Fantastic Fest 2015 Interview: Zoe Bell Talks CAMINO
I spoke to Bell about the film and on her experiences as a stuntwoman before the premiere.
ScreenAnarchy: This is the second time you've worked with Josh Waller for a feature film; what's it like collaborating with him?
Bell: Working with Josh has been awesome. He was very instrumental in bringing me on and convincing me that I could do this. He said that he could help me and it's a really safe place for me. I've known him for so long and he's watched me transition into an actor. It's a special working relationship. He has every right to be proud of me and take a bit of ownership.
The scenes flowed really well, acting-wise. Was there improv involved?
Not really, but when you've known someone and you're comfortable, it flows.
Nacho Vigalondo, also a director, but acting here as the main villain, is especially intense, intimidating, and magnetic.
I can't wait to see him. He's one of my favorite people on the planet; really fun, easy, and hilarious. On set, he takes it seriously. I've found that the best people to work with are the ones who take their craft seriously but not themselves seriously, and he's the best example of that.
What's the most challenging aspect of acting AND doing stunts in the same role?
To be honest, the stunts are where I have the most experience. Combining it with acting, I don't find it to be especially challenging. The character's journey is such that my physicality allows me to act with emotions; I use what's comfortable for me to get uncomfortable. When I'm physically exhausted, it allows me to use that in acting. The emotionality also allows the physicality; it's mutually beneficial. When I was first starting out, the martial arts guys teaching me wanted me to make "effort sounds" when fighting and I was like, "really, mate?" It's all part of the performance. It's just being "in it" as opposed to performing it. I like the physical challenge.
How long do you rehearse a stunt before you feel comfortable filming it?
Any stuntperson that's good at what they do... they have a process that they can modify before filming. On a low-budget film, there's only a certain amount of time that you have as opposed to a big budget film. If you've got your character down, you can get super-specific on the action. But when it's a safety thing and you've got multiple moving parts, that's when you really want to nail things down --- gags that involve multiple people or if there's someone on wires... a vehicle... Preferably that's when there's no camera around, let alone rolling, because you need to synchronize people's efforts. Having said that, I have often found myself in a situation where there's only so much time, people, budgets, and you make it happen on a scale that you can keep people safe. If it's just me throwing myself out of a tree or throwing myself onto someone, I can make some shit up on the spot and execute. If you can take the time off set, you should.
Did you shoot in Hawaii?
The locale seemed familiar. How long was the shoot?
In January, we shot for a week and got several days before Hateful Eight called me back. We did much more filming in June.
Was it difficult slipping back into character after so many months had gone by?
Yeah, it was. I love Avery, my character. It's such a weird thing we do. I had been in such a different space on Hateful Eight with the work I was doing, both with the training and the character. We were halfway through a scene the first day back on Camino, and I felt, "ah... There she is!"
Is there any particular memory you'd like to share from the set?
It was a tough shoot. I don't know how appropriate this is, but it was very hot in the jungle, and we drank a lot of water without strategically placed porta-potties. There was a lot of popping and squatting in the jungle! And the constant fear of getting mosquito bites on bums. I was talking with my agents and made sure that on the next projects there will be lots of toilets!
Beyond, that, I'm proud of Josh, proud of myself, and proud of the cast and crew. I feel that on this movie, we had a bit more freedom, especially for Josh and I. I think that this film is much more in line with Josh's personal flavor. I can't wait for the premiere!