The After Dark Originals news continues! We recently caught up with the lovely Rachel Miner to chat about her role as the no-nonsense Sergeant Hannah in Jason Connery’s alien thriller 51. Here’s what the horror and After Dark veteran had to say!
“I really enjoyed Sergeant Hannah because she was a very strong woman which was a lot of fun to play,” says the actress. “[Hannah’s] integrity and strength was great – and I got to order men around, which was a lot of fun! It was an intense, very quick shoot but I had a lot of fun with good people. As I said, I really loved the role and liked getting to wear the uniform…” Having spoken with actors portraying military previously, this writer understands the power of putting on a uniform. “It’s absolutely true – there’s definitely something to that. I think regardless of your feelings any given war, there’s a bravery and integrity to our troops and I think that you feel that the minute you put the uniform on.”
The film’s tone also intrigued Miner along with the handling of the characters in the script. “It’s something I haven’t gotten to do – I’ve done horror and thriller, but I have really done sci-fi stuff, which excited me. And then also the character. The female characters were really well-written in the script (by Lucy Mukerjee). The character [of Hannah] definitely drew me to the script.”
No stranger to dark cinema, Miner shares her thoughts on horror specifically. “I think I’ve gotten to play some good roles in that genre. It’s not what I go to instinctively in terms of movie watching. I grew up on some of the classics, going way back. Films like The Shining and Curse of the Cat People… But I’m probably more of a sci-fi/fantasy person myself, as well as drama. But it has been fun to work in [the horror] genre.”
Though the shoot moved quick, director Jason (yes, son of Sean) Connery made an impression on Miner. “He was very fun to work with – a good laugh and I was impressed with how much he was able to get done in such a short period of time.” Miner additionally admired the actors portraying the film’s freaky E.T.s (yes – prosthetics!). “I was very much impressed with the actors wearing the alien suits (whose names we’re withholding in case of spoilage). They definitely were troopers. They were amazing. There was intense heat where we were shooting – they were wearing those alien outfits for long periods of time in long sequences. They always kept a good spirit and got the job done and I really bow down to them.”
Having appeared in a handful of After Dark projects, Miner looks back on her involvement with the festival so far. “You know, it’s one of the I guess serendipitous things. Penny Dreadful was the first movie that I think they purchased for the original After Dark festival. And the following year, I did Tooth & Nail, which ended up being included in the festival again. And then over the years, I’ve gotten to know them – the next year was The Butterfly Effect [3: Revelations] . So every year I’ve been in the festival. There’s just good people and they’re really nice to work with and I just kind of lucked out…”
Lastly, does this sci-fi and fantasy film fan believe aliens exist? “I think there’s definitely a high likelihood. I haven’t met one personally. But I think given the size of this universe and the number of galaxies out there, it’s very unlikely that we’re the only living life forms around.”
Keep checking back for more 51 news and an interview with director Jason Connery!
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