This year marks the 35th anniversary of Lucio Fulci's magnum opus, The Beyond, the delightfully dismal tale of a young woman who inherited a hotel in Louisiana that just so happened to have been built atop one of the seven gateways to hell.
Those that know me personally know that this is a true top 5 all time favorite of mine. Not only did I get to write a pretty awesome retrospective for Crypticrock.com, but I also had the opportunity to ask Emily herself, the lovely and beautiful Cinzia Monreale, some questions about her time on the set of The Beyond.
Jon Wamsley: How did you get involved with the production of The Beyond?
Cinzia Monreale: Fulci called me for "Emily" just after the western movie "Sella D'argento" my first movie with him.
JW: Lucio Fulci had a reputation of being a very hard man, or even a very sweet man depending on the day. Which was the Fulci you dealt with more? What was it like working with him?
CM: Fulci was an intelligent, geniale man , not hard, just reactive, nervous, with clear ideas about scenes and so he communicated very directly and quickly with actors. We were always in sync, so I understood what he was asking me and some eventually nervousness didn't impressed me.
JW: Talk about your character’s dog, Dickie. Was there any difficulty in working with an animal? Was he by chance a trained service animal? He seemed to be pretty trained on screen.
CM: We had two dogs: an American one, an Italian and a manipulated puppet head for the scenes when the dog hurts and kills me. Both dogs were kind and well trained.
JW: Special FX have come a long way since The Beyond, especially in the way of contact lenses. What were the difficulties wearing those contacts? Were you completely blind? Was there only a certain amount of time you could wear them before permanently damaging your eyes?
CM: Wearing contacts lenses was a little painful and especially annoying. Essential, absolutely important for my safety, tranquility and personal balance was Maurizio Trani, the great make up artist who put and took off the lens with a little sucker! I was really blind because the little hole in the center of the lens was moving not in sync with my eyes!
JW: How was it playing Emily? What kind of preparation did it take to play her?
CM: Playing Emily was a great experience as an actress. I preparing her playing on the set with the lens. The real blindness gave me the way, the reality of the character.
JW: Are you aware that a graphic novel adaptation of The Beyond was released in 1999? They added some background to your character. Did Lucio give you any kind of enhanced background of Emily?
JW: You have acted in a decent amount of horror films. Is there a particular draw for you to the horror genre?
CM: No, not at all...
JW: Outside of the contact lenses, how was your experience working with latex prosthetics. How long did it take apply? Did you find it cumbersome, or uncomfortable?
CM: I worked with a lot uncomfortable pieces on my face, on my body like a fake neck connected with tubes to little pumps full of red liquid, the"blood", I made many cast, tracing of my face and parts of my body to make masks, wounds for interminable hours....
JW: Who came up with the name Sarah Keller?
CM: Forget Sarah Keller! It was just for one movie. I'm Cinzia Monreale.