Warm Bodies is a romantic horror movie that’s told from the point of view of a zombie – did we miss anything?

It’s not easy to pigeonhole, is it? It’s not one genre, but many mashed together. It’s very refreshing – a quirky take on the classic love story. Telling the story from the point of view of the zombie hasn’t been done before. 

It offers a new spin on Romeo And Juliet, with the undead and living as the Montagues and Capulets …

Yeah, I love that it is a different take on the zombie genre, too, with the zombie getting a chance to be loved – it’s very endearing.

My character Julie meets [zombie] R (Nicholas Hoult), who is a weird, nurturing being and they organically strike up this romance.

Julie starts off petrified and then fear turns into curiosity and then that turns into romantic feelings.

So, if you’re a romance fan you get that with the action and the zombie-horror. I hope the zombie fans are open-minded!

Julie’s a strong character. Do these types of roles inherently appeal to you?

Yeah, definitely, I’m so excited Hollywood seems to embrace these strong independent characters. I love playing women that are strong and sassy, it’s something I am connected to.

And I love the action element to these movies. In [sci-fi thriller]  I Am Number Four I played a character who was dedicated to helping save the world! I got to do a lot of my own stunts, as well. 

Sounds like a fun day at the office …

I love learning all these skills as part of what I do as a living, shooting guns and zipping around on wires. 

What new talents do you have on your CV now?

I am a skilled gun handler after going to a gun range 30 times for this movie.

I had to be very comfortable with guns, knowing how to put them together, shoot them and then take them apart.

I don’t know many people who know how to do that!

Was it fun playing out a zombie romance?

The relationship between R and Julie is very representative of how it does feel when you are with someone for the first time – you do feel tongue-tied, the guy does try to listen and everyone is a bit awkward.

And Nick [Hoult] is a very nuanced actor, he knew how to portray zombie emotions through body language and his eyes – he said so much without being able to express himself verbally. 


What sort of set does director Jonathan Levine (cancer comedy 50/50) run?

He sets this beautiful tone on set that is fun and open and collaborative.

He plays a lot of music and jokes around, and that was integral to our movie – it’s a fun movie and that energy and fun translates onto the screen. 

Music plays a key role in the film with songs by The Black Keys and Bruce Springsteen – what sort of music did Levine play on the set?

He played a lot of his own music, underground American rap like Mobb Deep and The Roots, which was great for me and [The Daily Show’s] Rob Corddry, who grew up listening to that sort of thing.

It was edgy music that made you feel very cool, so we felt we were making a really cool, unique movie. 

Is John Malkovich, who plays your dad, as scary as you’d think?

I was pretty intimidated to start off with [when I knew] he was going to play my dad.

It’s funny because he’s not an intimidating force at all. Watching him on set is the best acting school you could ask for.

He’s hilarious and light-hearted, incredibly humble and generous, and has a cracker sense of humour – really not what you’d expect! 

Are zombies the new vampires?

There seems to be a lot of zombie films popping up right now, and there’s things like The Walking Dead [on TV].

It’s a genre people are always intrigued by and there are some members of society who think we are really headed towards some sort of zombie apocalypse, which is interesting in itself. 

You’re a joint first ticket holder for the Port Adelaide Power footy club – does that confuse people in Los Angeles?

No one over here knows what Aussie rules is!

When I talk about being the joint ticket holder they say, “You mean soccer?” “No!” “You mean rugby?”

“No!!” For me it is second nature, I grew up going to the football since I was five.

I love watching the sport but it’s hard to watch it in LA. I try and catch games when I can.


Warm Bodies is out in cinemas from February 8 through Entertainment One 

Photos: Getty