First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us
unfortunate enough to not already know you?
I'm Eirian Cohen, a Welsh actress with a passion for all things horror!
You have recently starred in Exorcist Chronicles - what can
you tell us about the film and your character in it?
is not the usual possession type movie, that I can
tell you. When the film is released, I will only know a little more than
the general public. The director, Philip Gardiner [Philip
Gardiner interview - click here] is very secretive. He
tells everyone what they need to know and nothing more. As for my
character, she was a normal loving wife but was possessed by a demon. What
we see in the film isn't the woman at all, but the demon who has taken
over her body. This demon is incredibly powerful!
Awesome Killer Audition
Now I'm just guessing here, but I believe you've never been actually
possessed ;) - so how did you prepare for your role, and what did you draw
upon to bring it to life?
I drove myself crazy watching every paranormal movie I could get hold
of. The Amittyville Horror, Paranormal Activity, The
Exorcism of Emily Rose... I also read true life stories of people who
believed that they had actually had been affected by a possession which
really helped me. Freaked me out as well though. I had nightmares for
weeks! How did I bring it to life? I just left all my inhibitions at home
and got lost in the character. It was very intense!
What can you tell us about the
actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?
I absolutely loved
the shoot. Everyone was buzzing and there was such a good atmosphere. I
made some really good friends who I regularly chat to and met some amazing
people. It was crazy, it was intense, we got dirty, scared, battered,
bruised... and had a LOT of fun! I miss it!
A few words
about your director Philip Gardiner [Philip
Gardiner interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
Oh, Philip Gardiner. So much I could say about this guy! He is just
bonkers. He thinks up the most crazy stuff, then thinks "Right, now
how can I make it more crazy? More dangerous? How can I scare the shit out
of my actors, especially Eirian Cohen mwah ha ha ha" at least I think
that's what's going through his mind. Every time I turn up on set he
surprises me with something mental and you know what? I'd have it no other
way. Keeps things exciting and fun and that's why I'm in this industry!
Apart from Phil, the bonkers director though, he is a genuinely good guy
and probably one of the most interesting people I will ever meet. He
You have worked with Philip Gardiner twice before Exorcist
Chronicles, on Dark
Watchers - The Women in Black and Awesome Killer Audition. Now
what can you tell us about these two movies?
Watchers - The Women in Black
is a very visual and thought-provoking
alien conspiracy movie. It's about 3 girls (Val Monk, Melanie Denholme [Melanie
Denholme interview - click here] and
myself) who live together. Two go out UFO spotting, mysteriously lose 4 hours
and then strange things begin to happen. This film will always be really special
to me. It was my first lead role in a feature film, my first to be released and
was an incredible experience!
Awesome Killer Audition was an entirely new and different experience again. This
film was fully improvised with no-one, not even the director, knowing fully what
would happen. It was one continuous long shot and it is in real time. We had one
chance to get it right. The story is about an X-Factor style audition and a man
(Rudy Barrow [Rudy Barrow interview -
click here]) who is rejected, but will not accept it. He flips out and it all
goes mental. It's very funny at the beginning before the mood changes. Jessica
Messenger [Jessica Messenger
interview - click here] and Rob Ireland [Rob
Ireland interview - click here] in particular were hilarious!
How did you
get hooked up with Philip Gardiner in the first place?
year ago I auditioned to be a British Scream Queen. There was a panel of
judges, Philip Gardiner, Melanie Denholme, Michelle Gent and Lee Roberts [Lee
Roberts interview - click here].
I was covered in blood and was carrying a huge blood soaked mallet... They
must have thought I was mental but for some reason still gave me a part!
Melanie Denholme [Melanie
Denholme interview - click here] from Dark
Watchers - The Women in Black, you've also made Twisted: The Devil
in Her Mind - please do talk about that one and your character in it!
Twisted is just that. Twisted! It's really messed up. It will play on your
mind! It was written by author Michelle Gent and anyone who has ever read
her work will know about how creative and dark her imagination can be. I
don't want to say too much about the plot because there are some fantastic
twists and turns and I don't want to give too much away but I am so
excited to see the end result of this film. As for my character - she is a
burlesque dancer/bartender who is freaky and fantastic... say no more than
that. Just wait till you see her!
can you tell us about Twisted: The Devil in Her Mind's director
Eddie Bammeke, and the TV-pilot Undercover Cop you're doing with
Eddie Bammeke is so full of energy and enthusiasm it's
unreal. He is very passionate about his work and I loved working for him
so as soon as he offered me a role in Undercover Cop, I jumped at the
chance. The show is hard-hitting and covers a lot of issues we see in
society today - drugs, prostitution, violence, bent cops... It's got it
all. It's probably pushing the boundaries as far as can be for TV and that
is why I love it!
The zombie-film The Eschatrilogy - again, what
can you tell us about your movie and your character in it ... and how much
fun was it to fight zombies to begin with?
Ah, The Eschatrilogy! This is another film that will always be very
special to me. My first film audition and my first film role! It started
out as a short film called A Father For The Dead. It turned out so well
that the Morters decided to make it bigger. Two more short films were shot
and then it was linked together to create The Eschatrilogy. Three tales,
following different people after a demon (the story teller) has brought
chaos and destruction into villages to teach humans a lesson about fear.
Anyone who loves zombie movies will love this film. In fact, no I think
most people whether they are into zombie movies or not will love this film.
It was premiered a couple of weeks ago where I got to see it for the
first time and I'm just so proud to be involved.
Fighting zombies? I loved
playing with guns but when you see this film you will see that when the
zombies attack I'm not really in a position to fight...
How did you
get involved with that project, and what can you tell us about your
director Damian Morter [Damian
Morter interview - click here]?
Again, I just went along to an
audition. For this one I performed a very sick piece from Silence of the
Lambs which caught their attention.
Damian Morter? What a guy!
for him because he is going places. Him and his wife Nicola Morter who
produced The Eschatrilogy and brought Safehouse Pictures UK together make
a great team. He is a very talented filmmaker, actor, writer and
musician. Not only that but a very genuine, down to earth and funny guy.
He is a perfectionist and has a hell of a lot of passion for film.
Something that springs to mind is while we were filming one of my scenes,
there was a lot of blood involved and it accidentally got on one of the
cameras. Everyone ran to try to save the camera and get the blood off but
instead of being bothered about his camera which was worth thousands he
was shouting at them to leave the blood and just watch the shot back to
see if we got it right "We can get another camera, we can never take
the exact same shot again!" I loved how he thought the shot was more
important than the expensive equipment. The shot was great by the way, and
the camera was fine in case you were wondering ha ha.
Any other films of yours you'd
like to talk about, any future projects?
Yes, I am soon to
start filming Molly Crows
which is a supernatural horror by Flashgun
Films. It was inspired by a true story and is about an English town that
is being terrorised by a supernatural force for something their ancestors
did a long time ago. I'm really looking forward to getting started on this
film. Also in October I will be filming the opening sequence for another
horror called Blood Rush by Pentagram Pictures. It is brutal!
One can't help
but notice that quite a few of your films are of the horror variety - a
genre at all dear to you, and why (not)?
I am and always have been a huge horror fan and have watched them from
a very young age. Why? I don't know! I don't really want to see people
being eaten alive by hoards of zombies or stabbed to death by a serial
killer but there's something about horror that I just can't get enough of.
I think it's the suspense, the shock factor and fear that give me a huge
adrenalin rush. I get lost in them and scare myself stupid!
How did you get
into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
I left home after just turning 17 to chase my
dream of performing. I was lucky enough to get into SLP College of
Performing Arts where I did a 3 year diploma. After leaving college, I
worked as a dancer in various places but I only started acting seriously
about a year and a half ago. I can't for the life of me figure out why. I
guess I thought it was impossible. Maybe fear of failing. Who knows? But
after seeing how far I've come in that time, I often wonder where I would
be now had I started all those years ago. I do believe that everything
happens for a reason though!
Can you still remember your first time in
front of a movie camera, and what was that experience like?
Oh I'll never forget! It was The Eschatrilogy and I was SICK with
nerves. I couldn't stop shaking! I'm glad to say I'm a lot more
comfortable in front of the camera now.
have also done quite a bit of theatre, right? So how does acting on stage
compare to acting in front of a camera, and which do you actually prefer?
on stage and acting for film are two completely different things. I love
the instant high you get from being on stage and there's nothing like the
feeling you get at the end of a show when the audience is going wild.
Having said that, if I had to choose one it would be film. I love the
realism that there is with film and seeing it after it's all come together
being an actress, you also have a career as a dancer - so what can you
tell us about Eirian Cohen, the dancer?
I love dancing and
have danced as long as I remember. I used to skive classes at school to go
for extra dance lessons. I used to be very shy but on stage I would
explode! It was my way of expressing myself. I still dance, I always will.
It's fun and it keeps me fit, but my main focus now is acting. That's
where my real passion lies!
How would you
describe yourself as an actress?
Fearless, passionate and
Actresses (or indeed
actors) who inspire you?
Leonardo Dicaprio. Since
Basketball Diaries, I have followed his career and love all his films. He
really is an incredible actor. Another actor I really admire is Anthony
Hopkins. He has a way of telling the story just with his eyes. It is
captivating. Actresses I admire are Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz.
Your favourite movies?
Activity, Inception, Bourne Identity, Basketball
Diaries, The Shining, Hostel,
The Others, Dude, Where's my Car?, Bridesmaids, The
Hangover, The Inbetweeners, Bicycle Day to name just a few... I like anything that
really makes me laugh, shocks me or keeps me in suspense.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
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There are none
that I really deplore. There are some I just don't get but I can still
appreciate them. I personally don't like to watch sad films. I get into
films too much and I don't want to be sad! I like my films to grip me,
keep me on the edge of my seat and to either scare me stupid or have me in
fits of giggles. I like ones that play on my mind afterwards.
Psychological thrillers are often more powerful than really gory horrors.
If I have nightmares afterwards or wake up during the night having random
laugh attacks, it's a winner!
Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Yes! I have
recently been turned into an animation. My character is bad ass Anjelica
Hit and is for a cartoon by John Broadbent. Here is a link for more info: