Meet Susan O’Gara – Millie

Since Susan O’Gara will be a guest this weekend at the Nevermore Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina, I thought folks might like to know a little bit about her, and what was like to work on Chomp, which is screening Saturday, February 11th at 3:10.

Susan O’Gara came on board Team Chomp never having seen a zombie movie, and tackled the role with the most amazing verve and enthusiasm you could imagine. Enjoy this interview with her.

Lynne’s Interview With Susan

Q: Why on earth did you agree to work with a new director on her very first short film? Are you insane?

A: Yes, I guess, I must be a bit insane–so the part of Millie was a perfect fit-type casting. Seriously though, Lynne immediately presented as a dedicated, no nonsense, director. She was serious about covering all aspects of directing with the highest standards as well as caring personally for all the actors’ and crew’s needs. Also, her script was fun and beautifully written, if you can say “beautifully” about a zombie script. Another reason was the serendipity that a mutual friend’s garage was the location!

Fifteen-year-old Morgan Smedley adding blood to Susan O'Gara's costume.
Fifteen-year-old Morgan Smedley adding blood to Susan O’Gara’s costume.

Q: What was the hardest thing you had to do while making CHOMP?

A: The hardest thing was watching our wonderful director get walloped with so many obstacles which would have derailed this project for other directors.

Q: What did you like most about being involved in CHOMP?

A: Playing such a fabulously insane character while supported by such an excellent director and crew and fellow actors.

Q: What’s one of the funniest thing that happened while making CHOMP?

A: Eating brains off camera was fun and funny-yum yum yummy and prepared by our fabulous location manager & provider Sally Bosco.

Susan eating brains with Sally.
Susan eating brains with Sally.

Q: Why do you think people will like CHOMP?

A: Because it is a well written humorous look at the zombie apocalypse and because the “bad guy” gets his/her comeuppance.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I’m working on a Christian short for Storyhub near Cocoa on the east coast of FL and on a Christian feature film Grace of the Father in the Mt. Dora area (will be script supervisor as well as a very small role in this). Also, I will be one of the Mrs. Clauses at Busch Gardens in their Christmas Town during November & December.

About Susan O’Gara

SusanO'GaraSquareSusan O’Gara has performed in musicals, dramas and comedies in professional and community theatre in Ireland and Florida. Susan had the lead in the film Deserted, and the short “Chomp” and support roles in the shorts “The Wallet” and “How Not to Urn a Living.” She received her B.A. in Drama and M.S. in Speech Pathology from Florida State University. Favorite lead roles in theatre include Hello Dolly, Foxfire, The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wilde, Lettice and Lovage, The Rainmaker, and Morning’s at Seven. As well as acting, singing and dancing, Susan has directed plays for her church and worked as an assistant and script supervisor for Lazarus Filmworks. She received numerous acting awards in the Irish Drama Festival Circuit and Tampa Bay Community Theatre Awards. Susan is interested in film, radio and theatre which enrich the viewer bringing, not only joy and laughter, adventure and drama, but wisdom, compassion, forgiveness, and enlightenment to the soul. Favorite zombie movie: Return of the Living Dead.

The Director Says: Susan is an unparallelled talent. She took on this role never having even seen a zombie movie, and that’s a huge part of why she did so well. She saw Millie as a person, not a horror movie caricature of a crazy little old lady, and I am so very thankful for that. Susan was also our biggest cheerleader on the set, helping to keep everyone positive and upbeat. But that’s just who she is. When she scraped her arm on a rusty nail mid-shoot, her biggest worry was not tetanus, but whether or not people would notice the Band-aid on her arm in some shots. Now that’s a trooper!

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