Features

Q&A with actress Stephanie Paul – ‘Iron Sky’

 

Iron Sky is a sci-fi comedy you can sum up in just four words: Nazis on the moon. Of course there’s a little more to it than that, but what makes the film tick is the bonkers notion that at the end of the WWII, the Nazis fled to the dark side of Earth’s natural satellite to hide and rebuild.

In 2018, a US lunar mission uncovers the hidden fortress and the evil clan turn their firepower on Earth – in particular the US, led by a Sarah Palin-esque President (Stephanie Paul).

Stephanie Paul was kind enough to answer a few questions from Flicks about what it was like to act in Iron Sky.


FLICKS: Hi from Flicks.co.nz. How are you and what have you been up to today?

PAUL: Hi Flicks, I am fine thanks. Lets see, today I had breakfast with a friend of mine whom I have known for 30 years and then took my Mum shopping for a new dryer. General New Zealand Sunday. This afternoon writing this Q and A for you and working on a screenplay I am writing at the moment. Hope you’re having an awesome day with whatever you are up to today.

What should people expect from Iron Sky?

Call me crazy, but I generally don’t like to dictate peoples expectations LOL. However my interpretation of the film is that Iron Sky is a parody, a satirical look at an idea (thought up over a couple of beers in a sauna by two friends in the small town of  Tampere, Finland) about Nazis taking over the world from the dark side of the moon. A giant “piss take” of political events that have happened, or could, or could never happen in the future. It is not a film to be taken too seriously although there is an interesting message within the lines of hilarity.

What’s your fondest memory from the set?

I went to set one day in the middle of a run I was taking around Frankfurt for a bit of exercise, and one of the actresses asked me to bring her something from her hotel room as they were short of PA’s and I had only been seen by crew members as “The President” in costume. When I arrived on a closed set without credentials several people came over in a concerned investigation ready to throw me out. It was fun not being recognized by people I had been working with all week!



Did you ever think you’d play the US President in a movie?

Hell no! It was really exciting to get cast – I had everything crossed waiting to find out. I am honored that they chose me as they cast all over the world I believe.

What about being in one with space nazis, for that matter?

No it certainly wasn’t a childhood aspiration LOL. But I love the sense of humor of the Finnish people I worked with, I found their humor to be very similar to New Zealanders while working with them in close contact for a month. A little on the dark side with a whole lot of “piss take”, I have stayed friends with many of the Finns from the project.

At the very least you’d have to say your character has some similarities with Sarah Palin. How closely did you model your performance on Palin?

Although I looked like Sarah Palin, Timo (the director) was very clear I was not to “play” her, so I decided to study George Bush Jr., Barak Obama, and Sarah Palin. I think I channeled more George Bush Jr than the other two in the end and if you notice politicians in America when campaigning change there accents depending on where/who they are talking to, so I never actually kept my accent within any particular State on purpose.  I decided to take it all over the map just like the politicians of America do, I guess in the sense of the film “taking the piss” really.



Do you think Palin is a misunderstood figure or a case of what you see is what you get?

In the case of the character in the movie I think it is what you see is what you get, the character is quite clearly written to me. In the case of the real Sarah Palin she definitely has a following in the States. Even though she is not portrayed well in the media, like all politicians she has said ridiculous things that she has been slammed for, but I can not imagine she got as far as she got without having some redeeming qualities to someone. Politics is ALL smoke and mirrors, especially in America. I can not remember who said it originally but it’s so true: “politics is Hollywood for ugly people”.

We haven’t had a female PM for a while – are you now prepared for a career in New Zealand politics?

Being tied up is one thing in “red tape” is another, no I have no interest in politics.



Did you spend any time with Udo Kier? That guy rules.

Yes Udo is AWESOME!! I recently had dinner with him in LA. None of our scenes were together but the cast often gathered in my room for drinks, we were all on location and hung out frequently the cast were quite close while shooting and got on really well. Udo is a riot.

We’ve heard a bit about how Iron Sky was made in a participatory way through wreckamovie.com. Did this lead to any unique aspects to the shoot for you?

Not during the shoot per se, I wasn’t there the day they shot the city blowing up with all the fans as extras. However I REALLY had fun meeting the fans at the Premiere party in Finland. One guy had saved his holiday days so he could come to the party in Finland all the way from Australia. These people had donated their money to see this project materialize. I really loved the community aspect of it, with cast, crew and the fans. Everybody was behind the project and it really showed in the community. No one was left out and everyone was thanked for their support.

What was the last great film you saw?

I really love The Girl in The Café it’s from 2005 but I own it and make my friends watch it. I just love what Bill Nighy does with the character Lawrence. I adore films that have quirky, interesting, but real live characters. I also love Downloading Nancy it is a disturbing film based on a true story with really interesting characters.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Stay open, have no expectations and try hard not to judge others.


Iron Sky opens in cinemas on August 9. Read more about the movie here and watch the trailer below:


Related articles