Zoë Bell started off in TV and film by being the stunt double for Lucy Lawless in “Xena: Warrior Princess” and Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill”. Since then she has appeared in every film of Quentin Tarantino’s and even played herself in “Death Proof”. Zoë is taking the next step in her career with taking the lead role in the film “Raze”. She is also in talks to star in “The Expendables” female spin-off “The ExpendaBelles”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat about the film with Zoë and her plans to take over Hollywood.
Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got involved with “Raze”?
Zoë Bell: Ken Gage came up with the concept years ago and then started fumbling around with the idea more recently again. He and Josh Waller are mutual friends and somehow my name got brought up since Josh and I have been friends for a while. Kenny got excited because he knew of my work with Quentin (Tarantino) and my stunt career. So I came in and met the guys and there was just so much energy and the direction how they wanted to go really appealed to me. We did the short first and then people got excited and from there we did the feature.
MG: How was it going from mega budgeted “Oblivion” to low-budget gritty “Raze”?
ZB: There is the budget obviously, the schedule and the fact that I had such a small role in “Oblivion” and a much larger role in “Raze”. I was also a producer on “Raze”. I do love the crafty tables on big budget movies though [laughs]. They both come with their own freedoms and limitions as well. I just love working on films regardless of the size, so I think that once I am engaged in whatever role I am playing, a fit is a fit and its my job.
MG: Tell us about the physical demands for this film?
ZB: On “Raze” one thing that was difficult is that we didn’t have enough time. We would shoot a fight in the morning and then try and get the next one if possible. The scheduling was very tough. As far as physical excertion, my experiences in the past has always helped me as a stunt woman. A lot of the other girls didn’t come from that background and it was very tough. But everyone just had such amazing attitudes. When I stunt double, I need to make sure the action is seen on the camera through my body not my emotions. So that was the most difficult part for me that I am not used to emoting so much for my roles while still doing stunts.
MG: You are the lead in this film; do you see yourself stepping out from the role of stunt woman to lead actress more in the future?
ZB: Yes, definitely. I would love to. It just feels like the next progression of my career. It is still new to me, scary, challenging and excited all at once. With stepping out of the role of stunt woman, it is hard because it has been my identity for so long.
MG: Would you be against having a stunt woman for yourself in films?
ZB: The reality at the end of the day my job as an actress is the same as my job as a stunt woman, which is to bring whatever I need to bring to the character to make it work. If I am playing a character that jumps out of plane for a living, I will do as much research as possible to participate but I have them bring in a professional skydiver because that is going to make the character more believable. So I am all for making the character as true as possible.
MG: What do you have planned for 2014?
ZB: “Raze” is my main focus for right now but I have a few indie films coming out next year. One is called “Douglas Brown” and another is “Freshwater” in which I play an alligator expert, so that was pretty cool. I have just signed with a new manager and we have been creatively plotting my takeover of Hollywood [laughs]. I have a TV show and a feature that I am really excited about to see if I can get some wheel under.