Skip to main content

TIFF Interview with Athena Karkanis of George Romero's Survival of the Dead

Athena Karkanis may not be a household name just yet, but if you're a horror fan, you'll recognize her as the determined Agent Perez of the Saw film franchise. At the Toronto Film Festival this year, she also starred in George Romero's Survival of the Dead, which got its North American Premiere (just days after getting rave reviews in Venice) in a Moonlight Madness screening September 12.

"That film was maybe one of the hardest I've ever done," she says. "It was six weeks, all exterior shoots, all night shoots - one was in a field of mud!" Still, working with a living legend like George Romero had its perks. "In spite of all that, I had a wonderful time," she enthuses. "I was somewhat intimidated by the idea of working with him at first. We met on the first day of shooting - he wasn't at my casting audition - but he was the warmest, friendliest guy. You feel good in his hands. You don't get the sense that he's a living legend at all. It's very refreshing, amazing that he's not jaded. He'd be up pulling all nighters with the rest of us, coffee and cigarette in hand."

(image of Romero above by Josh Jenson of Toronto, taken September 12 at the TIFF Moonlight Madness Premiere)

While she loved working with Romero, the story itself also appealed to her. "In his films, the zombies are never the bad guys," she explains. "They can't help it. It's always about the human struggle."

Check out the trailer here.

With her combination of beauty and no nonsense, tough minded smarts, she seems a natural for those sorts of active roles. "I'm not overbearing though!" she protests with a laugh. "I do have something of that quality - when you do an audition, they see that in you." She's realistic about choosing her roles. "You're limited (in that respect), first because I'm a Canadian actress, second I'm just starting out. You can't be crazy selective, but I try to pick roles that will put me in the direction I want to be."

So does she watch horror movies herself? "It's not my cup of tea," she confesses, "but they're fun to work on!"

Born in Alberta, Karkanis' parents worked in international development, and so she was raised in various locations all over the world. She majored in political science at McGill University before heading to NYC to study theatre, and easily made the transformation from teen to adult roles. Her resumé also includes starring opposite Wesley Snipes in The Art of War 2, and she'll be hitting the stage at Toronto's Berkeley Street Theatre in That Face on October 26, along with Sonja Smits and Nigel Bennett, who she previously worked with in the TV series The Border.

Here's a clip of Karkanis as Special Agent Perez in Saw IV.

Killed off in Saw IV by a protégé of the Jigsaw killer, Agent Perez still showed up in Saw V. Will she return in Saw VI? If I told you, I'd have to kill you myself.... but whether Karkanis is in future Saw movies or not, it seems clear we'll be seeing lots of this talented actor in the years to come.

More Saw IV action here.


Popular posts from this blog

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

NU MUSES 2017 Luxurious Fine Art Nude Calendar Now Available

From a media release:

NU MUSES 2017 Luxurious Fine Art Nude Calendar Now Available
24 Fine Art Prints from Celebrated Photographer David Bellemere Available In Three Limited Edition NU MUSES 2017 Calendar Packages

“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment” -Michelangelo

Buy the collections
Check them out at Art Basel, Miami - December 1-4, 2016

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – November 22nd, 2016 – NU MUSES, the luxurious 2017 fine art nude calendar, is now available to purchase in three unique limited edition collectors packages. Drawing inspiration from the Pirelli calendar of the 1970s, NU MUSES is set to celebrate the forgotten art of the classic nude and capture the elegance and romance of the female form.

The NU MUSES limited edition art piece is a sublime collectable calendar, featuring nude photographs of 12 of the world’s most stunning models, captured by famed photographer David…

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …