I’ve been a fan of Alyss Winkler since I first saw her in Scott Schirmer’s Plank Face. This was cemented when I saw her 180 degree turn in a comedic role in the hilarious Space Babes From Outer Space (check out my review for the film here). Awhile back, it was announced that Alyss had joined the cast of Nick Hunt’s much anticipated indie horror film Safe Place, taking her place among a who’s who of indie horror. Recently, I had the chance to talk to Alyss about what made her want to become an actress, her film work, her favorite horror films and more. Check it out.
PopHorror: What made you want to pursue acting?
Alyss Winkler: I have always enjoyed plays and performances growing up, and my mom did a little bit of acting on stage before I was born. I always thought about how I could do it one day. It just seemed and felt right.
PopHorror: Your first film was Plank Face, where you play Bunny Girl, a character who conveys a lot of emotion without any dialogue. How did you come to be involved with the Bandit Motion Pictures crew? How did you prepare yourself for the role and what was it like shooting in the woods?
Alyss Winkler: I met the Bandit Motion Pictures crew though mutual friends. I became better acquainted with them and became friends. Through talking to them, I found out more about their work and showed interest in working with them sometime. The role of Bunny Girl was definitely something new to me. I had never done a full nude role before. It was definitely something to get used to. Most of her dialogue was actually sounds and portraying emotions through body movement. The character reminded me of a role that the actor Doug Jones would portray well. I had to move freely as if I were a wild creature.
I remembered games my siblings and I would play as children. We would pretend to be wild animals and would mimic how they moved and crawled. Bunny Girl shows a lot of the animal-like movements we did in our games. Shooting in the woods was fantastic. I find myself at home in the woods. I love to move freely about and explore. When I wasn’t in a scene being filmed, I was usually checking out the area. There was a small waterfall where we were shooting at one point. It was beautiful. The weather was chilly, so we didn’t have any insect problems. And we got to see a few critters along the way. My favorite was the little bat that flew into the cabin while we were filming.
PopHorror: Your next film was Space Babes From Outer Space, a throwback to the screwball sex comedies of the ’80s, a drastic change from Plank Face. How did shooting the two films differ and which was more fun?
Alyss Winkler: Plank Face was more graphic and primal compared to Space Babes. I had put myself in the mind of a wildling for the role of Bunny Girl. Playing in Space Babes was a little easier. I was more clothed and indoors most of the time. The character was more civilized, but still a little off. I personally liked playing Bunny Girl more though. The character just held more of a challenge to me.
PopHorror: Out of the characters you have played, which is closest to your own personality?
Alyss Winkler: Probably Ragyna from Space Babes. She is kinda bratty and willing to try new things. But she can take charge if needed.
PopHorror: You have a role in Nick Hunt’s much anticipated Safe Place. How did you find yourself a part of the film and what can you tell me about your character?
Alyss Winkler: I was contacted by Nick Hunt about the film. He filled me in a bit and asked if I was interested. I read the script and just loved it. It was dark and definitely up my alley. I happily accepted the role afterwards. I play the character Jaq. She’s a jock-like personality trapped in a punk girl. She is travelling with her girlfriend’s friends to an art show. She is definitely not a nice person. An alcoholic and drug user with a mean history.
PopHorror: Are you a fan of horror films? If so, what are some of your favorites?
Alyss Winkler: I love the horror genre. I am definitely more of a B-Movie kinda girl. Some favorites of mine are Frankenhooker and Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes.
PopHorror: If you could work with anyone in the horror scene, who would it be?
Alyss Winkler: Tristen Risk, Doug Jones, and Robert England.
PopHorror: Any other upcoming projects?
Alyss Winkler: There are a few coming up that are still under wraps. Looking forward to sharing about them next year!