Read our exclusive interview with actress Ivana Milicevic, who portrays Catherine Kidman in the new horror film ‘The Howling: Reborn.’ The movie, which was helmed by first-time director and screenwriter Joe Nimziki and is now available on Blu-ray and DVD, follows Catherine’s son Will, played by Landon Liboiron, on the eve of his high school graduation. He discovers that he’s about to become a werewolf just as he grows closer to Eliana Wynter, portrayed by Lindsey Shaw, who he’s liked for the past four years. Will must decide whether he wants to embrace his new inner beast, or fight for Eliana and what’s left of his humanity. Milicevic discusses with us, among other things, what attracted her to the role of Catherine, and what her working relationships with Nimziki and the rest of the cast were like.
ShockYa (SY): You portray Catherine in ‘The Howling: Reborn,’ who is attacked by a werewolf in the beginning of the film while she’s pregnant with Will. What did you find unique about the movie that convinced you to take on the role of Catherine?
Ivana Milicevic (IM): What I liked about my part in particular was that I got to play all these different aspects. I got to play this motherly, seductress, maternal character. I kind of liked that there was both of these things, which was powerful. Then in the beginning, she was normal. But that kind of got cut out, so all you saw were these little bits and pieces. But that was fun for me, because usually I’m pretty scared of horror movies. I don’t watch them because they scare me.
**Spoiler Alert** SY: One of the biggest surprises of the movie is that while Will grew up thinking his mother was killed when he was born, Catherine reveals herself to still be alive, and a werewolf herself, on the eve of her graduation. Why do you feel it’s important for Catherine to not only wait until Will’s about to become a werewolf to reveal herself, but also that she wants him to join her?
IM: Well, she wants her baby back. I guess she wasn’t in his life for a long time because she was forming her army. In that time, she learned that Will’s powers weren’t going to come to be until then, so that’s why she came back for him. It all had to do with Will’s identity, because it’s revealed to him at that time, too. **End Spoiler Alert**
SY: Landon Liboiron plays Will in the film. What was your working relationship with him?
IM: I loved working with all of those kids. They always called me “Mama,” and it’s kind of funny. (laughs) We had a really good time together. Landon’s a really good actor as well. We would all get together. We would try to make the movie as good as it can be, because it’s still a low-budget movie, and we didn’t have a lot of time for shooting it. There weren’t a lot of takes, and we were just trying to make the best thing we could make, under the circumstances.
SY: Given that the movie had a small budget and a 25-day shooting schedule, did you experience any particular difficulties or obstacles while filming?
IM: Yeah, there were lots of things that happened, because we didn’t have a lot of time. There was one point where Landon had to wear contacts, and it had given him an eye infection. Then we had to shoot really creatively, mind you we didn’t have a lot of time and a lot of days. It’s a little movie, and we had the time we had, and that’s it. It’s not like other movies I’ve done where we literally had six months. So when something like that happens, you just have to roll with the punches as best as you can.
We’re all actors, and we obviously all wish we had tons of time and really explore the characters. It’s one thing when its on the page, it’s another thing when we get there on the set. Lighting can take a long time. There are normal problems when you’re making a movie. We got little time to act, everything else in the movie takes so much longer. But all that’s typical. Usually at the end of a movie, I’m like now I’m ready to do it again, now I’m ready to do it better. You always feel like that. But when it’s done, it’s done.
SY: ‘The Howling: Reborn’ is the seventh sequel, and reboot of, the original 1987 ‘Howling.’ Were you a of ‘The Howling’ films before you began filming?
IM: All I ever saw was the original ‘Howling,’ which is so, so good, especially for what it did at the time. It’s really difficult to make an interesting movie, especially about werewolves, especially today. Usually it’s the same kind of low budgets that they did back then, when it was all cutting-edge. But no, like I said, I’m not a horror buff. But I saw a bunch of werewolf movies when I was trying to prepare for it. It’s a reboot for today, given what people are interested in.
SY: Given that ‘The Howling’ is a popular franchise, did you feel any pressure to emulate any of the performances from the previous installments?
IM: Not really, that’s pointless. All I could do was look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. In a way, I think it’s fresh that I’m not a huge horror buff, because then I wasn’t too influenced. More than anything else, I tried to make it as interesting of a performance as I could. Also, this one isn’t that gory.
It’s amazing how a movie even gets made, given how difficult it is to put everything together. You don’t have a lot of time, you have to do this, you have to do that, you have to get the actors. It’s a miracle whenever they get made.
SY: Joe Nimziki made his feature film directorial and writing debut with ‘The Howling: Reborn.’ What was his work ethic like on the set?
IM: He was very interesting to work with, because he used to work for the studios. They would go to the screenings, this is what always happens with movies, they go to the screenings, and the audience says oh, I wish it had this kind of ending. They fix the movie according to that. He always had that hat on his head, he was always trying to make it better as we were doing it. He was trying to foresee what an audience would like, what they wouldn’t like. So it was interesting to have someone with that prospective on the day (of shooting). He would have that on the day, when other people would wait until it’s almost finished. He’s a really great man.
SY: One of your more well-known performances was in ‘Casino Royale.’ Did you take a different approach to preparing for the Bond movie, which had a large budget, as opposed to ‘The Howling: Reborn?’
IM: Well, if you’ve seen it, I’m barely in it, as I’m cut out a lot. That movie, and that little bit that you see, I was on that movie for six months. So that’s a big contrast to that little movie. The other thing that people know me for is the HBO series ‘Mind of the Married Man.’
SY: Speaking of television, you have guest-starred on several different series, including ‘Charmed’ and ‘Las Vegas.’ How does filming a TV show compare and contrast to shooting a movie?
IM: Well, it depends on the size of the movie. Doing TV, we usually shoot 45 minutes in eight days, whereas for a movie, you shoot 45 minutes in two-and-a-half months. So it’s a lot less time to get everything in the can (for television).
SY: Do you have any film or television projects currently lined up, and would you be interested in returning to the horror genre?
IM: Yeah, I like doing the horror genre more than I like seeing it. I’m really jumpy if I’m in a movie theater, and I’m seeing a horror movie, and something jumps out. What do I have coming up? I just did an episode of ‘Psych,’ I just played a psychic. I actually just came back from a long hiatus, I was in Australia.
Written by: Karen Benardello