Maria Olsen gives me nightmares and that’s a compliment to her. She is one hell of actress when it comes to scaring, creeping out, making you laugh and in dramatic scenes. It’s almost unfair how good she is in horror films and I anticipate a great performance from her in the upcoming ‘The Haunting of Whaley House’ due out July 31st. Maria gives it her all whether it’s a movie, TV, or a short and she’s been in several dozen the last couple years. Maria is a wonderful person who was very kind to tell us about herself.
You’re incredible in horror films, did you always want to be in horror or did it just happen?
MARIA: It basically just happened. Ten or so years ago, you would have found me doing things like understudying Maria in The Sound of Music…that was before I figured out how intense my on-screen presence was, though. Once I got a few auditions, booked a few gigs and saw myself on screen for the first few times, it wasn’t hard to figure out that I was waaaaaay intense and that I had an awful good chance of booking horror-related roles. This is, of course, a good thing – lol – as I’ve been in love with the horror genre ever since I was a little kid and spent my free time reading Fangoria articles about how they made Linda Blair’s head turn all the way around!
What acting did you do back in South Africa prior to relocating to Los Angeles?
MARIA: I’ve actually been performing since I was six years old; first dancing with the Stella Logan School of Ballet and then acting in musicals and stage plays for both The Dramatic Society of East London and The Arts Theater Club (also in East London, South Africa). When I arrived in Los Angeles, though, I had absolutely no film experience – the industry had not made much of an impact in the Eastern Cape by the time I had left in January 2005 – but I quickly remedied that, and I’ve found that I adore film as a media to perform in. It’s very different from theater, but both of them are a joy to work in!
Do you have any rituals to prepare yourself for a day of filming?
MARIA: I just try to get to set on time, alive and with a certain level of coffee in me… Seriously, other than making sure I’m about 90% prepared for a role – to me the other 10% MUST be spontaneous or else you cannot achieve honesty – I don’t do anything uber-special before I go on set or before I shoot 😀
Considering on screen you have a great reputation of being an amazing actress in horror films. In real life how would your friends and family describe you?
MARIA: LOL the words “pushover” and “sweet” and “big-hearted” all come to mind…as well as the words “Irritating Blonde”!!! I guess I save up all my intensity and scariness for when I’m on screen. On the other hand, one of my favorite sayings is “I LOVE children…I just could never eat a whole one!” 😀
Who was your biggest influence when it comes to acting or motivation?
MARIA: I generally motivate myself as I have very high standards for personal achievement; my fave tshirt when I was younger, for instance, was Lisa Simpson’s “Over Achiever and Damn Proud of It!”. When it comes to acting, though, I had many wonderful actresses to look up to when I was growing up. My era was the era of, on film, greats like Jodie Foster, Jane Fonda, Kathleen Turner, Sissy Spacek, Carrie Fisher and Sigourney Weaver and, on television, Stephanie Powers, Kate Jackson, Erin Gray and Barbara Bain…who could possibly go wrong with ladies like these to look up to and learn from? Now, of course, my biggest motivation and influence is my awesome producing partner, Angel Corbin, with whom I co-own our production company, MOnsterworks66 😀
I’m looking forward to ‘The Haunting of Whaley House’ and another stellar performance by Maria. I highly recommend staying current with Maria by signing up for her newsletter. Simply send your email address to her Facebook email firstname.lastname@example.org In the meantime check out Monsterworks66 Youtube page along with Maria and Angel’s IMDBs.