Back in 2018, I interviewed South African actress/director Reine Swart after being blown away by her performance in the indie horror The Lullaby. When I had an opportunity to catch up with her during the promotion of the new film Triggered, I jumped at the chance.
Triggered is the action-packed survival horror from director Alastair Orr. In the movie, a group of high school friends reunites to celebrate the memory of the friend they lost. After setting up camp they wake to find they are fitted with explosive vests and all hell breaks lose as they are forced to fight to survive.
Reine stars alongside Sean Cameron Michael, Suraya Rose Santos, and Liesl Ahlers.
Horror Fuel: “Your new action-packed movie is about to be released, right?”
Reine Swart: “Yeah, that was a really fun one. Alastair is such a great director.”
Horror Fuel: “Yes he is. The movie is really intense and physical. What was filming like for you?”
Reine Swart: “It was really difficult and I had a lot of lines. I made sure I knew my lines very well because when it’s 5 am in the morning and you’ve been working for sixteen hours, you tend to get tired and forgetful. But Alastair and Brian kept me on track. Time was also of the essence, it was a really tight shoot. Yeah, running through the woods in the middle of the night, I fell a lot and had a lot of bruises, but it was fun.”
Horror Fuel: “I imagine it was tough. Can you tell us a little about your character?”
Reine Swart: “Rian, she’s a nerd and very ambitious. She’s really smart. Everyone is asking her what to do to stop them from blowing up. She carries a lot of pressure and throughout her life, she’s been very goal orientated. I made a back story, she has a lot of layers and very intelligent and hard-working.”
Horror Fuel: “Some of the kill scenes are really big, especially the explosions. Were those CGI or were they really blowing things up?”
Reine Swart: “No, those were actually practical effects. There was someone there who works with explosives. I think that the special effects team were really incredibly talented. They were very hardworking. It was all practical effects as far as I know. There were real bombs going off. I made sure I was quite far away from it all. I found it really scary.”
Horror Fuel: “I’m really happy to hear that. practical effects really made things look more realistic.
What was it like physically?”
Reine Swart: “The vest for me, was really uncomfortable. When I put it on it was quite light but when I had to wear it for say twelve hours, it would get heavy and uncomfortable. But I think that it helped with the characters because you have this massive weight on you and it kills you, so we could use that as actors. I think that that is really great that you could use the environment and make it as real as possible.”
Horror Fuel: “The vests looked really good. They are very realistic.”
Reine Swart: “I was very scared it was going to break. They had these tubes. The crew would run in and fix them really quickly between takes.”
Horror Fuel: “I found your character’s twist very interesting. I liked that.”
Reine Swart: “I do too. She’s got more to her than meets the eye.”
Horror Fuel: “How would you describe Triggered to viewers?”
Reine Swart: “I’d say if you want to watch millennials blow each other up and kill each other and just have a fun time, watch Triggered. Yes, it is bloody and gory but it also has humor in it and I think that’s what makes it so fun.”
Horror Fuel: “What was the most difficult part of filming?”
Reine Swart: “My least favorite part would be…there’s this one scene it was just difficult for me. I would say we only had an hour left to shoot, it was 5 am, and the sun was coming up. It was raining. It was a rush to film a really big scene where I had a lot of lines. It really put a lot of pressure on me. I did it the best I could, so yeah, that was really tough. We only had that hour to finish.”
Horror Fuel: “You were great, but you always are. You know that I’m a fan. So what was your favorite part of making Triggered?”
Reine Swart: “My favorite part was running around and falling and having a bizarre, but great time. It was an adrenaline rush, just running and running and jumping over things. I felt like I was in middle school again. In my head, I was thinking, ‘Oh, what am I doing?”
Horror Fuel: “I understand completely. It’s great to be brought to those childhood memories like that. What is it you are hoping people take away from Triggered?”
Reine Swart: “I hope they really see that Alaistair Orr did a great job with very limited time. People need to recognize him for his work and watch more of his films. I hope that they take away that independent films are fantastic and that people work very, very hard to make good films even though we don’t have the resources big studios have. I hope that they appreciate that.”
Horror Fuel: “I don’t know what we would do without indie films. They have so much heart.
Speaking of films, have you already found your next project?”
Reine Swart: “We are still stuck in the pandemic, but it doesn’t stop one from writing. I’m working on a script with another writer and I’m learning so much from him. It’s been a daunting year. And I actually had a baby.”
Horror Fuel: “Oh, my! Congratulations!”
Reine Swart: “Yeah! I’m really happy. That’s keeping me rather busy. I have so much respect for anyone who is a single parent.”
Horror Fuel: “That’s fantastic! I’m so excited for you!”
Reine is an incredibly talented actress and director. In her roles she’s somewhat of a chameleon, changing her look and behavior to pull off characters seamlessly in everything from psychological horror to period pieces to action movies.
If you’re looking for action, gore, and just a fun flick Triggered is for you! It is set to be released on November 6th on Digital and On Demand.
You can also see Reine on past episodes of “Z Nation,” and in films such as Losing Addison, and The Refuge. And be sure to check out directorial debut Heks. She’s an actress and director you’re going to want to keep your eye on. In fact, you should go ahead and follow her on Instagram and Twitter just to make sure you don’t miss any of her projects.