Interview : Harriet Dyer from Killing Ground

In 2005, “Wolf Creek” scared us all out of travelling in the Australian Outback. If you thought you’d gotten over that terror, another film is here to scare you – but this time out of camping. “Killing Ground” sees a romantic camping trip take a horrific turn after the couple stumble upon an horrific crime.

The film is directed by Damien Power and stars Harriet Dyer, Ian Meadows, Aaron Glenane, Aaron Pederson and Tiarnie Coupland.
Katie spoke to star Harriet Dyer about “Killing Ground”, “Love Child”, her upcoming projects and her life in between countries.

Dyer is currently living in the suburbs of LA, right behind the Hollywood sign, and notes that it’s very surreal.

“You can see the sign from here, and it honestly doesn’t look real,” she says. “It looks photoshopped! But it’s a perfect reminder of where I am and the opportunities I’m chasing.”

Dyer stars as lead Sam in “Killing Ground”, who goes camping in a secluded spot near Sydney with partner Ian (played by Ian Meadows), on a romantic getaway to take a break from the hustle and bustle of real life.

She commented on the difficulty on filming “Killing Ground” – not because of the character, but due to the weather.

“It rained non-stop! It made it so hard to film to a deadline, as it was always raining.

“It’s quite ironic that the producer’s name is Weatherstone, because the God’s of weather certainly did not smile on us! It was the wettest September on record, and rained every day. Originally we had 25 days to film, but we had to extend to 28 days due to the unpredictable weather.

“Killing Ground was also a very physical production to film. Damien [Power, the director] made it really fun on set, so you didn’t get caught up in the story too much after filming. I was able to snap out of the darkness very quickly afterwards and was my usual fun and happy self. I approached the role by thinking of it as an actor, which helped keep the pitch.”

Despite the tumultuous weather, they got the movie in the bag and Dyer is very proud of the result (as she should be!) A self-confessed lover of the horror genre, Dyer enjoys playing roles of all kinds.

“I love Wolf Creek, and I’ll admit Killing Ground did scare me off camping in the same way Wolf Creek turned me off the Australian Outback. However I have a weird reaction to terror. I laugh at the bits that are scary, and have to hold my hand over my mouth so I don’t laugh at inappropriate moments!”

Dyer calls “Misery” with Kathy Bates is her absolute favourite movie. As previously mentioned, she also enjoys “Wolf Creek”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and other similar movies in the realm of horror.

As she’s been involved in both TV and film, Dyer noted the big difference in filming the two is definitely the time and money.

“With feature films, they’re very budget dependent, which means that the time you have to film is greatly reduced. On the other hand, there’s never any problem with budget with Channel 9, so you generally have more flexibility with filming. Time is money, after all.”

As for film inspirations, Dyer commented that any movie with a strong female lead is inspiring to her – particularly Kathy Bates in “Misery”, and Toni Collette in “Muriel’s Wedding”.

“I also love “Monster”, with Charlize Theron. I could watch that over and over! I guess I see a strong female lead, and want to make other people feel the way she makes ME feel.”

As you can see, her taste in films is quite vast, and similarly in her career, she enjoys playing a variety of roles. One of Dyer’s most popular roles was as Patricia on “Love Child”, a drama set in the 1960s. She’s also set to star in “The Other Guy”, a comedy series exclusive to Stan in August.

“”The Other Guy” finished filming a couple of weeks ago. It’s 6 episodes long and you can see it on Stan from August 17. I play a really fun and funny character.”

When asked about her favourite character she’s played thus far, Harriet had a few answers:

“I loved playing Stevie in “The Other Guy”, I had so much fun playing her. But also I loved the strength in Sam [“Killing Ground”] and the naivety in Patricia [“Love Child”], so they’ve all been great for different reasons. But overall, Stevie, yeah Stevie! [laughs]”

So what is she doing next? Harriet’s coming back down under for a promotional trail for both “Killing Ground” and “The Other Guy”, and then returns to the States to take on meetings in LA to expand her network.

“I figured at age 28 it was time to roll the dice, take the risk and put myself out there, which is why I travel back and forth to LA. It’s a great way to network and get great career opportunities.

“I’m going to be filming a sci-fi film soon, in Western Australia. The title of the film isn’t confirmed yet, so I won’t say what it’s called, but they’re currently looking for another lead. I can’t say much more but it should be a great film. It’s been in the pipeline for quite some time now.”

You can check out “Killing Ground” NOW in select theatres in the US, and on iTunes. Aussies, see it in theatres from August 24th! Have a look at the chilling trailer below.

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