Published On October 28, 2016 » 667 Views» By Fernando Fernandez » ACTORS/ACTRESSES, FEATURES, HORROR FILMS, Uncategorized
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Kika Magalhaes in The Eyes of My Mother

Kika Magalhaes in The Eyes of My Mother

When it comes to horror films, fans always look for the next scream queen and to see if she is as bodacious as the next cover girl on Maxim magazine.  Whatever happened to just seeking out genuine female actresses who just scare the wits out of the audience?  Well you may not have to look any further than Kika Magalhaes who has had the industry buzzing about her performance in Nicolas Pesce’s film The Eyes of My Mother ever since Sundance and during this Halloween season.  Kika plays Francisca who is a lonely and scarred woman whose mother was a former surgeon in Portugal in a secluded farmhouse.  Her mother teaches her when she is a young girl all about anatomy and not to be fazed by death but to take interest in what is inside the person.  Longing to be loved and to belong when she gets older, the trauma that she experiences in her childhood begins to take over her and those who she befriends to a very dark path.  Kika who carries this film all by her lonesome takes it to such a level that she might well be the female Anthony Perkins.  FERNTV spoke to Kika Magalhaes to pinpoint how she got to this point.

FERNTV:  Tell us briefly about your acting background and where you went to school for acting?

Kika:  I think my love for acting started when I was still in my Mother’s womb  but because I was born and grew up in a small town in Portugal, opportunities for actors are extremely limited. I was always involved with little plays, acting workshops but wasn’t taking it seriously. I denied my passion for a while and didn’t know what to do with my life.   So I travelled a lot, lived in a lot of different places and had all kind of jobs. It was when I was on a stage working as a dancer on a life show that I had an epiphany.   I realized the stage was where I belong and I needed to do it for the rest of my life. That moment changed my life! If I wanted to be a real actress, there is no better place to start than NYC, so I decided to move there and pursue acting with all my heart. I started by studying Meisner Technique at the Neighbourhood Playhouse School of Theater.

FERNTV:    Can you tell us first how you heard about this role and why did you agree to go an audition with the sound of its content?

Kika:  I even remember the clothes I was wearing when I first heard about this project!   I have worked with Nick in a music video and when we ended the shoot he said that he was going to write something for us to work together, but I thought I would never hear from him again. So I was caught by surprise when he called me on that random week afternoon- I didn’t even know it was him. He was all happy and excited and said he was working on a script and thinking of me for the lead. He was like “please tell me you are interested and available, please!!” He made me laugh. The script was still only a few pages for a teaser but I was blown away by it immediately!!
FERNTV:    Did you happen to study anyone from another film to prepare for your role in The Eyes of My Mother or was there any advice given to you?
Kika:  I worked closely with Nick on this. I was very fortunate that we connected and we were both very passionate people about movies. We spent a lot of hours talking about this and it was no work- it was fun! We would exchange ideas of characters/ performances in movies. He advised me to watch a bunch of horror movies that I wasn’t familiar with. I think because of Nick, I became horror obsessed!! Characters like Asami from Audition, Scarlet Johansson in Under The Skin were very inspirational to me. Delivering a good performance is not only up to the actor, but having a great director that has a vision and knows how to speak with the actor is what makes it good! I knew what Nick wanted for this character so it was just getting on that movie set and action!!
FERNTV:  There has been comments on reviews on this film that there were no A-list or well known performers in this movie in which the audience felt that it was better that way.  It made it that much more artistic and believable.  Can you describe the atmosphere you were in when playing the role of Francisca and did you feel comfortable right away with the cast of the film? 
Kika:  I was happy with having no A-list actors. I trusted Nick 100% on what he was bringing to the table, so I just followed his instincts. The whole cast was outstanding! Despite the nature of the project, we all became very close and it was like a family environment. We were all living together in beautiful upstate NYC while we were shooting so I had a blast working on this. When Nick said “action” I was totally in character and I like to take my time before the take to prepare but once it was over, I was Kika again!!! And Kika is a playfull and joyful person so It was a great experience for me because everyone on the cast/ crew was amazing to be around.
FERNTV:    What was the biggest challenge you encountered when doing this film?
Kika:  There weren’t big challenges but if I had to pick one it was probably the physical conditions. I am normally an early bird and this was mostly late night shoots. It was also really cold at night and I was wearing those dresses that were thin like napkins  I also remember being tired, cold and hungry, but once Nick said “action”, all of those feeling would dissapear that instant and I was in character. Was interesting to notice that about myself.
FERNTV:   What comes to mind when acting in this film and then seeing it done in black and white?
Kika:  I think the first thing it comes to mind when acting in this project is my love for it and how much fun I had in that set. I love acting so much, love being surrounded by great people and love interesting, deep, crazy challenging characters. I moved all the way from Portugal to become an actress and with the Eyes, I was given a leading role in a awesome scripted movie with great cast/ crew. I was seeing my dream come true!  I didn’t know what to think about the black and white cinematography, but I knew Zach Kuperstein was amazing.  So once again I just trusted them.  I think it describes the movie perfectly, since its such a dark movie.  I can’t imagine this in colour.
FERNTV:  What is it like to work with Nicolas Pesce?
Kika:  Working with Nick was great! #LoveNicolasPesceForever!   We were friends from before, because we met in that music video and I was attached to the project in a really early state. So besides working with a great director, I was also working with a friend. We collaborated a lot, he was very open minded on incorporating my ideas so there is a lot of me in Francisca. I think he is a little genius in this horror movie world and he always made me feel very comfortable.
FERNTV:    Tell us here on FERNTV what is coming up for you next?
Kika:  I can’t tell much about this yet, but I am in talks with a new project that is the total opposite of The Eyes… I will make people laugh with this one!!! It is an amazing opportunity and I feel very grateful on finding people that believe in me especially going from the darkest movie ever to something so different! Updates about this will be out soon

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About The Author

Fernando Fernandez is a graduate of Environmental Studies at York University. He became passionate about the arts when interning for many internet startup magazines focusing on music and film. Inspired by the work of Stanley Kubrick, Fernando created FERNTV for everyone to become inspired and motivated about the arts and culture that surrounds them. As hard working as he is, Fernando still has time to be funny as Private Joker from Full Metal Jacket.

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