universe :D

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