Do you like Reno 911 AND Shawn of The Dead? Then you are in luck as MTV is releasing a brand new series, DEATH VALLEY that will certainly please aficionados of both shows. The series follows the `Undead Task Force’ (UTF), a newly formed division of the LAPD, documentary-style, as they capture the monsters that roam the streets of California’s San Fernando Valley.
Daemon’s TV had the pleasure of chatting with series star Caity Lotz about her character Kirsten Landry, the fact that she does her own stunts and why period pieces appeal to her.
Check out what she had to say below and don’t forget to tune in August 29 at 10:30/9:30c on MTV for the premiere of Death Valley. (Also if you happen to be at Comic Con this friday, you can catch her at the Death Valley Panel at 7:30 pm in Room 5AB)
I saw a few promos of ‘Death Valley’. It looks great.
Caity Lotz: Yeah, it looks fun, right?
How would you describe it in one sentence?
Caity Lotz: I’d say that it has a feel of, like, ‘Cops’ meets ‘Zombieland’ and it’s a comedy horror that kicks ass.
So what’s the show about?
Caity Lotz: The show is about the UTF which is the Undead Task Force and what they go through. The Undead Task Force is a special unit of the LAPD that specifically deals with zombies, werewolves and vampires. The San Fernando Valley has all of a sudden over the past year been overrun, or not overrun, but people are starting to get infected. So, it’s basically what would really happen if all of a sudden people started becoming zombies. It’s our journey dealing with these things.
And your character is Kirsten Landry?
Caity Lotz: Yeah. She’s a sweetheart. She’s from Carefree, Arizona and she’s the new rookie cop. She’s a super go getter. Everyone doesn’t take her very seriously in the beginning. She’s really got to prove herself, and it’s funny because she’s extremely capable and she kicks a lot of ass, but nobody really sees it.
What initially attracted you to the role?
Caity Lotz: I liked the fact that I would get to use my fighting skills because I’ve trained in the martial arts and some stunts, and so for me to be able to do all my own stunts and actually get to fight was pretty exciting for me.
I saw some of that in your reel. How many disciplines are we talking here?
Caity Lotz: I started with dancing and then I moved into martial arts, and I just kind of learned a little bit of everything from everyone. A little Muay Thai, a little Wushu, a little Tai Kwon Do and then tricking which is kind of the big, flashy stuff of all the different martial arts. So, just a little smorgasbord of everything.
And you actually get to do your own stunts on the show?
Caity Lotz: Yeah. I do all my own stunts.
Does something like Parkour come in handy on the series?
Caity Lotz: Yeah. We didn’t really utilize the Parkour part of it too much this season. Hopefully, if we get a season two I get to do a little more Parkour.
Every time I see anyone do Parkour, I think they’re crazy. No offense. What goes through your head as you’re doing this stuff?
Caity Lotz: Well, it is dangerous. It’s probably the most dangerous thing that I play around with because with braking and stuff like that, you can still get hurt, but this is different because you’re dealing with things outside of your body. I’ve definitely jumped on walls where the wall is old and it breaks and you fall. Lots of scars and bruises and cuts.
Usually, the guys that I would train with, this free running group called Lost Boys that I was training with, they don’t do stuff unless they know that they can do it. They train so much. It’s about training. If it’s a distance, they’re like, ‘The distance from this roof is ten feet,’ or whatever and they know exactly how far they can or can’t jump. I definitely tried to stay more safe. I was like, ‘I’ll do these little baby roof gaps that I have no doubt that I can jump,’ but yeah, it’s pretty scary.
I would think it’s a handy skill to have in real life if you have to runaway from the cops or something.
Caity Lotz: Yeah, just in case I get another speeding ticket or something. That would be pretty good press.
Were you a fan of the horror genre before doing this?
Caity Lotz: No, I wasn’t. I never really liked gory stuff. It’s always made me sick to my stomach, but after this show I definitely started getting into it a little bit more. Now it seems like scary movies, thrillers and stuff are the only things that can keep my attention because you have to pay, they’re more gripping. I definitely appreciate that about them and with our show it’s like the gore, it’s not like humans are dying. That’s what I don’t like, feeling bad for people. It breaks my heart, but with this it’s zombies and vampires. It’s not like real people, technically.
How many episodes have you shot so far?
Caity Lotz: We’ve finished all twelve.
What can you tease about what’s coming up for your character, but also in the overall series?
Caity Lotz: It’s definitely a ride, for sure. The show takes you on a ride. It’s nice because it’s one of those that you can tune into and just watch one episode and hop in wherever in the series, but then there’s also a good overall story. So, if you stay in you get the whole thing. It’s just so funny. It’s really funny and it’s scary, and it’s just got a little bit of everything.
Do you have anything that jumps out as your favorite episode or scene?
Caity Lotz: I did get to do this one really cool scene where I got to crawl out of a burning car that was on fire and run down the street being chased by werewolves, wearing heels and stuff. That was pretty fun.
And the car wasn’t really on fire, right?
Caity Lotz: Yeah, it was. They really set it on fire.
I see that ‘Death Valley’ has a panel at Comic-Con this Friday. Are you going?
Caity Lotz: Yeah, of course. I’m going to be there.
Have you ever been to Comic-Con?
Caity Lotz: I haven’t. I’m very excited.
You know that you have to wear a costume. Otherwise they won’t let you in.
Caity Lotz: [Laughs] That’s what I heard. I was going to go with the Chewbacca look. We’ll see.
Do you have any other upcoming projects you’ve done?
Caity Lotz: I just finished an indie feature called ‘Live At the Foxes Den’ which was pretty fun. That’s starring Jackson Rathbone from ‘Twilight’ and some really great older actors like Elliott Gould and Xander Berkeley are in it as well. It’s about a group of attorneys. I play an attorney as well which was pretty fun. I feel all professional. My dad is a lawyer. So that was kind of fun. I was like, ‘Dad, look.’ It’s about Jackson’s character. We basically go to this bar and he ends up going through a whole identity crisis and ends up singing at this bar, which is really cool because there’s a lot of really great music and Jackson can really sing. It’s cool. When we were filming it he’d really be singing and it was great.
So, that and then I’m also shooting starting in August this thriller. I’m super excited about it. It’s called ‘The Pack’. I play this young girl who had a really rough upbringing. She was abused by her mother and she’s a goth, a really tough chick. Her mother ends up passing away and she has to go back and deal with everything. Then her sister and her husband end up missing and it’s kind of this ghost story, and a very much a thriller. She’s got to figure things out and put clues together and it’s really cool.
If you could guest star on any TV show you wanted which one would it be?
Caity Lotz: That’s a good question. I think, gosh, there’s so many. I think I’d really want to be on – it’s over now – is ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ that was on HBO.
There’s a new season coming up. So, hopefully…
Caity Lotz: Hopefully, yeah. I love period pieces. Steve Buscemi is an amazing actor. He’s so great. I’d love to work with him. He’s such an interesting person. I think the writing is great and it seems like a fun show like that.
Most actors say ‘Mad Men’, but you’ve already done that.
Caity Lotz: Yeah, I did that, but hopefully they bring me back. I hope.
(Photo Credit: JEFF BERLIN/Berlincreative.com and MTV)