Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Interview with Actress Melissa Bacelar

Born in New Jersey, Melissa Bacelar started her horror career in 2000. She has worked with Troma Films, Lions Gate, Anchorbay, Halo 8, Brain Damage and more. Melissa is an actress, producer, model and animal activist that has been in over two dozen international men’s magazines. She has done around 20 indie films and a handful of theatrically released thrillers. She has worked opposite Val Kilmer, John Cho, John Schneider, James Gunn and can be seen on both the small screen and big screen. When she is not acting Melissa is rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing homeless animals.

Fatally Yours: How did you fall in love with the horror genre? 

Melissa Bacelar: During my first film shoot. I was amazed at the pure devotion all of the people on the crew had for the genre. These people were working and working really hard for barely any money just to be involved with a horror film. Coming from large budget sets and seeing people who are making a TON of money hating the fact that they have to work and counting the minutes till their next cigarette break…It was amazing.

Fatally Yours: What does horror mean to you?

Melissa Bacelar: Sexy, strong women who kick ass and wear amazing clothes, cool monsters and lots of blood.  It’s a lifestyle, a fantasy that I get to live in most of the time.

Fatally Yours: How and when did you get involved in the horror genre?

Melissa Bacelar: It was about 10 years ago and a friend of mine told me I should audition for this cool film company called Troma. They were casting the Toxic Avenger IV. So, I submitted a head shot and I got a call to come in. That was when it all started.

Fatally Yours: What is one thing you’ve done within the horror genre that you are most proud of?

Melissa Bacelar: I really love Skinned Alive [aka Eat Your Heart Out]! Lions Gate distributed and I play a zombie hooker. This film was so much fun and I loved the role I played! It was a great cast, crew and an amazing script!

Fatally Yours: Do you feel women in horror get the proper recognition when compared to their male counterparts?

Melissa Bacelar: It depends how you look at it. I think women get to have all the fun! We get to dress in cool costumes and get photographed, because I am a woman in horror I have been featured in Maxim, FHM and several other main stream magazines. I get flown to horror conventions and I have the best fans in the world. So yeah, I love the recognition I get. It’s amazing.

Fatally Yours: As a woman in horror, have you found it harder to be taken seriously in a genre that seems to be dominated by males? 

Melissa Bacelar: I don’t think it’s the horror industry I think it’s Hollywood in general…Really it’s life. We choose to be part of an industry that judges people on how they look. Not to say that you have to be stunning or not. It’s just that we play what we look like on screen. So if we look like bimbos or scientists that is what we will be cast as. I think people need to realize we work in a stereotype. We book work because we look like a stereo type. I know what I look like and I know who I am. I am a crazy chick who rescues dogs and is way too nice to everyone. I look like a Barbie doll. So there ya go. I book the hookers, strippers and porn stars. It’s a job and it is really fun.

Fatally Yours: Have you ever felt exploited as a woman by any roles you’ve taken? Have there been certain roles you wouldn’t take because you felt the role was too exploitative? 

Melissa Bacelar: At this point I love every role I have done. You are an actress because you want to be something you can’t be in real life. I play hookers, killers, zombies, strippers… It’s all fun and different from who I am. In real life I spend most of my time rescuing dogs. On film I eat men. If I didn’t like a role I probably wouldn’t take it but it’s fiction, it’s play…It has to push the limits.

Fatally Yours: As an actress, do you feel roles in horror for women tend to be weaker or stronger than those for males? 

Melissa Bacelar: In the past most horror films had male leads, male killers, male monsters. I have been pretty lucky because a lot of the films I have been in were written to have strong females. So, in general most films are predominantly driven by male characters. But even in those films there are extremely memorable women.

Fatally Yours: What are your overall thoughts on how women are portrayed in horror films?

Melissa Bacelar: When you think of horror you immediately think of naked girls kissing and covered in blood. At least I do. I do as a producer, as a woman and as an actress. I think there are women who feel empowered when they are naked and being portrayed as sexy. I do. I love my sexuality. So, I think women are portrayed in many ways. As sex symbols, as cold blooded killers, as victims. We wear a lot of hats.

Fatally Yours: What has been your favorite character you’ve portrayed?

Melissa Bacelar: Pandora in Skinned Alive. She was twisted, hot and a heart breaker.

Fatally Yours: Since you’ve been involved with the horror genre, have you noticed a change in women’s roles within horror whether it be roles in horror films, women behind the camera, women writers, etc.?

Melissa Bacelar: Absolutely! I go to horror conventions and there are little girls with their moms wanted to take pictures with me. Women are fans. They are writers and directors. It’s pretty cool.

Fatally Yours: What inspires, influences and motivates you? 

Melissa Bacelar: First of all I love being in front of a camera. But what truly inspires me is animals. I want to be recognized and make a lot of money so that I can rescue homeless and abused animals and educate the public.

Fatally Yours: What are your goals for yourself within the horror genre?

Melissa Bacelar: I hope to continue to work on interesting projects. Like any actor I hope to create a role that becomes an iconic figure in the genre. I would love to be a female Jason.

Fatally Yours: Where can people find more info on you?

Melissa Bacelarwww.MelissaBacelar.com and on Facebook too!

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