Chantelle Albers is starting to make her mark, especially in horror where she has a number of shorts and films to her credit. But ask this actress and you’ll find she’s not one to wait for opportunities to land on her doorstep. Instead, she’s driven to pursue her own destiny. The 6th Friend, a female-driven, revenge horror film with a truly frightening masked killer is one such example. Not only does Chantelle star in this new slasher, but she also financed and produced the project. We love a strong woman who drives her own fate. Meet Chantelle:
You’re starring in The 6th Friend, a horror movie that’s done very well on the film festival circuit. How’d you come to be involved in the project?
I jumped on as producer and financier from the beginning. I was filming another movie with Jamie Bernadette when she mentioned she had a horror film script written. When I read the script, I really liked how it was female driven and showed females in an empowered way by attempting to save themselves with the opportunity for humor within the characters. While we were in pre-production, the script was revamped several times between Jamie and our director, Letia Clouston, which enhanced the details of the story and characters. By the time the script was finished, it had been changed nine different times, and we were all really happy with the end story that was decided on.
The movie begins with the six women celebrating their college graduation, and upon graduating they decide to try something they’ve never done before, which is acid. During this acid trip, there is color, joy, laughter, movement, and also a dark experience – an attempted rape and murder by Tyler (David Villada), the man that brought the acid over. In this dream turned nightmare, the girls kill him before he commits the act. Fame and years of regret are added to their lives by becoming female heroines and survivors. My character, Melissa, seems to have adapted to this new lifestyle the best. Five years later, the girls reconcile for a vacation at my character’s parents’ cabin in the woods, where Tyler comes back to haunt them through visions and murder, but how can it be Tyler when we already killed him?
My character, Melissa, is very outgoing, earnest, fiery, and driven. She’s one that loves attention and being in the spotlight, hence why she has adapted and embraced the attention she has gotten from the media in surviving the attempted attack. She holds a lot of contradictions, which is fun as an actor because you can layer your character and add an interesting complexity to them. I would say Melissa is earnest yet secretive, happy yet hungry for success, giving but with an expectation. I think that Melissa is very funny in a lot of ways, and what makes her funny is her tunnel vision of her own goals. She’s so driven on what she wants that she has lost sight of the way she behaves on how others perceive her. A good example of this is the mirror scene where she is practicing her emotions and Heather, played by Dominique Swain, comes in laughing at her saying, “You look stupid.”
When you watch a horror movie are your eyes wide open or eyes squeezed shut during the scary parts?
It depends on what it is. Honestly, if it is bloody, gory, or violent, I have to cover my eyes and possibly my ears. I can’t handle much of that. But if it’s suspenseful or paranormal, I can watch it through the scary parts and be intrigued.
You were also a first-time producer on this film. What was it like taking on a new hat and do you have a desire to do more behind-the-scenes work?
Taking on the hat of actor and producer was definitely a lot of responsibility and work, but it was amazing to be one of the creators of a film that you are very passionate about from the ground up. I love having a creative input and being able to make creative decisions because you are able to bring your vision to life, and the end result can be something you intended. I definitely want to do more of it because I love creating art along with acting. I feel that it is all connected. No one person can make a movie on their own, and we had an amazing team behind us, but being producer is a lot of pressure when everything falls on your end decision.
What other professional goals do you have, things you aspire to achieve in the business?
I definitely want to continue producing and acting, but I think somewhere down the road I would love to also direct. I’m not sure if it’s something that I would want to do full-time, but I really want to try it. I also think it would be fun to have a fashion line. Something small to start with, only one line of products, maybe handbags, and make them catchy and a novelty. I also love colored wigs, which could be fun to start a line of!
Do you have any other upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?
I play the lead role, Martha, in a really cool sci-fi melodrama film called The Desert, that was produced by the creator of NBC’s Grimm, Lynn Kouf, and directed by Ben Bigelow. It’s inspired by melodrama films of the 1950s, and it examines feminist heroism through the style of contemporary sci-fi. It’s hitting the festival scene now and has played in Lund, Sweden, and London so far.
I also have a film called Promises that we just wrapped on and I play the lead character, Jaqueline. I’m excited because I sing in this film and have to go to some deep emotional places as an actor. The road my character has to go down required a lot of research and personalization for her actions and experiences. It’s a bit of a sad story where I play a mother who will go to the ends of the earth to save her daughter.
I’m currently filming on a movie called Waiting, which is a really cool stylized film about what our reality really is as human beings. All of the characters in the film are “stock” characters, and as the film unfolds you begin to question whether these characters are on earth or in some purgatory state. The characters seem to be in an endless cycle of not being able to leave their current environment.
Powerful women coming together to make a statement. #TimesUp baby ??? shooting artwork 4 my new single #coldworld @Actors_Choice @ChantelleAlbers @serenalaurelwow @KathyKolla @Helena_G_Donald @LisaMasonLee @EmpressKush818 @Vampirephilia @Maria__Granberg @MonarchPRla pic.twitter.com/sqOFlHwyjb
— Rachele Royale (@racheleroyale) January 8, 2019
I love the #TimesUp photo shoot you did with Rachele Royal. Tell us a little about that and your involvement. Are the photos also going to serve as the album cover?
Rachele is a very dear friend of mine, and she asked me to be a part of the shoot to show women in an empowered way. Her vision was to dress up like classy men from the 1930s and 40s essentially, taking a strong stance about how powerful women can be. That time period was a very suppressive time for women and using that style in a modern way was a creative way of saying, “We are still here and still strong and still equal.” We have come a long way with equality, but we also need to progress forward in hopes of having true equality for all people. She did show me a sample workup of what she is going to use for iTunes and Spotify, and it looks amazing.
Lastly, we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have something we nerd out over. What do you nerd out about?
I sometimes get really into home renovation shows, and it inspires me to recreate my living space. I really like seeing the before and after of a project and the progress and improvements that it makes. You also get to see the downsides of gutting and remodeling a house or building, and there are a lot of unexpected problems that come up. When I watch that, I can apply it to my world of acting and producing, and it makes me realize that no matter the profession you are in, there will be unexpected problems. At the end of the show, there is always a beautiful home as a result. It’s inspiring to watch for my own creative projects.
You can follow Chantelle on Twitter and Instagram. And be sure to watch The 6th Friend, now available on VOD with iTunes, Amazon, Google, Fandango, Xbox, Vudu, VUBIQUITY, Ondemand, DISH, and Direct TV.