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INTERVIEW: Red Carpet Interviews with the Cast & Director of ‘Stray’

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Recently, Latin Horror’s Jennifer Ortega attended the premiere for ‘Stray’ at The Vista Theater in Los Angeles. Before the screening, she chatted with the cast and director of this Supernatural Sci-Fi Noir film.

Miyavi and Jennifer Ortega at ‘Stray’ Premiere

Miyavi- “Jin”
Jennifer Ortega: How did you first get involved with Joe and the film?
Miyavi: I got an offer from Joe. I had no idea what the film was about. Joe told me that he saw ‘Unbroken’. He offered me to play Jin.  I love his passion and his vision. The world that he creates is very very special.  He has a sensitivity. That’s the part I really love. 
Jennifer: The film deals a lot with family and loss. It’s just not like a film about superpowers. It’s deeper than that.
Miyavi: Yeah, I love that about the film.
Jennifer: Do  have any other feature movies you’re working on right now or new music

 

I love his (Joe Sill) passion and vision. The world that he creates is very very special.

-Miyavi

Miyavi: Yes, mainly music, but I just shot the ‘Maleficent’  sequel last year in London. It is coming out next year in 2020.
Jennifer: I’m so excited for that. 
Miyavi: It’s thanks to Angie. Angelina Jolie brought me here. I did ‘Unbroken’ with her. 
Jennifer: You’re an actor as well as the musician. I’m a fan of your work. I know you have lots of fans.
Miyavi: Thank you. Thank you. I’m trying to be. I don’t know how you say it…it’s…I slap the strings. I am a guitarist, but I can’t be like Eric Clapton or B.B. King. I act, but I can’t  be like Leonardo DiCaprio or Jack Nicholson. So I just try my best and I tend to find my own way.
Jennifer: That’s what makes you special. You’re your own person and your talents are your own.
Miyavi: Thank you.

Fans wait in line for Miyavi’s autograph.

Joe Sill – Director
Jennifer Ortega: Your producer Eric Fleischman told me that you not only directed the film, but also did the visual effects which is beyond impressive.
Joe Sill: I did quite a bit. I wasn’t the only one but I did about 350 over say 450 shots.
Jennifer:  It looks amazing. I can’t believe that you did that. That’s a crazy amount of work.
Joe: It was an unhealthy amount work.
Jennifer: Where did the story originate from? 
Joe: The story originated from a lot of things. For me it’s a love for many genres most of which I think you’ll find a mesh of.  It’s like a hybrid film. Noir as a genre or Sci-Fi Noir as a genre and more Japanese influences from anime films. I was trying to take those genres and put them together. The film from an emotional standpoint, it definitely was a story about family and the many different ways a family struggles. You have a character who is struggling to find her way in the wake of a traumatic loss in her family. You have a young woman who had a lot of love in her family and recently lost somebody very dear. And you have another character who has been bereft of a family for a long long time and is trying to seek a kind of retribution and an emotional kind of retribution for her having been abandoned. So a lot of it has to do with just the many perspectives of family.

Saki Miata, Joe Sill, Ross Partridge, Miyavi and Karen Fukuhara at the premiere for ‘Stray’

Jennifer: I love that you cast Japanese actors in Japanese roles which I think is so important. 
Joe: I think it was appropriate for this film not just for the Asian influences obviously, but also the fact that these characters do feel like outsiders in their hearts. I think for a lot of these characters being immigrants or visitors, I think that was very reflective regardless of race or ethnicity.
Jennifer: It’s so lovely to meet you I’m so excited for people to see this.

Karen Fukuhara  and Christine Woods star in ‘Stray’


Karen Fukuhara – “Nori”

Jennifer Ortega: What attracted you to the role?
Karen Fukuhara: I think I was just very interested in playing a character that’s been kept in for a very long time. The premise was very interesting. I love that she was from a Japanese heritage that had a lot to do with my background as well. And the supernatural element was very interesting. Nori is very family oriented especially because she hasn’t seen the outside world. I connected with her on that level with her closeness to her family. I have a very close relationship with my mom and my grandmother.

It’s so exciting because a lot of my Japanese friends couldn’t believe I was working with Miyavi. It’s a really big deal.

-Karen Fukuhara

Jennifer: Miyavi is in the film with you. He is a Japanese rock star. What was it like working with him?
Karen: I had so much fun doing the sequences with Miyavi. It was such a shock to see his name on the call-sheet and it’s so exciting because a lot of my Japanese friends couldn’t believe I was working with Miyavi. It’s a really big deal. He’s amazing and incredibly professional. It was just an amazing experience and I’m very lucky to have worked with him. 
Jennifer: How was working with Joe as your director?
Karen: Joe was awesome. This part came right after ‘Suicide Squad’ and I was still very new to this industry. He believed in me and was tremendously helpful. Whenever I had doubts or questions he was just a phone all away. He made sure we were on the same page about everything. It was an incredible experience.
Jennifer:  Thank you so much, Karen! 

Ross Partridge & Christine Woods in ‘Stray’

Ross Partridge – “Jake”
Jennifer Ortega: Tell me a little bit about your role as Jake. 
Ross Partridge: I play a cop who is stuck in between two worlds a little bit. He’s going through things with his wife and then he gets this case. 
Jennifer: How was working with Joe Sill?
Ross: When I first got the script, on paper it seemed ambitious and I was a bit skeptical at first. But as soon as I sat down with Joe I saw he was such a consummate person about his vision. I knew if anyone could figure it out, it would be Joe. Joe is so visual and I love that. I come from a similar background in how I like to tell stories. He’s such a perfectionist and comes from a place where he sees the whole picture. That’s rare and not a common thing for a young director. 
Jennifer: How was working with Christine Woods?
Ross: When you’re doing a low-budget, indie film you hope you’re around people you like and everyone on the crew was really wonderful. From the first moment I came on set Christine came right over and she was very lovely and we worked together so naturally.

ABOUT ‘STRAY’
An orphaned teenager forms an unlikely friendship with a detective. Together they investigate her mother’s murder, and uncover the supernatural force that proves to be a threat to her family.

Rating: NR
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Cast: Miyavi, Karen Fukuhara, Christine Woods, Ross Partridge
Directed By: Joe Sill
Written By: J.D. Dillard, Alex Theurer
In Theaters: 
Streaming: 
Runtime: 
Studio: Screen Media Films
Jennifer E. Ortega
Jennifer is a host, producer, screenwriter and journalist based in Los Angeles. She is known for her humor, pop culture knowledge, candor and authenticity that make her on-camera interviews stand out. As an entertainment journalist, Jennifer has published film & television reviews, exclusive interviews and event coverage for various online publications. As a screenwriter, Jennifer has written pilots, screenplays and has acted as a story consultant. She originally got her start working for an esteemed producer in New York and went on to work in television production for various reality shows. Jennifer is a true Valley Girl, born and raised in Encino and will be happy to talk about the wonders of the Valley for hours on end. She also really loves Twin Peaks & Matzah Ball soup.

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