Saturday, 11 September 2010
Read our exclusive interview!
Legendary Seeker recently had the opportunity to catch up with a Legend of the Seeker cast member, Sister of the Dark Kimberley, better known to her Twitter fans as Sportsarobix. Here she answers a few questions for us and gives a real insight into the LotS set:
How did you get into acting, and how did the opportunity to work on LotS arise?
I actually did a Burger King commercial through a casting place that had contacted the Gymsport (trampolining, gymnastics, etc) governing body in NZ. As I was competing in Sport Aerobics some of us were submitted to the casting agency and I ended up getting a role. So after I finished Nationals that year (last year) I contacted a talent agency that represented some other people I had met on the Burger King shoot, and joined. I think I signed the contract on the Monday, got the LOTS role and was in wardrobe by Wednesday, then was on set by Friday! It was all very fast. I guess I was lucky as the agency I joined submits a lot of people for LOTS and also Spartacus as they specialise in representing people with various physical capabilities, especially dancers and circus arts people. So I guess I joined at just the right time!
What was a typical day on set like?
Early call times, especially on location. You'd have 5am or 5:30 ones, which for me meant getting up just before 4am as I lived about 45 minutes away from most of the locations. Especially filming out at Woodhill forest, a lot of the time you had to drive on logging roads at 20km/h which made the trip even longer! I always made sure my agent sent me a map. You'd go straight to 1st wardrobe, which by the 2nd half of the season we could pretty much do ourselves! You'd be surprised how complicated that dress was. Then robes on and to breakfast, which was always a spectacular (but very Kiwi! buffet). Then to hair & makeup trailer, which for most girls meant wigs but mostly I was lucky and just had my own hair! Then you'd kinda chill out in the catering tent until they'd shuttle you to set, which often was by 4WD, kinda fun! Then you'd sit again while they did 2nd wardrobe (our veils). Most of the time if the call time was 5am you still wouldn’t actually be filming till 9 or 10am! Rehearse the fights or block the scenes, before filming a scene or two before lunch, depending on the scene, then back down to catering for lunch. When we filmed Perdition they actually set up catering near the set, half in the bush and half behind some sand hills. It was like camping. Then back to set, make some coffee at the Unit table, then wrap about 7pm. It was definitely a lot of waiting around, but on location you were mostly close enough to see them filming the other scenes, which was interesting. At the studio you were waiting in the green room, so it wasn't as fun :) We did get some awesome games of cards and spoons going though!
Do you have any favourite memories from your time on set?
So many! One time when we were filming Perdition on the sand dunes, I was lying there being dead, but every time the wind would come up sand would get everywhere. So they gave us these awesome plastic safety goggles to wear under our veils, and everytime they cut wardrobe would cover us with robes. Then when we finished the scene and got up, the wardrobe ladies cracked up laughing and wouldn't stop, and we didn't know why. Then they handed us a mirror - our faces were BLACK with sand, it looked like we had 2 day old stubble everywhere. so gross but so funny! The wardrobe ladies really were awesome, we FROZE those days out at Bethells beach, and they would always keep the robes on us right up until camera roll, then the second they cut they would wrap us in robes and just stand there hugging us to keep us warm. We had thermals on, heatpacks stuck down inside our dresses, everything. It was freezing but so much fun! It was also really neat to get to work with some well known Kiwi actresses, especially Keisha Castle-Hughes who is so lovely and freakin funny too! I also remember the last day on set, we had to wait for ages as they changed the filming schedule around, and a few of us sisters and Craig and Bridget’s doubles were chilling in the green room, and the Unit table lady bought us our own popcorn and stuff so we didn't have to go into the studio unit table, then we re-arranged the whole green room like a movie theatre and just chilled out watching DVDs.
Did anything crop up that you weren't sure you could do?
We used to have a lot of chants as Sister of the Dark - we were forever going over our sides and learning the different inflictions to make the flow sound right. By the last few episodes the AD would sit us down to learn a chant and we'd jump right into it and the AD would be like 'oh, sorry, forgot you guys are pros at this now. When we trained the table fight scene in 2x13 there was a lot of stuff I was nervous about, but you'd be surprised what you can do when you have to, and everyone including the older stuntees were so supportive. When we actually shot it I don't think I ended up doing anything that hard anyway, but it was a great confidence boost! Also in 2x19, when we run through the forest towards Richard and Darken Rahl, we did SO many takes because pretty much every sister fell spectacularly at least once! I managed to fall right in front of the camera, which the crew then proceeded to play in slow motion and told me I looked like a Mountain Lion. So yeah it was a lot of just sucking up any doubts you had, and if you made a mistake, you just tried again.
What was the best part of working on a show like LotS?
How down to earth Craig and Bridget were, they would talk to anyone and had the utmost respect for the crew and their fellow cast. How dedicated the crew were, they'd make such an effort to know your name, to get to know you, even if you were just an extra doing a single scene. The AMAZING sets and the beautiful locations. And the accessibility to the fans, knowing how much people cared about the show.
Any little tidbits from the set?
Someone asked me once how they made the spider move, the one that we chant to in Perdition. They had this spider wrangler who had a little straw and blew air from just off camera on the spider, which made it move. On one take it went up the dress of Jolene's double and she had 3 or 4 pairs of hands up her dress trying to get it out. The atmos machines always amused me to, you'd be filming in the forest and they were just cranking it, it would look so cool with the misty fog everywhere! They had really neat special effects actually, however I remember shooting a scene with this cauldron, and it was like fully on fire and bubbling, and if we didn't get through the scene in time they'd have to cut cause it would start melting and make these horrible noises!
Did you ever want to be anything else?
For years now I've wanted to do something to do with this industry, I was actually aiming more at being an agent or working in casting, so wanted to get into the acting as experience. So even if the acting doesn't go that far, I've had a lot of fun doing it, and I hope to still work in some part of the industry!
What's your favourite part of your job?
The really awesome people you meet! I've kept in touch with some of my fellow sisters, done some courses with them, it's been really cool. It's nice to feel a part of something that was thought of so highly by so many people as well. LOTS was neat because it wasn't like a commercial shoot where you come in for a few days, even just us sisters were filming 2 or 3 days a week, so by the end of the season you were really comfortable, knew all the wardrobe and hair and makeup people and could chat to them like old friends. It was just a really neat environment to work in - especially for one of my first experiences. I think I will have impossibly high expectations now when going onto other sets.
What are your future plans?
I have New Zealand Nationals in a few weeks so will be competing in Sport Aerobics there, so full on training till that’s over! Then we hit display season, performing at events and parades, so around that will be trying to fit in some more acting courses and there are rumors a big new American show is going to start filming here so that would be really cool for the industry here. After that, who knows! I will keep on with the acting as much as I can and hopefully try to find some work experience, something in the agency or casting areas.
What would be your dream role?
Any role I think where I could really develop and explore a character, make them a part of me. I also really enjoy working on location, so a role where I got to do that a lot! Possibly a purely dream role would be in one of those over the top natural disaster movies, just for fun! :D I was watching the making of 2012 the other day and I think it would be fascinating and a lot of fun!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I do a bit of nannying part time, and am studying as well. I also do a bit of web design, I run the official sites for actresses Tatum McCann (Click) and Hailey McCann (Time Travellers Wife.) I also LOVE to travel, and I compete and coach in Sport Aerobics.
If anyone wanted to get into acting, what advice would you give them?
Definitely the more experience you have, the better. It can be hard to get experience in the first place though, and hard to book jobs without having any, so it's a bit of a catch 22! You just gotta do what you can, community theatre, etc, even go to some acting classes where they give you a demo reel of your work at the end, that can be a great thing to take to agencies. Once you start booking jobs, even if is the smallest extra gig, just be gracious, be respectful, (and show up on time!) and know that everyone around you on the set had to work their way up too.
Any message for the fans out there?
I think LOTS has a fandom unique to any other show. Even back when Bridget was talking about how they used to read the cracky recaps on set, you got the idea that this was a very special fan/show relationship. I think being in NZ and so far away from Hollywood and all of that, just made it a very unique set. When it got down to it, it was a bunch of awesome people making a really neat show, friends off set and on, unaffected by Hollywood hype and in touch with their fans. So though there’s no way we can truly thank you all for your support, I guess the cast/fans connection has been our way of trying to say thank you, that we hear you and we appreciate all the love you have for the show. It's something that will always remain very unique to LOTS.
Isn’t she an absolute doll! I’m sure it should be illegal to be that beautiful and talented and be so nice as well. And she never stops! Maybe it's all that New Zealand air.
Thank you Kimberley, we love your work and wish you all the best for the future.
Find Kimberley on Twitter here
To se Kimberley’s work on the Tatum and Hailey McCann sites click here and here
For a clip of the Sports Aerobics competitions click here