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Our Interview With Actress Susie Abromeit Of Battle: Los Angeles And Setup

by
February 06, 2011

Actress Susie Abromeit was kind enough to lend us some of her time on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago.  We had a chance to ask her about her roles in “Setup,” directed by Mike Gunther who we’ve previously interviewed  as well as her role in “Battle: Los Angeles,” which opens in a few weeks.

Before we get started with the questions and answers we’d just like to say thank you to Susie.  She was wonderful to talk to and we certainly appreciated her time.

Beforethetrailer [BTT]:  What can you tell us about the story of “Battle: Los Angeles”?
Susie Abromeit [SA]:  Well, what I can tell you is that it’s based on these events that actually happened in 1941 when it was believed aliens tried to make contact.  It was in LA and there were all of these lights and I guess the Army tried to attack it and it just disappeared.  I guess it’s focused more on the specific battle of LA, but the story itself I cannot talk about too much because they want to keep it secret so I can’t tell you too much about that.

BTT:  What can you tell us about how your specific character plays into it?
SA:  I don’t know if I can elaborate too much on that.  I wish I could. [As far as the secrecy] It’s sort of like how JJ Abrams likes to keep things under wrap.   I think the trailer, if you’ve seen it speaks for itself. 

BTT:  We heard this movie described as “Independence Day” meets “Black Hawk Down.”   Do you think that is a pretty fair comparison?
SA:  I always kind of thought it had an element of “Saving Private Ryan.”   Just the way its shot and the cinematography of it.  And, yeah it definitely has the feel of “Black Hawk Down”, definitely like a Ridley Scott movie. Also “District Nine.”
BTT:  Yeah I can see that based on the trailer.
SA:  Yeah. It definitely has that sort of feel. I don’t know why, but I remember seeing the trailer awhile ago and thinking “Oh my god its like ‘Saving Private Ryan’ with aliens.”  Which is great because you know, Spielberg is amazing. So is the director [for “Battle: Los Angeles”].  Jonathon [Liebesman] just knows his stuff.   He’ll be the next Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg.

BTT:  Being a really action packed movie was there anything you found challenging for the filming for it?
SA:  Action films are always fun.  I’ve done a bunch of action films.  I actually prefer that.  You feel connected.  Physically connected.  There are all these different things going on. You know there are civilians, and then you have the Marines. The other thing about that is the Marines actually trained some of the cast. I mean I’m not a Marine but they actually trained, you know Michelle [Rodriguez]. Everyone went to boot camp for I think a week or two, to have some experience. To really be, you know, under attack and to train like a Marine. They are really hardcore about it.
BTT:  Did you take part in that training?
SA:  No I did not.
BTT:  I bet that was pretty intense for the others though.
SA:  They were really, really highly trained for that.

BTT:  Did you find it hard to transition from a high action, big budget film like “Battle: Los Angeles’ to smaller “art action” movie like “Setup”?
SA:  It wasn’t really that much different. Everything is a little bit smaller in terms of the scale, in terms of you know the crew, in terms of the special effects all that kind of stuff.  I think when you are approaching a project, it’s always the same.  You’re telling a story; what does your character want, and what kind of story are you trying to tell with this character.   And you approach it the same way.  It depends on how different the character is, and what type of physicality they have and trying to figure out who they really are and showing that to your audience.

BTT: How did you become involved in “Setup”?
SA:  Well I ended up having an audition. I remember auditioning for 50 and apparently it went really well. I remember walking into the room and you know, being a little overwhelmed and thinking “Oh wow, this is 50.”   You know, I grew up listening to his music.  In that moment I was bit overwhelmed and then all of a sudden I went into the audition and then he slammed his fist down in happiness and said “ya, get it girl!” and made that sort of statement.  I nailed the scene. Then right after he was immediately like “Yeah”! So I think having 50’s approval was definitely a motivating factor. I worked for the director [Mike Gunther] previously on a movie called “Beatdown.”

He was just wonderful to work with. We really had the same sort of approach to making movies and he just wanted to tell a great story.  For this movie, it was the same exact thing.  With Mike everything comes from his heart.  He pours his heart and soul into every project and to come back and work with him again it was really amazing.

BTT:  Was there any intimidation factor for working with a cast involving 50, Bruce Willis and Ryan Phillippe or did you just ease right in and fit in with everyone?
SA:  No.  I mean when you hear the names at first, and you’re like “Oh so and so is in this movie”, you’re like “Whoa.”  But then once you are on set, it’s like anything else.  You are there to tell a great story and you become sort of like a family. The minute you come in everyone is really, really amazing.  Ryan is a really amazing actor, he just really, he just gets it.  And 50 is just like, I just want to hug him.  He’s like a big teddy bear to me.  I didn’t get a chance to meet Bruce, but I hear nothing but amazing things from all of the cast members, crew and everyone loves Bruce.  You know, it always starts with the director and trickles its way down.  I think if you have a really great director who is really passionate about the project and really wants to have a great movie, then I think everyone else sort of feels that passion.  Everyone really wants to collaborate and do the best they can. So I definitely think from 50 to Ryan to everyone, from my experience there was no ego, everyone was really cool.
BTT:  That’s great to hear.

BTT:  How does your character fit into the story?
SA:  Well I play the girlfriend of 50’s best friend, so there is a connection between 50 and my character.  [There was some plot revealed in this answer that we won’t share with you today and encourage you to check out the movie once it’s released.]

BTT:  What did you think of filming in Grand Rapids, MI?
SA:  Oh my god I loved it. I LOVE Grand Rapids, it was so beautiful.  I didn’t really know what to expect. I was expecting three feet of snow.  It was really cold.
BTT:  I think Mikes comment was “I don’t know how you people do it.”
SA:  (laugh)  You know, it was great. I love Grand Rapids. The people were really nice, they were really friendly.  It’s what you want.  You want to be in a place where people are warm and friendly and even though the weather was cold, it was wonderful.



Categorized | Interviews, Movie News