British actress Kacey Barnfield knew what she wanted to do from an early age: act. Her mother supported her and got her into acting classes. Her talents showed through and Kacey was cast in BBC’s long running school drama “Grange Hill”. She and her character, Maddie Gilkes, grew up in front of the camera and on television screens across Britain. When her run on the show ended after six years, she graduated to roles on other hit shows like “The Bill” and “Casualty”. That wasn’t enough for Kacey, so she jumped across the pond and exploded on the screen in Paul Anderson’s RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE(2010). Now living in L.A. Kacey has faced giant alligators in LAKE PLACID 3 and gypsy curses in ROADKILL. Her latest role in the SyFy original movie JABBERWOCK has her opposite Michael Worth (GOD’S EARS and DUAL). The film, directed by Steven R. Monroe (I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and DUAL), has the young actress once again facing peril, but also kicking some butt as well. Now Kacey has taken a break from fighting zombies, gators and other diabolic beasts to talk with B Movie Man Nic Brown about working with CGI, her career, and how living in Hollywood is inspiring her writing talents!
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Nic – Kacey, your new film JABBERWOCK is getting ready to premiere on the SyFy channel. Can you tell us a little about it?
Kacey – JABBERWOCK is medieval creature feature about a small village attacked by a dragon-like monster, right out of the work of Lewis Carroll. I play Anabel. She’s the love interest of Francis (Tahmoh Penikett) who, along with his brother Alec (Michael Worth), have to save the village from the monster. I start out as kind of a reserved character, but towards the end, I get to kick some butt, so that was really fun.
Nic – JABBERWOCK, like a lot of sci-fi and horror films today, features computer-generated images and special effects, especially for the monsters. Do you find it difficult to work with something that isn’t there?
Kacey – Well I’ve worked on quite a few films that used CGI, like RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE and LAKE PLACID 3 as well as JABBERWOCK and it isn’t that hard. I mean it’s a little strange sometimes, but you just have to use your imagination for it. So when you’re running for your life from the monster, you just have to see it in your head and know that it’s there chasing you.
It is interesting though because the image you get in your head when you’re making the film is very different from the one that the tech guys put together in the finished film. A lot of times, unless we have an advanced showing or get to see a rough cut, we don’t get to see the monster any sooner than the audience when the film premieres.
Nic – Where did you shoot JABBERWOCK?
Kacey – We filmed for three weeks in Bulgaria. It was very different. I love to travel and that’s one of the nice things about being an actor, sometimes you do get to go to new places… places you might not normally think of going to, like Bulgaria.
Bulgaria was beautiful and we had such diverse weather while we were shooting. One week it was sunny, and then it was snowing. That was particularly nice because you’ll see the scenes in the forests where they are covered with snow. Finally, during the third week, we had gale force winds and it just about blew us and the sets away!
It’s also different when you go as part of a film project because you’re there with the rest of the cast and crew and it’s almost like a little bubble. You get to bond with everyone on the set and everyone working on JABBERWOCK was great so we became close working together.
Nic – You’ve been doing quite a few features this year. You did another SyFy original film earlier this year called ROADKILL didn’t you?
Kacey – Yes I did. It aired last April and I believe it was just released on DVD. It’s kind of a JEEPERS CREEPERS type movie. We filmed it in Ireland. It’s about a group of friends driving through the countryside and they accidentally run over a gypsy woman who curses them, and they are chased by a flying creature.
Nic – Despite the fact that you have been in so many horror and sci-fi films, that’s not where you got your start is it?
Kacey – No, I actually started on television back in London. I played Maddie Gilkes in the show “Grange Hill” and that was really where I learned a lot about acting. It was almost like going to school, which was funny because the show was a drama set in a school, and I started on it when I was 11 and finished at 17. It gave me so much experience.
Nic – Was it tough for you to make the change from playing the same character over and over for so long, to working in films where you don’t stick with one character for more than the film?
Kacey – Well it’s different, but it’s all part of being an actor, learning to become the characters. On “Grange Hill”, I literally grew up in front of the camera, so in some ways that character became a part of me. But then you do films and you have to find those characters too, and you don’t have years to do it either. It was great experience though, and it allowed me to graduate to doing film, and then I had the opportunity to come to America and start working in film here. I’ve been out here in L.A. for six months and I’m loving it.
Nic – Do you have any other projects in the works now that you might want to talk about?
Kacey – Actually, I’m talking with Michael Worth about doing an independent project with him that he’d like to start shooting in San Francisco in a few months, but I can’t say much more about it.
Nic – We’ve been talking movies and acting, but what do you like to do when you’re not in front of the camera?
Kacey – I love to travel. But you know I’m also a bit of a home body. I especially enjoy getting back to England to see my family, having the nice roast dinner on a Sunday with them, kind of ‘homey’. It’s nice and I do it as often as I can. I also I enjoy reading… and writing.
Nic – Oh, what do you like to write?
Kacey – I’ve done some poetry, and I’m also about half way finished with a novel I’ve been working on for about three years. Recently I’ve started working on film scripts too. I mean I’m here in L.A. and I have all these great contacts, so why not? I love having the chance to be creative.
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