Chilean born thespian, and former model, Lorenza Izzo is making a name for herself in the horror scene thanks to leading roles in the Eli Roth production Aftershock, upcoming cannibal gut-cruncher The Green Inferno, and the hotly anticipated Netflix original scare-show Hemlock Grove. Speaking exclusively to SciFiNow at the Glasgow Film Festival, the actress gave us some insight into her immediate future in fear…
What can you tell us about your character in Hemlock Grove?
I can tell you that it starts on April 19 and, of course, it is based on the book by Brian McGreevy. I think it will change the face of horror on television. It is a monster series – and anyone who loves monsters is going to love this. There are a bunch of different monsters in Hemlock Grove. You already have Teen Wolf and you already have Vampire Diaries – so this is totally different. You don’t know what monster you are going to get.
What can you say about your role?
I play a popular high school girl who lives in this small town. Everyone thinks she is cute and innocent. Only I am not all that innocent… in fact I am kind of mischievous [laughs]. Unfortunately, I am murdered, by a monster of course, and it all goes from there. It is my murder which sets off this dark mystery…
Can you talk about the underlying themes of the show and what you think makes it unique?
The theme is that there is a monster within every one of us. It is a really cool show and because it is based on a really good book it is extremely well thought out. It is its own thing but with a lot of the stuff that is ‘in’ with people right now and which young viewers will really want to see. And because it is Eli it is also pretty gruesome [laughs]. The monster effects are really great.
Do you think it has the potential to run and run?
Absolutely – I can’t wait to see where it goes. And I know that they want it to have a future beyond just one season.
Can you speak about your leading role in Eli Roth’s next directorial feature, The Green Inferno?
Yeah, sure, we were in the Amazon making it and only finished it recently. I play a student from New York who goes to the Amazon on a protest but our group gets captured by a native tribe and horrible things happen [laughs]. The Green Inferno began when we finished doing Aftershock. Nicolás Lopez, the director of Aftershock, and Eli met a long time ago and they became best friends. I met Nicolás on my first movie, which he directed, and I also met Eli through him. Eli liked me in Aftershock and now I’m the lead in The Green Inferno. We are sort of a little family I guess.
How did you enjoy shooting in the Amazon?
Uhm… It is the sort of place you go to once in your lifetime and then never again [laughs]. We were in the middle of nowhere with tarantulas covering us and heavy rainforest rain. It was five hours of travel to the set every day on a boat. On the Amazon river. We were covered in spiders, I swear we could have died – there were pigs, cows, snakes, you name it. I was covered in bug bites. It is the most insane thing I have ever done in my life and all I know is that I am never ever going back there. You have to go down there to visit, sure, but just once. Never again.
Eli has mentioned that this is his homage to Cannibal Holocaust. Have you seen many of the old Italian cannibal movies?
I cannot say I know a lot about the genre but I was given Cannibal Holocaust to watch. Actually, the kids in the village that we shot The Green Inferno in had never seen a movie before. In fact, they didn’t even have electricity. But guess the movie that they saw before we began the shoot? Cannibal Holocaust. I was really shocked. I said to them, ‘Did you really see that?’ I am serious – I grabbed these seven year old kids, who had never even touched ice let alone seen a movie. I said to them in Spanish, ‘Did you see a movie?’ And they said, ‘Yeah we saw the comedy where they kill a turtle.’
Hmm, should you really be telling me this?
Oh, it was not Eli who screened the film! No, no – it was the production company. Just to let them know what they were getting into.
What was your reaction to Cannibal Holocaust?
I had to see it twice because I was so shocked the first time I saw it. The first time I hated it but the second time I thought it was amazing. Now I understand Eli’s mind and Nicolás mind.
Eli has since gone on to do stuff for PETA. Yet these old Italian cannibal films are famous for their real torture and killing of live animals. I presume this is not a part of The Green Inferno?
No, no – Eli is completely the opposite, he loves animals. I know he also loves Cannibal Holocaust but it has nothing to do with the animal scenes!
Aftershock and The Green Inferno are due in cinemas 2013, while Hemlock Grove is set to premier 19 April 2013 exclusively on Netflix. You can pick up the original Cannibal Holocaust with an all-new edit on Blu-ray for £15 or DVD for £8 from Amazon.co.uk.