Eli Roths 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 Roths 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 didnt have a camera at the time, and I didnt know how to direct, I still dont know how to correct according to many film critics but(Laughter)
NL: But I started writing because it was the easiest way of telling stories, and suddenly, El Mercurio, that was, is, its a really big newspaper in Chile, I started sending them facts at the time, and lying about my age, and they were like Oh, hes really cool, we should publish something, and I dont 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 its a very weird high school comedy, and thats 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: Its so really cool, its so good, its true though. NL: (Drowned out)really cool. I still think that Quentin was drunk at the time when he saw it. (Lorenza giggles) BesidesQ1: Best way to watch a movie
NL: I know! Well especially that movie, yeah, with subtitles maybe, he didnt 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) Yknow, like there is no need for, we have enough American movies being released every year, but we were like Why not? And thats always been my motto, like Why not? Yknow like I never studied film, I barely finished high school, I dont know how to read(Laughter)and everything. Its so hard, yknow! You have all those letters! LI: Youve got to put the letters together! (They both talk over each other) A B C, Im notyeah. NL: I know its so fucking hard.Q2: Did you find it hard balancing the script between your comedy background and Elis 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 dont 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, hes like I 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, This 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 cant recognise or make out) had the quote about the random element of life, that, and we were obsessed with that suddenly youre hear doing an interview, and something really bad could happen, and how do you control that, yknow? And youre not escaping from a guy that has a mask and hes trying to stab you, its Mother Nature. And you cant escape from that, theres nothing that you can do about it. So this is like a very bad version of The Impossible.(Laughter)
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, basicallynot at all. I mean, I live in Chile, Im Chilean, there was an earthquake, but, I mean, Im not making a movie about THAT earthquake, and I dont make movies like public service, yknow, Im not doing this movie to win an Oscar so, its not that kind of movie. Its 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 lets say, its all about how things get destroyed. So for me thats more like pornography, yknow? And I was like why dont 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. Yknow 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, thats something that I think that, most of the movies from the US lost. That they dont spend time, they think that the audiences are so, they dont have patience to watch a movie and spend twenty-five minutes with a character, thirty-five yknow, its always like Hi, Im Tim! (Makes gunshot noise, laughter, Lorenza says something inaudible) Ands that it and yknow, Tim is an actor nobody knows and thats it! LI (amused): Timperfect. NL: Soyeah.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 breakQ4: Yeah, I heard that cos youd 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 Nico, is this actual cement, or is this like a plastic? No, its real, cos I want it to look real. Im like, Nico, this shits gonna fall on top of the table and Im gonna die! NL: I was like, but youre under the table! LI: But look at the table, its tough right? Im like Oh my God! It looks amazing though. (Laughs) When you see the movie you guys are gonna, it really, its true, you really feel the depth of things coming down, which is what actually happened in the earthquake, so I think thats the coolness of having practical effects versus CGI, its 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 its real!
LI: Its really me, (Three people briefly talk at once) its really me saying Oh my God! Its 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: Youd think with the amount of craziness going on in this movie of running, you should focus on my heels, my characters a model, I am Kylie, Kylies a model, so Im running around in these huge heels and this tiny, tiny tight dress, covered in blood and dust, over these, Im climbing stairs, Im climbing, its insane and.no.(Laughter)
NL: Shes been trained for doing this her whole life, a drunk model, thats 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, youre not giving me enough credit here, but no, it was insane, it was so much fun NL: Youre 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 its not like we have, yknow 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 Sooooo, wheres the guy, the safety LI (interrupts): Wheres the police? I love that! He came up and he was like (whispers) So, Lorenza, wheres the police? NL (baffled): Why would you need police? LI (as Eli): No, wheres the fire truck? (Lorenza babbles excitedly, they both talk) NL: Were firing a gun, Eli. Were not LI: Were 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, But what happens if an actor gets hurt? And I was like Eli, nothings gonna happen, it doesnt happen, were not shooting The Crow! I mean, it doesnt have real bullets! Hes like, Yeah but what happens if something goes wrong? And I was like, OK lets call the I call the , and I grab the guy and Im like, Come here. (Makes gunshot noise) Did something happen? Nothing. OK. (They talk over each other.) And Eli was like, What? LI: Thats 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, yknow its 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 thats why we created this thing called Chilewood, and now were 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 Lorenzas the lead of Green Inferno. So, and also were 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 thats the cool thing, were mixing like the best of two worlds, the best of Hollywood and the best of being able to shoot things infor me its like New Zealand twenty-five years ago, yknow, thats what we want to do. SoQ6: So hows 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 its this crazy horror film and theyre like Yeah, no its just loads of people in the woods
NL: Having funQ6: Yeah, just having fun, and they were like oh its 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 dont 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 its like What the fuck? yknow, 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 Fuck The Tiger. (Laughter) I was so happy LI: It was the best thing ever! NL: Yeah, f**king tiger It was everywhere. But yeah I mean, there is a new generation of directors that, they grew up watching genre movies, and Im 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 hes 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, yknow 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: Shes f**ked, she has to now (Laughter)Someone else: Typecast now
LI: Im kind of in this little circle. I mean I see myself continuing in movies Im just gonna keep doing what I love doing and if that means another horror movie Im gonna go ahead. I love them, Ive kinda fallenbefore meeting these two guys I hated horror movies, I really didnt like them and now after that Ive started to love them, its 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 its so awesome, yknow, and making them, (whispers) its so much fun! Yknow be covered in blood every day, and theres a whole culture behind it, its just so fucking awesome and if the next movies 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: Youre just going for Scotland in general, they drink a lot, they dont 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 its 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, lets say classy, and they are boring, yknow? I love when people are really excited about seeing a movie and that for me, for me thats the reason why there are still movie theatres! Yknow now when everybody can watch movies on their iPads, or their cellphones. LI: For me this is my first time actually, and Im really excited, especially for what you say, watching a movie with people who really appreciate this particular genre, what youre particularly doing. Its so much better, its so much better, its like watching a movie with family and people who actually know what youre doing and appreciate the art of what youre doing so, I dunno its cool.Q8: I think youre gonna make a lot of new friends over the weekend.
(Lorenza laughs) LI: Thats what were looking for.Q9 (Me): Is there a particular subject that you wanna make a film about that you havent had a chance to yet?
NL: Um, I wanna, we have been talking, weve been talking with Eli about, well there are two things I would love to do. I would love to make a haunted house movie, thats 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 its called Heart Attack. And its like a very gory version of Grays Anatomy. (Chuckling) LI: Really (giggles) funny. NL: And its 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. Its online, and it has subtitles. (Lorenza says something inaudible) Yeah we have a, for me its always the idea that is, the most absurd idea always wins. Like LI: Thats so true. NL: a year ago we were shooting, no were shooting Aftershock and Eli was like, Oh I would love to make a cannibal movie, and have this idea, and I was like Were gonna make it. And Elis like going, talking to the studio, and like Yeah, maybe, and Im like Eli, fuck it, lets do it like how were doing Aftershock. LI: Thats the most absurd idea, lets just go in the middle of the Amazon, (they both talk over each other for a second) nowhere with nothing, lets 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 didnt stay 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 wasnt 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 Cannibal 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 What 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 yknow? Id just play soccer with them in the morning, play Nations, so the first thing I do I was like, OK, I need to know the truth. Did you really watch Cannibal Holocaust? These are like, Im talking about seven-year-old kids! Im like, really? Like, (mimics child voice) Yeah, yeah! Im like, What did you think? (Squeaks) It was funny! Im like, Really, why? As Im saying this I see like a turtle walk by, I see like a monkey (babbles) Really did you think it was funny? (Squeaks) Yeah it was so cool! Im like Oh 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.)