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Talking ‘Tasmanian Devils’ with Apolo Ohno and Danica McKellar

5 years ago by Reg Seeton
Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno in Tasmanian Devils on Syfy - Photo: Syfy

Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno in Tasmanian Devils on Syfy – Photo: Syfy

Olympic speed skating champion Apolo Ohno and former Wonder Years actress Danica McKellar star in Tasmanian Devils on Syfy Saturday, January 19 at 9/8c.

Although Apolo Ohno won Olympic speed skating gold in Turn and Salt Lake City along with Season 4 of Dancing with the Stars, Ohno now has his sights set on winning as an actor. Following a brief role on Hawaii 5-O, Ohno now jumps over to Syfy for some horror fun.

This Saturday, Apolo Ohno makes an appearance in the new Syfy original movie Tasmanian Devils about daredevil base jumpers who lose a team member in a bloody jumping disaster while tresspassing on a remote mountain in Tasmania . Their presence on sacred land stirs up an ancient aboriginal curse, provoking an attack by giant Tasmanian Devils.

Ahead of the Syfy premiere of Tasmanian Devils, The Deadbolt caught up with Olympic speed skating champ Apolo Ohno and actress Danica McKellar to get the scoop on Ohno’s crossover into acting, his inside edge on preparation, and what McKellar loved about chasing Tasmanian monsters.

Apolo Ohno appears in the Syfy original Tasmanian Devils on January 19 - Photo: Syfy

Apolo Ohno appears in the Syfy original Tasmanian Devils on January 19 – Photo: Syfy

THE DEADBOLT: Apolo, you’ve talked in the past about not knowing what it meant to be an Olympic athlete before the 1998 Olympic Trials. With acting, is it a similar starting point for you?

APOLO OHNO: I think so. I think it’s very similar. With acting, you often hear of people practicing the art and craft for ten, twelve, fifteen years before they ever have any type of a break. It’s very much like Olympic athletes. There are hundreds of Olympic athletes who perhaps make an Olympic team, or never make an Olympic team, but they’ve trained eight or ten years of their lives and you’ve never heard of them. So, it’s very similar.

I think my starting out as an actor was something that I was very much interested in and I was grateful to be able to have the opportunity to do so. But it’s something I know that I can’t rest on just doing a film and being part of something, it’s an ongoing process. I’m constantly trying my best to learn and to constantly improve.

But it’s hard, man. There are days when I really question whether I have the ability. But that’s what makes it so attractive at the same time.

THE DEADBOLT: Since speed skating requires so much preparation to be great, how has that helped you prepare for a project like this?

OHNO: Well, my role is fairly small. But the preparation from my Olympic pursuits was very beneficial. I’m used to hard work. I’m used to dedication. I’m used to sacrifice and putting my head and my mind toward something solely one-hundred percent. Hopefully it transfers over. I guess you guys will have to be the judge.

Actress Danica McKellar stars in Tasmanian Devils on Syfy - Photo: Syfy

Actress Danica McKellar stars in Tasmanian Devils on Syfy – Photo: Syfy

THE DEADBOLT: Danica, since you’ve also done so much away from acting, what motivates you as an actress today with a project like this?

DANICA MCKELLAR: I’m grateful for all of the variety in my life. Obviously I’ve been acting since I was a kid and now I also write math books for girls. They’re very different types of pursuits but I’m passionate about both of them.

When it comes to acting, I really do love variety. What motivated me to do this was, “This sounds like fun!” I get to run away from monsters and carry a gun. I’m a park ranger in this and it just sounded like a good time.

I’ve got a 1-year old and I’m a new mom, so you just want to get out there and be sexy, do fun things, and this was just what the doctor ordered. I think people are going to have a lot of fun watching it.

Tasmanian Devils airs Saturday, January 19 at 9/8c on Syfy.

What do you think?

Reg Seeton

Reg Seeton created The Deadbolt in 2005 after working for the pioneering movie news website, Coming Attractions. Reg has over 15 years experience as a top online entertainment journalist and interviewer, has worked with several award winning actors, musicians and writers, and has managed entertainment networks in New York and Los Angeles. And he's done it all with one eye!