Interview: Jordan Coulson, Ed Kear and Homer Todiwala talk ‘Ibiza Undead’, lads holidays and zombie apocalypses
The summer might be drawing to a close but the party is just about to begin with ‘Ibiza Undead’. A horror comedy that is equal parts gruesome as it is funny, ‘Ibiza Undead’ follows the lads holiday of Alex, Az and Jim. Unfortunately for them, tagging along is Alex’s ex-girlfriend Ellie, who the boys dump with Alex’s sister Liz and her friend Zara. The boys head straight to a local club that’s main attraction are its… zombies. In a moment of madness, Jim provokes one of the zombies and shortly after there is a zombie apocalypse. Standard.
Last month I caught up with cast members Jordan Coulson, Ed Kear, Homer Todiwala and director Andy Edwards to chat about the film. They shared their lads holiday stories, advice for young actors and their love for ’28 Days Later ‘. So, grab a cup of tea and have a good read.
Can you tell me a little bit about your new film ‘Ibiza Undead’?
Ed: It’s a zombie film set in Ibiza.
Homer: It’s pretty much like ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ meets ‘The Inbetweeners’, it’s about three lads who are on a trip to Ibiza and the zombie apocalypse goes down.
What was it like on the set of ‘Ibiza Undead’?
Ed: It was brilliant, we were in Ibiza shooting a film!
Homer: It was one of the experiences of our lives we’ll never forget.
Andy: It was like trying to make a film on a club 18 – 30 holiday.
Ed: Our producer was in our villa, and it was like a tour manager trying to look after a rock band.
How long did it take to shoot everything?
Andy: 16 days.
How much ad-libbing was there on set, or was it all scripted?
Ed: On day one of filming I was told that good acting is knowing your lines. So since then I’ve stuck to them.
Andy: What we’re getting from this is that there was some ad-libbing, but not as much as Ed would’ve liked.
Ed: In all seriousness, you can’t ad-lib the whole thing. There is a structure that must be adhered to for the film.
Homer: It was like a constructed improvisation. There’s one scene in the film where I remember a lot of us three, upstairs ad-libbing and a lot of improvisation going on. We showed it to everyone and they were all game for it. That was quite refreshing for all of us to say that something wasn’t working for us, so how can we make it work for us.
Andy: You want your actors to be invested in their characters and you want them to come and say “this is how we think our characters should do this”.
Do you have any ‘Ibiza Undead’ or lads holiday horror stories?
Ed: There was one evening when I had to carry Homer back to the villa. It was quite fun because the next day he had no recollection of the evening, so I told him he had to go down to the local businesses and apologise to them for running through their restaurants naked. He believed me for a little while.
How many restaurants did he apologise to?
Ed: It was about 3 0r 4. The best part was that he had a day off and he was like “I’m really upset with myself, I’ve got to go and do some soul searching boys” and then he was sending us videos of himself sat on a desolate beach thinking about his life.
Homer: Yeah, just thinking about life – how can I progress in Ibiza as an Asian actor. It was a good time.
If you were in a zombie apocalypse, what would you do to survive?
Ed: I think I’d just wait indoors until hopefully, it all stopped.
Jordan: How quick are they? What kind of zombies are they?
Homer: Are they like ’28 Days Later’ zombies who are just screaming at you and are really fast?
Yeah, like the ’28 Days Later’ zombies.
Ed & Homer: It’s game over.
What are your favourite horror films, and why?
Jordan: I don’t like horror films, I get really scared.
What is the scariest horror film for you?
Jordan: ‘Paranormal Activity’, I couldn’t sleep for months. The first night I got back I was shaking because I thought it was real.
Ed: The ones that used to get me were the more psychological thriller ones. It’s not really a horror film but ‘The Sixth Sense’ really fucked me up.
Homer: I’ve said it before but it has to be ’28 Days Later’ for me, Danny Boyle is definitely one of my idols as a director – especially being an East London boy myself. And his cinematography of it is gorgeous. Zombies always used to be slow and would gruel along but ’28 Days Later’ just completely flipped that.
How did you get involved with ‘Ibiza Undead’?
Andy: I wrote the film, and then for casting we had auditions. That’s where we met these three, it’s kind of like casting for a boyband really. We have an ensemble cast of three girls and three guys. We had to get people who would look good on camera together, as well as people who could be friends. And now we’ve put these three together and they’re inseparable.
What advice would you give to those who want to get into film?
Homer: Don’t give up. It’s a hard road, that’s the reality of the situation. There’s a lot of people doing it, but like anything in life if you have a dream then chase it. Don’t let anyone else get in the way of that and don’t let anything stop you. And just believe. Believe in yourself, these guys help me believe all the time to want to strive for better and I’m really grateful for that.
Ed: Ultimately I always think it’s better than a real job. That kind of spurs me on when it’s not going too well.
Jordan: My advice is that with our job you don’t know what is tomorrow, you have no idea. You have to wait around for your agent, wait for him to call or you can go out there and write your own stuff. It’s just all about keeping a loop. You also don’t know who you’re going to meet, you meet different types of people who can lead you in different ways. This job just takes you completely different routes that you thought you’d never go. I’m not quoting ‘Annie’ here but just wait for tomorrow. The sun will come out tomorrow do you know what I mean?
Ed: Unless you live in England… But seriously just don’t give up and crack on, just make stuff. There’s no excuse these days because everyone has got a camera phone.
Homer: Keep active always, a lot of actors will sit there waiting for their agents to call… don’t. No one needs to give you permission for your art, you should be practising your art all the time.
What about film directing and writing, Andy?
Andy: It’s kind of the same as what these guys were saying. Make stuff, the technology is out there now. Don’t go to people at parties and say you’re a director, or a writer and not be writing or directing. Even if it is just some of you and your mates on a camera. And then hopefully things can happen, because that’s how I made this film. I made a bunch of short films with my mates, and then that led onto this.
How did you go about getting ‘Ibiza Undead’ commissioned and funded?
Andy: Once I wrote it, I pitched it to various producers, people I met in bars that kind of thing. There were a few false starts of people we thought were going to make it but then weren’t. And then, in the end, Templeheart films were the ones who made it. So again it’s just a lot of perseverance. You’re going to have to kiss a lot of frogs to find someone who is willing to give you money. Especially if it’s your first-time feature.
‘Ibiza Undead’ is out now.
Featured image courtesy of Witchfinder PR.