Exclusive: Zoë Soul Talks ‘The Purge: Anarchy’

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Exclusive: Zoë Soul Talks ‘The Purge: Anarchy
Posted by Wilson Morales

July 17, 2014

The Purge Anarchy poster 2Coming out this week is the horror/thriller film The Purge: Anarchy,’ the sequel to the 2013 film. Written and directed again by James DeMarco. The film stars Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zoe Soul, Zach Gilford, Chad Morgan, Kiele Sanchez, Keith Stanfield, and Michael K. Williams.

The film centers on one night a year, during 12-hour period, where any and all crime is legalized; and several individuals try to survive the night as they are stranded in the streets when mayhem ensues.

For Soul, who plays Cali, the daughter of Carmen Ejogo’s character, this is her bigger role to date.  She previously played Kaci Reynolds in BET’s Reed Between The Lines, and was also seen in Denis Villeneuve‘s 2013 thriller film Prisoners, which starred Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and Terrence Howard.

Zoe SoulA singer and and professional dancer as well, Soul has a band called Zoë and the Bear and will be releasing some music in the near future.

Speaking exclusively with Blackfilm.com, Soul talks about her character in ‘The Purge: Anarchy’ and how she now is a fan of the genre.

How did the premiere go the other night?

Zoë Soul: It was great. It was my first time seeing it.I was nervous to watch it but I left really happy with the outcome. It’s a fun movie.

How would you describe your character?

ZS: She’s feisty. She’s a complete loudmouth. She’s the one that talks to you at the wrong time and she always says something that makes sense so you can’t get mad at her because she’s only 16 and going through this life experience right now. She’s crazy but she’s fun.

The Purge Anarchy Zoe SoulWhat was the attraction to doing this movie?

ZS: I really enjoyed the script. I really enjoyed the character. I liked the challenge. She reminded me so much of my myself when I was a bit younger and I thought it would be fun to explore that part of myself again. I read the script and saw how much action was involved. I come from a background of dance so anything that has to do with physical action, I’m down.

Had you seen the first film?

ZS: I saw it after I shot the second one. I knew the concept of the film and I saw clips of it, but I didn’t want to see the whole film until after I finished shooting. Right after we wrapped, I watched it and it’s a great movie. It’s so different from this one because it’s about one family and they have money and it’s in indoors. It’s their struggle and with this film, it really is anarchy. It’s outside and we don’t have a lot of money. It’s a complete different outlook on what the purge is. I think it’s cool.

The Purge Anarchy poster 5How did director James DeMarco want you to play the character?

ZS: There’s a scene where me and my mother (played by Carmen Ejogo) are dragged out of our building, and James says, “Zoe, I want Cali fighting like a mad dog, and I don’t mean that just for this scene. I mean it for every single scene in this movie. You’re fighting like a mad dog.” He always used the word “mad dog” and that is all I thought about throughout the entire film. I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. It’s not a comedy, but he wanted her to be funny. She has this funny edge to her, and she’s not scared to the point that she will do what she has to do to survive. He wanted her to be brave. It was interesting.

Are you a fan of this genre?

ZS: To be honest, this isn’t usually the genre that I gravitate towards. I love indie films that are dark but I’m not used to seeing thrillers or horror films. I remember when the first ‘Purge’ came out and I heard what the concept was. It was interesting to me because it hadn’t been done before. I’m not really horror/thriller person but after doing this film, now I am.

The Purge Anarchy 10How was working with Carmen Ejogo and Frank Grillo?

ZS: They’re awesome. Carmen is one of the nicest, coolest women I’ve ever met in my life and Frank is a character. He’s one of those people that you just like being around. He’s so funny and he has stories for days and he’s always in a good mood. It was fun. We spent so much time together and we had to get close really quick, it was great to work with them.

One couldn’t tell if you were Carmen’s sister as opposed to her daughter…

ZS: (laughs) Probably because Cali, my character, has such a strong personality where she’s telling her mother what to do but that’s just how she was raised. She doesn’t have a father in the film and she probably feels older at a younger age.

Zoe Soul 3What’s the selling point to see the film?

ZS: In this film, you get drama. You get action. You get that horror/ thriller effect. I think it sort of spreads across this wide range of genre and I think most people will like it.

What does this film do for your career?

ZS: It’s the biggest role I’ve ever had taken on and I hope that I get to work with people like this more often. I just honored to be able to do it and work with these people. It was a lovely experience and hopefully I can do more films in the future.

How’s your singing career going?

ZS: It’s good. We’re planning to release some music around the time that the movie comes out. My group is called Zoë and the Bear and we’re planning on releasing a new song and I hope people really enjoy it. The music is what I’m focusing on right now and we’ll see what happens in the future.

The Purge: Anarchy hits theaters on July 18th.


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