In an exclusive interview with Villain Media, actress Cheryl Texiera talks about her role as Dr. Ellen Freese in the intense creature flick, Hoax. Find out what happens when an investigate team uncover the terrifying secrets behind the mystery of Bigfoot.
An investigative team travels deep into the remote Colorado wilderness after a group of young campers are viciously murdered by what may be Bigfoot. While the highly specialized crew searches for evidence, they find themselves in a fight for survival against the legendary beast. What they encounter turns out to be more unexpected and dangerous than anything they could have ever imagined.
With Hoax now available on VOD & Blu-Ray, Cheryl Texiera discusses what the role of Dr. Ellen Freese means to her, working with practical effects, and shooting on location. Check out our review of Hoax as Texiera and I head on over to the actor’s studio to discuss the craft and creating a fleshed-out character.
Villain Media: How did you become involved in Hoax?
Cheryl Texiera: Matt Allen had reached out to our casting director, Chadwick Struck. Matt had worked with Chadwick on a previous film. They were looking for the role of Ellen. Chadwick pitched me to him. And thankfully, Matt liked my work. They reached out to me and sent me the script to look over Ellen. I loved it and I loved Ellen! It was awesome!
VM: I loved how Dr. Ellen Freese is such a strong and quick-thinking character. Tell me what interested you about the character.
CT: I loved that she was strong and an unapologetic type of character. She is no-nonsense. She’s very smart. She had so many personal issues going on that she was dealing with. When Rick Paxton (Ben Bowder) asks her to go on the hunt for Bigfoot, it was so much more than just being about a bunch of people going into the woods. It wasn’t just about Bigfoot. It was a character study. And these were fully fleshed-out characters. That’s what I really loved about Ellen.
VM: Adrienne Barbeau is in my favorite movies, The Fog and Escape from New York. Barbeau is such an icon. You and Barbeau have such amazing chemistry together. Tell me about working with her.
CT: Adrienne is a sweetheart! She’s so lovely! That classic beauty and authenticity! Everything about her is lovely and stunning if I’m being completely honest! She has been in so many iconic pieces of work! She’s so humble and gracias! I hope you do get to meet her one day! She is everything you would hope her to be.
VM: I loved the back and forth animosity between Ellen and Rick. Tell me about developing that chemistry with Ben Browder.
CT: In this film, Rick just pisses off everyone! [Laughs] I can only imagine Ben must have had a fun time! It was really fun to play opposite him. The tension between him and Ellen was always high; and it was always like that. Even in the moment when they need each other, he’s invading her personal space. And he’s not apologetic about it. He’s throwing his weight around. Ben is not like that at all; he’s so sweet and kind. He’s so fun to work with obviously.
VM: Dr. Ellen Freese gets unexpected opportunities to show off her medical skills and training. There’s a shocking moment where she has to set straight a broken leg. And then, there’s the cave covered in blood! What was it like filming those scenes?
CT: You know what I remember most about filming those scenes! It wasn’t the blood. It was actually Scott Park who was holding a Steadicam the entire time I was fixing Bridget (Shoshana Bush)’s leg. It took awhile for me to actually wrap it! That camera was so heavy! As you’re playing this horrific scene, so often when you’re in middle of it, you see those external things that viewers never see. I remember Scott; I felt so silly. My focus was like, “I’m sorry! I’m moving as fast as I can! I’m sorry its taking so long!” Yeah it was crazy!
VM: How did Hoax change you as an artist?
CT: Oh that’s a great question! To really appreciate on-location shoot. We were shooting in Lake City, Colorado. It’s a location a bit off the map. Lake City is not necessarily a place you stay in for 6 weeks. A lot of people were like, “Yeah, you drive straight through Lake City.” It’s a cute, quaint town. The actual town looks like an actual movie set. That was so crazy about it!
You can get stir crazy when you’re in a cabin for six weeks! And I never left! A lot of the cast and crew would leave and drive to Garrison, which is like an hour away from Lake City, on the weekends. I don’t know why but I never left. It made me appreciate going in with a plan and be open to exploring your surroundings. After the shoot, I was like, “I was in Colorado. Why did I not go and see Colorado on my days off?” It made me appreciate on-location shoots for sure.
VM: Where can the readers of Hoax find your movie?
CT: You can find it on iTunes! [Writer’s Note: Readers can also order the Blu-Ray here]
VM: What are you working on now?
CT: I will be part of the season premiere of Sydney to the Max on Disney. I don’t know if your horror fans are also Disney fans, but it’d be quite a crossover! [Laughs] I also do acting tutorials on Instagram as well.
[Writer’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Links are highlighted in bold.]
Hoax is available now on VOD & Blu-Ray.