Photo credit for this photo is Jessica Elizabeth
Heather Dunham. Actress, model, artist.
What is the best thing about working in horror?
The honesty. We bring to life the things no one wants to talk about. We confront peopleís worst fears, rather than hiding from them. For anyone depressed or people who have shut their feelings off for whatever reason, it can often get through when other things canít, and reminds us we are in fact still alive.
Can you say anything about your movie you have be in?
It has importance within the community. Itís based on an urban legend in Angola, involving a train wreck at the bridge you see in the cover photo. Itís supposedly a truly haunted place.
Why do you work in the film industry?
I always loved reading as a child. I often pictured what it would be like to live from a characters perspective, to the point where it was an escape in hardship where I could be someone else. I find the same to be true of acting. Now I read scripts instead, and I actually get to bring those characters to life.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
Iím working on a few things with Emir - Veronika, The Hunt, and potentially one other thing in the works. Aside from that Iíll be playing Valkyr in Little Green People which Ty Cheman is leading. I would call that a sci-fi puppet comedy. Iíll also be Winter in West Side Girls by Brian ďDudemanĒ Zabrycki where Iím a lovable grumpy gamer girl with a secret.
What was the project you learned the most from?
So far - Smart Marks. Itís another comedy (about pro wrestling) I have coming out but Iím not technically working on it, Iím wrapped. That set taught me how to market. If I had to sum up what I learned - know your audience, and keep them in mind while making decisions.
What is the last horror film you saw? What did you think of it?
I donít want to sound obsessed, but it was Emirís ďTill Death Do We Rot.Ē I thought it was an entertaining take on a zombie film, where only men can catch the virus. I found it interesting that the zombies were kind of coherent, one wife was treating her husband like a dog .
What is your favorite horror movie and why?
I feel like I would need sub-categories to properly answer this one, I have different favorites for different reasons. I think there will always be a place in my heart for the Saw series. I like the individual puzzles, each individual character story, the villainís motive, and even how the plot changes as more and more sequels are added on.
How do you prepare for a movie?
I memorize lines, but I donít typically practice out loud until an in person script read. Iím a method actor (you may not know as I donít have to hold a character between takes), so I really like to feel out the emotion of the scene to decide how to react to my environment. An important part too is making sure I understand a character ahead of time, knowing what motivates my character, her tendencies, etc so I can properly respond to stimuli one the moment. Sometimes it makes for some really cool improv. Iíll be like ďNo I really feel like she would do this can I try something?Ē
If you could work with any actors or actresses who would they be and why?
I would be honored to meet anyone from the Harry Potter cast, I grew up admiring their talent. Johnny Depp has always inspired me. I like that he isnít just one character type. When I was already convinced he could do anything, he showed he can sing in Sweeney Todd and I lost it . I recently told Emir heís the Tim Burton to my Johnny Depp, and yes I meant it in the creepy way .
Where can we find out more about you and your work?
I have a website! www.Animatedhello.com . Iíve kept that screen name from the MySpace days, itís reminiscent of the fact that the world is a stage, internet is personal PR, and I may not be everything I seem. My hello is just animated, if you will.
What is your personal definition of horror?
Survival. Something that awakens that basic fight or flight response in us - itís dormant for so many in todayís world.
Who is your current inspiration?
Jennifer Lawrence. I love her transitions. In one take, you can watch her go from being happy, to realization, to crying mad and I really aspire to portray that kind of control.
Favorite country or place?
For places Iíve been, I really loved New Zealand. Citizens made an active lifestyle such a priority and the landscape was so beautiful, it was definitely a positive experience. I felt very alive there. Ironically though, Iíve been eyeing Sweden. I was seriously considering moving there not too long ago just based on its politics and landscape. Unfortunately I experienced too much success keeping me in America, but Iíd still definitely love to visit, maybe I can still be convinced to relocate .
Did you know anything about Sweden?
Iíve heard that aesthetically an American 10 is a 2 in Sweden, I know PewDiePie is from there, and in doing my research I learned the importance of steam rooms