America Olivo, the star of the movie
Bitch Slap, took time out of her busy schedule to talk to AUSXIP reporter Lori Boyles
recently. America talks about her role as "Camero", her
characters' strength & honesty and how Zoe Bell kept her
from seriously hurting Hel (Erin Cummings). America also
talks about working with Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor,
working with her co-stars and what's in store for this very
You don't see movies like “Bitch
Slap” being made today. What did you
think when you first read the script?
The opening scene introduces the bigger than life
characters, and from those first few paragraphs until the
end of the lengthy script, I was on the edge of my seat. I
thought only animated characters got to be in films like
this. By the end of reading the script, I was exhausted and
by the end of shooting the film, I had died eight times and
was on my 9th life.
What characteristics do you like about your character, “Camero”?
I love Camero's intensity, strength, and endurance.
She's probably the most honest of anyone in
Bitch Slap and will go to any
length to win an argument.
Are you the type of actress that can just leave the
character your playing at work or did you take "Camero" home
That would depend on the character. Camero is not
your average role. She came home with me, had lunch with me,
woke up with me, played in the sand with me, all through
that shoot. She demanded it. It was exhausting to be her,
but even harder to snap in and out of her intensity. I just
went with it until the last day of the shoot. It took about
a week to shake her habits.
There was a lot of greenscreen work in “Bitch
Slap”. How much greenscreen work had
you done prior to “Bitch
Slap” and is it hard for you doing
I had only worked with green screen for music videos
and for a few deleted scenes in Iron Man prior to
In those circumstances, I didn't have to interact with
imaginary objects nor refer to the imaginary scenery. Bitch
Slap was a whole new experience in
that regard. Working with that imaginary killer yo yo,
flying through the air on a harness and breaking through
imaginary walls, riding motorcycles during shoot outs with
nothing but a stationary bike and no targets and a gun with
no kick was a whole new experience.
How much of the stunt work did you actually do? Any
Zoe Bell was the fight choreographer and my stunt
double. She trained Erin (Hel) and I to do all our fight
stunts, and we did perform them all. However, since neither
Erin nor I are professional stunt woman, while the camera
was on Erin, Zoe Bell would play Camero and fight her, and
while the camera faced me, Sabine Varnes played Hel and
would fight me. This was to keep Erin and I from seriously
injuring one another. There were many injuries, but all were
due to my ignorance wanting to work with real weapons rather
than the props.
Do you enjoy doing your own stunts? What type of weapons
training did you do for the film?
I had a fantastic time training with Zoe Bell at her
facility in Venice Beach. I also worked with prop master
George Hobbs at the shooting range in Venice to help feel a
real kick to help make the prop gun fights convincing.
Working with Zoe Bell must have been amazing. What was the
best thing she taught you about doing fight scenes?
Zoe Bell taught me everything I know now about
fighting on film. I had done some Hapkido training years
ago, but soon into the training, I realized that live combat
is nothing like throwing punches on camera. Because a camera
is not 3 dimensional, depth perception and the lack there of
becomes a fun tool to play with.
The fight scene between “Hel” and “Camero” was amazing. How
long did it take to prepare for and film that?
Again, Zoe Bell trained in the weeks before production
and on the weekends during production. She's a fantastic
teacher and I was shocked at how much she taught me to do in
such a small amount of time.
You had the opportunity to work with Lucy Lawless and Renee
O’Connor. What was it like working with them??
Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor play Mother Superior
and Sister Batril who find me while I'm hiding out in a
convent. It is a blasphemous scene that we recorded on Good
Friday, ironically. Lucy and Renee were hilarious together.
The trick in that scene was to keep a straight face. It was
a surreal day.
You get to make out on screen with both Julia and Erin. Did
the three of you hit it off immediately when you were
brought together for the film?
Yes, I was very lucky to have two amazingly talented,
intelligent, sweet, and beautiful co-stars. We have had to
travel together and promote this film together for quite
some time already and we have become excellent friends in
the process. People are usually surprised that we only just
met each other on this film.
Any funny behind the scenes stories that you can to share?
Lots of funny behind the scenes stories from
In fact there is a fantastic behind the scenes movie that
will be released on the DVD. The commentary we did on the
film for the DVD release also reveals a lot of our
experience working on the film. I can't even begin to
recount them all now. One funny story that sticks out
involves Michael Hurst who plays Gage, returning to his
hotel after being covered in blood and wearing nothing a
speedo with a lion on the front. They passed some cops while
driving from set and the cops were thrown off by the site of
Michael's bloody face. They pulled Michael's car over and he
was forced to exit the car, bloody and nearly naked,
desperately trying to explain himself.
What one word
would you use to describe each of your co-stars:
Michael - Wise
Minae - Playful
Zoe - Tough
What's been your most memorable response you've received
from fans while promoting this film?
"I don't like you. You scare me."
You are also a professional singer. You graduated from The
Juilliard School in New York, were in the group Soluna and
now going solo. Tell us about your music and future plans
I graduated from Juilliard as an opera theatre major
and was fortunate enough to get a record deal with
Dreamworks records with my talented bandmates, Soluna, right
after graduation. In 2004, Dreamworks Records closed it's
doors, and I refocused my energies on television and film
while I figured out how to reinvent myself musically as a
soloist, no longer with a band. Since then, I've done some
stage work, workshopping the musical Zorro and performing a
world premiere of a Michael John LaChiusa musical, Hotel
C'est L'Amour. I then signed to an indie dance label, Dauman
Music, distributed by Universal to to a dance album. My
first single that I wrote and performed as a soloist has
been released under that label "Deja Vu" and has been on the
Billboard dance charts for 5 weeks and is now going
international. I have also begun to license my music for
film. I have two songs that appear on Bitch
Slap, one I wrote with Kyle Mac and
the other was written by John Baxter. I am currently
completing my first solo album with Canadian song writers
and producers, Stereo Martini, and other songs by Billy
Steinberg and Diane Warren.
Any other projects you
would like to mention?
I have a few new films coming
up, Dead Man's Gold, Billy Joel's Car, Circle, and Neighbor,
to name a few. I am also producing shows with my husband,
Christian Campbell business partners, Amanda Marr, Carlos
Amaro, and Blueprint Entertainment.