Interview

Interview

Exclusive: Krysten Ritter on 'Woke Up Dead'

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Crackle.com has just launched an exclusive web series, Woke Up Dead.  In this zombie comedy, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) stars as Drex, a normal guy who wakes up one day without a pulse.  Drex seeks out the help of best buddy Matt (played by The Rocker's Josh Gad) and Cassie, the med student who's surprised by Drex's undead corpse (played by Confessions of a Shopaholic's Krysten Ritter).  We just chatted exclusively with Krysten about shooting her first web series, and the difference between doing a rom-com and zom-com.

Did you wake up dead this morning?

No.  I did wake up with a scratchy throat!

How did you get involved with Woke Up Dead?

They called out of the blue to see if I was interested.  I'm a big fan of Josh Gad and Jon Heder so when they explained the synopsis – they said it was basically the three of us, running around, solving crimes – I thought that was a good opportunity to get in there and have some fun.

You've done a lot of rom-coms.  How is it now to do a zom-com?

It's funny, because people have been asking me what my favorite zombie movies are, and I know nothing about them.  I've seen Shaun of the Dead but that doesn't really count.

So you are not a fan of horror movies?

I like them but I'm the girl who covers her eyes – and her ears – and just not watching when scary stuff happens.

Can I make a recommendation?  Have you seen Zombieland yet?

I haven't but I really want to.  I read the script and it looks like a blast!  I plan on seeing it this weekend.

What can we expect to see over the rest of the season?

More science experiments.  Trying to figure out what is wrong with Drex [Jon Heder's character].  They set up the whole "maybe, maybe not" love interest thing.  There is more fighting with Matt [Josh Gad's character].  Fun stuff!

Do any zombies start coming out of the woodwork?  Do you have a lot of scream-queen scenes?

Not in any scenes I am in.  I only have one scream, and that was right at the beginning, when Drex wakes up dead on the slab.

How does shooting a web series  differ from big-budget film and TV projects?

It honestly felt like we were shooting an independent film.  We were all in it together, and there was a lot of camaraderie.  We still had a base camp and trailers – just on a smaller scale.  We weren't totally roughing it.  It felt like we were shooting an indie film, but we were shooting way more in a day.  It was a lot of running around and changing outfits.  It was pretty intense - I was actually surprised at how big of a production it was.  I have never done a web show, so I just assumed it was going to be shot, like, in someone's extra bedroom or back yard, just a few of us, pumping it out.  I though it would be low-key, but it ended up being a really nice production, a well-run set, but just a lot of pages in a day.  Which is fun.  It was only a three-week shoot, which is why we shot so much in a day.  Our script was something like 125 pages – like a proper, feature-length script!  To shoot that all in three weeks is really ambitious – and we pulled it off.

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