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It wasn’t long ago that Kevin Zegers was hanging above an abandoned ski resort in Adam Green’s thriller Frozen. Now Zegers returns to another frigid wasteland in The Colony. He recently sat down with Dread Central to talk about making the film.
For those who haven’t yet seen The Colony, Zegers describes it as “a post-apocalyptic thriller about this group of people who are in an underground colony after a new ice age hits. They basically have to head over to this other colony, the only one they’re in contact with, to check in on them because they hadn’t heard from them in a while. And all hell breaks loose from that point on.”
There are plenty of intriguing aspects to The Colony and Zegers talked about what attracted him to the film. “There were a few things,” Zegers said. “I had seen some of Jeff’s (Renfroe, director) work and thought visually, he’s a great director and would be able to pull off the visual stuff. Then once I knew that Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton were on…I think the combination of the script and working with those guys and, obviously, the content, was all I needed to jump on board.”
He talked more about working with the screen veterans Fishburne and Paxton. “They were so great. They never made me feel like the odd man out,” Zegers said. “I’ve actually stayed really close with both of them since we finished filming, which is not a normal thing with films. People kind of just show up and they bounce out after that. I talk to Fish a lot and the same with Paxton. Every time he comes into town, he takes me out to dinner. So it was great to be able to make a couple friends. I go to Paxton with questions, if I get sent a couple scripts, I still do that. So aside from working on the film, I made a couple of friends I can go to for advice or hang out with.”
With the location and setting being such an important part of the film, we asked Zegers about the set. “We shot in this NORAD base in North Bay, Canada, where they would put people if all shit broke loose,” Zegers said. “It’s a mountain in the northern part of Ontario. We had to drive down about 20 minutes underneath the mountain. We shot there for a few days; then the rest we shot in that same town, but we shot it in an airplane hangar they filled with snow and green screens and everything.”
One of the standout moments from The Colony takes place on a large dilapidated bridge. Zegers talked about what went into capturing those scenes. “All that landscape stuff we shot in the airplane hangar,” Zegers said. “The CGI crew we had were awesome, so we did most of the stuff in the hangar. We shot a lot of the underground stuff, like the hallway scenes, in this sewage center in the same town. But the bridge we actually built in a studio in Toronto when we went back to the city. So that was all interior. Warm. They had to build the whole bridge inside the studio, so it was pretty incredible to see it all come together. And it’s like 85 degrees in the studio and we’re all wearing snowsuits and backpacks with all this fake snow on this bridge. So it was kind of a challenge to have sweat rolling down your face but project that it’s -40 degrees like it was in North Bay.”
Finally, we had to ask about any similarities between filming The Colony and Zeger’s other bone-chiller, Frozen. “Besides the fact that I seem to be shooting films where I freeze my balls off?” Zegers asked. “They seem to be polar opposites in terms of content. They definitely are both thrillers and both set in an ‘Oh Shit World’, but the content and the way they play out…one is a vast landscape and the other is three people dangling in the air. But in The Colony, even though you have people living tightly together in this base, you get that same isolation you feel in Frozen.”
Check out Kevin Zegers, Laurence Fishburn and Bill Paxton in The Colony. Available now On Demand!
Set during the next Ice Age, The Colony follows an outpost of colonists who struggle to survive below the world’s frozen surface. Short on supplies and plagued by illness and internal conflict, the colonists suspect the worst when they mysteriously lose contact with their only other known settlement, Colony 5. When Colony 7′s leader Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) decides to lead an expedition to discover what happened, he is challenged by Mason (Bill Paxton), his former comrade-in-arms, who has his own ideas of what is best for the colonists. Briggs takes two volunteers on the mission, the young Graydon and Sam (Kevin Zegers), a strong-willed mechanic who seizes the opportunity to confront the icy wasteland that orphaned him. When they reach their destination, the team discover a threat much worse than nature and must battle to save themselves and protect their fellow colonists in what might be humanity’s last stand.
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