I spoke with Ashley C. Williams about Julia and The Human Centipede. Ashley plays Julia in Julia, which will be out on October 23rd in select AMC theaters.
Lena: How taxing was it physically and mentally to film The Human Centipede?
Ashley C. Williams: It was pretty emotionally and physically exhausting. I think my neck and shoulders, from being on all fours when we were in the centipede position, it was really taxing on our necks because we had to have our mouth attached to the little mouthpiece that was attached to the bike shorts that we all had to wear and then they were wrapped in gauze. Just being in that position, even for five minutes long, could be grueling because sometimes in the scene we would either be in the mud with rain machines coming down on us or we were climbing up the stairs. That was probably the worst of the physically demanding scenes. We were actually really doing that—all three of us where just climbing up the stairs and trying to keep attached to the other person while making it look real all at the same time.
Lena: How did they pitch that film to you?
Ashley C. Williams: In the audition breakdown it said that it was a controversial European film and that they needed two Beverly Hills type girls for the lead roles. When I finally went and met Tom Six, he gave me this blue piece of paper with a drawing on it and it’s that sort of iconic drawing of the three figures with the line going through suggesting one gastric system. He asked me if I was easily shocked. To myself I was thinking, what is the right answer here? Should I say no or yes? What do they want to hear? I said, “No, of course not, what do you got for me?” He handed me the piece of paper and I looked at it and I was like, “Okay, tell me more.” [Laughing] Tom proceeded to just really passionately tell me about this story of the human centipede about this guy who basically kidnaps three tourists and turns them into his lifelong dream experiment of instead of separating Siamese twins, which is what he’s know for, he wanted to sew people together and have a creature running around. [Laughing] That’s how he explained it to me.
Lena: That’s pretty interesting. I’m sure you didn’t want to be alone with him after that and you took notice of the nearest exits. [Laughing] [Safety first.]
Ashley C. Williams: [Laughing] It made it easier that his beautiful Dutch sister, Ilona Six, was sitting right there. I was thinking to myself that this has to be legit.
Lena: You play the title role of Julia in the film Julia, which will be in select AMC theaters on October 23rd. Jack Noseworthy is also in the film and he was in one of my favorite films Event Horizon.
Ashley C. Williams: He was great to work with—super professional and had a really nice energy on set, kind of opposite to what the character was in the movie. For me, as a character, playing this really dark aspect of myself I really loved being around him because he had a super comforting energy that was just really fun.
Lena: What can you say about the film?
Ashley C. Williams: It’s a revenge thriller that centers around Julia. At the beginning of the film, something really brutal happens to her and she eventually falls prey to a very unorthodox form of therapy to restore herself and take back control of her life. She goes on this sort of epic journey of self-awakening. That’s pretty much what the film is about. It’s about her journey of basically taking power back into her life because she lost it at the beginning of the film. The therapist has these specific rules where she cannot take it personally, she can not take revenge on her actual attackers, so that puts her in sort of a situation where at the beginning she was like, yes, whatever you want—I’ll do whatever you want because I just want to heal myself. She ends up running into one of her attackers by accident and all this stuff starts coming up inside of her and she ends up going against her therapist and going off on her own to try to exact her revenge on these guys. We’ve got the therapist and his disciples that are looking after Julia and teaching her the ways of the therapy seeing that she is going against them and all this drama ensues. It’s a really dark, very stylish, neon noir revenge thriller that has this really kick-ass European techno soundtrack. You are really just with Julia the whole time. What’s cool about the film is that it’s not about what happened to her, it’s about seeing this girl awaken her true self. It’s a pretty cool flick.
Lena: Are you working on any other projects?
Ashley C. Williams: I have two films that I’ve been developing and one of them is with the director of Julia. He’s writing a character for me in his next film. I’m also writing my own as well. I’m collaborating with a friend of mine. I’m going more towards the writing and producing process as well.
Julia will be out on October 23rd in select AMC theaters.
Ashley on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AshleyCW
Photo: Sam Zachrich