BIANCA Comparato is a highly-acclaimed Brazilian actor and one of the stars of Dennison Ramalho’s new horror film The Nightshifter.
Set in a morgue, the film follows a young man named Stênio who has a gift for communicating with the lifeless bodies he works with. Yet Stênio soon begins to abuse his powers in ways that dangerously effect his own personal life.
Bianca joins us to talk more about the The Nightshifter and her career ahead of the film’s screenings at the BFI London Film Festival (13 & 14 October).
Q: Can you reveal anything about your role in ‘The Nightshifter’?
A: My character is a young, religious, good and righteous lady. All she wants is a proper life and to help others, but she is trapped in a dark reality and has to deal with the evil around her.
Q: I believe this was your first time in a horror feature. How did you find the experience?
A: Yes, this was my first experience and I absolutely enjoyed it. Even though the script was sinister, the backstage atmosphere was light and fun. The producers and director Dennison Ramalho made sure of that . I would love to be in another horror movie in the future again. I had a blast.
Q: Are you a fan of the horror genre?
A: Yes. I’m a huge fan. One of my favourite films is Shaun of the Dead and I love to watch George Romero films with my sister.
Q: The film is largely set in a morgue. Was there any room for fun during filming? Any stories you could share?
A: That part was scary! Walking from make-up to the set down dark corridors at night was a little tense (laughs). I started hearing weird voices, but Daniel de Oliveira made so many jokes off screen that we relaxed.
We actually visited a real working morgue. It was an experience I will never forget. The smell, the atmosphere… I used all of those sensations to build my scenes in the movie.
Q: Daniel de Oliveira plays the lead character Stênio. What did Daniel bring to the character and the film?
A: Daniel is one of the most talented actors in Brazil. He brought depth to Stênio. This depth makes the fear so relatable, so real. We don’t know if we are seeing spirits or hallucinations of a mad man – and that is truly scary.
Q: This is Dennison Ramalho’s debut feature. Can you give any insight into his style and your experience working with him?
A: He clearly studied the genre and has a passion for horror films. He knew exactly what he wanted. This made us very confident and free to play, to take risks. He was so excited with every shot that it was impossible not to feel the same way. It was inspiring to work with him.
Q: As well as ‘The Nightshifter’, you play a lead role in Netflix’s internationally popular show ‘3%’ Netflix show. What has it meant to you to be part of the show and play the role of Michele?
A: This was a game-changer for me. When I first talked to Netflix about it, almost 4 years ago, I could have never imagined the show would be so popular around the globe. I expanded my possibilities as an actress and also in my life. It is just very motivating to be part of this boom in series and streaming television.
Q: In the past, you spent some time at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. What memories do you have of that time learning in London?
A: It was there, working with Brigid Panet in the summer school, that I decided I wanted to act for the rest of my life. It was a such a symbolic and special moment for me. Right after RADA, I came back to Brazil and started my career, I had just turned 17.
Q: Do you have any plans to return and work in England? What is in the future for you?
A: It would be an absolute joy to work in the UK. Hopefully at the BFI London Film Festival I’ll meet interesting partners to make that happen.
Elsewhere in my future? I will launch a new movie in Brazil this November (an action police drama from the same writers of Elite Squad) and I am preparing for a new project that I can’t talk about just yet. I am also finishing the final cut of my first documentary produced by Losbragas and HBO Latin America. It is my debut as a director, and it’s called Eulogy to Liberty, it’s about a feminist writer that currently lives in my hometown of Rio.
Q: Do you have a message for UK audiences ahead of The Nightshifters’ screening at the BFI London Film Festival?
A: Brace yourself! The Nightshifter is coming….