We had the pleasure to talk to Paul, writer of, and actor starring in Unhallowed Ground…
Please tell us about the film…
A group of six students must spend a night patrolling the prestigious Dhoultham School as part of an assessment for a cadet initiative. The school is supposedly haunted by the spirits of four boys who died gruesomely during the Great Plague of London and it isn’t long before things start going bump in the night. They are also faced with two burglars breaking into Dhoultham’s archive, which is a vault of priceless historical documents. The students are soon separated and the situation becomes life threatening as they collide with the burglars and the supernatural forces become malevolently aggressive,
Who do you play in the movie and what are they like?
I play a character called Rishi Patel who is one of the three boys. If you like, he is the ‘nerdy one’. He is introverted and very book-smart. We join him during what should be a time of great celebration as he has just got into Cambridge University but his parents’ impending divorce has dashed that. However, as the dramatic events of the film start to transpire, Rishi begins to come into his own and we get to see a lot of resolve and grit in him.
What drew you to the film?
I wrote the screenplay and my Dad, Neville Raschid, produced it so let’s just say I had a vested interest in it from the start! But acting was actually my first passion in the industry from a young age, so I suppose I always like to write parts in the script that I feel I could throw my hat in the ring to play!
Were there any supernatural goings on whilst you were on set?
I heard the location staff who closed up at the end of the day, say that the old attic always creeped them out. Whenever they locked it up, they got in and out very quickly because it would always groan and creak, the wind would shake the windows and there were loads of dark nooks and crannies. They said they were always terrified the door would slam behind them! Suffice to say I never actually went up there during the shoot!
Do you believe in ghosts? Tell us why?
In the most literal sense, I have mixed feelings about ghosts, as there has never been a single conclusive piece of evidence regarding their existence. I have also never had a supernatural experience myself (touch wood!). On the other hand, there is part of me that believes there could be something out there.
Who is the biggest prankster from the cast?
Probably Tom Law. While he never did anything too dramatic in a prank sense, he was always winding people up and having fun.
If you could spend an evening with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
As a film maker, probably Alfred Hitchcock. The master of suspense. A pioneer. A genius. An evening wouldn’t be enough because there’s so much I’d want to ask him! Or Jim Morrison of The Doors. A genius in his own right and if it were an evening, I hope he’d invite me to a party afterwards!
What was the last film you saw?
The last film I saw was ‘Deliver Us From Evil’. It was a good ride and I always have time for Eric Bana’s work.
Who is the funniest member of the cast?
Believe it or not, it was actually Will Thorp who plays the burglar ‘Shane’. You wouldn’t think it because he’s quite a powerful, intimidating looking guy, but he is absolutely hilarious. He has an outrageous, dry sense of humour. One-liners, anecdotes, you name it; he had us in stitches a lot!
What is your favourite memory of making the film?
Probably the time spent in between shooting with the cast and crew! Everyone all got on fantastically, so a lot of fun time was had at work and at the pub afterwards! Having such a fun, family atmosphere makes a big difference in low-budget films and makes it a lot easier to get through the tough times. So the general environment was probably my favourite memory!
Unhallowed Ground will be released on selected screens across the UK on 12th June 2015, followed by the online and DVD release on 29th June and 13th July and the film will be introduced to foreign markets at Cannes 2015.