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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

No archeologist ever heed the warnings of not to enter any pyramid.

The horror pic “The Pyramid” is a found footage-style film that follows a small group of archeologists and a couple of journalists into a strange three-sided pyramid discovered in the middle of the desert. And what the team discovers in there have them racing for the exit through a maze filled with traps and creatures.

Latino-Review had an exclusive phone conversation with lead actress Ashley Hinshaw about her role in the movie. We discussed Morocco, the attraction to genre movies and her performing her own stunts.

“The Pyramid” is currently available on Amazon, iTunes and HD digital download. The release date for Blu-ray and DVD will be on May 5th.

Read the interview transcript below.

Latino-Review: Why were you attracted to this movie called, “The Pyramid?”

Ashley Hinshaw: I’ve always loved genre movies. It’s a big guilty pleasure of mine to watch. When the script came through, it was likewise always interested in archeology. The pyramids have been fascinating to me. I loved studying Egypt back in school. This was a perfect marriage in the two things that I’ve been interested in. And the script was great! People involved were fantastic. I got to work with Denis O’Hare, who I think is a fantastic actor. So I was on board since day one.

Latino-Review: Honestly, you really studied Egypt back in school?

Ashley Hinshaw: I took a class back in college—a very basic one in archeology. A big part of it was about Egypt and the pyramids. I didn’t know a lot of information, but knew just enough. When this script came around, I really wanted to do it. I’ve started watching all these documentaries. Once it started, I couldn’t stop listening to stories about conspiracy theories and other really interesting things.

I also thought the setting was also really unique for a film. I was really excited to do the film.

Latino-Review: So you did do some extra research before you delved into the film.

Ashley Hinshaw: I always take my craft and film very seriously. In real life, I’m not an archeologist and certainly do not have my doctorate. I just wanted to do enough research so that when my dialogue about the physical things in the archeological world to sound believable. I knew on what I’m talking about.

Latino-Review: It did sound believable to me. [Chuckles] Did you have the chance to visit the pyramids yourself or would you like to do some day?

Ashley Hinshaw: No, I haven’t yet. I would really like to. I meant to go after we were finished shooting the movie. I had to come right back and started another project. I couldn’t make the trip then, but it is really high on my list. I definitely do want to go.

Latino-Review: Which desert was this movie shot at then?

Ashley Hinshaw: We shot in Morocco in this teeny town. It’s pretty much the last stop before you enter the Sahara. It is truly in the middle of nowhere. It’s actually a really cool place to shoot a film like this. It makes you feel like you’re close to Egypt. A lot of the film was shot on the set on stage. Technically, we could’ve shot this film anywhere, but it was nice to be in the place where the energy was different than Hollywood.

Latino-Review: Overall, you enjoyed Morocco although it wasn’t Egypt then.

Ashley Hinshaw: Oh, I loved it.

Latino-Review: A lot of the scenes were on a soundstage. Was it claustrophobic? After watching the film, it felt claustrophobic.

Ashley Hinshaw: There were definitely moments where you felt claustrophobic. I’m lucky. I don’t have a big problem with claustrophobia. It didn’t particularly bother me. They ended up building the set in a really great way. When we were in small tunnels and climbing through them, the space was really confined. There wasn’t a whole lot of acting you can do in those moments. They were pretty true to what we were pretending.

Latino-Review: Oh, you’re referring to the pyramid’s traps and tunnels. What was the favorite thing you had to do on the set?

Ashley Hinshaw: I think my favorite scene and also my least favorite to film—was the one where I got buried in the sand. It was really an intense part of the film and it was a really long day of being drenched in sand. But, I also loved that as an actress. Those are the things you’re certainly never going to do in real life. Or at least I hope not. So getting to do them in a stunt is really fun.

Latino-Review: I figured it took an hour or two to get all of that sand out of you.

Ashley Hinshaw: I’m still taking sand out of my hair years later.

Latino-Review: If that was one of the most fun things, then what was the most difficult thing you had to do? Or was it the same scene?

Ashley Hinshaw: There’s a scene at the end of the movie where I am climbing up a rope ladder. I was trying to get away and get to safety. Originally, they were going to use a stunt double to do most of it. I fought on it, because I wanted to do it myself. It’s just more realistic. I could bring a little more acting than a stuntwoman could.

It was really painful. I was just getting thrashed around. It was exciting to be in this little corridor they had built. Afterwards, my whole body was so intensely bruised. It was rough. I got beaten up a lot on the film. I really enjoy it. I rather have it be me than a stuntwoman.

Latino-Review: Wow. You’re telling me you did most of your own stunts in this movie?

Ashley Hinshaw: Yeah. There were times when it was definitely unsafe for me to do. They just insisted for a stuntwoman to do it. As much as I could do, I’ll do what I want to do. I think it makes the movie better for it, because you’ll be closer and it looks more real. You’ll believe it rather than having a wide-shot of any blonde girl on a rope ladder. You can be up close and kind of see on what’s going on.

I certainly am not a stuntwoman. [Chuckles] I learned my lesson.

Latino-Review: [Laughter] You did learn your lesson. But, next you’re going to do this, you’ll be better prepared, right?

Ashley Hinshaw: Oh, yeah. I think the next time I do my own stunts—I’ll know what I’m in store for.

Latino-Review: “The Pyramid” is technically the second found footage film you’ve done. You’ve done “Chronicle” before. Could you talk about on how it’s different and on how it’s similar?

Ashley Hinshaw: “Chronicle” was such an incredible movie to be a part of. To be honest, these two films don’t have a lot of similarities other than the fact they’re both shot in a found footage way. Like “Chronicle,” in the “Pyramid” was that we found a way to do only handheld footage. So my character wore a GoPro on her head.

As a filmmaker, it allows you to have a more things with the shots than if it in your hands. It was definitely a more difficult way to film the movie than the standard way. It’s interesting. With movies trying to do something new like “Chronicle” and “The Pyramid,” they’re all in this cool innovative way. It was much newer when did “Chronicle” than we did the same thing nowadays.

I think [found footage] gets dragged down a lot, but if it’s done really well—it’s a really cool perspective to have.

Latino-Review: This is Gregory Levasseur’s first film as a director. How did he do overall?

Ashley Hinshaw: He’s fantastic. I really loved Greg. He cares about the right things. Some directors get caught up in certain things and Greg knows what he wants on the screen. These other directors may get caught up in other business. We also got closer doing this project together. Six weeks of nobody but the crew and we all really got to be good friends.

Latino-Review: If I had the chance to go to Morocco, where should I definitely visit while there?

Ashley Hinshaw: I would say number one, for sure, would be Marrakesh. Morocco is so very different than America obviously. The place that I fell in love the most was when I was in the market in Marrakesh. Morocco has such a rich culture that we don’t have so much of it here in the United States. I was really an amazing experience.

Latino-Review: Terrific. I’ll have to keep that in mind. You mentioned before that you love genre films before. I’m assuming you’re talking about a horror film like this one. So you’re a big horror fan, right?

Ashley Hinshaw: I prefer the genre movies that are like this or like “The Descent,” which is one of my favorites. It’s rather than the spirit and ghosts in my house movies. I like the creatures and the thriller movies than to those other ones. I’ve always had affection for scary films.

I’m really excited to be in “The Pyramid,” because it would be a movie I would actually go see even if I’m not in it.

Latino-Review: You don’t do a lot of horror movies yourself. I took a look at your list of films. You have a very broad range of films in your acting repertoire.

Ashley Hinshaw: As a person, I’m interested in a lot of things. I’m happy that my career had emulated my interest. I’ve done a lot of different roles in a lot of different types of movies. I really love genre films. I just don’t want to do a genre film that I don’t believe in. I really thinkthat a lot of scary movies out there are not good. [Chuckles] I’m very picky on which scary movie I want to do, because I loved them so much that I wanted to make good ones.

Latino-Review: Sounds great. Could you tell me some of your upcoming projects for yourself?

Ashley Hinshaw: Well, I just wrapped on season two of “True Detective.” I’m very excited about it. It doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but it probably is sometime this coming summer. That is probably one of the coolest projects I’ve been involved in to date.

Latino-Review: Oh? Could you tease us a little about your role or is that under secrecy?

Ashley Hinshaw: I’m under such, such lock and key of secrecy on that one. I really, really can’t say anything other than that I’m in it. [Laughter] I can say that it will be really, really amazing. You will have to watch it.

Latino-Review: Okay, then. I’ll have to check that out. For you Ashley, one last question—if someone gave you the opportunity to enter a pyramid—would you do it even if you received warnings?

Ashley Hinshaw: Totally. [Laughter] I would still do it. I should know better by now, but I will still totally do it.

Latino-Review: Ashley, I do appreciate this conversation we had.

Ashely Hinshaw: You got it. Thank you.

“The Pyramid” is currently available on Amazon, iTunes and HD digital download. The release date for Blu-ray and DVD will be on May 5th.

Source: Latino-Review.com

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.