When I read the script for “Blood,” I knew that I absolutely had to play the character of Sharon. I craved for a role that would push me to see how far I could take a role, and playing a demon in a martial arts action film allowed me to experience something truly exhilarating.
Sharon also appealed to me because for as long as I’ve been passionate about film, I’ve been a fan of the anime and martial arts movies that Edko produces. But I wasn’t sure that I’d gotten the part after my first interview. I read for the producers in December, but a month later there was still no word. Then my manager called me and said, “Pack your bags, you’re flying to Argentina tomorrow. Then China.” I packed one carry-on, and off I went!
Playing the character of Sharon
Sharon was such a colorful little villain in disguise that I just couldn’t get enough of her! She was living in my thoughts. On the surface she appears to be a harmless high school girl, but within minutes, her facade transforms into a dark and overpowering threat. I just loved flexing my evil muscles, but perhaps I was too immersed in my character since Suzanne (our make-up artist) thought I really was that “intense”! But it didn’t take long for her to realize that my personality was far from the Queen Bee Demon Child. In fact, when I’m not prepared to perform on camera, I tend to be quite shy.
Still, it was fun being Sharon – actually it was fantastic! She was unlike any other character I’ve portrayed before. She’s ruthless, vicious, invulnerable, and a great fighter. Don’t let the innocent high school girl act fool ya!
Action scenes are like dancing
I learned a lot from our director Chris Nohan and our famed action choreographer Corey Yuen – an experience I will never forget. Corey taught me how to hold a Kendu sword and swing it properly. Our steps were described to us in Chinese, with a translator by his side. I was fortunate to have had some previous fencing training a couple years back, so the footwork felt natural, but I have to admit, I flailed wildly rather than swinging purposefully at first.
Corey had Allison Miller, Ailish O’Connor and me practicing for hours as soon as we landed in China, so when we finally filmed the fighting sequences, it felt like dancing, because every step, swing, and gesture had to be on cue and synchronized otherwise someone could get hurt. The choreography turned out lovely, though, and for a moment I felt like a professional demon, gliding across the gymnasium swinging my sword and twisting my body effortlessly. Although I did my own sword work, for safety reasons I didn’t do my own stunts. But there were a few close calls: Allison’s sword grazed her cheek in one scene and it left a mark. For our close-up, Gianna accidentally punched me in the nose, causing it to swell. That’s alright! Sharon had it coming. I would do it all over again, and then some!
Shooting in Buenos Aires
In Buenos Aires, the entire city felt as if it was dipped in good, golden karma. There was such peace radiating from the people and atmosphere that I could have lounged outside or walked down the streets all day and evening. I didn’t want to leave, but China turned out to be an experience I can only hope to re-live. Strolling through gardens to the local farmer’s market was a treat. Just conversing with the locals in minimal sign language and smiles, and playing with their babies was memorable. Both places were so unique that it’s difficult to say which one I loved more.
Working with people my age was also a nice change. We could relate to one another and hang out between takes. Since we came alone to these exotic locations, we clung together and explored the local culture. I remember on our first day in Buenos Aires, Allison and I had sushi and out of nowhere it started pouring outside! The car was an hour away on location, and we didn’t feel like waiting, so I slipped off my pumps and we ran back to our hotel which was nearly four blocks away, gasping for air, and soaking wet like two drowned cats. We gave the locals something to smile about.
Being on set was just as unpredictable. Watching Allison Miller and Gianna Jun swinging from the ropes in between takes was amusing! (No bloopers though.) In between takes, we poured over Allison’s crossword booklets as well as Gianna’s photos. Also, while waiting for my close-up, I was able to explore further a world I had learned to love and depend on, and in the process gained a bit more knowledge about myself as Masiela and as Sharon. I will cherish the memories from making this movie. I hope you enjoy the film.
“Blood: The Last Vampire”
“Blood: The Last Vampire” is an action filled movie about a vampire hunter named Saya (Gianna Jun) who is sent to a military school by the covert government agency she works for. Saya goes undercover as a student to investigate which one of her classmates is a vampire. When Saya finds out that Sharon (Masiela Lusha) is the vampire in disguise, the sword fighting begins in this action fantasy. Adapted from the famous anime of the same title, fans will love the action sequences choreographed by the famous Corey Yuen who worked on movies such as “War,” “Bulletproof Monk,” and “Transporter 2.” Directed by Chris Nahon (“Kiss of the Dragon”), “Blood: The Last Vampire” promises heart pounding sword fights and action from a young and exciting cast. The film has a scheduled October 2008 release.