With filming on Eli Roth’s cannibal horror The Green Inferno having been completed back in 2013, it looks like the much-delayed shocker might finally be seeing the light of day, with a US release date confirmed for 25 September. We spoke to actress Kirby Bliss about her experience making the film…
Can you tell us a bit about your character in The Green Inferno?
I play Amy, and she’s kind of a neurotic girl. She takes medicine just to get through a normal day when she decides to go to this village with these activists. She basically ends up in a really sticky situation without her medicine, and with dramatic things happening, things that no one would imagine seeing, and she kind of freaks out. It’s fun to watch my character go through all these horrific things, because she’s already so neurotic anyway. It’s almost a comedic release, gory, horrifying film, but it also conveys some very funny moments.
Was that one of the ways of approaching filming – from a comedic standpoint?
Honestly, you kind of had to every now and then because the elements were so extreme. On some days we weren’t able to get back from the village, it was really hot and sticky, there were bugs I’d never seen before, so every now and then you had to laugh – that way you wouldn’t cry!
How was the film experience? Filming among natives, it doesn’t sound your average shoot.
It was crazy! When I first started auditioning for the film they said it was guerrilla style, and I thought, “Okay, I can do that.” And then it got further along, and Eli [Roth] was like, “Are you willing to pee in a bucket in the rainforest if you need to?” And I’m like “Yeah sure, whatever.” Even Eli didn’t know exactly what we were getting into. We did get portapottys at the village, so that was a nice luxury, but there were animals that would try to knock them over and stuff, so every day was an adventure, I’d say that much! It was scary at times, but it was worth it. Coming back now, it almost seems surreal, because all the experiences were so crazy. Outside of making an incredible film, I’m so glad I got to have that incredible experience. I’d never been that far away before, and we got to travel to some incredible places.
Were there any real low points during filming, where you thought, “What am I doing here?”
Almost daily! I went to the Peruvian hospital at point – one time for a throat, and also I had to get shots because I was having an allergic reaction to bug bites, so yeah, it was crazy. Everyone was getting bitten, but mine were really bad. There was nothing we could do about it, so we just accepted it as part of the film. At one point I was like, “What did I get myself into?” But you’re already that committed – there’s no going back. I was working with some incredible people and learning a lot, so the bug bites were just my badge of honour, if you will!
One of the most iconic pictures from The Green Inferno is the one of you covered in red body paint, surrounded by the natives. How was that particular scene to film?
That was crazy! I remember two instances that were particularly crazy: when that photo was taken, in the photo they’re ripping out my hair. One was the extras was a young girl, I had the translator telling her, “It’s okay, you’re not going to hurt her, but look really mean and mad”, and telling her after that we’re going to hug it out. In the very first take we did, entering the village, literally that picture is how we felt, you can’t fake that. Out of nowhere we woke up, with all these people painted in red, popping up out of the forest. We had no idea what they were saying, it was just this surreal experiences – he captured our real reactions, however many times we did it, it felt natural, so that wasn’t hard to freak out about at all, because it was all so real.
How was Eli Roth to work with – were you familiar with many of his films before working on The Green Inferno?
Yeah, absolutely. I’d seen them all before, and I was so excited to meet him. I told him in my first audition, “I’m sorry, I’m really geeking out right now,” I’m a big fan of horror films. I was really excited to work with him, and honestly he exceeded all my expectations, he is the most humble, genuine and down-to-earth guy, and so much fun to work with. I got to learn a lot from him. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs with the film’s release dates, and he’s been such a good friend and mentor, letting us all know that eventually it will happen, so I’m so glad it finally is. He’s such a great guy, and I’m really glad I got the chance to work with him.
What would you say the most fun part of shooting was?
At some point in the jungle, we would just get delirious from working for so long and start rapping, being super-silly. At that point you just have to laugh out the delirium, because you look at the place where you are, and it just hammers home that you’re in the middle of the jungle just to get these perfect shots. It was crazy, but there was a lot of fun camaraderie with the cast. While travelling you get to know each other really well. I just like travelling back and forth and seeing all the different places in Peru, and back in Chile as well. It was like summer camp, except with extreme elements [laughs].
It’s been a few years since The Green Inferno was filmed. How is it talking about it so long after it was filmed? Is your opinion of it the same now as it was when you were making it?
I’m just proud to finally get to talk about and finally have it out and be released. For a while, I didn’t know if it was going to be released at all, and I remember it vividly, so it’s fun to relive everything, go in-depth about everything that happened and being able to brag about it in a way, because I’ve been so proud of it and wanted everybody to see it. It’s hard to really talk about it unless there’s photos because it all seems so unreal, so finally people will finally get to watch the film instead of wandering about it. I’m just excited!
The Green Inferno will be released in cinemas in the US on 25 September, with a UK release hopefully tomorrow. For more news on the biggest movies, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.