An upcoming actress getting her career going in the industry, Casey Marie Ecker is using her skills to make a mark on the industry as she gets her career going working on several prominent indie films and series. Now, in honor of Women in Horror Month, I talk with her about her early interest in acting, working on the series 21st Century Demon Hunter and upcoming projects.
Me: Hello and thank you for taking the time to do this. First off, when did you get into horror in general?
Casey Marie Ecker: I’d like to think being a woman, in general, got me into horror. From the bodily changes of adolescence to the general sexual harassment we experience on the daily, just living our lives as women in the 21st century. It’s nightmarish... But in all truth, I think it started with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Even through the cheesy 90s CGI, fourteen-year-old me loved the campy earlier seasons.
Me: Were you into genre films growing up? What films specifically got you into watching horror movies?
CME: My mother was super picky about what films we could watch. Mostly because she just wasn’t interested in the more violent ones at the time (I still have to pull her leg to get her to watch something R-rated). So we watched a lot of 80s dance films and romantic comedies! The film that really got me into horror was actually Cabin in the Woods. I was somewhat familiar with the tropes of horror films and I really loved that they poked fun at them all. It definitely opened my eyes to how much fun the genre really is.
Me: When did you initially discover a passion for acting? What aspect of this industry appeals to you?
CME: My first love was always dance and through that, I found singing and the theatre. It wasn’t until I was a teen that I really started to be interested in film and television. I was always a little performer at heart. My favorite thing about this industry is how many people it takes to get a project off the ground. I love the collaborative experience of it all. And if I like the people I work with then I can work with them again but on a completely different project.
Me: Is there any specific type of character you prefer playing? What do you look for in a character to be excited and interested in playing it?
CME: I adore playing antagonizing characters with questionable morals! It is truly the most fun when I can explore the complexities of their choices. When I first read a script, my immediate thought is “what do they want?” and if it’s something I haven’t experienced or played before then I’m game!
Me: What do you do to stay in character while on-set? When you're not filming, how do you pass the time between takes?
CME: I’m definitely one of those actors that breaks down from the giggles but can snap myself back into it once the camera starts rolling. I don’t ever stay in character on set as I’ve never struggled with getting into character. Sometimes I’ll look at my script and go over any lines I have some difficulty with, but for the most part, I am goofing off. I really do enjoy talking to the cast and crew when they aren’t working. Watching my co-workers film their scenes is a wonderful way to pass the time. I adore watching others at work! That’s a free lesson right there
Me: Having worked on plenty of short films early in your career, what tools and skills do you acquire working on those that transferred to future film projects?
CME: The ability to remain present on set was something I acquired and worked on throughout my career. It's so easy to just open your phone and scroll through social media while on set. I really try to only read when I’m not shooting or talk to the crew while they aren’t busy.
Me: That brings us to your project, the series "21st Century Demon Hunter." What can you tell us about your character Persephone? What about her initially appealed to you about the character?
CME: I PROMISE I will talk about Persephone but first I just want to remark on the audition. Instantly when reading the script I knew who this young woman was but the first audition I had for Persephone was a total disaster! I went home thinking the choices I made were all wrong and what I could have done instead... But SOMEHOW Charles saw that I was capable of portraying a sociopath and for that, I will be forever grateful. Playing Persephone has been this nightmare come true! Persephone is so superiorly specific in her actions and needs for control. It all stems back to her childhood and her relationship with her sisters. What appealed to me was the unapologetic nature in her destructive path. I have always wanted to play a character like her. I’ve only scratched the surface and it’s already been four years since.
Me: Given the episodic nature of the shoot, was it challenging working with director Charles Lincoln's group of actors and actresses?
CME: It can be difficult since Persephone is an important character but she’s not in every episode. There are months I’ve gone without shooting with the gang and then I’m dropped back in the thick of it. But I am always welcomed back by everyone, even by the actors I've never worked with. The nature of our shooting can be challenging as we are almost always doing something out of the ordinary and involving a TON of fake blood. But that’s what’s so much fun about working with the 21st Century gang!
Me: What was the set like while shooting your episodes? How did the cast and crew react to the type of series being made?
CME: Being on set with this cast and crew is always the best. They know exactly what to expect but never what they are getting into. But that makes it the most chaotic fun!
Me: Do you recall having any odd or funny on-set stories about yourself or any of the other cast/crew members?
CME: Once we had our DP, boom op and someone else all stuffed into the bathtub! It truly made my day because I had to do something particularly awful in that scene.
Me: What are you most looking forward to in the revival of the series for you and your character?
CME: I’m looking forward for the audience to really get to know more about Persephone’s history. How it intertwines in Julie’s world and what shapes her.
Me: What else are you working on that you'd like to share with our readers?
CME: I am currently working on writing during the pandemic which has been super therapeutic! I also have a short web series that was shot almost two years ago now when I first came to Montreal. Hopefully, it will be out to view soon!
Me: Lastly, being that this is Women in Horror Month, what special message do you have for any women out there looking to join in the industry in any capacity as you are one yourself? Thank you again for your time!
CME: Be open and when you find people you enjoy working with, keep in touch with them. Don’t let rejection paint your potential future. Support your other artist friends and most importantly remember to always wash your clothing immediately when working with fake blood. RIP my favorite sneakers. :)