It was once thought that computers and robots will eventually replace the actors in Hollywood.
In the near future of Diminuendo, the director Haskell Edwards was struggling with drugs and alcohol after the suicide of his loving girlfriend Cello Shea almost a decade earlier. With a new chance in his career, he was asked to direct a biopic on Cello’s life, but it was being produced by LifeForm, a company that makes lifelike “LifeDolls” of celebrities. Once he faced with the LifeDoll of Cello, he relives his past and becomes obsessed that the machine actually contains Cello’s real spirit.
The film stars Richard Hatch, Chloe Dykstra, Leah Cairns, Walter Koenig, Gigi Edgley and James Deen.
It is directed by Adrian Stewart and written by Sarah Goldberger and Bryn Pryor.
LRM Online had an exclusive sit-down interview with actress Chloe Dykstra earlier this summer after the west coast premiere of Diminuendo at the Dances with Films Festival.
Chloe Dykstra grew up in the industry as the daughter of special effects artist John Dykstra. She was a cast member of SyFy’s TV show Heroes of Cosplay and cohosts many web series online. She is also well known as a freelance game journalist and cosplayer.
Read our interview transcript below.
LRM: Hey, congratulations. So how proud of you that [Diminuendo] was a showcase at the Dances with Films Festival?
Chloe Dykstra: Honestly, I was so proud to be a part of this festival. I’m so proud of the work that happened on that film. I’m very lucky to be a part of that project.
LRM: You had a pretty good reception.
Chloe Dykstra: Really?[Laughs]
LRM: Yeah, I think so.
Chloe Dykstra: Okay, good. I never know, because people are always just generally pretty nice after you come out of the movie theater. They’d say, “You did a good job!” So it’s nice to hear that.
LRM: Why were you attracted to a project like this for this movie?
Chloe Dykstra: I read the screenplay. It was one of the best screenplays I’ve had ever read. I was attracted to the characters. I was attracted to the story. It was something that I felt was really relatable to a lot of people. I fought real hard for that role. [Laughs]
LRM: You auditioned just like everybody else?
Chloe Dykstra: Yeah, I did. I did. I auditioned for the part. I was so nervous in advance. I can’t even tell you that it is the most nervous I’ve ever been before going into an audition room.
LRM: It was kind of strange. For some reason, I couldn’t tell if you actually fit the part, but why do you think you fit the part perfectly?
Chloe Dykstra: This is going to sound narcissistic–I felt almost like Cello was written in part for me. I grew up in LA, right? I grew up in this industry. You just get so jaded by everything, but you still find joy in just the connections that you make. I think that that was a huge part of Cello’s personality. Even our names are similar Chloe and Cello. It just felt like it was clandestine in a weird way.
LRM: I never saw that, but thank you for pointing that out. [ Laughs] When you’re actually filming this role, how did you manage to basically keep everything straight since it’s about different types of personalities for Cello?
Chloe Dykstra: It was difficult. It was clear when I was supposed to be the doll and when I was supposed to be Cello. I really had to do the research as to what I was going to do as the doll versus what I was going to as Cello. Cello is a character. She’s fun. You can do whatever you want with her, right? You can play with her. But, with the doll–you have to have rules. It’s very strict. You have a very strict set of rules that you have to follow throughout. I spent a lot of time writing up the rules for the, for the doll.
LRM: And what were some of the rules that you created for you?
Chloe Dykstra: It was tough, because some of them had to go out the window. Originally, it was blink every 10 seconds. Right? Problem is sometimes the lights are really bright. Or if you’re in a room with people you follow who’s speaking, right? As the doll, you will be listening since they want her to seem sort of lifelike. I would count three seconds says to everybody speaking and I would follow their voices. Just little rules like that. Things that actually make a difference. I hope, at least.
LRM: In your robotic form, how hard was not to laugh at everybody?
Chloe Dykstra: Oh, my God! There’s one scene in the trailer–I don’t want to spoil it. But, my God, we had to do so many takes on that one. I just had to sit there and focus on my blinking. Otherwise I would have lost it.
LRM: Was it even more difficult to face the fact that you actually had to act–not once, but twice for two different men?
Chloe Dykstra: It was very interesting. It’s an experience that I will never have again. Right. I’ve never had obviously to do the same scene with two different men in two different ways as two different characters. It was such a unique opportunity. It was really cool to be able to [for] just the little nuances. It’s the little differences that you would make and the choices that you would make. In one scene, I was acting as Cello and another scene I was acting as Adriana as Cello. It was very specific.
LRM: Now the director, Adrian, did he give you some pretty useful tips throughout the entire movie?
Chloe Dykstra: Adrian is one of the most laid back directors in terms of coaching actors. The only things that he would ever really catch me on are things [with] inconsistencies as the doll. For instance, if I was looking too hard as the doll–he would come in and let me know. He let us all just play.
LRM: This is Richard Hatch’s last film. How was that experience overall?
Chloe Dykstra: Richard is one of the most professional actors I’ve ever worked with. Forgive me, I literally have been been crying for the past 10 minutes after re-watching that film. Every time, it just gets me. Richard is one of those professional, wonderful, incredible actors I’ve ever worked with. He was so sick throughout the entire filming of that. He would never complain. Not once. Not once.
LRM: What was the most difficult thing you had to do on this project? I bet it was keeping warm.
Chloe Dykstra: Well, luckily we filmed in the summer, if I remember correctly. [Laughs] I was naked quite a lot of the time. No, I think that the most difficult part of it was killing myself over and over again. Keeping that heaviness and the real reality of it. At the same time, since Cello is such a bright and colorful character, it’s to really embody her on what she would actually do in that situation and how she actually would handle. I imagined so many actresses would handle that differently. I don’t think Cello would handle it seriously. I think Cello would have not taking it seriously until she realized what she was doing.
LRM: Was it kind of awkward that throughout the entire movie people were touching your face?
Chloe Dykstra: You get used to it after awhile. It’s like makeup. It’s like hair and makeup. It was quite interesting though, for instance, there’s a scene where James [Deen] grabs my breast and I have to keep a straight face. I’ve known James for a long time. That part wasn’t easy. [Laughs]
LRM: What are some of your future projects that you have from it from after this?
Chloe Dykstra: Well, right now, I have a short film out this based on Jem the cartoon, which is the exact opposite of the film that we just watched. Then hopefully I have a couple other things that are potentially in the works, but I can’t literally talk about.
LRM: Hey, thank you very much. I really appreciate this interview.
Chloe Dykstra: Thank you.
Source: LRM Online Exclusive