Tag Archives: Slasher: Guilty Party

Slasher: Solstice’s Paula Brancati reflects on playing Violet

When I last spoke to Paula Brancati, it was at the end of a bug-infested day near Orangeville, Ont., on the set of Slasher: Guilty Party, where she played a character named Dawn.

Now Brancati is back—along with several of her Guilty Party co-stars—in Slasher: Solstice, the third season in the franchise created by Aaron Martin. Slasher: Solstice keeps the franchise’s cast intact by reuniting several actors from past seasons in Dean McDermott, Joanna Vannicola, Brancati, Erin Karpluk, Jim Watson, Jefferson Brown and Paulino Nunes with new faces in Baraka Rahmani, Lisa Berry, Mercedes Morris and Salvatore Antonio.

And, like the franchise, Solstice meets up with these characters as awful things happen in present-day to match a truly terrible occurrence in the past. We spoke to Brancati about playing Violet.

It’s exciting times for everybody, thanks to Netflix. The reach for a Canadian series like Slasher is worldwide instantly.
Paula Brancati: It’s really exciting, I think, especially with something like Slasher where it’s an anthology, and so each season really has its own identity, and they feel like they can have their very unique stamp on them, each shot by a different director. I feel like we’re doing something new every year with the show. I’m overwhelmed in the best way with how big the reach is, and I always forget how many people can actually access the show and watch it in perpetuity, all over the world. It’s mind-blowing, and the response has been super-positive.

What I like about the Slasher franchise and what Aaron started is that, yes, it’s a horror anthology. Yes, there are gory deaths, but the deaths mean something, and there’s emotion attached to these characters.
PB: I completely agree with you. I think the reason I was so delighted when Aaron came to me with this in Season 2 with that character was that I’d never worked in horror before. I think I had certain ideas about what the genre was like. I was pretty thrilled to see that in Season 2, and then in Season 3 as well, that the characters don’t fulfil these horror movie tropes in the same way.

I would be delighted to watch a show with any one of these characters leading it. To get to have so many complex characters, to see such an incredible, diverse cast that looks like the city we’re actually in, that has female characters that are so complicated and so exciting, I think that that’s what the show does really well, and then horror is just another element to it. It makes me very proud to be a part of this particular horror franchise.

A woman screams while crouching over a dead body.Violet thinks she’s helping. She’s a lonely character, and there’s definitely some sadness to her because the only real connection that she feels is with this anonymous group of people that watch her videos.
PB: I ingested a lot of YouTuber footage before bed, and I would leave the Kardashians on in the background because I think they aesthetically for her are a huge influence, as they are for a lot of millennials. I think she wishes she was Nancy Grace, too. She’s listened to Serial over and over again. She watches and listens to, I think, current things, and probably would also be very dated in some of her references. It was a lot of fun to build her from the outside in as well, and play with her voice.

She’s so much fun. There are so many directions you can take it in. [Director] Adam [MacDonald] was very clear about wanting to make sure it felt very much like a real person. I think that’s the danger with someone like that, with a character like that is I was worried that maybe people wouldn’t believe that she exists on this planet. I think from the response we’ve been getting, people seem to know her well. I don’t know if that’s frightening or not, but it’s what they’re saying.

The other thing that struck me was this relationship between Joe and Angel, obviously, but also Angel, Joe, and Violet. It was a complicated relationship between the three of them. I thought it was really well written, really well done, and didn’t feel forced in the middle of a show where people are being killed off every episode either.
PB: Thanks for saying that. I agree with you. I think it was so well written, and it’s a real testament to the writers. Somehow amidst this 24-hour crazy killing spree, it felt so honest. I think that’s also a testament to Ilan Muallem and to Salvatore Antonio, who played Joe and Angel, respectively, because you really feel right away when you meet them, you feel like you’re right in something.

A figure dressed in black faces the camera.I think Ilan does such a nice job. I really feel like he absolutely had a real love for Violet and that they probably did have so much fun for a very long time. She’s in a whole other planet really, really far away from him. Those scenes behind, you know that door? There’s a scene where he’s locked her into the bathroom. That stuff was really exciting and very challenging to shoot. I found that stuff really very like it pushed us in directions with each other. I really think Adam, again, treads a really great line of keeping everything energetic but also feeling really real.

I think those things can go off the rails if you don’t have a director who’s really tasteful. I felt really in very, very good hands.

What are you working on now? Do you and Michael Seater still have your production company?
PB: Yeah. We do. We’re developing a couple of TV things. I went off to Italy and shot a feature that I produced and was in, called From the Vine. Wendy Crewson played my mom in it. Joe Pantoliano is the lead and it was directed by Sean Cisterna. We’re just finishing post-production on that right now. There’s a sci-fi feature that’s doing a festival run that I was a lead in with Erin Berry, who was one of our producers on Slasher, called Majic. Paulino Nunes is in it. That’s doing a festival run right now.

Slasher: Solstice is on Netflix now.

Images courtesy of Shaftesbury.

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Preview: Frankie Drake Mysteries explores Russian royalty

Last week, Frankie Drake Mysteries fans got an in-depth peek into Frankie’s life before she was a private detective. “Ghosts” delved into her service in the First World War and the effect it has had on her. It was the darkest episode of Frankie Drake yet, and I really enjoyed it.

This week’s new episode, “Anastasia,” features some new faces as well as a couple of returning ones. Here’s the official word from CBC:

Frankie is hired to confirm the identity of a young woman claiming to be a Russian princess and protect her from those who want her dead.

And, as always, a few notes from me after watching a screener of the instalment written by Michelle Ricci and directed by Cal Coons.

A Dark Matter co-star drops by
We’re still smarting over Dark Matter‘s cancellation, but it is nice to see Jodelle Ferland (a.k.a. Five) stop by 1920s Toronto to portray Anna, a young woman with a very important past. Anna’s lineage has made her famous, and a target. Frankie Drake‘s writing room has taken a key piece from Russia’s past, questioned it, and expertly weaved it into the main storyline. It was a lot of fun to do some Googling after the episode concluded.

Another Slasher: Guilty Party co-star checks in
Last week, Slasher: Guilty Party‘s Jim Watson appeared as Frankie’s war veteran friend; this week fellow Slasher co-star Sebastian Pigott guests as Sasha, a Cossack tasked with protecting Anna from harm.

Ernest Hemingway in the house!
Yup, Steve Lund reprises his role as the not-yet-famous author, trading bon mots with Frankie and generally getting under each other’s skin. Speaking of Steve Lund, we’re pretty sure the place Anna is staying was once known as Stonehaven on Lund’s last TV series, Bitten.

Fall in Ontario
My favourite season of the year looks fantastic on-screen and offers bursts of colour to complement the show’s beautiful wardrobe.

Frankie Drake Mysteries airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

 

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Link: Lovell Adams-Gray Talks Slasher and Creating Original Content

From Heather M. of The Televixen:

Link: Lovell Adams-Gray Talks Slasher and Creating Original Content
“When I was growing up, I couldn’t sleep at night and I was terrified that Jason was going to come and get me and do all the things. My aunt told me he won’t get me because I’m not a teenager yet and I’m not around Camp Crystal Lake. I’m old enough to face it now. The goatee [in Slasher] makes me fearless.” Continue reading.

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Slasher: Guilty Party tips the typical horror genre on its head

It’s understandable if you’ve dismissed the Slasher horror anthology series as simply a gore-fest jam-packed with characters ripe for picking off. But you’d be totally wrong. Though the genre is bursting with projects like that, Slasher isn’t just about the scare and the gore; Aaron Martin has created intricate storylines and interesting, believable characters that you feel badly for as they’re being dispatched in horrible, awful ways.

Just in time for Halloween, the sophomore season Slasher: Guilty Party drops on Netflix in its entirety on Tuesday, with a some returning faces to augment newbies assembled for slaughter. Where Season 1 of Slasher followed murders committed in a small-town, Guilty Party boasts the classic horror movie setting: a summer camp. It’s there that a group of former summer camp counsellors who—while attempting to cover up a crime they committed years before—become the target of a murder spree. Is it revenge, or happenstance?

Martin has assembled an impressive all-Canadian cast for Season 2, including Degrassi‘s Melinda Shankar as Talvinder, Being Erica‘s Paula Brancati as Dawn, Alias Grace‘s Rebecca Liddiard as Andi, The Strain‘s Jim Watson as Noah, Heartland‘s Kaitlyn Leeb as Susan and Lost & Found’s Music Studios‘ Lovell Adams-Gray as Peter; the sextet portray the counsellors. The ensemble is rounded out with Season 1 performers Joanne Vannicola, Christopher Jacot and Jefferson Brown in new roles alongside Leslie Hope, Paulino Nunes, Ty Olsson, Sebastian Piggott and Madison Cheetatow.

Though there are plenty of scares, Guilty Party does have some sweet moments; one we watched during filming at a Scouts Canada camp just outside Orangeville, Ont., boasted Shankar’s Talvinder receiving a necklace from Brancati’s Dawn.

“It was a bonding scene between the two,” Shankar says. “Tal is being gifted a nice necklace, but of course whenever there is a nice, sweet moment there is always something to contrast that.”

For Brancati, who had worked with Martin on Being Erica, signing on to Slasher: Guilty Party was a no-brainer.

“Dawn is a character that I don’t always get to play,” Brancati says. “On the outside, she’s wealthy, privileged, with a crusty exterior and a bit bitchy at times. She comes from a divorced home and has a lot of vulnerabilities that she’s masking with her sarcastic humour. She definitely has no filter.” Brancati says none of the characters is an archetype; they’re layered and very flawed.

“Aaron is unafraid of being unfiltered,” Brancati says of her showrunner. “He’s got a really dark mind and isn’t afraid to push the envelope.” Brancati, who is new to acting in the genre, admits she’s had nightmares after reflecting on the scenes she and her co-stars have filmed after a day of production. The result? It’s not hard to play scared.

Brancati divulges a bit more of the plot of Guilty Party, explaining the counsellors return to the camp, which has since become a commune, creating conflict between the visitors and those who now call the place home. Weather also adds to the drama: a massive winter storm ensures everyone is kept in tight quarters and unable to escape.

“There is a lot of gore and a lot of horror, certainly, but the characters are really textured and the relationships are really interesting and complicated and messy,” Brancati says. “Character-driven stories are interesting TV to me.”

Slasher: Guilty Party‘s full season of eight episodes arrive Tuesday, Oct. 17, on Netflix.

Images courtesy of Shaftesbury.

 

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