By JOSHUA “PROMETHEUS” SCAFIDI
Actress Christina Wren is known for her role as Major Carrie Farris in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. We had the opportunity to chat with Christina recently about her role in “L.A. MACABRE,” which is now on its second season on Amazon Prime. The show is written and directed by Dan Ast, and stars Ryan Bartley, Ryan Hellquist, Aiden Bristow, and Christin Wren, as JP Cutler. We also discuss her involvement in the upcoming series for Netflix, Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas – an animated spin-off of Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead.
So, season two of L.A. MACABRE is out now on Amazon Prime!
It is! Both seasons one and two, and from what I hear from friends and fam, they’re binge-worthy. So, I’m excited!
For those unfamiliar with the show, what can you tell us without spoiling too much?
So, L.A. MACABRE follows a group of young people who get caught up in a cult, basically, and get in far deeper than they ever imagined.
What originally attracted you to the project?
Dan [Ast] is actually a friend of my husband [Demetrius Wren], who is also a filmmaker. So, I had known him, we’d reviewed each other’s films in the past and given each other feedback. He offered me the role a few years ago and I was thrilled. I was honored to work together. When he showed it to me, immediately I was like “this is awesome!” J.P. is such a badass, and cool character. She’s feisty, incredibly smart, and brave. All the wonderful things you want to play in a character, so it was an easy “yes.” I had a great time working with him.
Your character’s a computer expert as well. Is there anything special you had to do to prepare for the role?
I had to research a lot of what she was talking about, because a lot of it is kind of jargon, and I had to figure out what it meant. That was fun. It made me admire her so much more. How non-chalant she is about it is just proof of her expertise. I definitely had to figure out, for probably the vast majority of my lines, what I was saying.
It’s a pretty serious show, tone wise. What did you guys do to try and keep it light behind the scenes?
It’s a lighthearted group, in many ways. I think that particularly the main core cast, they were so tight-knit. They were working together in a very familiar way. They’re playing family, they’re playing roommates. The first season is filmed as if it’s a homemade reality TV show, so it’s kind of personal and in each other’s face.
Then when I first came in, I had that same kind of experience just being welcomed in. I think because of that, and because it’s an indie – we’re all kind of eating home-cooked meals on the floor, having that type of experience. There’s just a community vibe to it. I think that just brings levity with it, as you get to know people.
You mentioned Dan Ast, writer, and director of the show. What was it like working together? Had you worked together before?
No, I knew him more from reviewing each other’s work as colleagues but hadn’t worked with him as an actor. Number one, I just think he’s a fantastic writer. The words are so rich, and thoughtful. He dropped the script off and it was the size of like three feature-length scripts, it was massive. It was an incredible undertaking. He wrote it all by himself, there was no writer’s room. I love working with him.
Do you think knowing him, and being familiar with his work helped on set?
Oh yeah, definitely. Familiarity is always nice. Any director you work with, you’re learning their language, their communication style, what they mean, what they want. Everyone communicates differently and has a different style. So, I’m glad I was familiar with his work and had seen his previous films. I had a sense of what his style was, what he likes, and the tone of his work in general. I think that definitely helped as I prepared for the role.
You’re widely known for your role as Major Carrie Farris in Zack Snyder’s Superman films, so this is a little bit of a different genre for you. Are you a horror fan?
I am. I’m admittedly a bit squeamish, so it’s not the first genre I would jump into. The things that I like, however, I love. They tend to be pieces that are using the horror genre to talk about something deeper. I’m deep into Lovecraft Country, I really liked The Babadook. Things that talk about the horror of loss or the horrors of racism. There are certain life experiences that I think the horror genre tends to be the only accurate way to depict it.
You’re also in the upcoming animated series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, a spin-off of Zack Snyder’s highly anticipated, Army of the Dead. Both will be on Netflix…
That’s right. Bless that man. He has been so consistently good to me, which I will probably never understand but am so grateful for. He asked me to play this role, and it was an obvious, very quick “yes.”
No thought about it, just “yes?”
If he calls, I probably don’t even need to hear another word. He’s so fantastic to work with. I treasure him and Debbie [Snyder], and their whole crew. It’s quite a family vibe. He’s worked with a lot of the same people throughout his career and for me, it’s been about a decade since I did Man of Steel, and it’s been such a significant part of my journey. I can’t talk much about the show… but it is so awesome! I read the script and about died. I was like “this is so fucking cool!” I can’t wait!
It’s anime-style animation, right?
It is, yeah. It’s a prequel to the live-action Army of the Dead.
I’m looking forward to both now! What else can we expect from you, Christina?
My husband Demetrius is finishing a script that I’m super pumped about! We’re hoping to film it in March. It’s about this woman who was living in a space colony after the Earth’s no longer inhabitable, and there’s an explosion and she gets sucked back to whatever’s left of Earth’s atmosphere and has to figure out how to survive. It’s a solo adventure story basically, like Cast Away, or The Revenant.
We have a production company together, Two Kids with a Camera. We were working together before we were dating, that’s how we met. So, we have a shorthand with each other. We’re quarantined and you can’t necessarily get a huge cast together – so, we’re going to go, the two of us, into the wilderness and make something fun! We also just released a short called Lazareto. We shot it socially distanced. We directed our cast via Zoom, and everyone filmed themselves on their phones from their own locations. It was a really fun, communal experience and creatively satisfying. We released it on a social media platform called Vero. Check them out.
Check out Christina in L.A. MACABRE, available now on Amazon, and Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas coming soon to Netflix.