Til Death Do Us Part is the latest action movie that audiences should get excited for. It’s got an intriguing story, brilliant performances and kick-ass action to boot. Sure, the movie does draw many similarities to movies like Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill and the action/comedy, Ready or Not, but Til Death Do Us Part offers more than enough to make it stand out among the rest.
Til Death Do Us Part tells the story of a Bride who, after running from the altar, is pursued by an array of deadly groomsmen as they attempt to get her back to her groom. The Bride puts up one hell of a fight however, as she proves that the groomsmen are in for more than they bargained for.
Playing the lead character, aptly named The Bride, Natalie Burn recently sat down with MovieWeb to discuss her role in the movie, as well as her love for action movies and for doing her own stunts and fight choreography.
Til Death Do Us Part’s Critical Praise
Early reviews have praised Til Death Do Us Part as a delightful throwback to ’80s action thrillers; we spoke to Burn on July 27th prior to the film’s wider release. When asked about the movie’s critical success ahead of the film’s release, Natalie Burn said, “I am incredibly honored and happy and thrilled. And of course, shocked.” She continued, “I can’t wait for everybody to see the movie. Because, you know, we’ve only shown it to a few people […] And yeah, I’m just thrilled and excited”.
Natalie Burn had her hands full when Til Death Do Us Part was in production, as both it’s lead and also a producer on the film. “I think it’s always challenging when you’re doing, multiple roles,” said Burn on her experience juggling her roles. “Being an indie producer, and doing a movie like this, you have to wear several hats to just make it happen. Because you don’t have enough time, you don’t have enough capabilities. You don’t have enough people. So it’s definitely a challenge. But I mean, we made it happen.”
Parallels to Kill Bill and Ready or Not
As previously mentioned, Til Death Do Us Part draws a lot of similarities to movies like Ready or Not and Kill Bill. At least on its surface. The movie sells itself as an action/horror/comedy that sees a bride go on a kick-ass murder spree. Natalie Burn’s character draws a lot of inspiration from movie characters like The Bride, or, Beatrix Kiddo from the Kill Bill movies, as well as Samara Weaving’s Grace from Ready or Not. When asked about these comparisons, Natalie Burn was overjoyed to be compared to these iconic movies.
Oh my god, I love Kill Bill. I think it’s an incredible film and the fact that we’ve been compared to a Tarantino movie, I think I feel like we did something right.
However, and as audiences will find out for themselves, Til Death Do Us Part does manage to put itself on its pedestal away from these bigger films. “I think we have a slightly different movie, though,” said Natalie. “And I feel like when people watch it, because based on the trailer, I guess, and the concept itself, you see the bride, and she fights to survive. I mean, that makes sense why they would compare us to those two films.”
“But at the same time, I think we hold our own,” Natalie continued. “Because we have such a genre-bending film, you know, it starts off like a rom-com and has comedy in it, and then it has action. You know, it has a bunch of horror [elements] as well and thriller and suspense. So I feel like it’s just a mixture of different things that people are used to seeing […] People are gonna love watching it, and they’re going to go back and see it again and again, because honestly, there’s a lot more to it than the trailer shows,” finished Burn.
When asked who would win in a fight between the three badass brides, Natalie said: “Oh my god, I’m hoping that it would be my character. But I mean, I guess it depends on the situation. But I’m gonna, of course, vouch for myself. When my character gets angry, she gets really, really angry.”
“Which is a great arc I feel like the director managed to showcase in the film, that my character starts off being like a rom-com, happy to get married [character], and then all of a sudden she leaves the wedding, and then she gets really angry once the groomsmen show up at the house, forced to bring her back and she just denies it. She goes, ‘No, I’m not going back. That’s it, I’m done.’ And throughout the film, she gets a little bit more and more angry and her fights just accelerate and get nastier and more brutal, and if my character is really angry, it’s tough. She will just kick butt.”
Natalie Burn Does Her Own Stunts and Fight Choreography
There are hardly no better or more immersive action movies than when an actor does their own stunts and fight choreography. Actors like Jackie Chan, Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, Michelle Yeoh, and Charlize Theron have been doing it for years. Among these is Natalie Burn, and with her extensive and impressive background in ballet, Burn always infuses her characters with both elegance and brutality in her fight scenes. On top of that, she isn’t afraid to do her own stunts. In movies like Acceleration, opposite Dolph Lungdren, and now Til Death Do Us Part, Natalie Burn has more than proven herself as an action movie powerhouse.
When asked if she believes whether it’s important in action movies for actors to do their own stunts, Burn replied, “I do believe so. Yes, especially nowadays.” She elaborated:
“I feel like you want to be on camera as much as possible, because there are so many different things that directors and producers and the filmmakers can cut to nowadays, to have some people that come in and take your fights, and then you have AI now, and all kinds of stuff. So I feel like as much of the abilities as you can do as a person and just showcase your own talent, and as real as you can stay in front of the camera, the better it will look.”
Burn then went on to praise the director, Timothy Woodward Jr., and the movie’s cinematographer, Pablo Diez, and their fondness for realism. “I feel like that’s exactly what we wanted to achieve with this film, the way the director shot it with with with our DP — both of them are Emmy winners, by the way — I feel like they both wanted that realism and to keep it as grounded as possible,” said Natalie, “and just like, what would happen if you had to survive? If you had to, like, run away? What would you be doing? How would you be fighting?”
“So that’s why, I think in this case, it was very important for me to learn my own choreography, and do all the stunts by myself, because the way that [Timothy Woodward Jr.] was shooting, the camera was constantly on us, and we were always wide. So you could see us doing everything. I think that’s important for any action movie. So obviously, if you want to be an action star and you want to do more of those kinds of films, I think it is important to learn as much stunt training as you can possibly do, so that you’re prepared when it comes to it.”
Burn finished her statement by praising Tom Cruise, and revealed that she used to train with the same Jiu Jitsu trainer as another action star who does their own stunts. “Keanu Reeves trains with the same Jiu Jitsu guy that I used to train with, Rigan Machado. So, you know, it just adds something special and the audience feel like they’re inside the story and inside the screen, so they can actually see for themselves what’s happening during the fight. And it’s more unpredictable that way, and it’s definitely more connected,” Burn explained.
Nonetheless, Burn is an actor first and foremost, as she explained:
I don’t announce myself as a stunt woman. I just enjoy doing my own stunts. And I am definitely trained as a professional like stunt woman, but I don’t want to take people’s jobs because of that.
Til Death Do Us Part’s Action
No matter how experienced of a fighter or stunt person you are, training is always incredibly difficult, and when asked how the training went for her many, many fight scenes, Burn said:
“The training itself, I trained maybe for like a month or few weeks before,” said Burn before talking about how important it is to train for your endurance. “I always change it so that I know I can handle things physically, not so much the choreography part, because I tend to memorize things fast because of my ballet background. So I kind of memorize it like a dance. But training’s just important for your endurance, because the takes go on non-stop” she continued before elaborating:
“Sometimes you have to do one little piece, it’s like 10 seconds, you have to go and do it like multiple times, the same choreography. So obviously if you’re doing a backflip 10 times in a row or a split, you want to be warmed up, you want to be prepared, and you want to be physically ready to take on a new challenge. So that to me is very important before any kind of action movie, that I stay physically fit.
“Every scene was a lot of fun. Every fight was just unique. The way that the director set it up for us is that he wanted every single fight to have its own identity,” said Burn before discussing the small challenges which the fight scenes brought. “Every groomsman had their own character, like they had their own kind of signature. So the fights were basically created per each groomsman, and I think it shows the different styles that I fight depending on the person. And that was fun, but also challenging.”
Natalie Burn’s Final Fight
Working on an indie film similarly presents many problems, specifically time and budgetary constraints, which Burn discussed in depth. She said that, like with anything, she wished she had more time shooting the fight scenes in order to perfect them and elevate them even further. “And of course, like always, when you have to rush on indie films — you have to constantly rush — you’re running out of time, you feel like you want to do more,” Burn said. “And I wish we had even more time, so we can explore the fights even more, and add even more fights.”
What the team did manage to do with the time they had is impressive, nonetheless, and one of Til Death Do Us Part‘s most captivating and appealing aspects is the diverse array of varied martial arts styles on show. For example, one scene is filled with Jiu Jitsu while another will see The Bride go toe-to-toe with a Capoeira master. However, when asked what her most challenging fight was in the film, Burn revealed, “To be honest, I was very scared of the final fight,” in which The Bride takes on The Groom.
“I think maybe because neither me nor, Ser’Darius Blain, who plays The Groom, is a professional stunt person,” said Burn. “Ser’Darius is like me, he also just basically enjoys doing his own stunts.” Burn elaborated on why this final fight posed the biggest challenge: “I was worried that we would just do stuff to make ourselves get hurt or whatever. And he’s this big guy, he’s so big. I’ve worked with him before, on two other movies in Puerto Rico, called The Fortress and The Fortress 2 with Bruce Willis.” She continued:
“He was amazing. You know, he’s a great, great guy, great actor, and like a dear friend of mine. And so when we brought him aboard the project, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t wait for that scene.’ But I was also like, really, really scared. Because that fight is gonna be brutal. It’s gonna look real. But everything was safe. You know, everything was great. We did everything, we were all prepared and professional. So everything worked out well.”
From Ballet to Martial Arts
Among being a hard-working and inspiring action movie role model, Natalie Burn was previously an accomplished ballet dancer. She attended the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy, and later the Royal Ballet School in London, before going on to become a dance choreographer where she created her own mesmerizing show, AstroBallet. “My first love is towards ballet, and I was a ballerina. My mom was a ballerina, so she first took me to ballet, I think, when I was like, three years old,” said Burn.
Burn’s mother was a large influence on why she became a ballerina in the first place, stating that:
I guess she was like, “Ballet is gonna make her look more proper and womanly when she’s older.” Because it does shape you in this, I guess, physically trained shape as a dancer. You always know when the dancer is a dancer. So originally, that’s why she was like, “Well, she’s gonna learn ballet, and she’s gonna master this technique, and she’ll be flexible, she’ll have the ability and discipline.” And then I guess I just fell in love with it.
Burn’s transition into the film industry and the martial arts world came later in her life. “I danced for like 20 years, and that’s kind of where my transition came into acting, and then later on because of the martial arts,” Burn stated, before praising her favorite action movies and female action stars. “It’s because I literally love, like, Kill Bill, I love the John Wick movies […] I always thought, ‘Oh my God, it would be so amazing to be one of those action heroes,” Burn said. “I love Alien, Sigourney Weaver is my hero, I love that film. And I was like, ‘I want to play powerful women like that.'”
Burn capped off the interview by talking about her transition and how fluid it was. “I also knew that because of my abilities as a dancer, I thought I have an advantage. I can possibly learn how to choreograph and then remember the choreography faster. So it was definitely an easy transition for me to understand, that this is probably the path for me to take as an actor, and as a martial artist later.” Watching Til Death Do Us Part, it’s clear that Natalie Burn’s transition into action hero is complete.
Til Death Do Us Part is now playing exclusively in theaters.