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Katee Sackoff on Zombie Movie

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As Katee Sackhoff continues to wow audiences in her fan favorite live-action roles on The Mandalorian and Another life, she has also had a fairly prolific voice over character on a number of animation projects. Her most recent voice acting role is Animated Night of the Dead, which reinvents George Romero’s groundbreaking zombie movie Night of the Living Dead like an animated feature film. Sackhoff plays Judy, a young survivor who finds herself trapped on an isolated farm in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

In an exclusive interview with CBR, Sackhoff opened up about what she wanted to bring to the role of Judy for the anime adaptation. She reflected on her past work in the horror genre with acclaimed filmmaker Mike Flanagan, discussed how she approached the role of Poison Ivy in Batman: Along Halloween and more.


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CBR: How did the opportunity to be a part of this animated adaptation of Night of the Living Dead come for you?

Katee Sackhoff: I had the pleasure of working with [producer] Michael Luisi a few years ago. When he called me and told me he was going to do this, I jumped, having been a huge fan of the movie Romero when I was younger when I saw him. I thought, “What an interesting challenge to take something piecemeal and stick to it, but also put it in a different box for a new audience to enjoy. It was so cool. What a good idea!

Night of the Living Dead is the entry drug in zombie movies – at least that was for me.

I think it was for so many people! That’s why we always like – or don’t like [laughs] – zombie entertainment on TV and in movies to date because of George [Romero].

Although this is such a faithful adaptation of the original 1968 film, what did you want to leave as a personal mark in your performance?

I think with a project like this and a character like Judy, who really comes and goes really fast, for me it was really just to listen to the director and give him my voice to make Judy fit. to what he wanted her to fit in that movie and then manipulating that to give it the right sound and texture and hopefully get the right audience response.

You’ve been prolific recently with your voice acting roles, from Poison Ivy to Batman: Along Halloween To Animated Night of the Dead and with Bo-Katan in Star wars – and now you are in live-action Star wars? Is it intimidating to take on a voice role for an established character?

It’s heartwarming and it’s also intimidating. Anytime you manipulate your voice to play and find someone new, it’s intimidating. As a performer there are parts of me that are still incredibly insecure and want to make sure that the person creating something is happy. It’s something that I take very seriously, and it’s also something the fans appreciate; I take it very seriously. I work really hard in the booth listening and taking the lead, whether it’s playing Ivy, Judy or Bo-Katan whatever it is, it’s really fun and I really like it.


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Poison Ivy really sets the tone at the start of along halloween part 2. Was there a specific line that influenced your approach to such an iconic character?

Sackhoff: Not a line, but this opening sequence of Part 2 was so important for me to find her. I think so many times we take a character like Ivy and think it’s so simple, it’s so obvious that she’s bad and [all that]. I think with Ivy she’s complicated and, for the first time I think, we get a glimpse of what she might want.

We’re so used to seeing her manipulate people, and for the first time in this fantasy with Bruce that she created, that fantasy came from somewhere and somebody’s imagination, her own. What does that say about her? What does that say about what she wants and what she thought she wanted? … she becomes vulnerable and we see a side of her that we can miss if we don’t look at her that way .

You were in one of my favorite horror movies of the past few years in Oculus, working with horror master Mike Flanagan. Between that and Animated Night of the Dead, what is it that you find creatively rewarding working in the horror genre and painting in those darker colors?

Sackhoff: One of my favorite things is to make people feel things, to stir up an emotion, and horror is just another aspect of that. I like to understand, especially for Oculus, how to manipulate my body and contort my body to look weird and make the audience think what’s going on and just scare them, ultimately. I just hope no one has looked at a mirror the same way for a little while. [laughs]

Mike Flanagan is a genius. He’s amazing, and being part of the start of his career that just continues to soar is pretty close to the height of my career joys.

Now that the project is complete, what are you excited about for new viewers and established audiences to see the film?

Sackhoff: I just think it’s a big story that’s relevant, if you want it to be, but it’s also just scary, if you want it to be too. Visually, it’s so fun to watch and perfectly timed for the time of year when everyone wants to watch something a little scary!

Directed by Jason Axinn, Night of the Animated Dead is available now in Digital HD and Blu-ray / 4K UHD.

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