Apostolis Totsikas already had the part of the tragic hero Orestis under his belt; in the sequel to ‘Evil’, ‘Evil In The Time of Heroes’, he grabs his sword and fends off the zombies that have taken over ancient Greece.
From playing in Ancient tragedies to Ancient Greece was it a hard transition?
It wasn’t so hard; if you feel like making that transition and have so many great people around you while at it you don’t need much convincing. It was an amazing experience to play alongside a cast that included Billy Zane.
In the film you play the role of Androkles the king’s son. Would you have preferred to be a zombie?
I wouldn’t like to be a zombie, I like being the person trying to escape zombies, literally or metaphorically.
What were your feelings after watching the first film?
I was a big fan! I went and watched it with Yorgos Chraniotis; by the end of the film we were fans, made a few phone calls and got hooked up.
What’s the best weapon when fighting a zombie; a sword or an axe?
Androkle’s specialty is the sword!
Did you feature in any of the Billy Zane scenes? What kind of guy is he?
He’s a very cool and polite guy. He seemed interested in how things work in Greece as he would like to work here more; a true professional.
So many actors who are friends with each other were involved in this project; how hard was it to get the scenes right quickly?
It wasn’t hard; I was good with the sword from acting school and I had a good feeling with the space. The hardest scene was the one in which I was buried under the soil for quite some time.
Which zombie film do you remember secretly watching as a kid?
It wasn’t a zombie movie, but I remember my mom wouldn’t let us watch Thundercats, because Mum-Ra would turn into a zombie mummy, so me and my brother had to watch it secretly.
Splatter movies always had a certain appeal, even if it was a secret one; director Yorgos Nousias had the courage to make an idea into a revolutionary DIY film. His first film “Evil” became an instant cult classic while his second feature “Evil in the Time of Heroes” is further proof of his talent.
Your first film had a lot of reference to Zombies and the work of other directors. Is this the case with you latest film?
You’re always influenced by people, not necessarily horror and zombie movies. There are certain references in the film; some are by chance and others were meant that way.
Splatter movies are widely considered cult so that makes them almost by definition non mainstream. Your second movie however seems to cater for a wider audience; with that in mind how would you describe your work?
I can’t really define the movie; we did the first film with no money, this time though our budget was better so we immediately had a bigger production value and more post production work to get through. Our aim is to have as many people as possible watching the film.
The film features some of the most promising talents from the new generation of Greek actors; for your first film you didn’t go through a casting process, is it true that the same thing happened for you latest project?
We didn’t really cast as much, I just chose the people that fit best. We tested them a little bit, but everybody was really up for doing the film as it featured zombies and was a lot of fun.
If a real zombie appeared during filming amongst all the fake ones how would you react?
I wouldn’t know it was happening until the last minute.
The line from the first film ‘What the f*** is going on with this city’ became a bit of a trend. Are you a fan of Hollywood style lines in films?
If a line is funny and has in a way defined the film by being the slogan on the posters, then it makes sense to repeat it in the sequel.
Casting the extras to play the zombies via Facebook was a very original idea in terms of marketing as well as creating hype around the film. How did you come up with it?
The main purpose was just to find the extras, the fact that they all had a great time made it even better. We couldn’t afford to pay loads and loads of extras basically.
What’s you favourite splatter scene ever?
It has to be the scene from Robocop, when Emil drives into a tank of toxic waste…
Would you prefer to be the hero or the zombie?
Definitely the hero.
If you were a zombie would you be able to control your senses and actions?
Now that’s another interesting take on it; to make a film from the point of view of the zombie. Definitely an interesting idea.
Photos: Nikolas Ventourakis