Interview with Megan Franich

Megan Franich is known for her role of Iris in “30 Days of Night”. Besides acting, Megan is also a singer/songwriter. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Megan to ask her a few questions about her career and what is coming up.

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Mike Gencarelli: How did you prepare for such an intense role in “30 Days of Night”?
Megan Franich: I went out at night and killed a few people just to see how it felt. It was fun! Then I ate my Mom. So I felt very prepared…OK now the serious answer. I made up an entire back story for Iris – one that would actually make a great movie of it’s own (just in case Columbia Pictures is reading this, wink wink). So I knew in my head and heart what was motivating her to do the things she did, where the anger came from. I think it’s really important to know your character’s past. Not that you are thinking about it when you’re filming, but if you know it, then it sits in your bones and you know where the actions are coming from. It gives you an energy that has meaning, instead of just doing something because that’s what the script is telling you to do. Also on a more immediate level, the make-up helped me to prepare every day. I could laugh and talk with the make up people for most of the process, but as soon as the contact lenses went in, something would change. There would be a shift and Iris would come out to play.

MG: What was the most difficult part for you working on that film?
MF: I think the most difficult part for me was that I had so much on at the time. I was still producing and hosting a music television show each week. Also I was preparing for my wedding. I also shot a short film in amongst it… 30 Days was shooting in the city I was living in, Auckland, New Zealand, so I still had everything going on. I much prefer to shoot on location so that I can focus only on the film. But that being said, it didn’t detract from the process at all. I loved it, and it was fun to be able to introduce my cast mates to my city.

MG: Where you familiar with the graphic novel prior to filming?
MF: Prior to filming, yes. Prior to auditioning, no. It was only after I was cast in the role that my fiance bought me the graphic novel. As soon as I saw Iris I understood why David Slade had chosen me. Such an uncanny resemblance to Ben Templesmith’s art… Now that I’ve been introduced to Steve Nile’s work though I must say I’m a fan for life. Such a sweet person and great writer.

MG: How long was the makeup process each day?
MF: It was different for each scene. On a usual day, a couple of hours. For the burn scenes much longer. Sarah Rubano and Gino Acevedo are two of the most talented make up artists I’ve ever worked with. And I think it makes a huge difference to like the people doing your make up. I consider these people friends and it made the process that much more enjoyable.

Mg: How was it like working on such a large film like “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”?
MF: Awesome, I loved it SO much. There are different reasons that I enjoy smaller independent films and huge ones like Narnia. One of the reasons I love the big ones is the scale of the sets. The Narnia sets blew my mind! You would absolutely be in Paravel the second you stepped foot into the set. And it was all encompassing. It’s hard to describe, I’m sure you get the idea from the film…
We were on location in Arthur’s Pass in the South Island of New Zealand for a lot of this shoot, and it really is a paradise. My fellow nymphs and I stayed in a ski chalet at the top of a mountain and one night there was a lightning storm which we saw from ABOVE the clouds. A truly magical experience.

MG: Besides movies you are also involved with music, tell us a little about that?
MF: I’m a singer/songwriter – my demo is on MySpace… Just solo acoustic guitar and vocals. This year I had my first LA gig at The House of Blues and look forward to more in 2011!  Also in New Zealand I had a tv show sharing beautiful musical discoveries with others. Albums and videos. I loved being able to help promote bands that otherwise seemed to slip under the radar. I have been missing my show since moving to the States and have just started up a blog – Where I’m sharing found treasures with whoever wants to know!

MG: What upcoming films do you have planned?
MF: My next appearance is in Smokewood Entertainment Group’s new film. Their last film was “Precious”, so for them, like me, it’s a huge change in genre – a kid’s movie! It’s very colorful and cute. We had an incredible director, John Schultz and great locations. It comes out in 2011 and is called “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer”.

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