Interview with Whitney Able

Whitney Able is starring in this fall’s sci-fi drama “Monsters”. She is co-starring in the film with her husband Scoot McNairy. Whitney really shines in this film and she is going to have a fantastic career in this business.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Whitney about working on the film and her adventures in Mexico during the shoot.

Click here to watch “Monsters” right now on Video on Demand

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got involved with the film “Monsters”?
Whitney Able: Scoot told me about it, he got an email from Vertigo. They said that they have a script and they want a real couple to go down to Mexico and shoot this film. We were looking at the treatment and they told us that they wanted us for the film. It was really exciting.

MG: What was the most difficult part of working on the film?
WA: Initially the hardest part was how we were going to film it. We basically had a treatment and everyday we will show up and try and figure everything out. We didn’t know how to approach it. Neither of us have ever done anything like this. We have done improv before but with this we just had free range. We just developed a back-story for our characters and worked on that for two months before we left. We did some exercises together. Pretty much we just had to be exactly who we were and understand our story arc, try and hit those points in order to keep the story moving. With the exception of Emelie Jeffries everyone in the movie was locals. So they were just people we sort of found and approached in the film. Emelie played the homeless woman at the end. Emelie flew down to help us work on our back-stories for the characters. She is my mentor. I grew up watching her in the theater in Houston, TX. I was so excited to be working with her.

MG: How was it working with your husband Scoot McNairy?
WA: Even though we were a couple, we had a fear of what kind of strain this would put on our relationship. We were just newly dating at the time, about five months or so. We wanted to be sure this wasn’t going to be the kiss of death by working with each other in this strenuous environment. Scoot said if we can do this and get through it and still love each other, we should get married. So we did. It was great working with Scoot. He has a wonderful charisma about him. I am not sure if I would have been able to do it anybody else. I think so much had to do with me knowing Scoot and knowing his abilities. He is just a great improv actor. He is very outward and I am very inward, it really helped create these dynamic characters.

MG: What was it like shooting in Mexico?
WA: I have been to Mexico many times before the shoot but I loved seeing it during the shoot. We weren’t going to touristy places. We were going to small towns that nobody goes to. It was really inspiring.

MG: You worked in a few other genre films “Unearthed” & “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane”, are you a fan of the genre?

WA: I am new fan of the genre. I was movie-goer as kid. My dad loved the classics like “Jaws”. I remember watching “Nightmare on Elm Street”. I didn’t really know how to identify a genre when I was younger. Later I realized I like intense dark films. I am not really a comedy person. I realized after working on this I am a big sci-fi fan. I started watching more sci-fi films. I am actually even writing a sci-fi script right now which won’t be done for like five years probably [laughs]. I am not a blood and guns girls. I like also like action films with guns and fast cars.

MG: Tell us about some of your recent TV projects?
WA: I just wrapped an episode of “Criminal Minds”. That is pretty dark stuff. I worked on an episode of “Nikita” that just aired recently. That was really cool. I got to shoot guns and be a bad guy. I even had a Ukrainian accent. I really love accents and doing deep character studies. The problem with TV is that it is so fast. I like to build a library. I take a tape recorder wherever I go in different countries. I am slowly building library of accents and dialects.

MG: I guess that came in handy for you shooting in Mexico for “Monsters”?
WA: Yeah, I lived in Spain for a year, when I was younger. I learned to speak Spanish there. When I came back to Texas which is where I am from, nearly half the population speaks Spanish. I got to speak Spanish throughout my teens and into my twenties, especially living in LA.

Click here to watch “Monsters” right now on Video on Demand

 

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