In the promotional material for the upcoming indie Slasher Axeman at Cutter’s Creek, Vivian is described as a “vain princess accustomed to the wandering eyes of men,” eyes that include those of Darren, played by Axeman writer-director Joston Theney, but Eliza Kiss, who plays Vivian, insists that her character is a complex individual in her own right.
“I think [Vivian] uses a hard exterior to cover up her insecurities, because deep down I think she’s pretty soft,” Kiss says. “Darren’s got a thing for her and I think at first she’s completely annoyed, but softens up to him a little eventually, especially when she’s a little . . . under the influence, ahem.”
For Kiss, the role of Vivian was a fun one to play and different from any she’d played before. “But I always feel that way each time I approach a new part,” she explains. It’s in finding those nuances, those little things that set a new character apart that Kiss makes the part her own, and she used the same approach with Vivian: “She has a different way in which she walks or holds herself, a different vocabulary, different ways that she reacts to situations.”
And it helped to find in Vivian a little bit of herself. “I can relate to her,” Kiss says. “I think we all, at one time or another, carry baggage that makes us feel the need to cover up our flaws or afraid to be emotionally intimate.”
According to Kiss, well-drawn characters is one of the aspects of Axeman at Cutter’s Creek that will set it apart from other Slasher films. “These are real people, in real human situations that, I’m sure, both you and I have experienced at one time or another.”
Of course, few of us has had to face an axe-wielding maniac, but, for the gang in Axeman, that’s just one of the obstacles with which they’re faced. “They are trying to figure out the best way to resolve conflicts within their relationships,” Kiss says, “in addition to trying to survive. But in the end, no one here is a villain or a victim, just a human being.”
Even the Axeman?
I’m lookin’ forward to finding out . . .
Be sure to check out Eliza Kiss’s excellent says-it-all Survive-a-Slasher tip, then read up on all our Axeman at Cutter’s Creek coverage.