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Interview: Jodi Lyn O’Keefe Talks ‘The Frozen Ground’

Cinema Chords spoke to actress Jodi Lyn O’Keefe who can currently be seen starring alongside John Cusack and Nicolas Cage in the crime thriller The Frozen Ground. In the time she shared with us she discusses her past roles, why The Frozen Ground is definitely worth seeing, Nicolas Cage’s loveliness her desire to take a role behind the camera.

What actresses, or actors, inspired you to act?

I remember being obsessed with Natalie Wood when I was young.

Did you dream of being rich and famous when you were younger?

No, definitely not. It was something that just sort of happened.

You’ve come a long way since starring as the bitchy character in She’s All That, particularly you’ve starred in Lost, CSI, The Big Bang Theory, Prison Break and many other TV shows..which has been your most favourite?

Lost because I got to play a great character. She was feisty and it was a lot of fun.

I particularly remember you as Isabella in Two and a Half Men, for those who don’t know – she’s a goth, covered in tattoos and is involved in some hilarious voodoo shenanigans with Charlie Sheen’s character who is blind to how dangerous she actually is – was she as fun to play as it looked?

Yes, I loved Chuck Lorre and I loved the comedy. I had to wear tattoos for a week!

Why did you veer away from feature films and choose television, or was this not a conscience choice?

I didn’t change, there was just more television work for me than there is film. I seemed to work on series and sometime you can fit a film in, and sometimes you can’t.

So now you’re back in movies and starring in The Frozen Ground, what’s that all about?

The Frozen Ground is a true story about a serial killer in the 1980’s in Alaska named Robert Hanson.

the-frozen-ground10Can you tell us a bit about the character you play?

Yeah, the story about this serial killer – how he got caught – a young woman that he kidnapped got away. The character that I portray is a woman named Chelle and she takes this girl who ran away off the street and has her start dancing in her bar.

How is this film different from other films with a similar plot? Ones that focus on tracking down a serial killer.

Well, it’s different because it actually happened *laughs*. For me, to do a true story, was amazingly interesting. I did a lot of reading around it and while we were there we actually met people that had been around at the time. So, it was all really real to them and I got to meet some of the people I’d read about. It was interesting.

Would you say that the film keeps true to the real events that happened?

I think so. I mean, it’s fairly accurate.

In the trailer it seems that Nicolas Cage and John Cusack go head-to-head. Is that the case?

*Laughs* They do. They definitely go head-to-head. It’s the hunter and the hunted.

What was it like working with those two actors?

Fantastic! Nicolas Cage is so lovely, I had a great time. John Cusack is brilliant and fantastic to work with.

Was shooting the film as tense as the film itself, or was it more laid-back?

We were all very serious while we were filming, but we all had a very laid-back attitude in-between takes. You spend that much time with people and they tend to become your family. It’s easy to sort of goof around a little in-between and when the days are over.

This is Scott Walker’s first film. How do you think he did as a director?

I think he did a great job, I’m so inspired by him. From the first time I met him and the way that he talked about the story, how passionate he was about it. Just his vision for the film and what he was going to do; how it was going to look. I’m in awe of him that this is his very first film. I think we’re going to see great things from him.

Would you like to work with him again?

I would love to work with him again, I had such a great time.

Do you know what he has planned?

I don’t! I actually just put a phone call in with him to see what he’s up to.

Come on, what did he say?

*Laughs* I haven’t heard back yet, I literally just called him and then I had to come here and do this.

Would you ever consider directing yourself?

I would love it. I’ve been in front of the camera for 20 years and I’d love to be on the other side of it to see what it’s like. I think it would be a great thing to do.

What kind of film do you see yourself making?

I think I would prefer to do a horror or a comedy. Either of those would make me happy.

I’m glad you said horror because you were in Halloween: H20. What was that like?

It’s one of my favourite franchises. The old-fashioned scare where a loud noise would happen and you’d jump, or the curtain blows and you’d get scared. It’s not so much about the gore as it is about the surprise. I was a big Halloween fan before I did that movie.

A lot of the horror films that are created today are remakes or sequels. Do you think that horror has reached an end or is there more out there?

I’m sure there’s more originality, I certainly don’t think that it’s reached an end at all. There’s lots of talent out there waiting to get picked up.

So what’s next for you?

I don’t know just yet. Right now I’m currently working on my jewellery line called Q and I’ve been pretty devoted to that…

We’d like to thank Jodi for taking tim out to chat to us. We’ll leave you with the trailer for The Frozen Ground which is currently in cinemas around the UK.

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