Amaris Davidson, former NBA dancer turned actress, sat down with me to talk about her roles in films like Insidious 3, as Sarah in the soon to be released film Killer Kate! and her character Coach Fazholtz on the new supernatural series “Light As A Feather” which has just arrived on Hulu.
Horror Fuel: “What was it like on the set of Insidious 3?”
Amaris Davidson: “Oh, man. It was in a dilapidated hospital. It was a real hospital that they had turned into a movie set, exclusively for horror movies. Walking through the hall to get to where we were filming was interesting itself. It would give you a weird feeling. I don’t care for hospitals already, so it was really creepy. I play a nurse in Insidious 3, an ER nurse. There was a lot of blood in the prosthetics which were really beautifully done. They fire off the smoke machine and all you see is smoke coming around and this young lady’s leg gashed open. It was a fun day on the job.”
Horror Fuel: “I imagine. It was a great movie. I find hospitals creepy, but one that’s falling apart and dark, that’s terrifying.
Speaking of spooky, you are in the series Light As A Feather.”
Amaris Davidson: “When I heard that that was the title of it, I was like, “Oh, I’m not sure.” I grew up hearing about the game and people playing it, I was terrified. I’m not good with superstition at all. I was a little nervous, but it was such a great role, to get to be a coach. I’m also the show’s choreographer. The interesting thing is when I read for the role they mentioned having choreography experience. I was like, okay cool. It had been a while but I used to dance for the Houston Rockets and the Houston Comets, so I choreographed for both of those. I feel like I’ve lived forever. I did my scenes at the audition and talked about my experience. None of what I was apart of was scary. Now, when I got that script [laughter]. It’s good. Great writing. The young ladies are just, they’re beautiful, but I mean they did such a good job. They are all so naturally talented. They were great, great, young ladies. I worked privately with Brianne Tju and she worked really hard. Then, I got to set and got to be part of choosing the other dancers who would be on her team. We rehearsed all that morning and they got it the night before. They worked really hard. The other lead actress, Chachi Gonzales is a professional dancer. She got it about two hours before we filmed. But she’s so amazing. I was like “Wow.” It was a really fun experience. It wasn’t scary, but the actual episodes are.”
Horror Fuel: “I’m about four episodes in and I’m really digging it. In the premiere episode, we get to see a little of what you do.”
Amaris Davidson: “Yes, a very small part of it. The main parts are in episodes four and five.”
Horror Fuel: “Great. I’m only about a minute and 35 seconds into episode four. I look forward to seeing you in action.”
Horror Fuel: “It’s amazing that you have that experience. What was it like to be a dancer for those teams?”
Amaris Davidson: “Interesting. I was a cheerleader my whole life from the time I was in fifth grade to college. Then I ended up moving to Huston with my sister. I heard on the radio that the Houston Comets were auditioning and I was like ‘I’m just going to go.’ It was the hardest audition I’ve ever been a part of because I was not a trained dancer. When I had cheerleading camp they would send me to learn the routines but that was the extent of my dancing. I ended up making the team and I soaked in everything that I could. I had a lot of amazing teammates with the Comets and they taught me how to do pirouettes and how to do leaps and things from their lifetimes of experience. I didn’t have the same weight as everyone else but I really wanted to be on this dance team. I really enjoyed it and I worked really hard. That same year I tried out for the Houston Rockets and I ended up making that.
I love basketball, I come from a basketball family, my sister played overseas in the D league, all of my nieces and nephews played. I just love the sport. My last year with the Rockets was the last year we could all fit on the court. It was an amazing experience. We got to go to China three times. The first time, it was for a marketing agreement between Red Bull and NBA Asia. Yao Ming was on our team at the time. We did forty-five minutes of work and the rest of the time they took us to all of these amazing places. I had a snowball fight on the Great Wall of China with our mascot. It was all very surreal. On the second trip, I went for exhibition games. I had so much fun. The last time I wasn’t even on the team but because of the reputation I had built, they asked me to go. I went for a tour as a trampoline dunker. I went to China, the Philipeans, and Taiwan.”
Horror Fuel: “Wow, it’s amazing that you had those experiences. It sounds like a lot of fun.
It’s good that you have all that experience being on your feet because you do a lot running around in Killer Kate! which comes out on the 26th. You play Sarah, who is she as a character?”
Amaris Davidson: “I’d describe Sarah as walking joy. In her breakdown, she’s described as an eternal optimist. There are two main characters, played by Alexandra Feld and Danielle Burgess, they’re sisters, Killer Kate is Alexandra, and they are reconciling. For Danielle’s bachelorette party Alexandra’s character brings me and another friend and we get to meet her sister for the first time. Sarah has heard about this sister so many times and she’s more excited about meeting her than her actual sister. It’s palpable when you see it, it’s like calm down. She’s so fun and really becomes the comedic relief in the film. She’s a fighter, she’s not going to give up because she just got married. She smokes because Mel smokes and she wants her to like her. She’s super supportive of Angie. She’s like your best friend, everyone’s best friend. She’s the eternal optimist. I love her. I feel like she’s so close to me as a person.”
Horror Fuel: “I can see that, you’re both a bit bubbly. You both have that sweet, kind of all smiles personality. But there are a lot of parts of the film that are pretty brutal.”
Amaris Davidson: “Yes.”
Horror Fuel: “I love that it features really strong female characters.”
Amaris Davidson: “That’s probably one of the things that drew me to it in the first place, it’s four women who are by themselves but you are not going to take advantage of us. A lot of the films I’ve seen, it’s the ‘Oh, I’m scared. I’m going to run.’ or ‘Please don’t kill me.’ That is not what happens in this film. It’s a little scary but we immediately decide to fight. There were some really awesome props. Alexandra, who plays, Killer Kate, her family created the props. They did all these different things so they didn’t actually have to stab me in my leg. They did a really excellent job with the props and everything.”
Horror Fuel: “I can’t stand when they do that weak women thing in films. Were the special effects mainly Practical or were there a lot of CGI?”
Amaris Davidson: Everything was practical, it was really on your body.”
Horror Fuel: “I’m a huge fan of practical effects.”
Amaris Davidson: “Oh, yeah. You’re gonna love it.”
Horror Fuel: “What’s the number one reason you would tell people to watch Killer Kate!?”
Amaris Davidson: “To learn why not to rent an Airbnb. I’m kidding. I would say because it’s about four women who are enjoying their lives and they deal beautifully when life throws a curve ball.”
Horror Fuel: “Speaking of strong women, what is it like to be a woman in Hollywood these days?”
Amaris Davidson: “A lot of chaos. I’m actually leader at my church in Hollywood, we almost don’t actually even like being called a church. Everyone is welcome. I’m considered an elder at my church at 37 [laughter]. I’ve lived a lot already so I can share wisdom. But I think one of the responsibilities in doing that is knowing who I am. It took me a long time to get that, but now I know who I am and I’m okay with that. That is something I share with everyone, every woman I meet. Knowing your value and who you are and that you have a choice. It is yours. It’s a god given right to choose. I tell people that you don’t have to take every role, you have to know who you are, so you don’t get on set and feel compromised. It’s really about learning your voice. It’s empowering. It’s easy to be a woman in Hollywood now knowing that I can walk away knowing that I will be okay.”
Horror Fuel: “It’s great that you have found that strength and are sharing it with other women.
What’s next for you?”
Amaris Davidson: “This week I’m going to a women’s conference to speak about storytelling, at the Glow conference in Virginia. Then on the 23rd, I have a guest role on NCIS. The 26th Killer Kate! comes out. Then, I don’t know the release date yet, but I’ll be appearing on an episode of Criminal Minds. I’m also in a web series called The Process, we’ve done two seasons on YouTube and Black and Sexy TV. We’re getting ready for season 3 and I play the female lead in the series. The show’s creator/writer is the male lead. I haven’t gotten all the details yet, but we are currently in talks with a couple of people for season three and we’re in talks to be picked up on a streaming platform. I’m very hopeful about that. It’s one of my favorite stories to tell. I’m also still auditioning for stuff, it never ends.”
Horror Fuel: “Congratulations on everything! I’m a big fan of both NCIS and Criminal Minds.”
Amaris Davidson: “Thank you! You too [laughter]? It’s so exciting. I’ve been a Criminal Minds junkie for a very long time. I got to sit down next to Reed and I was like ‘Oh my god!’ I did ask him a question, ‘What’s your favorite book?’ I wrote it down I was like, ‘I’m going to read it.’ That’s something I like to ask people. It was very cool I got to meet A.J. as well.”
While Amaris has played several characters in dark films and series, her personality is anything but dark. She’s as friendly and bubbly as she can be and was an absolute joy to talk with. Be sure to follow Amaris Davidson on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for regular updates on her projects and more.
“Light As A Feather” is now streaming on Hulu and Killer Kate! is set to be released on October 26th. I highly recommend them.