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



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: 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.

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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: 
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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