Today Marcus Dunstan’s latest directorial offering, The Collection, hits select theaters nationwide, and in anticipation of the sequel’s release, Dread Central recently caught up with the flick’s co-stars Josh Stewart and Emma Fitzpatrick.
During our interview with the pair at the press day for The Collection, we heard more from Stewart on reprising his role as the unlucky career criminal who tangled with The Collector the first time around, Fitzpatrick discussed what she loved most about her character, Elena, and the duo chatted about handling the physicality of the grueling shoot and much more.
Read on for more from the stars of The Collection, and make sure to check out the flick now that it’s been unleashed on the big screen courtesy of LD Entertainment.
Dread Central: Josh, was it always a given after the first film that you’d be back for a Collector sequel?
Josh Stewart: You know… no. Look, in this business there are no guarantees. On the first movie we had gotten caught up in some Weinstein stuff with the distribution so it was up in the air as to what was going to happen. Then these guys (Marcus and Patrick) were like, “Hey, can we buy the movie from you guys if we find someone who will buy it?” and then Mickey Liddell bought it.
It then got bought and released really quickly here in the US so it had a very quick life in theaters; it caught on a lot more overseas, which was great, and then when The Collector came out on DVD, the movie got even more momentum. So there really were no guarantees and no talk about a sequel at all in the beginning. It was just doing a movie, and it is what it is.
Then it was, “Hey, we’re doing another one, and we want to bring your character back,” so I was like, “All right, let’s do it!”
Dread Central: And what was it about the character of Elena that appealed to you, Emma?
Emma Fitzpatrick: You probably saw last night [at the screening] that she becomes a badass by the end of the movie so I think just the chance to do a genre movie that had great characters to it. I wasn’t familiar with this world before The Collection either so for me it was really about seeing Elena actually develop throughout the story and a young woman getting to discover her own strengths. She’s just a cool chick; she’s crafty, tenacious, and you don’t get to play that a lot.
Those kind of movies really freak me out so I wouldn’t say that I really know that much about the genre; I just knew that this was a really well-crafted story and a really well-crafted character.
Dread Central: How did you prepare for the physicality of these roles?
Josh Stewart: I did a lot of physical training for this one; I used to be a boxer so that stuff comes easy for me. Getting punched in the face is very easy for me to do (laughs). But we rehearsed the choreography for the fights a couple of days before and then the day of, too. It wasn’t something that we rehearsed well in advance or anything. I did train for a while before shooting just because when you’re making a movie like this, you have to keep your body at a constant state of tension to actually look like you’re in a constant state of tension.
So keeping your body in a constant state of tension for 12 hours a day is exhausting enough. I mean, your body knots up and everything just hurts and aches. Then you throw in all the physical stuff on top of that, and it all just accumulates day by day by day. It never fails- once you start getting punched, once you get tired or after you’ve done the same thing 40 times in a row, it’s all going to catch up with you eventually.
Emma Fitzpatrick: It’s funny; when I first got the role, everyone kept asking me, “Oh, are you going to be screaming the whole time?” and I don’t think I scream once in this. It’s just not that kind of movie. So just to have that kind of quiet strength, that kind of resolve was really cool. Plus, you have to have someone who can match wits with The Collector to play on his level so there had to be some intelligence to Elena.
Josh Stewart: And with Arkin there’s sort of this arc of where he’s been and where I’d like to see him go even. Let’s not forget that Arkin is a bad guy; he’s a criminal. We’ve already been talking that if there is a third, we want to see more of that criminal element of him. Arkin has at this point the creative license, with the audience as well, to really become a truly bad badass and go back into that beast mentality. You know, considering all that has happened to Arkin in these movies, we should definitely see that caged animal come out of him and maybe even go back to what locked him up to begin with.
I mean, how did Arkin survive in prison for 10 years? I’m not the biggest of dudes so he’s got to be a little bit crazy. He’s got to be a little unbalanced.
Dread Central: Emma, can you discuss your thoughts on Elena’s transformation in The Collection from damsel in distress to ultimately the hero that saves the day at the end?
Emma Fitzpatrick: [SPOILER ALERT] Marcus spoke to me about this before shooting, how he wanted to make those parallels between the characters in The Collection. The moment where I get captured and Arkin gets away at the beginning- her sense is that she’s been abandoned and this guy had a chance to save me but he didn’t. So there’s this great turnaround in the end where I’m standing at the door and about to get outside where it’s safe. Plus, it’s really hard to get to Arkin so maybe I should just peace out and call it even, but I don’t.
There was so much attention given to that moment, pushing into my face and seeing Elena having to make this decision, that you can’t help but care about these people and the relationship they’ve built throughout this traumatic situation.
The Collection (review here) is directed by Marcus Dunstan; written by Dunstan and Patrick Melton; and stars Josh Stewart, Lee Tergesen, Christopher McDonald, Johnny Yong Bosch, Emma Fitzpatrick, Shannon Kane, Tim Griffin, William Peltz, Eaddy Mays, Michael Nardelli, Justin Mortelliti, Michael H. Cole, Arloa Reston, and Courtney Lauren Cumming.
When Elena’s (Emma Fitzpatrick) friends take her to a secret party at an undisclosed location, she never imagined she would become the latest victim of The Collector, a psychopathic killer. The Collector kidnaps and transports her to an abandoned hotel he’s transformed into his own private maze of torture and death. Upon learning of his daughter’s disappearance, Elena’s wealthy father (Christopher McDonald) hires a group of mercenaries to retrieve her from the vicious grips of The Collector. These mercenaries coerce Arkin (Josh Stewart), the only man to have escaped the wrath of this heinous monster, to lead them through the gruesome labyrinth. Now Arkin finds himself fighting for his own life in order to save Elena.
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