– “The Soska Twins” Jen and Sylvia Soska recently spoke with Shockya.com to promote this week’s DVD release of WWE Studios movie Vendetta. Below are a few highlights:
SY: Were you able to have any rehearsal time with the actors, in an effort to develop their characters’ backstories and relationships, before you began shooting the movie?
JS: Unfortunately, we didn’t have too much time for rehearsals before we began shooting, but we did take a lot of time for set rehearsals. We also spoke with each of the actors about their roles. Dean wanted to play Mason, and came in with a vision for the character that was on par with how we saw him. To us, Mason Danvers is our Frank Castle, and this was our ‘Punisher’ movie.
When you go over to The Big Show, Paul Wight, he really wanted this opportunity to show off what a talented actor he is. He really is talented, but he rarely gets to play these serious roles and intimidating parts. He’s a great comedic actor, so he gets typecast in that role. So it was great for both Paul and Dean to be able to play these characters, who are a bit different from the ones they’re usually cast in.
SS: Paul, Dean and Michael were awesome to work with on this film, because they’re all insanely busy and working on other projects. As soon as we got them on board for this project, they were completely accessible, and we were able to talk back and forth.
A lot of the interesting lines you see in the film, like “Wrong f*cking answer,” came from the actors themselves. They got so into the skin of the characters, they’d ask, “What if I say this or that?” I think that’s one of the coolest things that could happen, because they’re organically putting on the skin of their characters, and they’re making them real.
JS: There is a lot that The Big Show brought in for the film, like the scorpion tattoo on his neck. He has a scorpion on his WWE trailer, so we brought that in, so that we could make it a little bit more personal. Also, the “Not to be f*cked with, not to be fooled with” tattoo that he has across his chest is his motto, and we thought it would look cool.
Also, before Dean’s character makes the decision to take out Victor’s brother, he says the address he’s going to is 3611. Dean’s most important number is 11; everything important in his life has happened on the 11th, and it’s also his old football number. Also, 36 is also another football number he got stuck with. So there are so many personal things for each character throughout the film.
SY: ‘Vendetta’ is the first entry in WWE Studios and Lionsgate Action Six-Pack series. What was the process of reuniting with WWE Studios and its president, Michael Luisi, again after working with the production company on ‘See No Evil 2?’
SS: We have had such a blast working with WWE and Lionsgate, and they have absolutely spoiled us. It’s not very often that you go from making your own grindhouse film (‘Dead Hooker in a Trunk’) to shooting this really crazy, niche medical horror film (‘American Mary‘) to getting a nice studio job (‘See No Evil 2′) right after. They’re so supportive of our creative vision, and make it so that we can really have fun and make this movies special.
I think that’s a huge testament to WWE Studios and Michael Luisi, who approached us about this movie after we made ‘See No Evil 2.’ He said, “It’s not a horror movie,” which was the only thing we had done before. But he added, “I think you would be perfect for it. This guy, Justin Shady, who does graphic novels, wrote it. It’s really your style.” Jen and I were so excited to diversify what people would see from us, and have the support from both studios to do it.
JS: I absolutely agree, and I’m so grateful to Michael. Not only are we the first female directors who were hired by the WWE, we were also the first directors that the studio rehired to make another film for them. So I’m so happy that he gave us the opportunity to play around in this genre that we love.
A lot of people won’t give us the opportunity to pitch for a film outside of the horror genre, because they have seen our previous work. Even though half the time I think we’re making either a drama or a comedy, people still like to label them as horror films. With ‘Vendetta,’ we really had the chance to spread our wings and show off another side of what we can do.
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