Danielle Inks is one of the leads in the new John Russo film, a soon to be released continuation of his original Night of the Living Dead storyline entitled My Uncle John is a Zombie. She also co-produced and starred in Robert Hensley’s award-winning short film, The Taste of Salt.
Additionally, she has been making a name for herself on the Los Angeles cabaret scene, starring in CAC Production’s Night at the Sands at Hollywood’s Sayers Club, and in MM Productions musical mash-up Mitchell Sanitorium at the Cavern Club.
We had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Danielle. Check out the interview below.
Hi, Danielle! Thank you for granting the interview. Congratulations on getting a lead role in the new John Russo film. We know you can’t say much, but can you speak of your role and character?
The film hasn’t yet been slated for a wide release, but I can tell you my character is Mandy Frost. She’s a local TV reporter who is covering the story of Uncle John, a surviving zombie, who has been kept hidden and safe by his niece, for her station.
The film is a continuation of Russo’s original Night of the Living Dead story entitled My Uncle John is a Zombie.
It is! It’s a more comedic take on the franchise he created. The film takes place after the zombie apocalypse as if the original “Night of the Living Dead” were a documentary. I grew up near Pittsburgh, where the original was made, and John Russo is a legend in the Three Rivers film community. It is a huge honor to be a part of his legacy. I can’t think of any actor from Pittsburgh who hasn’t wanted to work on a zombie flick with John or the late George Romero – the men who created made zombie films famous!
You also co-produced and starred in Robert Hensley’s award-winning short film, The Taste of Salt. Tell us more.
We are thrilled for the success of our short film. It was a great concept and script – and I wanted to support Robert, who has been one of my dearest friends for over a decade. He asked for my help and wanted me to play the lead female, Molly, and it was fun getting to work together. We’ve worked together several times, and I love seeing him evolve as a writer and director.
I enjoy learning about production, too. “The Taste of Salt” was a non-union, shoestring budget, two-day shoot – which included a day trip to the Salton Sea! We managed to make a beautiful and touching film for almost nothing. Hearing the response from festival audiences and getting awards is really uplifting.
What can the audience expect from My Uncle John is a Zombie?
I came up liking horror films – low-budget indie gore flicks. This has some good scares and plenty of blood and guts, but there are also some really funny moments. I think audiences can expect a fun time!
Did you have to do any research for your role?
It’s always different, depending on the character. For The Taste of Salt, Molly was a bit of a bitch, so I just had to tap into my early-morning, no caffeine personae; with Mandy in My Uncle John is a Zombie, I hadn’t really ever paid attention to how a newscaster works – their speech patterns, their on-camera posture, being completely presentational. I watched a lot of news type shows to develop that for her.
Thus far, what has been the best experience working in the industry?
Now you’re trying to get me in trouble! Every experience has been fantastic. I couldn’t possibly choose a favorite. I have always followed that old adage “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’m savoring every experience.
Do you have any upcoming projects that we haven’t mentioned?
Nothing concrete. I’ve been doing a lot of table-reads lately – live readings of screenplays for writers and directors, and to help pitch the project to producers. Whether doing the reading will lead to being cast is yet to be seen, but I’m hopeful!
Complete this sentence, if I had an opportunity to do anything I want, I would do ___________.
If I had the opportunity to do anything I want, I would have my own sitcom. I love making people laugh, and television is such a unique medium – especially now with so many platforms streaming original content. That’s not expecting too much, is it?
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Featured Image Credit: Photography by Carrie Carnevale.