Interview with Ashlynn Yennie

Ashlynn Yennie is known for her role in the film “The Human Centipede”.  She is currently reprising her role this month in the follow-up “The Human Centipede II”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Ashlynn about working on the sequel and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you tell us about your involvement in “The Human Centipede II”
Ashlynn Yennie: We shot the first film in 2008 and in January of 2010, I moved to Los Angeles. IFC had picked up the film and was going to release it in April. Everyone who has seen the first movie knows my character Jenny dies in the first film. I never thought I would be back for the second. I got an email from Tom Six and the film’s writer telling me that he would like to talk with me. When we talked Tom laid out the entire second film for me and I totally wanted to do the film. I wasn’t allowed to talk about my involvement in the film whatsoever. I couldn’t even tell my agent at the time as to why I was going to London. I flew over to London at the end of the summer and worked on my part for a few weeks. Everything has been super secret and I still can’t tell anyone what my part in the film is.

MG: How was it working with Tom Six for the second time now?
AY: Working with Tom wasn’t much different from the first time he and I worked together. When you are working with Tom he is always right there with you. Even when I was in the centipede he was right there giving me notes and encouragement. He is very hands on. I think Tom knows that as actors and actresses we are devoting ourselves to making his film come true and he is going to make sure we give our best performance. Working on part 2 though was completely different. The first film was very clean and had a lot medical type things going on. The second film is completely the opposite as the warehouse we were shooting in was very wet and dirty. It looked like a swamp in there. The film looks really amazing though.

MG: What are your feelings on the film already being banned in the UK due to its content?
AY: I can’t say I wasn’t shocked. Tom has a plan for everything he does and after the first film came out people were saying it wasn’t gory enough and that you didn’t see enough. I tell people they asked for what they will see in the second film. I don’t know if people realized what they asked for.

MG: After working on the first film did you have any doubts about the film?
AY: That film was a great European film to shoot. We had no idea what was going to happen with it. I remember when they told us what the name of the film was going to be we were all a little taken back. We sort of teased Tom about the title for quite sometime while we were shooting. I don’t generally watch a lot of horror films as I am a bit of a scaredy cat. When “The Human Centipede” came out and it was embraced by the horror fans and it became just so big mainly because of the internet. The trailer for the film just went everywhere. I think “Human Centipede” is the most not watched film as most people I meet tell me they have watched just the trailer. They seem to have these preconceived notions as to what the film is about. The first film really held back a lot. The second one is in your face.

MG: How has working on the second film compared to working on the first film?
AY: I became very close with Ashley and Akihiro during shooting and for Ashley and me that was my first film. We all became recognizable from this film and to move up the chain link with people you are friends is great. The second film I got a whole new batch of actresses to fall in love with. The girls in this movie are incredible women and very beautiful. Both sets were completely opposite but both had a real family feel.

MG: Do you any other upcoming projects?
AY: Right now I am pretty busy promoting “The Human Centipede II”. I do go on auditions like crazy though as I am still an actress trying to make it in Los Angeles.

Interview with Dieter Laser

Dieter Laser is known best for his role of Dr. Heiter in “The Human Centipede”.  Dieter portrayal of that characters ranks as one of the best/creepiest villains that I have ever seen.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Dieter about his role and what else he has planned.

Mike Gencarelli: What did you like most about playing Dr. Heiter in “The Human Centipede”?
Dieter Laser: I loved the pitch black humor in it – funny and scary at the same time. I loved the downfall from an insane German “Demigod” with a spotless white doctor’s coat to a bloody snakelike “Subhuman” crawling across the tiles like a centipede.

MG: How did you prepare for such a demented & dark character?
DL: When you read a novel you gradually start to “see” and even “feel” the characters on your mind’s screen – same thing with a script. I’m reading a script every day, very early in the morning and very slowly up to a hundred times, thereby enhancing this common effect of visualization. Discovering under the entertaining surface the different layers of diverse combinations and rich possibilities to interpret the stuff. Trusting my guts, waiting patiently for the character to come alive on my mind’s “silver screen”. Watching “Him” carefully when He shyly shows up… and finally, when He seems to feel quite comfortable I slowly start to mimic what He’s doing.

MG: How was it working with Tom Six, did he give you creative freedom for the role?
DL: Tom Six and his sister, the wonderful producer Ilona Six, gave me every thinkable creative freedom, support and trust, and if you are treated like this, you only can try to pay back, and that explains the splendid chemistry we had every day at the set. Tom knows precisely what he wants to do and has the rare talent to provide you with generous freedom and leadership at the same time.

MG: We interviewed Akihiro Kitamura and his first impression of the script was that it was hilarious, what was your first impression?
DL: I got my first impression through a meeting with Tom and Ilona. Tom told me very defined and detailed the whole movie in real time. After 90 minutes I was so fascinated by his vision, precision and obsession that we came to a deal even during this meeting. Later on when the script arrived I got scared. I hadn’t in fact realized the whole consequences of the premise (“Feed her!”) – and I was afraid. Then in my early morning sessions with the script I discovered under the plain surface “The Nazi-Doctor”! – and that led me to the “Angel of Death”, to the Nazi concentration camp physician Dr. Josef Mengele, who gruesomely experimented with twins. Therefore Tom and I decided to baptize Dr. Heiter with his first name “Joseph”. – Now I had found my “vehicle” and how to drive my character through the whole story no matter how disgusting things would become. So I got a lot of fun out of it, to kick my criminal German ancestors in their balls, making dark jokes about their twisted anal retentive Nazi-Psyche! Assholes like Dr. Heiter, who divided mankind in “Supermen” (themselves) and “Subhumans” (all the others) treating Human Beings like insects, like poor centipedes.

MG: You played villians in both the TV series “Lexx” and “The Human Centipede”, Do you enjoying playing the bad guy?
DL: Despite of these villains I always have preferred to be a “character actor” playing complicated and broken guys. If I can choose between a part with a candy bar or a part with a gun, I always will take the gun.

MG: How can you reflect on the banning of “The Human Centipede II (The Full Sequence) in the UK?
DL: It’s a pity for the UK audience and a big advertisement for the world market. I had the privilege to see some stills, they looked absolutely fascinating.

MG: Are you generally a fan of the horror genre?
DL: Not generally, but I love movies like “The Silence of the Lambs” or “The Shining” for example.

MG: What do you have planned next?
DL: I’m on stage tour with Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett – and I’m waiting for the right part in the right script for the right movie. I already had to turn down eight offers this year, so “The Right Movie” should be pretty close by now – hopefully taking place in the beloved United States of America! – Anyway there are new plans with Tom and Ilona Six for December/January – so let’s just wait and let us see!