Nicolas Lopez and Lorenza Izzo Interview - Aftershock

7878 Eli Roth€™s latest collaborator/muse duo Nicolas Lopez and Lorenza Izzo are, if anything, even more enthusiastic than he is. Styling himself as a maverick film-maker, Lopez is known for oddball comedies in his native Chile, and is making his English-language debut with Aftershock, based on the events of the 2010 Chilean earthquake that he personally lived through. Meanwhile, Izzo has earned Eli Roth€™s praise for her role in his upcoming Netflix TV show Hemlock Grove, and is set for bloody shenanigans in Aftershock and The Green Inferno. The duo are bubbly, prone to good-natured joking, and have a lot to say about their love of genre movies. Q1: Nicolas, I understand you started writing at quite a young age€
Nicolas Lopez: Yeah.
Q1: And then you created your own website. How did you go from that to then becoming a film director?
NL: Ummmmm€..well. (Lorenza giggles) Basically, everything that I did was because of necessity, in terms of that I wanted to tell stories, and I didn€™t have a camera at the time, and I didn€™t know how to direct, I still don€™t know how to correct according to many film critics but€
NL: But I started writing because it was the easiest way of telling stories, and suddenly, El Mercurio, that was, is, it€™s a really big newspaper in Chile, I started sending them facts at the time, and lying about my age, and they were like €œOh, he€™s really cool, we should publish something,€ and I don€™t know how I got a column there, and I started writing there every week, and at the same time I started doing shorts, and the good thing is that, I was bor-, like, this is the thing, I had never shot on film, because I started to direct when digital cameras were appearing, so I was part of that whole revolution. So suddenly, you could cut your movie in your house, and it was way easier than before. And because of that, I did many many many bad movies, many bad shorts, until I did my first feature film, that one is called Promedio Rojo, and it€™s a very weird high school comedy, and that€™s the movie that Eli loved, and he showed the movie to Quentin Tarantino, Quentin said that it was the funniest movie of the year€ Lorenza Izzo: It€™s so really cool, it€™s so good, it€™s true though. NL: (Drowned out)€really cool. I still think that Quentin was drunk at the time when he saw it. (Lorenza giggles) Besides€
Q1: Best way to watch a movie€
NL: I know! Well especially that movie, yeah, with subtitles maybe, he didn€™t understand anything, but besides that€.from that moment I started talking with Eli about doing something together. But basically everything that I have done is because, basically being a director in Chile is like being an astronaut in Zimbabwe. (General chuckles) Y€™know, like there is no need for, we have enough American movies being released every year, but we were like €œWhy not?€ And that€™s always been my motto, like €œWhy not?€ Y€™know like I never studied film, I barely finished high school, I don€™t know how to read€(Laughter)€and everything. It€™s so hard, y€™know! You have all those letters! LI: You€™ve got to put the letters together! (They both talk over each other) A B C, I€™m not€yeah. NL: € I know it€™s so fucking hard.
Q2: Did you find it hard balancing the script between your comedy background and Eli€™s horror background?
NL: Oh, it was perfect because, I did a trilogy of romantic comedies, the first one was called F**k My Life, then I did one called F**k My Wedding, and then the third part that was just released is called F**k My Family. My family don€™t like the last one€ (Laughter, Lorenza says something inaudible) Yeah. And Eli loved those movies, and we always talked about doing something together, not having sex, making a movie. (Laughter) Even though having sex would be nice€ LI: You would love it! NL: Especially now, because new haircut€ (Laughter) LI: You mean after the Amazon! NL: With his Top Gun haircut. And I was like, and we talked about doing, we had the idea, he€™s like €œI would love to do a movie, that would start like one of your comedies and suddenly have something really bad or horrible at the middle, something that would change the tone of the whole movie.€ And we were talking about that for years! And suddenly the earthquake happened, in Chile, in 2010, annnnd, well first I survived, and when I survived, I called Eli, and I was like, €œThis is the movie that we have to make, we have to make about the earthquake,€ and we were obsessed with the, I am sure that Eli told you guys that (name I can€™t recognise or make out) had the quote about the random element of life, that, and we were obsessed with that suddenly you€™re hear doing an interview, and something really bad could happen, and how do you control that, y€™know? And you€™re not escaping from a guy that has a mask and he€™s trying to stab you, it€™s Mother Nature. And you can€™t escape from that, there€™s nothing that you can do about it. So this is like a very bad version of The Impossible.
LI: Shut up! No, so different!
Q3: Were you aware of any level of sensitivity you had to apply to it, because it was based on a real life event?
NL: Well, basically€not at all. I mean, I live in Chile, I€™m Chilean, there was an earthquake, but, I mean, I€™m not making a movie about THAT earthquake, and I don€™t make movies like public service, y€™know, I€™m not doing this movie to win an Oscar so, it€™s not that kind of movie. It€™s a fun popcorn movie, and of course, we used some elements about that tragedy and we use from (stutters) and then the earthquake in Japan happened. We used elements from all those tragedies, and basically it was because, I was obsessed with showing what really happened in a disaster. Like every time that you watch a disaster movie, you watch 2012 let€™s say, it€™s all about how things get destroyed. So for me that€™s more like pornography, y€™know? And I was like why don€™t we make a movie where we show what happens to those little CGI characters that only appear in three frames€ LI: A little head that gets chopped off€ NL: What happened to him. Y€™know what happened to him during the day, what happens if you make a movie about what happened€ LI: Before he got€ NL: Yeah, and I think that there were many movies in the Seventies that were about that, where they spent time developing the characters, that€™s something that I think that, most of the movies from the US lost. That they don€™t spend time, they think that the audiences are so, they don€™t have patience to watch a movie and spend twenty-five minutes with a character, thirty-five y€™know, it€™s always like €œHi, I€™m Tim!€ (Makes gunshot noise, laughter, Lorenza says something inaudible) And€™s that it and y€™know, Tim is an actor nobody knows and that€™s it! LI (amused): Tim€perfect. NL: So€yeah.
Q4: Have you used CGI in the film or prosthetics?
NL: Most of the effects were practical. LI: It was really cool. Things would actually fall and break€
Q4: Yeah, I heard that cos you€™d get involved and everything€
NL: We almost killed Lorenza€ LI: There was a part at the beginning where the earthquake starts, I had to be under a table, and there was supposed to fall like a real cement over me, and I started looking at it thinking €œNico, is this actual cement, or is this like a plastic?€ €œNo, it€™s real, cos I want it to look real.€ I€™m like, €œNico, this shit€™s gonna fall on top of the table and I€™m gonna die!€ NL: I was like, €œbut you€™re under the table!€ LI: €œBut look at the table, it€™s tough right?€ I€™m like €œOh my God!€ It looks amazing though. (Laughs) When you see the movie you guys are gonna, it really, it€™s true, you really feel the depth of things coming down, which is what actually happened in the earthquake, so I think that€™s the coolness of having practical effects versus CGI, it€™s like, you feel the realness of Mother Nature hitting you with everything.
Q4: So when we see you under the table in this film then we assume it€™s real!
LI: It€™s really me, (Three people briefly talk at once) it€™s really me saying €œOh my God!€ It€™s f**king scary.
Q5: Well Lorenza did you have to do any kind of special training for the movie, any workouts before you started?
LI: You€™d think with the amount of craziness going on in this movie of running, you should focus on my heels, my character€™s a model, I am Kylie, Kylie€™s a model, so I€™m running around in these huge heels and this tiny, tiny tight dress, covered in blood and dust, over these, I€™m climbing stairs, I€™m climbing, it€™s insane and€.no.
NL: She€™s been trained for doing this her whole life, a drunk model, that€™s Lorenza!
(They talk over each other, people laugh.)
LI: I did model before! NL: That can run fast in high heels€ LI: What was actually really cool was that (babbles incoherently with excitement) I love heels , that was actually, you€™re not giving me enough credit here, but no, it was insane, it was so much fun€ NL: You€™re a Method actor! LI: I trained my whole life for this, I can say that€ NL: Yeah your whole life, so many pills, so many drugs€ (Laughter) LI: Oh shut up! Not true, not true! I must say we did have stunt people that would teach, actually there were some safety measures. Some. In our country it€™s not like we have, y€™know dogs and everyone around€ : No, but the cool thing is that because we were shooting the movie in Chile and it was my production company, we could get away with so many things that they, it would have been impossible€ LI (talks over him): Impossible!
Q5: Like putting your lead actress under a table?
NL: That was like€ LI: That was nothing! You should have seen what we did with guns! NL: €with guns, yeah. Eli was like €œSooooo, where€™s the guy, the safety€€ LI (interrupts): €œWhere€™s the police?€ I love that! He came up and he was like (whispers) €œSo, Lorenza, where€™s the police?€ NL (baffled): €œWhy would you need police?€ LI (as Eli): €œNo, where€™s the fire truck?€ (Lorenza babbles excitedly, they both talk) NL: €œWe€™re firing a gun, Eli. We€™re not€€ LI: We€™re not building a fire! By the way we did build like a€ NL: A fire, yeah. (Lorenza giggles.) And Eli was like, but that was the time where Eli was like, €œBut what happens if an actor gets hurt?€ And I was like €œEli, nothing€™s gonna happen, it doesn€™t happen, we€™re not shooting The Crow! I mean, it doesn€™t have real bullets!€ He€™s like, €œYeah but what happens if something goes wrong?€ And I was like, €œOK let€™s call the € I call the , and I grab the guy and I€™m like, €œCome here.€ (Makes gunshot noise) €œDid something happen?€ €œNothing.€ €œOK.€ (They talk over each other.) And Eli was like, €œWhat?€ LI: That€™s how we freak those people out, it was intense€ NL: He loved it! And then we ended up shooting The Green Inferno with us€ LI: We can shoot faster, this way we can get more done, than you could get, in a week you could get done what we do in a month, y€™know it€™s crazy. NL: No that was the cool thing that even, the movie looks big and all the effects look really big but we made this movie for a budget, and we did so many things that, it would have been impossible anywhere in the world, and that€™s why we created this thing called Chilewood, and now we€™re making movies from Chile, to the world, for the world, and with the Internet. Like we just wrapped Green Inferno, and we have a way of doing things where we go really really fast, we already have our first cut of Green Inferno, and we wrapped the movie in late December. So, and Lorenza€™s the lead of Green Inferno. So, and also we€™re creating new stars, like most of the actors from all my comedies, most of them have a part in Aftershock, most of them have a part in Green Inferno. And that€™s the cool thing, we€™re mixing like the best of two worlds, the best of Hollywood and the best of being able to shoot things in€for me it€™s like New Zealand twenty-five years ago, y€™know, that€™s what we want to do. So€
Q6: So how€™s the Chilean genre scene? Cos there was a film at Frightfest last year called Hidden In The Woods, that€
NL: Yeah, Hidden In The Woods, yeah.
Q6: And they said that they had to lie to the government, and say they were making a social realist drama. And instead it€™s this crazy horror film and they€™re like €œYeah, no it€™s just loads of people in the woods€€
NL: Having fun€
Q6: €œYeah, just having fun,€ and they were like €œoh it€™s fine,€ and then they showed them the film and they went crazy. But um, is that a typical experience of Chilean filmmaking?
NL: What happened in Chile, like most of the countries in Latin America, is that most of the movies are more like art films. So they don€™t make many genre films. LI: Or based on history€ NL: Yeah, and all the movies that are like, I make romantic comedies, and even those romantic comedies are like, for them it€™s like €œWhat the fuck?€ y€™know, because they are not the kind of movies that they are, not the audience, the audience loves them€ LI: Yeah. NL: Especially all my movies have opened number one against like really big movies. Like, Fuck My Family opened against Life Of Pi and we were number one and they were number two. LI: It was so cool€ NL: And we had a huge campaign on Facebook, it was called €œFuck The Tiger€. (Laughter) I was so happy€ LI: It was the best thing ever! NL: Yeah, €œf**king tiger€€ It was everywhere. But yeah I mean, there is a new generation of directors that, they grew up watching genre movies, and I€™m part of that generation, and I work with most of them too, like Ernesto Diaz is a guy that did Mandrill and Mirageman, like movies that were at Fantastic Fest and , and he€™s the guy that is cutting Green Inferno now, so we have a little community of, there is an new generation of people that, they want to make movies for the world and of course making genre is more relatable than making a movie about, y€™know poor kids with guns.
Q7: Lorenza, do you see yourself continuing in the horror genre then after doing The Green Inferno as well, or€
NL: She€™s f**ked, she has to now€ (Laughter)
Someone else: Typecast now€
LI: I€™m kind of in this little circle. I mean I see myself continuing in movies I€™m just gonna keep doing what I love doing and if that means another horror movie I€™m gonna go ahead. I love them, I€™ve kinda fallen€before meeting these two guys I hated horror movies, I really didn€™t like them and now after that I€™ve started to love them, it€™s such a cool, you need to scream you need to let out your stress and everything you just go watch a movie where you can just scream and let it all out it€™s so awesome, y€™know, and making them, (whispers) it€™s so much fun! Y€™know be covered in blood every day, and there€™s a whole culture behind it, it€™s just so fucking awesome and if the next movie€™s a horror movie then yeah, of course I see myself in it.
Q7: Oh good. (Chuckles) Q8: Are you two going up to Glasgow tomorrow for a screening?
NL: Yeah.
Q8: Has Eli told you about Frightfest when he went there last time?
NL: Yeah yeah yeah. LI: A little.
Q8: So what are you expecting?
LI: A lot of drinking. (Laughs) NL: First, to start with.
Q8: You€™re just going for Scotland in general, they drink a lot, they don€™t let people in otherwise. (They laugh)
NL: I mean of course there are the classy film festivals like Toronto, like Aftershock premiered in Toronto and that was great because it was fan-, it was uh, Midnight Madness, so it€™s like a festival inside the festival. But I love genre film festivals, I think that is, the audience is quite different, people really enjoy the movies, has played in other film festivals around the world and they are, let€™s say classy, and they are boring, y€™know? I love when people are really excited about seeing a movie and that for me, for me that€™s the reason why there are still movie theatres! Y€™know now when everybody can watch movies on their iPads, or their cellphones. LI: For me this is my first time actually, and I€™m really excited, especially for what you say, watching a movie with people who really appreciate this particular genre, what you€™re particularly doing. It€™s so much better, it€™s so much better, it€™s like watching a movie with family and people who actually know what you€™re doing and appreciate the art of what you€™re doing so, I dunno it€™s cool.
Q8: I think you€™re gonna make a lot of new friends over the weekend.
(Lorenza laughs) LI: That€™s what we€™re looking for.
Q9 (Me): Is there a particular subject that you wanna make a film about that you haven€™t had a chance to yet?
NL: Um, I wanna, we have been talking, we€™ve been talking with Eli about, well there are two things I would love to do. I would love to make a haunted house movie, that€™s something that, I think that now we need something new. After Paranormal Activity, after all those movies, we need a new twist on that, and I would love to make something that has a little depth, but I also would love to make a comedy, in English, and Eli did a, he plays a part in Fuck My Family, in Spanish€ LI: Doctor Zachariah€ NL: And his character, inside the movie, there is, a soap opera that all the characters watch, and it€™s called Heart Attack. And it€™s like a very gory version of Gray€™s Anatomy. (Chuckling) LI: Really (giggles) funny. NL: And it€™s really stupid and over-the-top. And we shot, officially it was a cameo, and when we were shooting we had to shoot for one day, and we ended up shooting way more and coming up with ideas, so we ended up shooting like, I dunno, eight minutes of footage, and we cut, and we did like two shorts for Youtube, and we were like, this could be a really funny movie. So now we were thinking about turning that into a movie. It€™s online, and it has subtitles. (Lorenza says something inaudible) Yeah we have a, for me it€™s always the idea that is, the most absurd idea always wins. Like€ LI: That€™s so true. NL: €a year ago we were shooting, no were shooting Aftershock and Eli was like, €œOh I would love to make a cannibal movie,€ and have this idea, and I was like €œWe€™re gonna make it€. And Eli€™s like going, talking to the studio, and like €œYeah, maybe,€ and I€™m like €œEli, fuck it, let€™s do it like how we€™re doing Aftershock.€ LI: That€™s the most absurd idea, let€™s just go in the middle of the Amazon, (they both talk over each other for a second) nowhere with nothing, let€™s just get to it! NL: Yeah, for me that everybody came out alive after Green Inferno is a miracle. LI: Yeah, for real. NL: No for real because it was hard, we thought we were badass and we could shoot anywhere, and then we were in the middle of the fucking jungle€ LI: No you proved it, you proved it. NL: And, dude, like, it was really scary, like really really scary.
Q10: Did you stay in the village, with the people, overnight and things, or€
LI: We practically kind of lived with them! (Giggles) We didn€™t €œstay€ stay with them but we travelled for like, the travel time was three hours€ NL: Every day. LI: €every day, so we would have to take a car there, I mean not a car, there were like buses, trucks, and it was a one hour ride and then there was a boat ride. We would take the Amazon river, to the village, and we would have I dunno how many hours of shooting it wasn€™t that much, cos we had to ride back, but we literally were there for five in the morning, we had to pick up five in the morning and then be back so, yeah, they were so nice. NL: That was crazy. LI: It was crazy.
Q10: Eli was just telling us about the kids out there ripping guts apart€
LI: It was so much fun, the way the kids were amazing, they had never seen ice before for example, I remember giving them ice and them being so shocked by ice, I remember€ NL (Interrupting): They had never seen a movie before! LI: They loved€(They both talk at once for a few seconds, someone in the background mentions €œCannibal Holocaust€) LI: Boys and girls, they loved it€ NL: And they thought it was a comedy! LI: €I would take pictures with them, it was amazing! They thought it was a comedy, by the way, like eating, like eating meat, it was fun, they loved it!
Q11: Had you seen any cannibal movies yourself, prior to acting in it?
LI: Uh, well the truth is no, I actually, I did see Cannibal Holocaust before though, I had to see that one. I actually loved it. They had to see that one too, that was funny. They had never seen a movie, I dunno if Eli told you this. So yeah. I actually asked them, cos I was curious, I was like €œWhat did you guys really think about the movie?€ I talked, every morning I would get there I would actually, I loved to€ NL: Cos you spoke Spanish. LI: Yeah, I speak Spanish. And I just had so much fun, in the mornings for me was like a breath of fresh air to be able to play with kids and not act, like it was really cool y€™know? I€™d just play soccer with them in the morning, play Nations, so the first thing I do I was like, €œOK, I need to know the truth. Did you really watch Cannibal Holocaust?€ These are like, I€™m talking about seven-year-old kids! I€™m like, €œreally?€ Like, (mimics child voice) €œYeah, yeah!€ I€™m like, €œWhat did you think?€ (Squeaks) €œIt was funny!€ I€™m like, €œReally, why?€ As I€™m saying this I see like a turtle walk by, I see like a monkey (babbles) €œReally did you think it was funny?€ (Squeaks) €œYeah it was so cool!€ I€™m like €œOh my God this is insane€€ So yeah it was like a funny experience, for sure.
PR: Is that all? (Chorus of yeses, rustling, chorus of thanks.)

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