MIN's Friday Girl - Rachel Grubb

Rachael earned her English degree from the College of St. Catherine. Shortly after graduation, she won the Best Breakthrough Screenplay award at the New York International Independent Film And Video Festival for her first feature-length script. Her interest in film led her to take acting classes and audition for films in the Twin Cities area. In the past few years, Rachel has acted in numerous independent shorts, features, music videos and television shows and recently moved to Los Angeles to expand her career. She wrote, directed, and starred in Why Am I in a Box? which has already won seven Creative Spirit Awards and has distribution. Together with Brooke Lemke, Rachel runs Silent-But-Deadly Productions, an all-female production company.

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As an actress, she first appeared as Amy in St Euphoria Pictures' The Monster of Phantom Lake. She has since become a well-known Scream Queen and acted in numerous, independent feature films, such as Terror Overload, Strip Club Slasher and Cave Women on Mars. She played a creepy ghost in Dav Kaufman's 13 Hours in a Warehouse and she played the lead role in JP Wenner's Retina, featured on The Horror Vault DVD. Rachel portrays Jolly in the web comic A Life Behind the Mask from Comic Book Divas.

Rachel has been an in-studio guest on Maxim Radio's "Hotties Of Horror" week and writes a regular Scream Queen column for The Chainsaw Mafia. Rachel was featured as Scream Queen Of The Month at ScreamQueen.com and was crowned PollyStaffle.com's Pinup Of The Year. She has been a panel speaker at the Xanadu convention in Las Vegas and been featured in several magazines, including Gorezone and Girls and Corpses. Rachel has her own trading cards, available from TerrorCards.com.

RACHEL GRUBB INTERVIEW

Ken Hulsey - Anyone who knows you understands that you have love affair with everything Batman related, especially The Joker, did you grow up being a comic book fan and why the fascination with the Cape Crusader's arch enemy?

Rachel Grubb - I grew up as a comic book fan for sure! As a child, I admired Batman and looked up to him as a father figure. I loved to read superhero comics as a kid, but Batman was my favorite. I was interested in just about anything Batman related, no matter how silly. I loved the cartoon and the 1960's live action TV show as a child. And when I was a little older, I loved the Tim Burton film with Michael Keaton. And of course, since then, I've also loved the Animated Series, and the Dark Knight. I was into all of it, but there is something special about the Dark Knight. Nolan brought Gotham to the screen in a way I never thought possible. Batman Begins wasn't bad, but it didn't really click with me because I dislike origin stories. When I was little, I never wondered, "Why does Batman fight crime?" (Although, I do remember being about 6 years old and wondering why he didn't just kill the Joker.) Dark Knight is kind of the ultimate Batman adaptation, and the Joker was the most important part of that. And let's face it: Heath Ledger's Joker is to Batman fangirls what Michelle Pfeiffer's Catman was to Batman fanboys back in the day.

KH - How hard is it for young women to break into modeling and acting these days? What are directors and photographers looking for?

RG - They're probably all looking for something different. But there is one thing that everyone is looking for, and that is someone who is willing to work hard. A lot of people imagine breaking into acting as this thing that magically happens to you one day, but it isn't really like that. You start out doing smaller projects, like student films, and little by little you work your way up to bigger things. When some people are starting out, they only want to try out for bigger movies, or roles that pay a lot of money, but I don't recommend that. Roles like that are highly competitive, and if you don't have much experience, you're going to get beat out by someone who does. So you shouldn't pass up an opportunity just because you think the movie won't be a huge success or make you famous. If it will add to your resume and give you something for your reel, or just help you improve your craft, it can be good for you. It is also important to be committed, and make acting and modeling a priority. There are a lot of people who say that want to be actors and models, but they really like the idea better than they like to actually do it. If you have other things you would rather be doing, that is fine, but you can expect that most opportunities will go to those who truly want to do it.

KH - You've starred in two of Christopher Mihm's retro sci fi films, "Monster of Phantom Lake" and "Cave Women on Mars", how did you get involved in those projects, and what was it like working with the director?

RG - I found an audition online for a local feature film based on 1950's drive-in horror movies, and I had to check it out. I love watching Mystery Science Theatre 3000, so I was quite familiar with those types of movies. I went into to audition, and they cast me in the role of Amy. When I met Brooke Lemke, she told me how Chris wanted to make a movie with her called Cave Women On Mars. Chris recognized Brooke from Invasion Iowa with William Shatner. I told them both that I would love to be in it, and that's how we became the two leads with the warring tribes--Blondes vs. Brunettes. I love working on these movies with Chris. I think that if you want to make a successful parody of something, even if you don't have a genuine appreciation for it, you at least should have an understanding and respect for it. If you make fun of something you don't like, and don't really know anything about, it's not going to work. Chris grew up with these movies, and he really understands them, which is why he is able to make fun of them so well.

KH - Now, I''ve commented several times that I though that you made an excellent villain in CWOM. That is always the best part to play in a production isn't it? I mean the bad girl (guy) always get's the best lines don't they?

RG - A lot of the time. The villains do get to do all of the crazy, fun stuff. Like with Hagra, I got to develop this great voice for her, and these evil looks. The only downside is that I never get to play the good girl. I'm always the quirky one, or the mean one, or the evil one. And I think it would be great to be the one the audience is rooting for once in a while.

KH - In "Terror Overload" you appear in a couple of the stories, in shall we say, compromising positions. You've often said that performing nude and doing scenes of a sexual nature doesn't bother you. How do you prepare for something like that, it must be a real "gut-check"?

RG - It's actually not. For me anyway, when I'm preparing for a role, I'm thinking more about my performance and memorizing my lines. The only thing that makes me nervous is when I have to watch it. I recently attended the premiere of Terror Overload. I was nervous throughout the whole thing! Getting naked is one thing. Seeing it up on the big screen is quite another.

KH - While looking over your list of upcoming films, I saw that you are going to play "The Bride of Frankenstein" in "Night on Has Been Mountain." Now, that sounds like a fun role, tell us a little bit about that production?

RG - I've been working with Haunted Autumn Productions for a while now. Night On Has Been Mountain is about old school movie monsters and what they're doing now. I get to be the Bride Of Frankenstein, who is now trying to earn a living as a stripper. We film those scenes as soon as we find a location.

KH - Recently you have founded you own production along with fellow actress Brooke Lemke, who you have co-starred with on a few films, called "Silent But Deadly Productions." Tell us about why you both started it, and about your new web series "Silly But Delusional"?

RG - Brooke and I started Silent-But-Deadly mainly because we wanted to create more opportunities for all the awesome women we've worked with in independent film, and also because Brooke and I liked working together and wanted to keep doing it.

Our web series is called SBD, named after Silent-But-Deadly. Each episode has a title with the initials SBD. The first episode is called Silly But Delusional. We were approached by Justen Overlander of the Numa Network to do a web series. They have a large number of female subscribers, and they wanted something that would appeal to that demographic. Brooke and I came up with the idea of playing roommates, and we each created our own character. Brooke wanted her character, Jill, to be obsessed with reality TV, and have her talking to a webcam and pretending it was a confessional on her own reality show. I told her, "I wanna make fun of my weird obsession with the Dark Knight!" So Gina, my character, has this Joker poster she talks to. In the beginning, it was more like this weird habit she had. But in subsequent drafts, she got weirder, and it seemed like she really did thing she was talking to the Joker. It was fun to do. Most of the situations we go through are based on experiences Brooke and I have had with past roommates.


KH - There has been a real boom in independent horror and sci fi productions coming out of Minnesota these days, or so it seems, is this a new thing or has there always been a sort of underground film community there?

RG - have only been involved with the underground film community for the last five years or so. We do have a rich film community here in Minnesota, but i can't say for sure how long we've had it. I do think that more recently, Minnesota filmmakers have been able to get their movies out there and seen by people. That's been happening lately, and we're starting to be recognized.

KH - Which do you enjoy more, modeling or acting?

RG - Acting. No question. Modeling can be a creative outlet at times, like when I get to come up with my own ideas for photo shoots. I also like it because I can go in for a few hours and have fun and get the pictures back in less than a week. But it's nothing like the creative challenge for acting.

KH - Your popularity seems to have really taken off over the past year or so. You have become heavily in demand with numerous photo shoots, more film roles and magazine articles. What do you think sets you apart from other actors and models that has spawned this popularity?

RG - I wish I knew the answer to that, because whatever it is, I want to do a lot more of it! I would have to say that a lot of it is my versatility. I can play several different types and various ages. As a model, I have many different looks. I've done fine art, pinup, and even commercial work. I don't really stick to one genre. I think that's a big part of it.

KH - What other actors do you admire, is there anyone that you try and emulate in your performances?

RG - I wouldn't say I try to emulate anyone, but there are quite a few people I look at and say, "I wanna be that good." I think it's probably quite obvious that I love Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker. It's so organic and flowing that it doesn't even look like acting at all. It just looks like...being. Only it's not, because he's nothing like that character at all. He just disappeared into the role. I'm also very fond of Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. The crap he had to endure for that role took dedication to a whole new level. He scratched his freakin' cornea. I'm also fascinated by Johnny Depp's process. I love how he can pull out the strangest influences for a character and come up with such a unique interpretation. If I had the chance to spend a night with Johnny Depp, I'd just take the opportunity to talk to him and pick his brain about acting. I don't I have ever met another woman who would say that.

KH - Your dance card is pretty full these days with numerous films and photo shoots, but is there something on the horizon that possibly we haven't heard about yet

RG - I'm doing another movie called Strip Club Slasher very soon. It's by NFTS Productions, who did Terror Overload. I'm also doing another movie with Haunted Autumn Productions called Hi-Way Headhunter. I had so much fun working on Tales Of The Dead, and I can't wait to get started on this! I'm also going to be doing a comedy with Jorge Sosa called The Manxes. And later on, I'm doing a vampire movie with Suzi Lorraine and Brooke Lewis called The Last Revenants.

KH - What do you foresee in your future? Where do you want your career to go from this point forward?

RG - It's hard to say. I'd like to keep doing what I'm doing, but lots more of it. I feel very fortunate that I've been able to do what I've done. I hope to do more writing and directing with Silent-But-Deadly. I'd also like to do more modeling for magazines and such.

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