Friday, June 10, 2016

Interview: Yvonne Zima Takes on Two Roles in Lifetime's Killing Mommy

Yvonne Zima
photo by Danika Singfield
You might know Yvonne Zima for playing Mark Greene’s daughter, Rachel, on “ER.” From 2009-12, she played Daisy Carter Romalotti on “The Young and the Restless.” She’s also been in numerous blockbuster feature films, like “Heat,” “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” “Bed of Roses,” and “Iron Man 3,” to name a few. Next up for this talented actress: playing twin sisters Deb and Juliana Hansen in the Lifetime original movie “Killing Mommy,” which premieres June 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The story goes: When their mother announces her plans to remarry and sell the family estate, twin sisters Juliana and Deb have different reactions to the news. Juliana feels her mother will continue to support her, while Deb begins to threaten her mother’s happiness to the point of threatening her life.

Celebrity Extra: What did you think when you first heard you’d get to play twins?

Yvonne Zima: I haven’t seen the finished product yet, but I’ve seen pieces of it, and the parts I saw of the twins together, the special effects are pretty cool. And it’s cool to watch, but it’s also weird for me because I don’t like watching myself, so I definitely don’t like watching two of myself.

But I think it’s a really wonderful script. It was written by Trent Haaga. He gave us a really fun script, but I think he took the typical Lifetime movie to the next level, and I can’t wait to see just how fun it will be to watch.

CE: I know you’ve previously worked on another Lifetime movie; what made you decide to be a part of this one?

YZ: The person behind all these films is Peter David. He has made, I think, at least 200 of these movies. He’s French-Canadian. He smokes. He swears. He’s a real person. So working with him again was a big factor. He’s elegant and an old-school producer. Also it’s nice to get to work with the same people. It’s the same crew. I felt like I was coming home to these people, who are just wonderful at their jobs. They’re a little family, which is really nice.

And from the first time around (in “The Girl He Met Online”) to this one (“Killing Mommy”), this one appeared darker. I don’t think I would have done it if they were similar or the same kind of film. It’s so different. So much more fun. And it’s challenging playing two people.

CE: How did you prepare for the difficulty of playing two different characters, making them separate from each other, each with her own personality?

YZ: The preparation was trying to keep these two people separate and to find characters that are quite opposite. You have Juliana, who is a materialistic brat. Then you have Deb, who is kind of a barfly and completely in pain. She’s emotionally stunted and not really able to deal with her pain. She drinks and she smokes and she gets into fights. For those kinds of people, it’s not like they want to do that, it’s just that they are in pain a lot of the time and it’s an outlet.

Keeping those two people separate was the main challenge because you don’t want to watch a movie where you have twins and they are doing the same stuff and they seem the same. A lot of it helped with the look of the character to keep them separate. And just preparing, obviously, reading the script several times, and knowing it backward and forward. But really, knowing the inner life of these two separate characters and their separate relationships with their mother, which I think every family has.

CE: You get to work with your sister in this movie too.

YZ: Yes, Juliana has a best friend — played by my sister, Vanessa Zima — who’s richer than her, and she’s always trying to keep up with the Joneses. She always trying to buy the nicer purse — and that might be a motive for the plot to thicken. That was amazing, because Vanessa and I didn’t have to work on a relationship. We didn’t have to act when we were together. We are best friends. Onscreen, that will be a genuine interaction. Vanessa did a fabulous job. She’s really fun to watch in this. I’m excited to see it to watch her.

CE: Your other sister, Madeline, is also an actress. I loved her as Mia in “Californication” and how she put Hank Moody in his place.

YZ: It’s delightful to watch her as this wicked character that you love to hate. You want to see someone like Hank Moody get slightly tortured because he’s flawed. He’s flawed and you’re like: “You know what? Someone should screw that guy over. Not just one but all of the ladies out there.”

CE: We need to get all three of you sisters together on a project soon.

YZ: We should at least play the Brontë sisters. There were so many of them, or at least enough that we can each play a sister.

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