Monday, February 1, 2010

Interview with Actress Felissa Rose

Felissa Rose began her acting career in the 80′s slasher Sleepaway Camp. She has since acted in many more genre films including Satan’s Playground, Zombiegeddon, Horror and Return to Sleepaway Camp.

She’s worked for several years as a consultant to Fangoria. Felissa also participated in His Name was Jason and Going to Pieces, two extraordinary documentaries in horror.  Today, Felissa acts, produces and raises a family in Southern California.

Fatally Yours: What are your first memories of the horror genre and what made you fall in love with it?

Felissa Rose: I think seeing the trailer for The Shining had me mesmerized and Magic as well. I felt an intense and scary feeling but I was fascinated so I had to watch! The 80′s films I grew up on were so incredible, they molded the genre and had me terrified which is hard to do today.

Fatally Yours: What does horror mean to you?

Felissa Rose: It’s a complex, psychological roller coaster that takes you by the throat and never releases. I’m always held captive with a terrific film and feel tortured, in a good way, and it never goes away. That’s a fantastic feeling! Haha!

Fatally Yours: Your acting career started when you were very young and your first role was the infamous Angela in Sleepaway Camp. What was it like to get your start in film so early?

Felissa Rose: It never really dawned on me that I was making a creepy movie, so age wasn’t an issue. Not until adulthood was I a bit weirded out by my parents allowing me to do it. But I’m thrilled I did! Crazy.

Fatally Yours: A few years after your work in Sleepaway Camp, you decided to attend the Tisch School of the Arts at the New York University instead of appearing in Sleepaway Camp 2 and 3. How did this impact your career?

Felissa Rose: It really didn’t.  Other than I wish I had the stories and memories, I think it all worked out the way it should have.

Fatally Yours: You acted outside the horror genre for a while before getting back into the independent horror scene. What made you want to pursue more roles in horror again?

Felissa Rose: I love horror and I was approached by some young directors with cool scripts. It was a natural process and I just went for the ride.

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

Felissa Rose: Several roles. I really enjoyed Return to Sleepaway Camp. It was very sentimental for me to return as an adult. I also loved working on Dark Chamber. It wasn’t hardcore horror but it was a thriller with a terrific script. I’m proud of my work in that.

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 they went too far?

Felissa Rose: Never. That always makes me laugh. Women can make their own choices and stay away if things aren’t cool in a script. All people are exploited and victimized in horror. It’s also just a job. We have a great time!

Fatally Yours: Dario Argento once said, “I like women, especially beautiful ones. If they have a good face and figure, I would much prefer to watch them being murdered than an ugly girl or man.” Alfred Hitchcock elaborated by saying, “I always believe in following the advice of the playwright Sardou. He said, ‘Torture the women!’ The trouble today is that we don’t torture enough.” What is your reaction when reading those quotes?

Felissa Rose: Hey, we all love beauty. I like watching pretty people and it’s an accurate quote. Torture is all emotion being thrown at an individual. It’s not just blood. It’s love, lust, pain, so many emotions. Women are usually the recipients and we’re great at portraying this.

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

Felissa Rose: Coming from my perspective, we’re portrayed in many ways. I play monster and victim and I love them both. I’m known for being the monster so it’s all fair as far as I’m concerned.

Fatally Yours: What has been your favorite character you’ve portrayed in the horror genre?

Felissa Rose: Sheriff Jerry [Return to Sleepaway Camp]. I loved playing a woman/man. So fun dressing up and being a crazy person!

Fatally Yours: If you could be or work with any fictional horror villain in a film, who would it be and why?

Felissa Rose: Elvira, I love her brash, devilish ways!

Fatally Yours: Since you’ve been involved with the horror genre, have you noticed more women becoming involved behind the camera as directors, producers, writers, etc.? 

Felissa Rose: Absolutely. It’s fair game and if you’re good, you’re given a chance. Horror is a great genre for experimentation and passionate artists.

Fatally Yours: What women in horror do you look up to?

Felissa Rose: I adore Tiffany Sheppis, I think Jace Anderson is an amazing writer.

Fatally Yours: What advice would you give aspiring women who want to get into the horror business?

Felissa Rose: Find great people to work with and you’re off to a good start.

Fatally Yours: In your opinion, what makes the perfect scream queen? Who is the ultimate scream queen?

Felissa Rose: I think someone strong in personality and someone not self evaluating.  Brinke Stevens is incredible.

Fatally Yours: How does it feel to be admired and adored by horror fans?

Felissa Rose: Wow, that’s strange. I don’t see myself as being admired but it’s so wonderful if it’s true. I feel very grateful to work in this genre.

Fatally Yours: What inspires, influences and motivates you?

Felissa Rose: My husband and children really motivate me. Definitely my husband, Deron, inspires me everyday to do great work. I’m influenced by the positive in life and great friends.

Fatally Yours: What are your goals for yourself?

Felissa Rose: I now have a production company so I intend to produce great films in horror. I expect the next few years to be focused on creating terrific and original work.

Fatally Yours: What upcoming projects can you tell us about?

Felissa Rose: I have Dahmer vs. Gacy coming, Breath of Hate, and getting ready to shoot Poe, with Tony Todd and Stelio Savante.  I’m also looking to do the next installment of Sleepaway Camp

For more info on Felissa Rose, visit her official site!

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