INTERVIEW: Lydia Kay
One of our main goals when we birthed The Slaughtered Bird was to give a voice to upcoming artists, whatever the medium. We’ve recently been lucky enough to make friends with a lovely girl from the fantastic-sounding Leighton Buzzard! As you’ll read below, she’s got quite a bit going on…
Right, Miss K! Thanks for doing this.
Anytime! Always happy to chat with new people.
I’ve been in contact with you off and on now for a few months, but for people who aren’t so aware (and I know you’ll HATE this question) tell us a bit about yourself.
Aah yes, always my favourite question… Haha! Well I’m Lydia Kay, actor, film fanatic, cinema addict and not so secret geek. I can currently be found performing at Madame Tussaud’s either entertaining guests upstairs, or dressed as a serial killer and scaring thelife out of them in the ‘Scream’ horror maze down in the basement Chamber of Horrors… (I seem to do a lot of this.) But that’s just the day job! Film is definitely where my heart is and I recently returned from two weeks out in Bulgaria filming ‘Christmas Slay’, an 80’s style stalk and slash horror. Honestly two of the best weeks of my life so far. I can’t wait to get started on the next one, and if I had my way I would just go from project to project, set to set. Some might call me a workaholic but I just love what I do.
I know you’re from a creative family of artists and musicians – this must of shaped your outlook on performing (which I know you’ve been into since childhood)?
I guess so, we were always getting up to random things when I was a kid, and encouraged to express ourselves. Drawing all over the garden patio and the outside of the house with chalk was pretty much a common occurrence (although I’m pretty much limited to stick men who need to go to stick men hospital…), and I hardly remember a time when I didn’t wake up to find music playing downstairs. My parents were even in a band together once, which I used to try and join in with of course… That mainly consisted of tapping a tambourine along and joining in on the backing vocals. But acting was always the discipline for me and I’ve been doing it since I was six, first getting up on stage to perform at the town’s local theatre when I was seven.
Incidentally, my dad’s a taxi driver and my mum worked in a sweet shop, so that must explain why I like sitting down, drive erratically and eat sweets.
Yeah but we all like sweets (even if we shouldn’t), and in terms of driving I love it and want to have an Audi R8 someday! Oh and to drive a Bugatti Veyron at least once!!
You’ve had a quite a rush of work lately haven’t you?! Tell us a bit about your films so far.
Indeed I have, and I’m loving every minute! Most of the work I’ve done so far has been in the independent film sector and it’s such an inspiring environment with such interesting and brilliant new ideas being brought to life. Most recently I finished filming on ‘Christmas Slay’ which centres on a group of girls who decide to get away for the holidays and end up being pursued by a Santa Clause obsessed killer. We did the main shoot out in Bulgaria in the middle of nowhere which was an absolutely incredible and inspiring experience! The landscape was just breathtaking and we had so much fun on the set, a truly wonderful team of people. ‘Survivors’ is the story of three people who battle to survive during a devastating viral outbreak in the UK, I play a small role in this but it was one of my favourite so far. ‘Desperately Seeking’ is a short film with an interesting take on the dating scene, which was entered into last year’s Virgin Media Shorts competition. In the pipeline and to begin filming soon are the feature film ‘Invasion of the Not Quite Dead’, an epic zombie film with a twist by the incredible AD Lane. Also a puppetry animation short called ‘Fright’ in which I will be voicing one of the roles, created by the insanely talented Kit Prosser and following imaginary characters through a deteriorating and sinister dystopian world… I am beyond excited about these projects as they are both going to be utterly amazing! But as I mentioned before I love to be busy so am looking forward to getting involved with lots more amazing projects!
Is your jump from comedy (Desperately Seeking) to thriller/horror (Survivors) to slasher (Christmas Slay) a coincidence, or do you have the horror bug?
I actually filmed ‘Survivors’ first! But I would still say that I kind of fell into horror. I’ve always loved watching it but that love mostly centred around zombies, ghosts, vampires and werewolves up until not too long ago. There’s a huge amount of classic iconic horror films that I’m ashamed to say I’ve never seen… But don’t panic I am working on that! It was during a fundraiser for ‘Invasion of the Not Quite Dead’ that director AD Lane sat me down to watch John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ and I absolutely loved it! I certainly have the horror bug now and they are incredibly fun films to work on!
Christmas Slay looks like an old-school 80’s B homage – is that exactly what we can expect?
Yes! There’s no CGI gore and lots of tension and blood haha! I actually can’t wait for you all to see it. I can’t wait to see it!
We’ve recently spoken to some of your Christmas Slay co-stars Charley McDougall and Danny Allen. Are they as nice as they pretend to be? Dish some dirt. ;0)
Yeah I love those guys! There is no dirt to dish… Except maybe to tell you that Charley has a wicked sense of humour, and on the ‘Christmas Slay’ set Danny operated the boom wearing a Batman onesie on more than one occasion! But seriously they are both lovely guys that I would be more than happy to work with again and I can’t wait to be reunited on set with them during the ‘Invasion of the Not Quite Dead’ shoot!
Charley in particular spoke very highly of Invasion Of The Not Quite Dead director A.D. Lane – can you tell us about the film, your role and what set Lane aside from other directors you’ve worked with?
AD Lane is an utter legend. His determination alone is beyond inspiring and that is what first drew me to his project. I actually joined Twitter to follow the film’s progress and was absolutely ecstatic when he offered me a part in it! Filming could literally not start soon enough for me, especially after getting the chance to work with him on the ‘Christmas Slay set’. The film itself begins in 1978 when a small Bulgarian community is attacked by a mysterious virus. It then re-appears 35 years later on a small island off the coast of England, attacking only those who are sleeping and turning them into the not quite dead… As for more details on my role, you’ll have to wait and see!
How did you get into the Madame Tussauds/Thorpe Park gig? That must be loads of fun. I’ve decided to give horror attractions up for life as squealing like a girl in public works directly against my tough-guy, shaved-head image.
Oh but you’re our favourite kind of guest!! It’s funny how satisfying scaring people actually is. Sometimes I do feel sorry for people when they get so scared and either throw themselves at the floor, freeze stiff, and on occasion actually throw up. But… then you know that you’ve done your job well… I’m sorry. (Not really.) In terms of getting into it I literally applied to Thorpe Park’s Fright Nights straight out of drama school and was lucky enough to get through the auditions. I’ve re-auditioned every year since and I guess they liked me because they keep bringing me back. It is so much fun and I love it, but it comes with some down sides, I’ve accidentally broken my nose three times doing it now!
You were also involved in the Olympics too weren’t you? SURELY your newfound archery skills can help bag you a big horror role?!!
I was! That was an AMAZING experience… Being able to be on the Olympic park and perform for Coca Cola most days during both the Olympics and Paralympics was incredible, the atmosphere was unlike anything I’ve ever known. Walking past the stadium and hearing it erupt into cheers sent shivers down my spine, I can’t even describe it… And they gave us all a ticket to watch an event which was unexpected and so kind! I seriously hope archery will help me with castings! I do it because I really enjoy it but I would definitely like it to help open doors into the action and fantasy genres of film as I REALLY want to branch out into those.
Apart from me, who inspires you? IS there any actors or directors you’d aim for even if money was no object?
Working with Cillian Murphy is a life goal of mine. He’s my favourite actor and just so talented… A real inspiration to me. Also if I ever got to work with JJ Abrams I think I would just die of happiness. Part of me wishes I could play Jaina Solo in the new Star Wars film, but who know what the future will bring… I’d also love to work with Joss Whedon. The reason – Buffy, Firefly, need I say more?
So, this would usually be the part when I ask where our readers can get hold of your films but obviously they’re not quite available yet – when, where, how can we get ‘em?
‘ Desperately Seeking’ is out and you can watch it here –
‘Survivors’ should be out very soon as they are in the last stages of post production, and ‘Christmas Slay’ is due for a festive Christmas release later this year. Here is our teaser trailer –
Updates and sneak peeks of my other films can always be found on my website! www.lydiakay.co.uk
Right, serious now. This may be the most important question you’ll ever answer: I know you like Gary Oldman – what would win in a fight between his girly white hair buns in Dracula and his Drexl dreads in True Romance? The only thing meaner than a jilted vamp’s hair-do is a scarred-up, drug-dealing pimp with identity issues and too many egg rolls!
Oh my gosh… I’m going to go with the white buns… They are just plain scary. Plus attached to the lord of all vampires who is technically already dead. I wouldn’t want to go near that hair haha! My favourite hair (and role) of his though still has to be from The Fifth Element.
Lydia, thank you. We wish you every success. Is there any links you want out there where people can contact you?
Twitter – @LydiaKayE15
Spotlight – http://www.spotlight.com/6574-6756-9777
IMDb – www.imdb.me/lydiakay
Instagram – lydiakaye15
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LydiaKayE15
YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/LydiaKayE15
Invasion of the Not Quite Dead – http://www.indywood.co.uk/
Christmas Slay – http://www.christmasslay.co.uk/
Don’t forget us when Hollywood comes knocking.
Never. The people that help and support me now, before any big success I may have, hold a special place in my heart. Thank you.
All the best.