Ella Purnell On Netflix’s Zombie Heist Action Movie ‘Army Of The Dead’ – British Vogue

Ella Purnell as Kate Ward in Netflixs Army of the Dead.

I went to the gym and did boxing lessons with my stepdad, but Im just not that way inclined. Ive got the upper-body strength of a spoon and Im not very coordinated. Id get told off because if I try to look cool, Im doing something else weird with my limbs. When I was running, if Im holding my gun with one hand, Im doing gun hands with the other [laughs]. We spent time with these two nice ex-army dudes. They taught us how to shoot, move as a team and have each others backs.

Its funny because 90 per cent of watching the film now is being like, Oh! Thats what I was looking at! [laughs] When youre filming, Zacks like, Youre really scared! and youre looking at a man in a green morph suit. We had this massive set in Albuquerque [in New Mexico] that was a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas and there was a lot of green screen. All the zombies had wigs, makeup, prosthetics and contact lenses. The first couple of days, youre like, I have the weirdest job in the world and then by month three, theyre just your mates. At the end of the day, the stunt people would come up to me and say, Hey! Id be like, Sorry, which zombie are you? because you cant recognise them with all the make-up. Theyll be like, Im the zombie you killed on Wednesday!

We filmed this two years ago so there are references to the political situation at the time and now, given the context of the pandemic, there are more [contemporary resonances]. Theres a scene where someone takes our temperatures. At the time, I was like, Whats that? A thermogun? And now, every time I leave the house, I get thermogunned and its become normal. What struck me when I watched the film a couple of weeks ago was how realistically it was written that we adapted to this large-scale trauma, in both real life and in the movie. Zacks created this world that now doesnt feel so far removed from real life because weve seen how crazy the world can get.

Im in Vancouver at the moment filming the Showtime series Yellowjackets [a survival drama with Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis]. The pilot is so cool. I think its going to be very unique and edgy.

White chocolate and raspberry muffins! [laughs] I was based in Los Angeles for the majority of lockdown. I was reading through my journal a couple of nights ago, and I was like, Wow! I grew up. A lot of stuff went down in my personal life and I had to find hobbies. Ive been working since I was nine years old. I feel like I was sort of deficient in other parts of my life. My relationships got stronger. I discovered that I love plants, painting and writing poetry. I went camping for a month in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. I learned a lot about myself and overcame some demons.

I didnt realise that with this support system that Ive relied on to be there for me my friends and family who love me and who I love sometimes you have to tell them you love them. Now what Im finding interesting is choosing how to spend my time and the people I surround myself with, and how that has a direct impact on my mental health. I had some big talks this year. Ive got friends of 15 years and we havent had a deep conversation in five or six years. Time doesnt stop like that very often and it wont stop in the future, so its about taking that time out to do that.

Spring! Weve had nice weather here, people are going outside, starting to get vaccinated and it does feel like a slow reemergence of the world. Its really beautiful to see friends reuniting on the streets. I say this tentatively [laughs]. I hope Im not tempting fate!

Army of the Dead will be on Netflix from 21 May 2021

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Ella Purnell On Netflix's Zombie Heist Action Movie 'Army Of The Dead' - British Vogue

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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