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An Interview with Gemma Atkinson

Gemma: " I don't understand why you wouldn't want to see and hear something at its best quality".

Gemma Atkinson
Interview conducted by Steven Davies
26 October 2012

Rising British movie star and all round hottie Gemma Atkinson has been chatting with the Horror Asylum and getting passionate about helping raise awareness to support the UK film, TV and video industry with her involvement in the Moments Worth Paying for campaign. The Ex-Hollyoaks star also chats about her various feature roles in such horrors and thrillers as 'Airborne', the new UK-based 'Night of the Living 3D Dead' redo as well as her upcoming role in Renny Harlin's new mountain-side thriller 'The Dyatlov Pass Incident'.

You are currently working on the remake/reimagining 'Night of the Living 3D Dead' here in the UK. In the Samuel Victor helmed project you play the role of Barbara first portrayed by Judith O'Dea in Romero's original 'Night of the Living Dead'. How was it to score such an iconic role?
We have quite a bit more to shoot. However, what I have shot as Barbara has been great fun. She is such an iconic character throughout many generations and to be offered the part was very flattering. Of course I jumped at the chance.

With the many 'Dead' movies related to Romero's classic franchise being unleashed could you explain a little more about the project and what you think will make it stand out amongst the competition?
I think what will set this aside from others is the fact that we have tried to maintain word for word the original script whilst bringing a modern twist to it. The changes are very slight so die hard fans get the original concept but the younger generation get the modern side. Barbara is also English in our version so there is a bit of a back story there and also with it being in 3D it should give it great quality.

Being actively involved with the Industry Trust and supporting the UK film, TV and video industry how important do you think it is for us to continue paying for the movies we watch as opposed to illegally downloading?
To me working alongside The Industry Trust trying to get people to continue paying for movies is SO important. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to see and hear something at its best quality. Plus break the law! For me a cinema night or DVD night is what I look forward too. Itís a shame also for cast and crew who put so much effort into a production for it to be downloaded or streamed illegally. There's so many ways to watch films and TV, at home, at the cinema, online, and even through your games console. And with so many companies like Blinkbox, LoveFilm, etc....the legal access to them is huge and reasonably priced as well.

Gemma: "I find films about the paranormal extremely scary".

What do you think it'll take for an audience to get down to their local theatre or rental store as opposed to just sitting at home and downloading it for free?
Iím not really sure what it'll take to get people to stop to be honest. Iím sincerely hoping this campaign opens peopleís eyes to not only what they are doing wrong, but what they are also missing out on.

We hear you're quite the horror fan. What movies really scare you and what horror role would you absolutely love to play if you had the chance?
For me with films itís the music that scares me the most. Still now hearing those two chords from JAWS gives me shivers. Then of course the piano tune from HALLOWEEN always makes me think of the white Michael Myers mask :( I find films about the paranormal extremely scary as I think about them for days afterwards. The Exorcism Of Emily Rose ruined me! Iíd loved to have played that part.

Actress Gemma Atkinson recreates the iconic image of Uma Thurman in the Tarantino classic Pulp Fiction to launch a new campaign celebrating the entertainment value of film and Television. Press Association Photo. Issue date Friday October 26th, 2012".

Do you find it hard to shake the glamour model past of your career when attempting to pursue more serious film roles?
At first it was difficult to be taken seriously again as an actress, but now Iím exactly where I want to be with it. Iím not turning my nose up at glamour modelling; I had an amazing career with it but I always saw it as my bit on the side when it came to my career. Acting has been my passion since I was 7. Iím aware Iíll always have the fan base of my modelling days, and Iím grateful for that, but Iím an actress and I know I have a fan base for that too.

Having played 'the bad guy' in Dominic Burns' 'Airborne', released earlier this year, would you consider taking similar roles in the future?
I loved playing a baddie in AIRBORNE! Dom gave me the script without telling me the plot so as the part was unveiled I was thrilled. I love the fact it was so unexpected too. I would definitely consider another baddie. My favourite part to play would be someone mentally and psychologically damaged like Angelina Jolie in GIRL INTERUPTED. I think we all have a dark side inside us so to use that and make it real would be an amazing challenge.

Gemma: "My favourite part to play would be someone mentally and psychologically damaged".

Could you tell us a little more about your involvement in Renny Harlin's new thriller based on the tragic Dyatlov Pass incident that occurred in the Ural Mountains in the late 50's?
The Dyatlov Pass Incident was filmed in February in Russia for 7 weeks. It was incredible. I was a tad star struck meeting Renny as Iím a huge fan of Die Hard and Cliffhanger. I couldn't believe this man who had directed so many amazing talents was now sat writing notes for me on my script! He was great. Very professional but also game for a laugh. Itís my first movie role where I play an American and we shot it so it looks hand held. Itís a found footage film and it looks great. That mystery is still unsolved so to be in the mountains not knowing what the victims really suffered was strange. I canít wait to see the final product and I really hope people enjoy it.

Actress Gemma Atkinson is supporting the Moments Worth Paying For campaign. It celebrates the entertainment value of film and TV and invites film fans to test their knowledge of iconic film moments at www.facebook.com/findanyfilm

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