Stars Danica McKellar and Apolo Ohno discuss the Syfy Original Movie Tasmanian Devils
While the Syfy channel is home to hit shows such as Warehouse 13, its their original movies that always draw big ratings numbers. The latest Syfy Original Movie, Tasmanian Devils, stars Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) as a park ranger who tries to warn a group of base jumpers, lead by Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno, to steer clear of the Tasmanian national park. Ignoring her warning, they proceed, and find a host of legendary, and deadly creatures, protecting the land.
Both Danica McKellar and Apolo Ohno recently held a conference call to discuss their roles in this horror-thriller. Danica McKellar first gave a little insight into the character she plays.
"My character is a park ranger who discovers these base jumpers and Apolo plays one of the base jumpers. They're illegally jumping in Tasmania. My character goes to arrest them and monsters come and then the rest is history. It's not really a character development type of movie. It's more like a fun little adventure."
Apolo Ohno talked about his first scene, which turned out rather disgusting in a good way.
"Well disgusting in a good way, I think is exactly what we were trying to go for. You know, this was my first I guess, real shot at being able to be on screen with people like Danica and Mike (Dopud) and the others. And it was an incredible experience, but at the same time, it was pretty nasty. I mean but that's what we were going for; we wanted to be as realistic as possible and you know, I try to make it seem how much in pain I actually really was. I did my best."
This is also one of Apolo Ohno's first acting gigs, aside from a guest starring spot on Hawaii Five-0, after achieving Olympic success as a speed skater. He spoke about how much he has always enjoyed the Syfy channel and their programming, and how this role got him out of his comfort zone.
"I love Syfy, you know, I've loved the Syfy channel for as long as I can remember. This is just a really fun opportunity for me to go somewhere out of my comfort zone and you know, play a character who I think I could associate with and I could be on screen with some people. I've been a fan of Danica's since I was a kid. So it was, you know, for me it was just fun to be able to be around people like that and be around the production team and be around a group and a crew that was, you know, all willing to work so hard toward achieving I think the same goal. And I got to play, you know, I got to play a small role in it, which was an absolute blast for me. So it was a no-brainer for me to sign on and say yes. And you know, I do get a lot of opportunities to play certain roles and be a part of certain films, but this one to me, it just seemed different. It seemed fun and you know, being able to film in my back yard in Vancouver was very easy too."
Danica also chimed in about why she took the project, which was a change of pace after a Lifetime Christmas movie and a romantic comedy she recently filmed.
"Yes, I also love Syfy. I love all kinds of different projects. I mean obviously I've been acting for a long, long time and I love the variety. I mean I just did a romantic comedy, a Christmas movie for Lifetime that was on last month, and then I've got this Syfy movie. I sort of like to change it up and keep it different. Shooting in Vancouver was amazing. We were shooting in some of the mountains North of Vancouver and it was just gorgeous, I mean oh my goodness. It was cold though, I will say that. It wasn't really supposed to be cold because it's supposed to be Tasmania, we were playing Vancouver for Tasmania, which of course is like Australia. And you know, we were wearing like, not enough clothing for the temperature. But that's, again part of the adventure. One day it actually snowed on us. And they added a line about how it was snowing, and then they didn't end up using the scene at all. So I thought that was kind of interesting."
Apolo Ohno also spoke about the challenges this role brought.
The most challenging part of filming the movie - well I'd say there was many challenging parts. I think it was because it was my first real on-film experience. You know, everything was new to me. I have so much respect for the producers and directors, and all the actors and actresses; you don't want to mess up. You want to be able to blend in so everything is so seamless and works together. I guess that was the hardest part was I think just trying to be me on screen and not Apolo Ohno on screen, you know? I guess that's the first challenge that anybody would face in any position so. But it was fun, I mean I'm not going to lie it was - I had a lot of - every single day I'd go home and I would just smile, you know, and just kind of - I loved it. It was great."