The zombie subgenre has become a favorite among horror fans ever since the Godfather of Independent Cinema, Mr. George A. Romero, introduced the undead to unsuspecting audiences back in 1968 with his classic, Night of the Living Dead. Since then, a horde of homages has been made, including the recent release of Steven M. Smith’s, Dead Again.
A British horror/comedy heavily infused with genre references and a buddy movie mentality, Dead Again was an enlightening experience for co-star Elliot Cable.
We were able to ask Cable about his journey to becoming an actor, horror movies, and his time spent making, Dead Again.
PopHorror: You have been furiously adding credits to your acting resume for the past several years, Elliot. When did you know that acting was the avenue you wanted to professionally pursue?
Elliot Cable: For a long time, I kept acting purely as a hobby. I didn’t personally know anyone who had made it or even used it as a viable career path. However, whilst I was studying History at university, I found myself getting more and more involved in filmmaking and collaborating with friends and other students to make films, to the point where it kind of overtook my focus on my actual degree… I then tried my luck in the wider world of acting and independent films, joining casting websites and getting actual paid work, which came as quite a shock!
It was around then, when I was finishing up my degree whilst acting as much as was feasibly possible, that I decided to make a go of it. I’m pretty self-aware. I knew that there were gaps in my knowledge and capabilities as an actor, so in order to progress and place myself in the best position to pursue it professionally, I knew I had to bridge these gaps. I applied to some drama schools, got into and trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts—which gave me the skills and confidence to pursue acting professionally—bagged an agent after graduating, and I’ve never looked back!
PopHorror: If I’m correct, Dead Again was your first starring role in a feature film. How was this experience for you?
Elliot Cable: It was! We basically shot two feature films back to back, one of which was Dead Again. So not only was it my first time on a feature, but it was a chaotic experience trying to work on two films at once essentially.
Filming Dead Again was a wild experience, though. As you pointed out, it was my first feature, but I’d worked on a lot of short films before. I knew how to build characters, the work I needed to put in, the process, etc. However, with Dead Again and features in general, it’s a much larger slice of life than with short films, so the work has to match that. The story for my character—PC Brody—was almost entirely encompassed in the film, which was new to me. He’s a young policeman, fresh from the Academy, and he gets sent off to some backwater town where his career pretty much ends due to the events in the film. So, having the chance to play a character’s story right the way through was novel for me and a great experience, especially as his arc is so intense. He goes from uptight, righteous, live-and-die-by-the-rules, to team player, survivor, and rule-breaker in a relatively short period.
The experience as a whole was so intense though, more so than anything else I’ve done previously or since. We shot the entire film in about four days. Our first day was shooting fifteen pages of dialogue which was incredibly difficult, but then the rest was running around a creepy mansion with guns, which was unbelievably fun.
PopHorror: Were you a horror fan prior to filming Dead Again? Were you privy to all the enjoyable name drops and anecdotes taken from the genre when you read the script?
Elliot Cable: In all honesty, I’m not a huge horror fan. They freak me out, and I have an overactive imagination as it is… However, I was definitely privy to the name drops in the film. We laughed a lot at the Sigourney Weaver reference, especially. If there was ever a chance one of us didn’t pick up on one of the references, [director] Steven made sure we knew!
PopHorror: In my opinion, you have the name of a superhero. Elliot Cable has a definite ring to it. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why?
Elliot Cable: I’ve heard some nice things said about my name actually, but a superhero name definitely tops them all… thank you! I’ve said this from day one: my power would be the ability to fly—no question. Firstly, the thought of being able to just jump up and fly anywhere I wanted to go sounds amazing. Secondly, I love rollercoasters, heights, speed and so on, so being in control of that and being able to experience it whenever I wanted to is a dream. Obviously, we’d have to work out the logistics of it; if flying is anything like running, I wouldn’t be able to fly fast, far, or for very long…
PopHorror: What was the most challenging aspect of filming Dead Again?
Elliot Cable: The time frame was a challenge for sure. Four days to shoot a sixty-page script seemed nuts, but somehow we pulled it off! The fantastic thing was that Tony [Fadil] and I had a really great relationship both off and onset. So we gelled quickly and found we were able to bounce off of each other in the scenes easily. Whilst having quite a clear vision for the film, Steven still gave us freedom and a lot of room to play within the scenes. This helped to move the film along at a quick pace that felt organic and logical. It also helped that we both knew our lines, as fifteen pages in a day is no easy thing to do. There was also the challenge of choreographing the scenes with the extras, making sure people ran, fell, jumped, grabbed, and died at the right time was chaotic.
The most amazing thing to observe was how well everyone worked together and rose to such a daunting task. We were all there to tackle this mad challenge we’d been given. Everybody gave 100% at all times, and that’s the only reason we have a film at all. Everyone really stepped up. We had efficient camera, sound and lighting set-ups, reliable actors, talented make-up artists, and a ton of willing extras to bring it together. Whilst it was a challenging film to make, it would have been much harder without all of those people doing what they did.
PopHorror: What’s up next for yourself, Elliot?
Elliot Cable: Currently, things are starting to pick up again post-lockdown, which is great to see. I’ve just wrapped on a short film called Bury the Hatchet, a horror/thriller about a plague doctor in the seventeenth century where I was fortunate enough to play the lead role of the doctor. It was an incredible experience and one that I’m really proud of and excited to share. Aside from Dead Again, some projects are coming out soon which is really exciting, including an upcoming Marvel film, a feature film called The Lady From The Sea, and a commercial which will be airing soon.
Otherwise, I’ve got a few new roles coming up in the summer for some short films and a feature, but mainly I’m just trying to keep on progressing and generating some momentum for myself. Over the first lockdown last year, I wrote my own film which went into production earlier this year, shooting in the first week of March, and is now being edited. So, for now I’m just writing, auditioning, and trying to refocus myself as the world begins to return to some form of normality…
We want to thank Elliot for his time and hope you follow him on Instagram HERE in addition to checking out Steven M. Smith’s Dead Again, now available to stream and purchase on Amazon at the link below.
Check out the trailer below!