Earlier this month I got the opportunity to interview scream queen Brooke Lewis and ask her a few questions about her upcoming sci-fi thriller “Alien Dawn.” Brooke is best known for her work as Ms. Vampy in the “Ms. Vampy” television series as well as many parts in independent films ranging from “iMurders,” “Sinatra Club,” “Slime City Massacre” and much, much more. She also gave HonestReviewsCorner an exclusive announcement for her new sci-fi/drama “The Mourning” that she’ll be working on this month. Check it out for yourself!
So what can you tell me about your upcoming movie: “Alien Dawn”?
“Well it’s an interesting one, Ben, and I’m going to be honest, you’re actually one of the first media to get it and I want to be respectful with everything I say. I have a sci-fi director friend, Neil Johnson, who I adore and is very talented and he does a lot of indie sci-fi pictures and he came to me last year and he had shot pretty much most of the fottage for “Alien Dawn” and said to me, you know, the distributors were wanting an indie recognizable genre face in there and would I be interested in doing, this little scene? I was thrilled. Neil wrote me this a tremendous little role, Chiara, and we had like four great scenes, you know, the kind of scenes you want as an actress. So we shot and everything was great and as things changed in the indie film world… one of my scenes ended up making it for the final cut for distributors, and the other three are being transferred to another film, they’re doing a trilogy called “Tripod War.”… The crazy part of the whole thing is I’m like top billed on the poster with a “special appearance by” for “Alien Dawn” and I have one scene now. (Laughs.)”
So you’re not going to be doing any further work on the “Tripod War” movies?
“Oh, no, I am. They are developing this right now… They’re going to be using some similar characters including, obviously, mine and I don’t know how far in the trilogy I will go but I will be in the first one.”
So how did you prepare for this role of Chiara?
“You know the gorgeous part of having a director who knows you personally and knows your work professionally, having them write you a role they tend to write, you know, great roles for you, so that’s where I’ve very grateful. She’s got a little temper and a little more of a hard-ass, she’s a total like east coast attitude.. she’s a mechanic. So the nice thing about this is I wasn’t playing with my typical type-cast bombshell hooker or you know… this is great because she really has major attitude and she’s a mechanic so she’s down and dirty. So I kinda did some research, I really did, I always do. I even watched some, you know, mechanic videos and stuff on YouTube. (Laughs.)”
So I see you’ve been nominated and won a lot of awards from being a “Scream Queen” from all your horror films.
“I never expected it in a million years. I started off doing comedy improv… then went on to do a lot of mobster pictures… never in a million years, although I was the biggest horror fan in the world as a kid, a child, and never imagined and we did a couple of indie horror/thrillers that I was involved with in producing, executive producing, and the next thing you know I’m on the circuit as this indie scream queen and fan mail is pouring in and I’m so fortunate, I really am, it’s been an incredible ride since 2010 and yeah, I won scream queen, actually the Golden Cob Award for scream queen of the year 2010 which was incredible. It was for my work in “Slime City Massacre” and I was scream queen of the month on screamqueen.com which is a very revered scream queen site, that was in November ’08 and funny enough, it hasn’t been announced yet, but [they] came back to me and said, you know, we love you so much we want to honor you with scream queen of the month 2012 again, so that will be out this week.”
So are there any actors or actresses whom you look for inspiration in for the horror genre? You don’t just become a scream queen.
“You’re totally right. You’re absolutely right. Just to go back a second, I’ve never really done the slasher movies. All my horror films are more thriller, more horror/scifi-esque…. I’m really into the thriller stuff and one of my biggest idols is still Elizabeth Taylor. She did a lot of those mystery movies. Also in horror I really look up to the veterain acresses like Margot Kidder, Jamie Lee Curtis, I mean obviously she’s everyone’s idol scream queen. Karen Black. The old school… the real actresses that took up targeting mainstream, then kind of crossed over at some point. They’re the ones I look up to. I love Leslee Easterbrooke and oh, Adrian Bargot, oh my god, and Dee Wallace… Those are the women that I aspire to have a career like, honestly.”
Of all the roles that you’ve played, which one is your favorite and why?
“That’s a great question. I have so many, but I’m a little bit biased because my favorite role in the world is a role I created and that’s my Ms. Vampy character. I would describe her as Elvira meets Mona, Marissa Tomei’s character in “My Cousin Vinny.” She’s a Brooklyn mobster vampire and I launched a web series with her and went on to launch a TV pilot for “Chain Girls” with her serving as a positive role model. She’s just my heart and soul. Now, if I were going to go to my favorite acting role, I’ve got to say, staying along those lines, I’ve got to say I genuinely love my role, I’ve played her many times, but the role of Rosella in a mobster drama called “Sinatra Club” that I acted in with Danny Nucci and Jason Gedrick, Joey Lawrence, great mobster flick. That was just a fun role to play, playing like the mobster hooker. I love that. I could play that forever. Then also my favorite acting role thus far is, believe it or not, in a short film that I won best actress in several film festivals and that was called “Sprinkles”.”
I have to ask, being a scream queen, what is your favorite scary movie?
“(Laughs.) Again, I have such a touch time, and obviously I’m asked that question a lot… I’m a big 80’s horror fan. I really respect the original, some of them are kind of slasher, but the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” the original “Friday the 13th,” and the original “Prom Night.” They’re my favorites. They’re my top three favorites. And nowadays, I have to say, I’m not really into the “torture porn” stuff. I would have to choose… I’m a big fan of the French horror films like “Inside” and “Martyrs” but I know that’s like hard core, but what a brilliant, I mean, cinematically, gut-wrenching, the emotion that goes that those french horror films bring up for me is insane.”
If you weren’t working in the film industry, what do you think you’d be doing?
“Considering I have sacrificed everything in my life to be part of this industry I try not to think about that, but the funny thing is if I weren’t in this industry… well, you know what, I almost went to law school. So I would have been an incredible lawyer, absolutely an incredible lawyer. And you know the other thing that I do on the side of acting that came from my Ms. Vampy series is I am a certified life coach. I coach women about female empowerment and self-esteem, all those great things, so I’m really inspired about that too.”
What advice would you give to those trying to get into the acting/screenwriting business?
“My advice is always the same. Follow your dreams, face your fears, don’t let anyone tell you no, and my life coaching business says “be you and be fearless.” And that is one of the biggest things I preach, being you, being yourself, owning it, and being fearless and going forward to whatever it is you dream of in this world. And of course my catchphrase with all my Ms. Vampy stuff is “when faced with fear, dig deep inside, find your inner vamp and vamp it out.” That’s something I live by, too, because you know, there’s so many people that are going to tell you no. There’s so many people that are going to blow smoke up your ass in this industry, there’s a lot of naysayers, you know, and there’s a lot of obstacles that are very legit. So you’ve got to have enough strength and enough thick skin and move forward.”
What else would you like to say to our readers and your fans?
“Thank you to all my fans, to all the people that have supported my career. Honestly, actors, we would have no career without the support and the fan mail and the positive reinforcement because there’s so much negative in this business… so I just thank all my fans for all the love and support and fan mail and please follow me on BrookelewisLA on Twitter and I have fans that made an official Brooke Lewis fan page on Facebook and they can go to my official site Brookelewis.com and one other thing that I’m super excited about that you guys will be one of the first to get is I’m shipping out to Michigan next week to act in a sci-fi drama called “The Mourning.” I’m so excited. It’s with a young, amazing director Marc Clebanoff who directed me in “Break” and “Gerald”… I’m acting in this with Michael Walton in the lead and Jud Nelson, Peter Dobson, Louis Mandelore, Larry Hinken, just an incredible indie cast. It’s such a great script. It’s a sci-fi drama; it’s got a lot of heart, and I’m so excited. So I’m making that announcement right now. I’ll be in Michigan for that starting next week.
And one last thing to add, if anybody can, go to my donation page and make a donation for my “Bowling for Boobies” event, which is direct central horror starlets bowling for boobies thing and we bowl every year for breast cancer to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. I’m a big proponent for charity work.”
If you would like to keep up on everything Brooke Lewis, check out her website http://brookelewis.com/ or follow her on twitter @BrookeLewisLA.
And don’t forget to check out the Bowling for Boobies homepage to learn more about the charity and find out how to donate! I don’t know about you guys, but that doesn’t sound like a charity I want to miss! http://www.bowlingforboobies.com/