Exclusive: Tristan Risk Talks ‘Ayla’ and Much More

Ayla PosterWe here take great pride in horror films, especially the indie scene as that is where the magic truly happens. Directors, writers, actors and actresses are more free to express themselves without having to be toned down, edited or basically butchered at the hands of a major studio. But sometimes these guys need a little help so they turn to crowd-funding, which I love, to help make their passion project come to life and that’s exactly the case with Elias’ latest film Ayla, which is set to star the one and only Tristan Risk as one of the leads.

The film has a Kickstarter page, and they’re so very close to their goal of $30,000, so if you can pledge, share the news or whatever it may be to get the word out, please do so and let’s get this film out there. So, with that, I had one of the greatest opportunities I have ever had in being able to ask Tristan Risk some questions regarding Ayla and her role in the film as well as finding our what Tristan’s favorite film is and what this amazing woman is up to next.

[Horror-Moves. ca] – First off I just want to say thank you for taking the time to talk with us as I think you’re freakin’ awesome!

[Tristan Risk] – Thank you for asking me. It’s such a treat to be able to get a chance to talk to different horror aficionados. When people enjoy what you do, you feel like you just dazzled a wine snob with your sommelier skill set. The horror crowd knows their stuff, so having approval from that camp provides me with a lot of gratitude for their attention and time.

[H-M] – We recently learned that you will be one of the leads alongside Nicholas Wilder in Elias’ Ayla. What drew you in to star in the film?

[Tristan Risk] – Elias told me about the loose plot of the story, on which alone was enough to pique my interest, but reading the full script was another. There is a very subtle psychological tapestry at work here in this tale that weave survivor’s guilt, curiosity, remorse, sexuality, depression, fantasy and myth all together quite beautifully. It’s a character piece and I think that Nicolas Wilder will do well representing this multifaceted individual and the transformations he goes through.

I don’t often try to get my hopes up too often that something that is unique and interesting will fall into my lap. With this script and these characters, there’s something I’ve not seen and a chance to bring a personal tension to the film that I hope is reminiscent go Natasha Kinski and Malcom McDowell in Cat People. Also, I’ll be employing a lot of body language to communicate Ayla, as body language is my first language, and as a dancer, the chance to freely speak and tell me story and dialog with my movements is very appealing to me. I get to engage the other characters and the audience with my movements alone, and that provides and entertaining and fun challenge for me as the performer.

[H-M] – What can you tell us about your character, Ayla? As it is quite a unique role that you get to play.

[Tristan Risk] – Ayla died very suddenly as a child, leaving her brother behind, stranded in life, to grow up and wonder who she would have turned into. Based on his speculations, he tries to conjure in his mind an idea of what kind of woman she would be now from her appearance to her mannerisms. I’m very pleased to have the chance to play this part and join this ensemble. Given the story and the cast, I think this will be one of those films that someone sees as a child and it leaves an imprint on them to the point that they create their own art in later life, based on that influence. One can always hope, anyways…

Tristan outdoor_IMG_0381

Courtesy of Ninedoors Photography.

[H-M] – Regarding the film, have you had any input into either your character or the film itself and how has it been working with Elias and the rest of the cast so far?

[Tristan Risk] Elias has been extremely open minded and flexible with me. We’ve had some good ideas together on movement and characteristics and nuances. Since my dialog is very sparse in this film, I’m looking to choreograph my lines with movement so that I can convey the feral spirit of this wonderful character. Elias and I get on pretty well, and he knows that I’m all about the feedback, and so it’s going to be a fun collaboration to bring her to life.

[H-M] – The film currently has a Kickstarter campaign, which I love by the way, for those of us who may not have pledged yet, what can us horror fans expect from the film and if we can’t pledge is their any other way we can help?

[Tristan Risk] – Not all support is monetary: sharing is totally caring. If you can spread the word about us and our project, then that helps us cast a wider net and reach more folks. The best is when we extend our tentacles to beyond the horror scene, and someone who isn’t a horror fan per se, discovers us and backs us. Then that’s an added coop for not just us, but other independent films that this person has now opened themselves up to through the power of word of mouth. Any extra tweets, shares or reviews helps!

[H-M] – I recently got done watching The ABCs of Death 2 and most notably The Soska Sisters’ segment T is for Torture Porn, it looked like you took a few brutal slaps? It looked like a really fun segment though, how was it being the dominate woman instead of the victim, I bet it was super cool with all the tentacles?

[Tristan Risk] – I’ve made a career in fetish fashion trussed up and looking distressed, when distressed is the very opposite of how I am. People seem to have this love/hate relationship with the damsel in distress. What I think is so interesting about T is for Torture Porn is we are so uncomfortable seeing the way Yumi is treated, and the horrible things being done to her, and despite that people are unable to look away.

It’s when she transforms that we are cheering for her, and everyone gets to share in the collective relief that the horror has stopped for her and retribution against her tormentors are taking place. Sadly, this kind of rampant abuse and sexism still exists in many industries, and ranges from inequality in job pay to harassment and abuse. Although, I’d like to think that if we ladies all had a angry octo-pussior at our disposals, that maybe that kind of thing might be somewhat more infrequent…

T is for Torture Porn

[H-M] – One film that we have our eye on is Jessica Cameron’s Mania, which you star in alongside the equally awesome Ellie Church. How was working on the film and what can we expect?

[Tristan Risk] – Ellie Church is phenomenal. I’d never met or worked with her before, but she seemed really nice and was a total DIY babe. She and her husband work on their own independent films together and so getting a chance to know her and her friends in the Indiana scene was really awesome. When we were back on the set of Frankenstein Created Bikers, it was like we never had any time apart. It was actually like that with Jill Sixx and Laurence Harvey as well – as soon as we all got together it was as if no time had passed between projects. It was really nice.

I’m unsure what phase that Mania is at. But, I’m certain for anyone who is curious, they can check out the director’s social media [Check out Jessica Cameron’s fan page.] for updates on this and other projects to find out more.

[H-M] – You seem to be extremely busy at the moment, what other projects are you working on and what is on the horizon for you?

[Tristan Risk] – Where to begin.

I don’t care much for being idle. I like to keep busy and if there isn’t a camera handy, I find other ways to amuse myself. However, I’ve not been left much to my own devices these days, and 2015 has proven to be quite the busy year. Among these projects is Straight To Video: A B-Movie Odyssey, Frankenstein Created Bikers, Innsmouth, True Fiction, and Luchagore’s ‘Madre De Dios’. I’m looking forward to Andy Stewart’s ‘Redacted’, Elias’ Ganster’s ‘Ayla’ and Lovecraft anthology, Dark Continents.

I’m excited to be performing at the Bass Coast Music Festival with my burlesque troupe, Sweet Soul Burlesque, since I’ve had a hiatus due to film work. But I’m looking forward to dancing under the boughs of the sitka and pine trees in the beautiful Merritt valley with some of the most talented artists in the West Coast electronic music scene. Not to mention seeing performances by my friends in Subscura and Luciterra dance companies. Later this month, I’ll be hosting the Friday night of the Restricted Entertainment’s Fetish Weekend at home in Vancouver! Come October, I’ll be going back on the road with the circus before hitting Toronto for the Horror-Rama Festival!

So yes, I’ve been a busy little bee, and as a result I feel like artistically, I’m getting to work with a lot of sweet honey.

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Courtesy of Ninedoors Photography.

[H-M] – Which horror films do you love and who has inspired you?

[Tristan Risk] – I adore Jaws. There are people who weren’t even born when it was first playing who are irrationally scared, to this day, of going into the water because of that film. I can’t think of very many horror films that had that much of a mass cultural effect as Jaws has had on anyone who has swam in a ocean, river, lake or pool. That impresses me a great deal.

H-M] – Do you have a fan-page so we can follow you?

[Tristan Risk] – I’m pretty easy to find online… I have a website where I blog, post photos and generally use it as my own soapbox in the cyber world, as well as on both Instagram and Twitter as @littlemissrisk.

I’m sure you guys love Tristan’s work just as much as I do, so if you can please try and support her latest film Ayla, even if it’s just sharing this article, so let’s get this film made.

Stay tuned for more, as we have an exclusive interview with Bill Oberst Jr., on the horizon, who is also set to star in Ayla.

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