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Mikaela Hoover talks ‘Zombie Basement,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ and more

Mikaela Hoover
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

While Mikaela Hoover is not yet a household name, she has been very busy with a lot of upcoming projects. She makes a cameo appearance in the new Marvel film “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which releases to theaters on Aug. 1, and she will soon be seen in a new web series called “Zombie Basement,” as well as a few short films.

Many may recognize her from her appearances on TV shows such as “Two and a Half Men”; “How I Met Your Mother”; and “Happy Endings.” Hoover also appeared in the Rainn-Wilson starring feature “Super,” which was helmed by “Guardians” director James Gunn.

“Zombie Basement” tells the story of how two college-aged friends try to fight off the boredom of the zombie apocalypse. They create a web series for themselves and to show off to the survivors around the world. Their new series includes interviews, social commentary, and air hockey -- the only sports-related thing they discuss. Their personal lives are also captured on camera for the survivors to see.

Along with Hoover, the show also stars Ashley Fink (“Glee”) and Angela Kinsey (“The Office”). It is scheduled to premiere sometime in the fall and can be viewed on its offical website.

In this exclusive interview with the Chico Movie Examiner, Hoover talks about how she came across “Zombie Basement”; how there is a possibility that web series may receive a golden era like television is today; and what she would do if the zombie apocalypse happened today. She also talks about how even though her role in “Guardians” is minor, she has been getting a lot of press in regards to it. Check out the full interview below.

David Wangberg: You’ve got quite a few projects coming out. Are you just constantly doing press, or do you actually have time to do your own thing and to have fun as well?

Mikaela Hoover: Well, I was just in Washington – I’m from Colbert, Wash. I was in my hometown for two weeks, which was so nice to be able to take a break from everything and to go camping and spend time at the lake. That was my vacation time, but now it’s back to the grind. But I might go to Big Bear this weekend.

DW: And, at least, you get the weekends off to go out and explore, too. There’s always that.

MH: Yeah, definitely.

DW: About “Zombie Basement,” I love the idea of them trying to fend off their boredom by creating this web series.

MH: It’s so funny.

DW: What’s great is that it’s a web series about a web series; there’s that meta humor to it. Was that part of the reason why you were drawn to this?

MH: Yeah. And, also, one of the directors, Randall Whittinghill, was my acting coach; I met him on “Happy Endings.” It was a straight offer to play Kim Kim. They sent me the script, and I was like, “Oh, my God, this is so funny.” And I was like, “I’m in.”

I was also drawn to it because of the actors that are in it like Angela Kinsey, Ashley Fink, Daryl Sabara, and Graham Rogers. They’re really talented, funny actors, so it was a no-brainer to jump on board. And then one of the two directors, Brian Dannelly, did the movie, “Saved!,” which I was a huge fan of. So, I was like, “This would be so fun to do.”

DW: There was an article I came across this morning, and it had the 25 best web series out right now. And we’re in this era where it’s the golden age of television, where AMC, FX, HBO, and all of these channels are having so many great shows. Do you think there’s a possibility that there will be a golden age of web series as well?

MH: Definitely. I don’t know if you noticed, but I started out on McG’s show, “Sorority Forever,” which was a web series for the WB; I was one of the leads on that. And that was quite a few years ago. There was a lot of press on that, and we thought that was going to be a huge thing.

I also think that it’s harder to do drama with web series – for it to come across. I think people go on the web to see funnier videos and to be entertained. I think drama is really hard to come across on the web, so that didn’t work as well as we had hoped. But I think now everybody is getting all of their information off the web. I know I do; I watch a lot of my stuff through Apple TV, Hulu, and Amazon. That’s exciting that they’re focusing on the top 25 web series; that’s really cool.

DW: And a lot of shows that air on Showtime or HBO have their own spinoffs that are web series only.

MH: I know. “Dexter” had that; I’m a huge “Dexter” fan.

But I remember “Dexter” had something like that where it could go on and do something web series-related. It’s becoming bigger and bigger.

DW: What I like about “Zombie Basement” is that it focuses more on how they survive the boredom of the zombie apocalypse and not so much how they survive from being eaten.

MH: The whole thing is just so off-the-wall humor; it’s all about how they’re going to entertain themselves with everything that’s going on. It’s as if they couldn’t care less that the world is ending, but they take the humor out of it, which is really cool.

DW: If the zombie apocalypse were to happen right now, and you were going to try to prevent yourself from being bored, what would be some of the things you would do to not be bored?

MH: Well, I always say if there was a zombie apocalypse that I would just join the zombies. I’d give up, because I think it would be such a pain in the a** having to spend your life in fear and running from these zombies. I’ll just be like, “I’m a follower. I’m joining you guys. F*** this.” [laughs]

For boredom wise, I don’t know what I would do. I’d probably be doing the same thing they’re doing – making little web series and trying to entertain myself that way.

DW: Are you much of a zombie person? Do you watch “The Walking Dead,” “Dawn of the Dead,” or any of those?

MH: I have a friend who was in one episode of “The Walking Dead,” so I supported him and watched that show. But I’m not a big zombie person. For some reason, that doesn’t appeal to me. I’m a huge horror fan, but the zombie part is more comical to me than it is scary.

It’s weird because that actually could happen. But like I said, it doesn’t scare because I’d be like, “Well, I’m joining them. It looks like I’m going to become a zombie with you guys.” I would just give up. [laughs]

DW: Is “Zombie Basement” going to have spurts where they get attacked by zombies or is it just all going to be straight humor?

MH: It’s straight humor, but they go through the experience of seeing people turn into zombies. It is more humor, but it is also kind of gory, too, like the death scenes; it’s intense. There’s humor in it, but there is also some gore, but it’s definitely more humor-based.

DW: When is this going to premiere?

MH: You would have to ask my girl, Hayley [Stirling], about that. I don’t know the exact date, and I don’t want to give you a wrong date.

DW: OK. I just heard it was the fall, but I don’t know if you had a specific date yet.

MH: Yeah, I think that’s what they’re saying right now is the fall.

DW: Another project I saw that you’re doing is “Hide and Seek,” and it’s a short film. But I couldn’t really find much about it other than what you had said in some other interviews. Are the creators trying to keep hidden as much as possible?

MH: I think so. It’s a horror short. I went to Peter Safran, who produced “The Conjuring. I always get cast in comedies, and I said, “Peter, I’ve got to get something going where I can do something that has to do with horror.” He contacted his friend, Ken, and he had a script, and we just did a little short film that Carlos Torren directed; he did “Apartment 143.”

We did it in a few days, and it was a lot of fun; it was really fun. It’s a different concept; it’s like a psychological horror, and it should be hitting the festivals very soon.

DW: I’ll keep an eye out for that. Another thing I saw was that you were in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” But Hayley was telling me that you haven’t really been mentioning your part in that because it’s so small.

MH: Yeah, it was really cut down. I play Glenn Close’s assistant, but it’s such a small role and such a small little thing. It’s like a little cameo; you see me and then you don’t. Before the premiere, I’m sitting by some of the big actors in the movie, and these two guys came up and asked if they could get a picture with me, and I was like, “Why the hell do you want a picture with me?”

But they knew my character, and I was like, “What?! How does that even happen?” That was really surreal and cool.

DW: Well, even though you’re in it for a very small time, I’ve seen a couple articles [about you]. One said you were the “most beautiful member of Nova Corps” and another did a sort of in-depth look at you.

MH: I know! It’s so nice. [laughs]

DW: [laughs] Does the publicity kind of surprise you, since the role you have is very minor?

MH: Yeah. I went with James Gunn, the director and writer, to the premiere; he’s my best friend. We did a show together called “Sparky & Mikaela” that also had a raccoon in it. [laughs] It’s also just off-the-wall funny, weird humor.

I went with him, and I wasn’t going to walk the carpet. I didn’t plan on walking the carpet – just planned on being there for James. I was standing there, and one of the photographers recognized me and yelled at me, “Come stand on the carpet; come pose.” So I just started posing, and all of these pictures came out on What Would Tyler Durden Do,, and all these others. I was really shocked; I couldn’t believe it.

DW: And a lot of the stuff you had done prior to “Guardians of the Galaxy”… you did “How I Met Your Mother” and “Two and a Half Men,” but they were all one or two episodes, so you weren’t really on a whole lot of series before then.

MH: Yeah, I know. And “Happy Endings,” I would say, was my biggest recurring role. It had the most lines, and that was like a real character, I would say.

DW: Prior to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” you and James Gunn worked together on “Super.”

MH: Yes! We did the movie, “Super,” together. That’s where I met Nathan [Fillion].

DW: What’s the biggest difference between working with the James Gunn who directed you in “Super” and working with the James Gunn who directed you in “Guardians of the Galaxy?”

MH: He’s the same person; he’s f***ing amazing. [laughs] I mean I worked with James on… [“Guardians”] was my sixth project with him since I met him. I’ve known him for seven years. He has been so generous with me. Like I said, he created “Sparky & Mikaela”; I did a show called “Humanzee!” with him; I did “PG Porn” with him; “Super”; “Guardians”; and then another little show.

I’m so grateful for him, and the great thing is he can never change; he’s the same guy he’s always been. And he’s got such an eye for directing, and he’s so great with actors; he’s an actor’s director. Working with him is the dream every time.

DW: That was my last question. Is there anything you would like to add that I might not have brought up?

MH: I also have a short film circling around, and I do want to get some press out about it. It’s called “Another Happy Anniversary.” It’s a comedy.

DW: What’s it about?

MH: Nikki Deloach and Hayes MacArthur are in a relationship, and for the anniversary, the wife knows that he’s always wanted a threesome, so she says, “Let’s try to do this.” And it’s about the aftermath of that and how she gets jealous; the different turns it takes; and stuff like that. That’s also a really cute short that I did that’s coming out soon.

DW: Well thank you, Mikaela; it was a pleasure talking to you and congratulations on all of your work.

MH: Thank you. The biggest thing I want to say is that I’m so grateful for all the press that “Guardians,” so far, has gotten and all the websites that have all that stuff, like “the hottest [babe] in the galaxy.” I’m like, “What the s***?” It’s unreal. [laughs] I’m very, very grateful. I’m shocked, but I’m very grateful and very excited.

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