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americanmarycomic Our Friend Adam, interviewed the „Soska Sisters“ aka „Twisted Twins“, and talked with them about their Horrorfilm „American Mary“!


TDH: We would like to start off by saying congratulations on the success of American Mary and it
is without question one of the most entertaining Horror films to come out recently. When
both of you started to work on this film, what made both of you decide to go into the theme
of body modification and why did you decide on taking it in that direction?


S: Thank you so kindly for saying that – it was something that meant a lot to us and, even though people kept passing on the script, we couldn’t not make it. We stumbled on body modification online, as many not in the scene do, and saw this April Fool’s prank that told a story of identical twin brothers that swapped limbs accompanied by a letter that said that you have to be an identical twin to understand why they would do this. It freaked us out, but my mother taught us from an early age that if something scares you it stems from a lack of education, so learn about it and you won’t be scared anymore. We became obsessed body modification which turned our fear in fascination then admiration. I’ve always felt outcast because twins can be treated like side show exhibits and here was a group that was completely misunderstood and villainized so unfairly. It became the perfect vessel for a story about appearances, judgements made herein, and that people are more than assumptions made on those appearances.


J: Thank you so much. We’re so grateful to the horror community and the people out there that have really grabbed hold of the film and taken it to a whole new level. The film itself is very much an analogy for our own ventures in the film industry. We’ve encountered our fair share of monsters and I think it’s the monsters that are dressed up as people in positions of power and are respected are the worst kind. In my experience, most monsters don’t look like monsters. You can’t judge someone by the way they look because a nice, non threatening outside can often be covering up a disgusting and vile inside. The body mod community represented the horror and indie community out there. There are so many undertones of „appearances are everything“ in the film. That goes for keeping up appearances, the obsession with controlling and manipulating one‘ one appearance, the relation from one’s appearance in respect to their true nature, and it just goes on.

TDH: The two of you were surely influenced by certain Horror films and directors for your work
but were there any ones in particular that have been an inspiration to your films?
S: Our first film, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK, was largely a love letter to grind house filmmaking whereas AMERICAN MARY was a love letter to European and Asian cinema. We noticing, especially during the pitching process, that people were getting caught up on the visuals that the material seemed so ‚gross‘ to them, so we decided that this would be one of the most beautiful films to watch. Dario Argento, Lars Von Trier, Takeshi Miike, David Cronenberg, and Clive Barker were huge influences on the film.


J: Everyone Sylv just mentioned. I’m heavily influenced by Joss Whedon. It may seem a bit unusual, but he’s just phenomenal. The natural and trend setting way his characters speak and interact, how his stories weave together, his unique characters and vast worlds, he’s just amazing. We joke that Sylv’s the Lars and I’m the Joss. I put the heart in and she rips it out.


TDH: How was the experience working with Katharine Isabelle and what made both of you
consider having her for the leading role as Mary Mason? Did both of you have other
actresses in mind or was Katharine someone you already knew from the start that would be
perfect for the role?
S: The role of Mary Mason was written for Katie. We had been fans of her work for years. GINGER SNAPS left a mark on teenage girls in a way that very few films have before or since. We kept watching her career, but like with many scripts, we didn’t see her getting to play what we wanted to see next, what we knew she was capable of doing. It might sound cruel, but everything that happens in AMERICAN MARY, we wanted to see Katie do or happen to Katie because she can so effortlessly be so sweet and funny and also severe and strong. Like any woman, she is multi-dimensional and very gifted in bringing those emotions to life, and we wanted to see that in our title character. The film wouldn’t have worked without Katie – not only is her performance exceptional in the film, but she did everything in three takes because we didn’t have the time or budget to do more. The entire film is a testament to the talent of the cast and crew because they killed themselves to make the film what it was and we were under the gun the entire time.


J: We never ever write a role for an actor. You just never want to fall in love with the idea of someone as not everyone can live up to that ideal. It could be scheduling, it could be a lack of access, it could be shit representation that prevents the talent from ever even hearing their offers or getting your script in the first place. But Katie broke that rule for us. There was never anyone else. In GINGER SNAPS she was 17 going on 18 and already she had this outstanding ability to convey so much with such maturity and subtlety. I waited to see her move onto an AMERICAN MARY, a role where she would be a strong and powerful woman rather than playing the youthful, indifferent, badass youth or the beautiful girl. Katie is absolutely beautiful and it takes you back when you first meet her, but she is so much more than just a pretty face. I think people get caught up in that, especially with actresses. To truly succeed in this business, you have to go to the US. Canada doesn’t really support their own here, especially if you do something outside of sad dramas that take place somewhere in the prairies. I think Katie hit the Canadian glass ceiling. Most films out of LA are obsessed with just throwing in whatever LA actress regardless of whether or not she has any real talent. For us, Katie was our one and only. If she had said no, we would have tracked her down and handed her the script and said, „if you hate it, tell us to go fuck ourselves, but you have to read this.“


TDH: It was certainly interesting to see Tristan Risk as Beatress Johnson in the film with a
resemblance to Betty Boop. How did you both come with the idea to give Tristan’s character
the Betty Boop look and were you both fans of the animated series?
S: We had Paula Lindberg’s doll-obsessed character, Ruby RealGirl, first and wanted to make a surgically-inclined friend for her. There aren’t too many iconic brunettes in pop culture, but Betty Boop was not only iconic, she was daring and sexually charged when women weren’t known for being daring or sexually charged. What better character to be an inspiration for a career show girl? I definitely got more into the cartoon while writing the script with Jen, and the more we watched, the better the character seemed to it. I can’t say enough good things about Tristan as Beatress – that’s a hard role to play because the initial reaction would be to play it like a cartoon character, but Tristan humanized her without much ability to move her face under the makeup as a damaged woman trying to be more like this cartoon character which is why I think people liked her so much.


J: There’s an interesting co-relation with Ruby and Beatress. Both are lovely but strange in their own way. However, you look at Ruby, and although the work done on her is extreme, it’s just so common to see that kind of work these days that it barely gets a reaction. You go to LA and if you’re a brunette, you stand out. Both are sex symbols and American ideals of what beauty is. We knew most people wouldn’t bat an eye at seeing Ruby, particularly anyone viewing in America, but you look at Beatress and it hits you. To see Betty Boop translated into reality literally is stunning. Tristan was amazing as her. It was so hard to find the right person to bring her to life. She had to completely embody Betty, but she had to bring a life of her own to the character. Tristan did that flawlessly. And to both Paula and Tristan’s merit, the prosthetics, much like the actual surgeries would, really limited the range of movement they had facially and they were able to perform, largely with body movement, eyes, and their voices in a natural and very real way that still conveyed everything they were trying to. They’re both just incredible actresses. Huge props to MastersFX for the wonderful designs of those characters. It was such an honor to collaborate and bring them to life together.


TDH: American Mary is obviously the second film that both of you have directed and at this stage
in your careers it seems to have made both of you widely noticed in the Horror community.
Were both of you aware that the film would receive this much attention before it got
released and what did you think of the fans’ responses to the film throughout your festival
S: Years ago, I remember Jeff Atencio of The Jaded Viewer being the very first person ever to write anything about DEAD HOOKER. At first, no one cared, it was hard to break in, and here was this piece written based on our trailer. We wrote to him, thanked him, and sent him the screener. In February of 2010, through Hannah Neurotica’s brainchild that is Women In Horror Recognition Month, female-focused film festivals sprouted up around the world that gave the film its UK/world premiere and its US premiere within a matter of weeks. People started talking about the film, so Jen and I would thank them. Any time someone writes to us or says something nice or supports us – we thank them. We don’t see these people as fans, but as friends that are supporting a fellow horror nerd. The people in the horror community are the best people on the planet, had it not been for their support, Jen and I wouldn’t have been able to get HOOKER out there or to make MARY, and MARY certainly wouldn’t be what it is without their phenomenal support. That said, we made MARY as a thank you for the support we got on HOOKER. We wanted to show them what we would do with a little more money and that we would work hard not to disappoint them with what we did next. We really wanted them to like it.
But being the best people on the fucking planet that they are, they went above and beyond with their support. This kind of thing doesn’t happen with independent horror often. You don’t get this kind of reaction. I’m blown away by it all. I’m so grateful to have people like this in our lives. I teared up more than I like to admit, but it was surreal to get to meet many of these people who I talk to online in the flesh and meeting new friends that had a reaction to the film. Traveling with the film has been such a blessing because there is nothing in the world like being there when people experience the film for the first time and you get such a reaction like we have. All I can say, is that we’ll continue to work hard so that the next film, and the films after that, are worth the faith people have put in us.


J: No matter how hard it was to get AMERICAN MARY made or to convince people of the film we were making, we always knew that the fans would get it. After all, they were the ones we were making it for. We love them so much. Truly, they mean everything to us. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. One of my favorite things to do is sit and watch the film with them. People ask us if we get tired of watching our film over and over again and, yeah, it can get a bit tedious because so much goes into it that eventually you see the process and not even the film anymore when you watch it. You see all the struggles and you see every battle you won and lost on the screen. But hen you watch it with the fans you get to watch it again through their eyes and it becomes fresh and new and exciting. They laugh or groan and you just get this excitement that shoots through you. Because that’s who we made the film for. I had hoped they’d like it and get it, but, again, they just blew our expectations away. The way they’ve stood behind us and the film is simply unlike anything I could have ever hoped for. They’re everything to us.I’m so blessed to have been able to travel around with the film so much and get to meet so many fans across the world. I love meeting them and hugging them and thanking them for supporting in us and believing in us. I’m so excited every time we do a Con or a festival and we get to meet them. It breaks my heart when I get a tweet that they saw us, but were too scared to come over and say „hi“. For the love of everything, please just come over! We’re so nice. We’re Canadian. We share a Queen. Just come on over. I guarantee we’re just as excited to see you as you are to see us. Probably more so. We’re horror fans first and foremost ourselves. We like to geek out and talk about movies. It’s like heaven to us.


TDH: The two of you and Katharine did a tour around the UK in January to promote the film. The
screenings seemed to have turned out superb and a lot of the dates were even sold out.
During the UK tour, were you both satisfied with the feedback from fans at the Q and A’s
and how it was well received by the majority of viewers?
S: It was so kind of the gentlemen at Fright Fest and the Universal team to make that happen. We had a town to town theatrical trip through the UK with us and Katie and it was fantastic. The UK has always been very kind to us, they were the first to have a festival screening of HOOKER at the Ghouls on Film Fest, first DVD release through Monster Pictures, first television premiere on The Horror Channel, and then the world premiere of AMERICAN MARY at Fright Fest – were so in love with the UK that we’ve decided that Jen must marry a Brit. I kept offering my sister to the fine people of the UK, but to no avail. We did get one offer to marry the two of us, which was nice.


J: I’m holding out for your king, Tom Hiddleston. I promise I’ll treat him nicely.


TDH: American Mary has just been released in the UK on DVD and Blu Ray, which seems to be the
only release available at the moment. When should fans worldwide expect a DVD and Blu
Ray release in other countries?
S: AMERICAN MARY was released in the UK on January 21st through Universal Pictures, then February 20th in Australia through Monster Pictures, then Germany through Universal on March 28th, then Canada gets its theatrical run through Ranner Banner and Cineplex’s Sinister Cinema Horror Screenings series with MARY playing May 30th, then XLrator Media’s Screamfest label’s US theatrical starts May 31st with VOD available on May 16th, Anchor Bay will be releasing it VOD on May 16th as well. We have more regions to come, I’m not sure where we are with Asian and South America – hopefully we’ll have some news soon.


J: I also say that if you want AMERICAN MARY, demand it. The fans don’t realize how much power they have. Big time studios watch your tweets and tumbles, if you want it, you’ll get it. I’m dying to get our film out to every corner of the world. DHIAT got a good distance and MARY’s spread her reach even further. I want to reach even further than that. I want to hit Japan so badly. It’s been a dream of mine to visit Asia. I probably won’t ever leave when we get there, ha ha


TDH: As the American Mary tour is over and received a lot of popularity, what can fans expect
next from the Twisted Twins in the near future? Are there any film projects that you are
both currently working on?
S: Our focus right now is on the next film. We have three projects lined up that we are very passionate about. BOB is our original monster movie which we will be collaborating with Masters FX for some really cool practical effects on – I think people are forgetting that a practical monster looks fucking awesome. The tagline is: ‚There’s a monster in all of us, sometimes it gets out.‘


J: One thing’s for sure. We’re just getting started. We have so many scripts, both for film and TV, and we really want to be working in video games and comic books. God knows SILENT HILL could use a trip back to what made the initial games so damn good. We’re so happy to be announcing that we’ll be working with FIRST COMICS to bring our films to life in comic book form. They care about the fans more than anything and that makes our collaboration a match made in heaven. You’ll be getting several more big announcements from us and them in the future. Look for us together at C2E2 and the San Diego Comic Con. It’s going to be a big year. We’ve got a lot more going on, but we can’t say just yet. When we do, trust us, we’ll say it loud, ha ha
The Daily Horror would like to say thanks for taking the time to do this interview and we
would like to wish you all the best in your future projects.


S: Thank you so kindly for this opportunity and thank you for being so understanding with our stupid busy schedules!J: Thank YOU so much! Such a pleasure to get to chat with you.

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