A veteran for nearly three decades, Yancy Butler perhaps is best known for her role in John Woo’s Hollywood debut Hard Target opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme and the lead role in the short-lived superhero series Witchblade. On February 21, Butler reunites with her Witchblade co-stars David Chokachi and Eric Etebari as the former co-stars and the latter directs the faith-based heist film Emerald Run.
As this years marks the 20th anniversary of Witchblade, WorldFilmGeek had the chance to speak with Butler about both her old series and the upcoming film.
Yancy, it is great to hear from you. I’ve been a fan for quite some time and I just watched Emerald Run this morning and I absolutely loved it!
Oh wow! Thank you so much! I am so glad you liked it!
What attracted you to Emerald Run?
David [Chokachi] gave me the script and I knew it was going to be a wild ride of a film. However, what also attracted me was the film’s theme of faith and love. It is a journey to see how far this man will go for his family. I loved that twist in the dichotomy and I knew I had to be a part of it.
I’ve been a fan of Eric Etebari, who has done great work in front and behind the cameras. You’ve worked with both Eric and David on Witchblade. How did it feel to reunite with these two on this film?
I’m so happy to hear you say that about Eric. I can’t say enough about these two. We’ve kept in touch over the years because when you’re working on a one-hour episodic show, there are times when you are there for 18 to 19 hours. These guys are like family to me. We gotten really close during Witchblade and I was especially excited to work with Eric because I was quite amazed that he took up directing and he did a phenomenal job. We didn’t have much money in the budget, but Eric knew how to get around it and he is definitely someone I would work with again. I had such a blast making this film.
For those interested in the film, can you describe your character of Anna?
Definitely! So Anna is the wife of our lead character John and what’s interesting about her is that she is very religious. She thinks God will solve all problems and when Anna finds herself disappointed, she really lets out how she feels. She wonders if God can cure her daughter’s sickness or will God make John a better person. For me, it was a bit of a stretch because Anna is very religious, but I’m not. I would say I’m spiritual, but I’m not full blown religious. But yeah, that’s Anna in a nutshell.
Did you see the final film and if so, what would be your favorite scene?
I did see the final cut and well, I’m not going to spoil anything (laughs), but I really liked the ending because there was a certain twist that was unexpected.
I know exactly where you are talking about and I have to say when the twist was revealed, even my jaw dropped (Laughs).
(Laughs) Exactly, and that is why I really enjoyed making this. That twist also made my jaw drop!
So, this year marks the 20th anniversary of Witchblade. How exciting was it to play a superhero?
I know, can you believe it? We were doing something for CBS and it just came up! It was really exciting to play the hero. Originally, Oliver Stone was attached to it, but even though he had dropped out of it, I was still attached. Oliver is one of those really good acquaintances. We originally had planned just a TV-movie and it became the most-watched TV-movie that summer for TNT.
I have to admit, I never read the comic book before taking on the role. But, when I finally read it, I was so enthralled with her dealing with the supernatural and even thought it was short-lived, I really enjoyed the series. I felt it was ahead of its time, but It was two great years well worth spending.
Aside from Eric and David, have you kept in touch with any of the other cast members?
Of course. Will [Yun Lee] and I keep in touch. Basically, everyone I worked with on the show I keep in touch with. We became a family while making the film and it is so great to keep in touch today.
Are there any new projects in the works that you can talk about?
Yes! I have two horror films due for release. The first of them, Dembanger, just got a spot at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas, so I am really excited about that! The film was directed by John Berardo and it involved social media and killings. The other film is called Severed Silence and that one is yet to be released.
That’s awesome! Well, I am a huge horror film fan so I am definitely looking forward to these two.
Oh that’s so great to hear!
Finally, do you have a message for the fans?
Yes! Thank you so much for all your support and keep following me because I am still moving on ahead and can’t wait to tell you all what’s next!
Emerald Run comes to theaters on February 21 and this is a great meshing of faith-based film and heist film. Yancy, it’s been great talking to you, and I can’t wait to see Dembanger and more of your upcoming films.
Thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed Emerald Run. Thanks for having me!
A Special Thank You goes out to October Coast PR and Yancy Butler for making this interview possible!