Exclusive Interview With Asta Paredes And Catherine Corcoran On Return To Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1


Well, well, well – wasn’t this a nice little surprise treat? Last night I was in Tribeca for the New York Horror Film Festival and its first screening, which just happened to be Lloyd Kaufman’s Return To Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1 – a film that was shown at Cannes and kicked some serious ass.

While I knew Lloyd would be in attendance accepting an award (and we’ve got a pretty special treat from Mr. Kaufman coming at a later date), I didn’t know the entire cast would be there, including lead actresses Asta Paredes and Catherine Corcoran. Yup, that’s Asta (left) and Catherine (right) in the above picture making a Nato sandwich, and me not knowing what to do with my hands. What, it’s not everyday you share a couch with two lovely ladies – I mean, this TOTALLY happens all the time to me…

Catherine and Asta were nice enough to answer a few questions about their new film before posing for the picture above, and it was an absolute pleasure talking to both young actresses. It takes a certain kind of person to act in a Troma film, and these two ladies did so with poise and intelligence, highlighted by the discussions we had. Trust me – these two really put themselves out there.

Check out the interview below and enjoy!

WGTC: The first time you both read the script, what went through your minds while reading the more “risqué” moments these characters participated in? I mean, it is Troma after all…

Catherine Corcoran: When we read the full script, it was pretty much once we had been cast…

Asta Paredes: We actually signed the contract that day. No, no, no! It was a final call-back, and Lloyd was there, and he wanted us to read the script. There were actually a lot more things that were, “offensive,” horrendus, and terrifying. I remember making gasps out loud like, “What have I signed up for?”

Catherine Corcoran: We were looking at each other with awkward faces as we got to certain scenes, but it was great. The whole production was great. They really took our input to heart.

Asta Paredes: We kind of wrote the script for our parts at least, because we got an initial scene, and we did it over and over again for the call-backs as we were both considered for the same parts. They wanted my part to be more masculine, more butch, which was even a line in the movie…

Catherine Corcoran: But she’s beautiful, it doesn’t make any sense!

Asta Paredes: As the call-backs went on, they made my character more and more feminine, and they even added a boyfriend, and they changed the script for us basically.

Catherine Corcoran: There were a couple of re-writes that I remember getting the script and not approving, being able to say right away I didn’t like it…

Asta Paredes: I still don’t have a copy of the final script.

Catherine Corcoran: I don’t either. I found my binder with it in there the other day, and it’s not the same.

Asta Paredes: Us, as the two leads, we never got a full copy of the final script. We got sides that we knew had changed because we had improvised them.

Catherine Corcoran: Lloyd’s really big on the rehearsal process. The days leading up to actual production we were rehearsing. [Looking at Asta] I think you were rehearsing for a month while the rest of the film was being cast, and then we went up to Niagara for another two weeks, so the script was constantly in development. Lloyd is great and the entire Troma team is great because they really encourage a collaborative atmosphere.

Asta Paredes: If [the script] didn’t feel right to one of us, ultimately if we could justify it, it would be taken out.

WGTC: So you mentioned that some of the script was actually more “offensive” than the actual product – can you talk about some of the stuff that was too over-the-top for the final cut?

Asta Paredes: You know what it was – this is difficult because there’s a lot of stuff that I can say that was in it, but then I wouldn’t want you to know it’s not in volume 2. I’ll just put it this way – as an actress, personally, there was some stuff where I was like, “Oh shit, I’m going to have to do that, again, dammit, but I have to deal with it. It’s my first film. I’m really glad I studied at the Shakespeare’s Globe in London to come here.” [Laughs]

Catherine Corcoran: I think at the end of the day we really wanted the overall message to be about acceptance and to have this love story persevere, so that’s what it really came down to – whether or not what was put in was really enhancing that story. Some jokes, some gags, I think we really toe the line pretty carefully, and cross it, then cross back…

Asta Paredes: Any time a current event happened or was referenced, we added it in. Just before we went to do the movie, I was really excited to see The Dark Knight Rises, and then the shooting happened, and it became really awkward. We decided to add a line in the movie because Troma does what everyone is afraid to do, and it toes that line. Some people have been extremely offended by it, but they obviously don’t understand that they’re watching a satire. If you were in a Bourgeois time, and you saw somebody lifting up a skirt, that was just as bad.

Catherine Corcoran: Lloyd is very aware of what he does. It’s not just sex and gore for the sake of sex and gore. He’s very aware of what he’s saying about society, about the people who watch our films – the general populous who participate in these things. They’re so over-saturated with violence and sex every day, yet when it’s thrown in your face in a comical way they react like, “Oh, I’m uncomfortable! This goo is horrendous!” Yet on television you can hear about another shooting and not be phased. Lloyd understands that and is communicating that, which is what makes this film so brilliant.