For the VOD and Digital HD release of Aaron B. Koontz horror/thriller, CAMERA OBSCURA, Shannon had the chance to speak with Russian actress Nadja Bobyleva about her role as doting fiancee Claire Zeller and what it was like to work on her first horror film.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Nadja! Thank you for speaking with me today, I’m such a fan of your latest film. For those who may not be familiar, can you tell us a little bit about your character Claire Zeller in CAMERA OBSCURA?
Nadja Bobyleva: What’s special about Claire is that she’s really caring and loving towards her husband and the most important thing for her is to support him however she can. So, this I took as the most important part of her. I was cast two days before the shoot started and didn’t have that much time for preparation so I focused myself on these character attributes. She’s from a different country, and in my opinion, she came there for her husband and changed her life completely and tried to support the family and hold it all together because he’s really sick. She’s really on the edge at the time that we meet her because for two years she’s been just falling apart in this relationship and she’s at this point where she can no longer hold it all together, that’s where we meet her.
NC: What interested you the most about the role and what type of challenges did you face while filming?
NB: What was interesting to me was being part of the story, that’s what intrigued me. When I read the script, I thought it was really interesting that it’s not just told linear about a camera that is haunted but always being on the verge of being not sure if it’s a real haunted camera or is it something that’s happening in Jack’s head, psychosis or whatever it might be, so that was super interesting to me. What was also challenging, but super fun, were all the horror elements with being bloody and playing dead seven times for the pictures. Another challenge was the time because normally you get the script at least a week or two in advance but this time they had a lot of changes within the pre-production and Chris and I got cast two days before it started. So, the challenge was actually to prepare, to get to know the characters and to build the story two days before we started shooting. We had to form a whole relationship between two people and act as though we had known each other for two years, which is crazy actually, but in the end, it all worked out.
NC: You’ve done an array of film and television work both here in the US and Russia. Is there something about the horror genre that interests you whether it be in film or television?
NB: Honestly, CAMERA OBSCURA was my first horror film! For some reason, I’ve never done one here. My previous work was in Germany actually and this genre is not that familiar to the German cinema as it is in America. Therefore, it was super interesting to me to actually do a horror film for the first time. I think it’s very special because, of course for the audience it’s shocking and thrilling, but for the filmmakers it’s actually a lot of fun because it’s not a conventional, normal story. Not a drama story that you can see every day but it’s super playful and you can try a lot of different things, especially with all the special effects, it’s really fun for all the film departments. If it’s going to happen, or if it’s supposed to happen, I would love to do more of those films.
NC: Not to give anything away but the ending allows for the audience to come to their own conclusion in a way. Do you think that adds to overall tone and ambiance of the film, especially in regards to your character?
NB: It’s hard to say because for me, the ending is more about Jack and his journey and what happens inside his head. I think it would be really difficult not to give anything away if I say what I think the ending means. It’s really tricky not to give anything away to be honest. I think the audience should just watch the film and feel for themselves what it tells them the ending might be because it’s very important to follow the whole journey and to make their own conclusion if it’s the camera that’s evil or if it’s the ghost of Charlie Hibbert or if it’s Jack’s illness that drives him crazy and makes him do all those evil things. I think it should be open for each person to decide for themselves.
NC: Last but not least, what can fans look forward to from you in the future?
NB: The next movie that’s coming out in the US is ASHES IN THE SNOW. It’s a film about the time in Lithuania where the Soviets put them all in concentration camps and I play a part in it. I’m not sure when it’s coming out but people should look out for it. The next thing I’m working on is called THE SHOW and it’s a show for the web channel Blackpills in France. We were just in pre-production so it’s going to take a little while until it comes out.
CAMERA OBSCURA is now available on VOD and Digital HD from Chiller Films and in select theaters.