I had the wonderful opportunity to do a phone interview with Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter star, Tracey Birdsall this morning. I was absolutely impressed with not only her friendliness, but her excitement about Rogue Warrior and her career in general.
Highly talented, highly awarded, and such a nice person. I urge every single one of you to check out Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter.
Greg – Hello
Tracey – Hi, this is Tracey Birdsall
Greg – Hi, How are you doing?
Tracey – I’m good, I’m good.
Greg – So Horrorfuel.com wanted me to interview you about your upcoming Rogue Warrior movie.
Tracey – Absolutely!
Greg – So I did some research here before the interview and if there is anything we know for sure it’s that the internet is always correct about what they say about people. So if there is anything I get wrong, please let me know.
Tracey – (laughs) no problem.
Greg – You so are in modelling, acting and singing?
Tracey – I grew up singing. I don’t sing although I sand on a couple of soundtracks for a few movies, but it isn’t something I pursue right now. Although I have heard that in the television series spin off of Rogue Warrior which we’re planning on as soon as we finish The Time War [movie], one of the things I’m doing is going to be singing which was news to me (laughs).
Greg – They didn’t want to clear that with you beforehand?
Tracey – No, (laughs) but nobody ever does, do they? They just know I’m up for anything, you know. Why do you think I work so much!?!
Greg – That’s the thing, you have four films coming out this year?
Tracey – Yeah.
Greg – And so between acting and you have kids too, right? Do you have any down time?
Tracey – (laughs) I have no downtime. None. I took six years off a long time ago. I had worked since I was 15 in the industry and I Was completely burnt out so I took some time off and I feel like I had my downtime all at once. And so now I have been pretty much working ever since coming back into the industry.
Greg – So after being burnt out, what brought you back to it?
Tracey – You know, it’s funny, you look in the mirror and you’re not happy with yourself and you get a little short tempered or whatever and I said “you know, I really need a break. I’ve never taken a break.” Plus, it used to be that you’re aged out of Hollywood at age 25 and I suddenly noticed that all my friends that I grew up with were still working and I realized that I want to do that again. So I came back, but realized that, you know, they weren’t waiting for me. So I made a project just to put myself back on the radar and I have been working ever since.
Greg – What was that project?
Tracey – It was called “Tick Tock.” I wrote it and I produced it and it was very disturbing. I wrote about six of the most disturbing things I could think of because I wanted to show my art and show how devoted you are. It won festivals all over the world and did really, really well. I had a couple of offers off of that and a couple of more offers from those. It just seems like every time a project comes out, I get really good offers. A lot of them not so good, but there have been a couple of real stand out ones.
Greg – How do you choose between them? How do you choose what projects you want to do?
Tracey – The first thing I look at is a great script. I look for something that is going to be extremely difficult to do. I like to do things that I think other people couldn’t necessarily do. And I look for huge arcs and character development. With Rogue Warrior I knew that it would be very challenging mentally, physically and everything. It is a very character driven sci-fi, but it’s also extremely physical so I have lots of bumps and bruises and scars from it. It’s something most actresses wouldn’t want to do, but for me, it’s something that I love. I love doing super challenging projects that take months to prepare for. Something that makes a mark on people so they remember it. I mean, Rogue Warrior really makes you thing and so it was really fun to bring to life.
Greg – I did an article about the movie a few weeks ago and the press release said that it was a little bit Mad Max a little bit Terminator and a little bit Star Wars.
Tracey – I think that about sums it up (laughs)
Greg – So you play the character Sienna. With four movies coming up, how did you get in to Sienna mode?
Tracey – Well, I developed her character long before we shot it. I took months before to prepare. I always get off book before I decide exactly who the character is because a lot of times that’s the process of leading you to discover who they really are and then I had to physically work out a lot more, beef up at the gym, eat a lot of calories. But finding the little ticks that were her’s alone and when you see the film you’ll see her journey. It’s not what people expect. There is a lot of self-discovery that goes along with who she is so there’s things I realize about her. I had to color code the lines because often through the film she didn’t know what was going to happen next and it was drastic so I had to separate what she knew at the time and who she was at the time. I would say there are four different arcs in her character. You think about end of the world stuff and what you’re facing; what was kind of neat about her character is that she did sustain a lot of injuries so they became part of her character. And as people came in and out of her life, she morphed and took on certain aspects of those characters and it was really fun to prepare for.
Greg – How real are some of the injuries we will see in the film?
Tracey – Well, I did all my own stunts so I probably got hurt about 80 times. I would take pictures of whatever happened and move on to the next day. But that adds to the character, your pain and your exhaustion and everything you are actually feeling morphs into the character.
Greg – At the Malibu West Film Festival, you got the best actress award.
Tracey – I did. I think I’ve gotten four of them.
Greg – And you got the female action performer of the year award too?
Tracey – I did! Isn’t that cool? There is also a festival called Latke and I just got best actress in that, we got “best science fiction” and “best director” so I mean it’s pretty cool.
Greg – That’s awesome! Now you mentioned the spin off as well. What can we expect from that? Is it just continuing from the film?
Tracey – Well I have just heard bits and pieces, but it is going to be very, very different from the film because you’re going to have the characters later on and there will be new characters with a lot of twists and turns. And from what I’ve heard it is going to go to the dark side a bit so I’m kind of excited about that (laughs).
Greg – The dark side with singing!
Tracey – (laughs) I don’t know how that’s going to fit in but I’m sure it will. Part of the character development.
Greg – So The trailer for Rogue warrior looks amazing and everything I have seen about this film looks great. What can you say to really get people excited to come and see this movie?
Tracey – Thank you! I think that the biggest indicator that I got was at the premier in September (because this is the release), but Sony wanted to hold off the release because Wal-Mart has the exclusive rights and they wanted to hold off to get more shelf space which is great. But a lot of critics and press came to the original premier and their reaction is what I base the feedback on and one of the guys in the row I was in was drawing back tear which rarely happens so when you move the press and critics like that you know it’s something that the audience is going to enjoy. People really went on [Sienna’s] journey and not only the women, but the men as well. I actually see her as a very androgynous character even though the poster doesn’t look like that (laughs). It’s a story about a human being, not necessarily focused towards a man or a women. I am expecting it to resonate really well especially with science fiction fans but because it has its drama element and its character driven element I would think that people who aren’t normally drawn towards science fiction will be drawn to it.
Greg – A movie that really speaks to everybody.
Tracey – Yeah! Well and because I’m an actress in so many different genres, I do comedy and everything so I really try to look for the depth in the character.
Greg – Do you like to watch your films? I know if I’m in a band or something, I don’t like to hear myself sing, but can you watch your film and say “I am really proud of that?”
Tracey – I can, but I think it’s because I watch it as a third party. I’m not relating to being that character anymore that the person sitting next to me. I am very separate from it. I become that character for a while and when I finish I can analyze it and watch it as a third party. So I can watch it, but mostly I enjoy watching other people watch it.
Greg – Well that is fantastic! Thank you so much. I am legitimately really excited for this movie. Thank you so much for your time
Tracey – Thank you the interview.
Greg – Have a great day, goodbye
Tracey – You too, goodbye.
Check out Rogue Warrior and all of Tracey’s other projects. Thanks again, Tracy. Good luck with everything!
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