December 18, 2017

Laura Swift Interview on The Rizen

Accomplished stuntwoman Laura Swift (Mission : Impossible 6, The Snowman) gets the lead role – and a crow bar to boot – in The Rizen, a fun action-horror film that sees Swift play the heroine in a scenario involving the undead and the military. 


Congrats on the new movie! Are you excited for US audiences to see it?

I’m very excited for US audiences to see it. I’m really proud of the finished film and Lost Eye films have made something quite different & special. It’s not perfect but a lot of heart & soul went into this project so I hope people enjoy watching it.


Let’s backtrack. How did you get started in the industry? 

I trained as an actor at a British Drama School. I loved being able to become someone else in situations very different to my own. I was always challenging myself physically and pushing my limits so the progression into stunt work came quite naturally. I’d be working on set as an actor watching the stunt people and wishing i could do that too so I started training hard and qualified for The British Stunt Register. Now I’m fortunate enough to get a mix of great acting parts where I can utilise my physical skills and stunt work.

Lot of support along the way? 

My family have always been very supportive, it can be a difficult industry to get a break and there are the knock backs to contend with so you need to be confident in yourself but also have good people around you. I’m very fortunate in that area. Matt, the director of The Rizen, is always helping me with self tapes and fight training as & when needed. He’s also edited things for me. I call him my most talented friend as he’s amazing at all things regarding film. Most people around me want me to be happy and they’re really excited to see all my hard work paying off.


How has the industry changed since you started in it? 

We’re very fortunate that with the arrival of Netflix, Amazon Prime & sky Atlantic that they are making lots more quality tv dramas now and they’re taking a chance on a lot of new projects. When I first started acting there was so much reality tv that there just wasn’t as much work. The UK also has a really strong film industry at the moment with lots of productions filming there. Long may it continue!


The Rizen was made a while back, I believe? Is the US the last country to get it? 

It was filmed a while back now but I don’t believe the US are the last country to get it. It was released here in the U.K. in the summer but is steadily working its way out across the world.


And what appealed to you first and foremost about the film? 

When I read the script I really loved the relationship & dynamic between the three main characters. They’re all so different but they become a little family unit and banter together and look out for each other. But I was mainly drawn to such a great strong female role. Frances is super tough and can handle herself but she goes on a real emotional journey in the film so it was a great opportunity for me to kick some ass but really get my teeth into a great acting role at the same time.


How much time did you have your co-stars mingle together before filming, to get that chemistry down pat? 

I was cast first so I read in for both Paddy (Briggs) and Chris (Baughmans) castings. I think from the start they both brought something to the role that felt really natural but we didn’t get to meet again until the first day of filming. Throughout the shoot we just became this team, there was a real commraderie. We shot one of the last scenes first and then jumped back to the beginning so most of the chemistry developed as we got to know each other along the characters journey. We were slightly worried by the end that having shot one of the last scenes first when we hadn’t bonded in the same way that there would be a noticeable difference on screen but actually I was really happy that it all worked. I think we had a lot of it from the start. 


Is there a moment in the movie you found particularly hard to film or really felt for your actors? 

One of our zombies who had to drag me down the tunnels by one arm had a gruelling day physically. He was a good friend but boy did he moan about his back and how hard it was! Chris and I had some tricky dialogue scenes early on. There was one sequence where we’re digging into who these creatures are and I’m arm deep in goop trying to remember all my physical actions while keeping on top of all the two & fro dialogue, that was tricky and we had to do a few takes.


What do you hope audiences get out of the movie? 

Hopefully our film appeals to a lot of people. It’s a really interesting mix of horror, action, sci fi and a bit of comedy thrown in. Visually it’s stunning and I think you really go on the journey with the characters.



About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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