I-Declare-War-Mackenzie-Munro-646x274The hectic I Declare War is out this weekend, brimming with bloody violence and memorable characters. One of the standouts is upcoming actress Mackenzie Munro, who’s previously starred in The Borgias and The Story of Luke, as ‘alpha female’ Jessica. As the sole female in male-dominated cast, Munro talks to HeyUGuys about life growing up in a family of filmmakers, and a bright future of exciting possibilities.

How difficult is it juggling your acting career with the more regular parts of your life, such as school?

Well, my mom is a film executive and my dad is an editor, so I’ve had a life of not being in one place and not having one kind of regular routine, I guess you could say. My school is actually really good with that sort of thing; all of our courses, everything is posted online. So you can take it away, and keep up with the work.

So you come from a family of filmmakers. How was that growing up?

It was fun, but I didn’t fully understand why my mom was always focused on working. I thank God for my life because I love it – but half the time of my whole life, we were in different places. For example, one year we were in Malta while my mum was filming in the Philippines. So I went to school in Malta, and then we would spend part of the summer in the Philippines because my mom was focused on working on the film. That was the only ‘routine’ – a plane there, a plane back.

Growing up with a family of filmmakers, I bet you were exposed to a lot of great films. Any ones that particularly remind you of a great childhood?

Oh, my… I would say Dumb and Dumber… And of course all my mother’s movies, I watched back the other day and it’s funny, the memories of being on set with her. I was a complete set baby, of course.

So we might be able to find you in a few set photos from around the internet then.

Oh yeah, I’m sure there are lots of photos (laughs).

So you’re practically part of film history.

Oh, yeah.

Going back to I Declare War, how fun was it to work with a cast who were all a similar age to yourself?

It was hilarious. There was never one boring day on set, I’ll tell you that much. It was a lot of fun.

Did you feel any pressure knowing you were going to be the only female, or was it not a problem at all?

Erm, well, on the first day I was… but, they made me feel like I was one of them. In the end, we did a full cast reading…. I felt very comfortable. Each one of them, I swear, each one of them has a completely different personality, and it was so refreshing. So it was fantastic.

For a film that’s essentially about a bunch of kids playing in the woods, it’s surprisingly violent. Was the amount of violence something you knew about going in, or was that a bit of a surprise?

Um, well, I’ve got to say I didn’t think it was that violent, but when I realised it was violent, I had a lot more fun (laughs). I loved it.

I’ve read somewhere that Quentin Tarantino might be your favourite director, which kind of ties into you liking violence.

Oh yeah, definitely. He’s one of the top, but also Kathryn Bigelow. One hundred percent.

What are you favourite films by Tarantino and Bigelow?

Tarantino, probably Inglourious Basterds and Django– they’re fantastic. Kathryn Bigelow… I would say The Hurt Locker.

Obviously, I Declare War is quite a – despite its violence – fun picture. It’s essentially a kind of comedy. Do you feel like you could take up a serious role, maybe in a Bigelow movie? Or do you feel like it’s something you’d have to wait for?

I would just be honoured. I would so jump on that. That would be my dream!

So if Kathryn Bigelow comes knocking, you’ll just be straight on it.

Oh yeah, that would be… Wow. I can only dream of that.

On the role of directing, is directing something you might want to pursue in the future yourself?

I actually think, you know, if that opportunity comes up I would definitely take it in a heartbeat. I would jump on it.

Do you know what kind of film you would want to direct?

Yeah, I would love… I like comedies – they’re probably my favourite thing.

You’re obviously still quite young, and acting is just one route that your life could take. So, I was wondering, do you have any other interests that aren’t to do with film that you might want to pursue one day?

Not to do with film? I horseback ride. That’s a huge thing. Actually, speaking of which, I did a TV show called The Borgias, and I always found that wherever I go [there’s horseback riding], that it’s just one of those things that you can kind of like, see the world. When you’re on the horse, it’s just you and the horse.

So when I come to see your first film as director, there’ll be plenty of horse riding in it.

Oh, yeah!

But as an actress, is there any particular kind of role that you would want to play one day? Or a particular genre you’d like to participate in?

A role I would really want to play one day… there are so many. I mean, one that I would love to play is the alpha female.

You kind of play that in I Declare War, though.

Yeah – exactly like that! (Laughs) Exactly like I Declare War. I had so much fun. I can’t even explain how much fun it was. So something like that. Or even, you know, a nice comedy film – for example, Bridesmaids, with Kristen Wiig. I aspire to be like Kristen Wiig.

That would be fantastic. She started off in SNL, so do you think that would be a route you could take?

Yeah, SNL was like… every Saturday night, I’m there!

Any particular sketches you’ve seen on there recently that have tickled your funny bone?

I mean, I’d have to say the one that I will always remember – it was a while ago – Kristen Wiig when they made her forehead huge and had baby arms and she was trying to pop the bubbles. So funny.

How close do you feel that you resemble Jessica [Munro’s character in I Declare War]. How close is she to you in real life?

In real life, I absolutely feel her pain, in a way; but not just her pain, but her power. She’s a leader. And also watching my mother – I know I go back to my mother a lot – but she’s an alpha female. She’s an amazing woman, and I took a lot of that from myself, and from my mother, and put it [in the character]. There’s a few things that I kept in mind when doing it, was her power, and how strong of a woman she is – well, I mean, girl. So there’s definitely a few things we have in common.

I Declare War is out in cinemas Friday 6th June. Read our review here.