Leo Grillo Interview - June 10, 2006 List | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Zyzzyx Rd.

Prior to filming Grey's Anatomy, Katherine took a leading role in the independent film Zyzzyx Rd. portraying a beautiful seductress named Marissa.

Zyzzyx Rd. was produced by Leo Grillo, who also had a starring role in the film as Grant, a married accountant who falls for Marissa's charms.

We called Leo to chat about the movie, take a peek behind the scenes and to discuss Katie's involvement in the film - which also features Tom Sizemore.
How would you describe Zyzzyx Rd. to our readers?
It is a suspenseful and twist-filled thriller that begins after a married accountant (Leo Grillo) is caught in a roadside motel having an affair with a beautiful seductress named Marissa (Katherine Heigl) that he met in a Vegas casino. When her enraged boyfriend (Tom Sizemore) busts in on them, he is forced into hand to hand combat and inadvertently kills him. Faced with the harsh reality of betrayal and murder they are forced into the desert to dispose of the body. He needs to make a conscious decision, and does...with ultimate consequences in an unpredictable story that will keep you guessing all the way to the end.
How did you become involved with the film?

I was interviewing John Penney (the writer) to commission him to write a script, which incidentally he has written and we are shooting in another week, called "Magic". As an afterthought I asked him what he was working on and he jumped out of his chair and he told me that he was working on this film called "Zyzzyx Road" - three people in the desert - and I thought, "Wow, what could it cost?...that'd be great!". So I read the treatment and said "okay, let's make yours!". So we went ahead and made Zyzzyx Road and of course it's so creative, and cost a lot more than I thought, because three people in the desert means you have to do a lot of interesting stuff to keep people's attention. It is a scary thriller.

Your involvement in the film was both in front and behind the camera - as an actor and the executive producer. Was it difficult to combine both roles and which did you find most challenging?
Yes, and I'm getting better at it, because that is my combination - an executive producer and actor. I made one mistake on that movie - I signed the checks. So even though I tried to pretend I was only an actor during the shoot, everybody came to me with problems because it was my name on the checks. So in a week when we start shooting our next movie "Magic", my name is not on the checks and nobody is going to know that I'm anything other than an actor. But yeah, it was challenging. Fortunately when I go out there when they say "action" I'm in character and I can do it, but it's not as pleasant as it is to the other actors who are just focusing on their acting. On the business side there's constantly problems, so yeah, that is a challenge.