Your new movie Evolution War - in a few words, what is it about, and
what can you tell us about your character in it?
Well, (re)Search My Trash, since you and your readers are getting
some of the first “skinny” on Evolution War, I want to be careful
not to spoiler alert the project LOL! I think the audience will be quite
surprised and pleased by some of the reveals that will present themselves when
the film is released! The basic summary that I know I can share is… “Upon
returning from a devastating war, a disgraced war criminal is forced to raise
an army of machines to battle mysterious creatures taking over the earth.” I
play SC-4, which is quite a different character from what I am typically offered,
and one of the components that inspired me to work on this project (besides
Neil Johnson [Neil Johnson
interview - click here] and Tracey Birdsall [Tracey
Birdsall interview - click here]). SC-4 was created by Angel-D to assist her
in battle and fighting for survival. The audience will discover a “few”
very cool things about SC-4 (pun intended!), but again, not until the film is
What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much of
Brooke Lewis can we find in SC-4?
SC-4 was such a colorful role to play. Let’s just say that SC-4 has
many “sides” to her character and I do as well. I genuinely believe, as
humans, we all do! And Neil Johnson was very clear in his direction that SC-4
has real, human behaviors. He was also clear about allowing SC-4 to be
vulnerable, when she feels as such, and strong and direct, when she feels as
such… that is very much me! I was also able to draw upon characteristics I
aspire and commit to in my every day life… loyalty, conviction for what I
believe in and protecting those I love! I am very empathic and I FEEL
others’ pain. Again, I know I can’t reveal too much, but you will see this
in the film. For this role, and all roles I am blessed to play, I do some
sense memory work, when possible, and I remember feeling so much sadness
during one specific line about the world belonging to another kind, and
drawing from how I often feel when using social media these days… like truth
and true intimacy do not exist anymore, and the world belongs to technology
now. I draw from real emotions in my life that will transfer soundly to the
with Tracey Birdsall
How did you get involved with the project in the first place?
I was fortunate to act in three prior films that the sci-fi genius, Neil
Johnson [Neil Johnson interview -
click here] , wrote and directed years ago. Then, Neil introduced me to the
stunning Tracey Birdsall [Tracey
Birdsall interview - click here] at our Starship: Rising movie premiere in
2014. Neil and Tracey went on to create sci-fi movie magic together, while we
all remained in contact. They were gracious to invite me to the Rogue
Warrior: Robot Fighter premiere and I was so impressed with their film
that I expressed how much I would love to work with them on a future film.
Neil and I reunited on a FromPage2Screen podcast in April, and he soon
surprised me with an offer to play SC-4 in Evolution War! Talk about
some sci-fi synergy! But, Neil and Tracey swore me to secrecy for a bit of
To what extent can you actually identify with Evolution
War's science fiction content, and is that a genre at all dear to you?
To be honest, I loved Star Wars, but I came up
much more in the horror genre, as an actress. Then, I seemed to do a few
films that naturally crossed over into the sci-fi genre, but working with
Neil Johnson years ago, really taught me about real science fiction and
brought it near and dear to me. I will get into detail about that in the
next question, but to answer the former part of this one, I can completely
identify with Evolution War’s content. Again, I had to read the
script three times to fully comprehend it, as it is very sophisticated and
futuristic, so it is not typical language and dialogue I read every day.
However, I do identify with war and challenges and survival and fighting
for things I believe in… I mean, I do live in the United States and
Hollywood, after all! LOL!
What can you tell us about your director Neil Johnson [Neil
Johnson interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
with him like? And since this wasn't the first film you did with the man,
what can you tell us about your previous collaborations, and how did you
two first meet even?
Funny story, as Neil and I met
when I was appearing as a guest at a horror convention nine years ago.
Neil, being the generous friend he is, stopped by to drop off cold
medicine to a veteran sci-fi actress he had worked with. We were
introduced by the convention producer, as he, kindly, recommended me to
Neil as an actress for any future films I might be right for. We bonded on
professionalism and soon formed a fast friendship and working
relationship. I learned quickly that Neil is a true friend and one of the
coolest sci-fi “geeks” you will ever meet! LOL! Of course, I say that
with respect and admiration, as I have never met anyone who knows the sci-fi genre and the art of
sci-fi filmmaking like Neil does! Reading one
of Neil Johnson’s sci-fi scripts and acting in his films, is like doing
Shakespeare! I am not kidding! When I arrived on the set of Starship: Rising
and Starship: Apocalypse with some serious sci-fi
veterans, I was nervous as hell! It was like a whole new language and form
of film expression for me. But, Neil is so chill and always made me feel
comfortable on set. He truly knows how to write and direct for WOMEN!
It’s AMAZING! He knows exactly how to deal with your insecurities and
weaker areas, both in production and post-production. I will reveal, that
when I arrived onto the Evolution War set, Tracey shared with me
that Neil has grown so much as a director since the Starship
series, and that he has gotten a lot tougher about capturing the exact
performance he wants from you! I was so nervous and excited at the same
time, as it had been over five years since we had worked together. I
completely agree with Tracey, and I am more confident than ever that Neil
is a genius at what he does and what he is able to ignite in his actors!
Do talk about the shoot as such,
and the on-set atmosphere?
I swear to you, I really believe
both Neil Johnson [Neil Johnson
interview - click here] and Tracey Birdsall [Tracey
Birdsall interview - click here] are A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)
from another planet!!! LOL! I have never personally met two humans who
know and understand science fiction and the art of creating a sci-fi film
like these two! It is fascinating to watch Neil, Tracey and their crew
tackle science and subjects that most people would never comprehend. From
science to history to the dialogue and language, they have an extreme
knowledge of science fiction, that I have to read and research five times
to comprehend. Also, the film magic this team can pull off with a
respectable crew, would require other productions to hire an army! This
crew knows EXACTLY what they want and how to get it! Now, friendships
aside, Neil and Tracey both “kicked my butt with tough love” to get
the best performance possible from me… and, I loved every minute of it!
This was the first time Tracey and I got to act opposite one another and
she is very talented, so there are like two scenes where we challenge each
other in character and Neil directed us to “go for it” and I could
feel the “actor vibration” elevate to new heights! We all discussed it
when we finished filming and agreed how fulfilling it is to work with true
Any future projects you'd
like to share?
Unfortunately, no spoiler alerts
allowed yet for a few cool future horror films I am attached to, but I
will share that two are very vampire-licious, so you know they are “up
my dark alley” LOL! 2018 has proven to be another awesome year, thus
far! We have hit the ground running at the festivals and awards circuit
with our recent award-winning short film Allen + Millie: A Short
Romance, written and directed by Markus Redmond (Fight Club)
and starring film icon Courtney Gains (Children of the Corn) and I.
I am also happy to share another sweet short film, Rotting Love,
that was written and directed by Dave Reda (“Zombie Dave”) and stars
Dave and myself. This is a horror romcom with a “battle of the sexes”
theme and we were recently chosen as an Official Selection for the Dances
With Films Film Festival 2018.
What got you into acting in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
was such an emotional and sensitive child that I was destined to do this!
I loved TV and movies as a little girl and used to talk to the TV and
characters and pretend I was on the show with them and improv. I was
singing and dancing from a young age, which led me into musical theatre in
Philadelphia, and to start taking classes at the Walnut Street Theatre School. I
then moved to New York and took classes to experience several
different acting techniques, including Meisner, Stella Adler, and
Strasberg. However, I have to admit, I feel I learned the most from my
private acting coach, Anthony Abeson. Anthony only accepted “working”
actors in New York and when I booked Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, I
was accepted into his coaching program. My next great teacher did not come
until several years after living in Los Angeles, and that was the terrific
the years, you've popped up time and again as your vampire alter ego Ms.
Vampy - so I guess you'll just have to talk about that character and
its creation for a bit!
You know Ms. Vampy
appreciates you asking and sends love bites! She is always up to
something, so I will share her latest update… “In 2017, Outskirts
Press announced the release of Ms. Vampy's Teen Tawk: There's A
Lotta Power In Ya Choices, featuring America's funniest, most
high-maintenance Vampire! The book follows author and producer Brooke
Lewis' hit web series Ms. Vampy in 2009, and the award-winning TV
pilot Ms. Vampy's Tween Tawk, Teen Tawk & In Between Tawk in
2011. The Ms. Vampy's Tween Tawk, Teen Tawk & In Between Tawk
series and the book are designed to inspire tween and teen girls, and
address issues that girls face today, including body image, inner beauty,
self-esteem, making powerful choices, dating and relationships, bullying,
facing fears, following their dreams, and, most importantly, being
themselves! The protagonist of the series, Ms. Vampy, is a lovable
vampiress from Brooklyn, with a personality as big as her hair. She wears
pleather and fur and wouldn't be caught dead (so to speak) without high
heels! But there's much more to this sassy, straight-"tawking"
character than meets the eye... This is a 100-year-old vampiress with an
attitude, an accent - and a mission. "Do you know how many teen girls
struggle with the courage to make the right choices and find their own
voice? My mission is to empower girls to be courageous, so they can make
the right choices and find their own voice," Ms. Vampy explains to
her teen audience. "At any time, you have the power to start over and
feel differently, think differently, dress differently and be different.
Be You - And, Be Fearless - and don't forget to Vamp It Out!"– Ms.
Other past films of yours you'd
like to talk about?
I actually started in theatre,
and got my first “break” in the New York Off-Broadway comedy Tony
n' Tina's Wedding, then went on to do TV sitcoms like Quintuplets and
Mafiosa, then acted in mobster dramas like Pride & Loyalty
and Sinatra Club, then broke out in the horror genre with films
like Kinky Killers, iMurders and Slime City Massacre,
earning the title of a "Scream Queen", then was fortunate to be
exposed to, and act in, sci-fi films Starship: Rising
the brilliant Neil Johnson [Neil
Johnson interview - click here]) and The Mourning… leading to this
fantastic Evolution War!
How would you describe yourself as
an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
first word that comes to mind is “insecure”, then… not trusting my
instincts enough! Truth! This is something I shared very openly with
Tracey on set and she gave me good advice. Yet, somehow, I know when I do
trust my instincts, I am able to deliver a solid performance. I truly,
truly believe that the talent begins with the writing and the script! It
is all right there on the page, as the writer intended it, so, if you have
the tools to get creative with this, you are in business! I was trained
with the Stella Adler and Meisner techniques in New York, so I break down
the script and character with the old “Magic If”, then, after studying
with Tim Phillips for years in Los Angeles, I started using his
“detective” technique to find “clues” and see pictures in each
written piece. Sometimes, I question if I am “doing” too much, because
we actors KNOW when we are so “in the moment” and it is so “real”,
that we feel like we are having an “out of body experience”. Those
moments are rare, but they are cherished!!!
(and indeed actors) who inspire you?
Birdsall [Tracey Birdsall
interview - click here] and Marilyn Ghigliotti [Marilyn
Ghigliotti interview - click here], of course!
Honestly, I think they are both very talented actresses and a joy to
watch. My forever actress, icon obsessions are Elizabeth Taylor and Mae
West [Mae West bio - click here]. These powerhouse women inspired me both on and off screen, as they
made a real difference in Hollywood! Currently, I am in awe of Melissa Leo
and Viola Davis! As far as actor inspirations, I have always admired
Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington and Marlon Brando… or, pretty much any
actor from The Godfather.
I have so many, your readers would be here
all day! If I had to choose, I would say The Godfather, I mean come
on, I’m Italian! Goodfellas, Pretty Woman, The Notebook,
cause I’m a romantic sucker, and I’m going to say Swingers, as
far as indie.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
would not say I “deplore” many films, as I feel we can find art
somewhere in most. However, I am starting to be quite disappointed with
the oversaturation of indie micro-budget films that are being released,
where the final product actually LOOKS like the film was made for no
money. I am watching more and more films with awful sound issues and no
color grading, and it saddens me!
website, Facebook, whatever else?
am so grateful to have loyal fans and ways to communicate with them. I
have a Facebook fan page, Twitter and Instagram. Please follow me
@BrookeLewisLA @brookelewisla. You can also catch the latest “Brooke
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
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Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
would love to share that I am a proud philanthropist. I have worked with,
and supported, many breast cancer charities over the years, including Busted
Foundation and Babes For Boobs, volunteer for the Los
Angeles Mission to feed the homeless on skid row, and am honored to be
a Celebrity Ambassador for Breaking The Chains Foundation,
supporting eating disorders and body image through the arts.
for the interview!
You are so welcome! And, more
importantly, thank you to (re)Search My Trash for taking the time to
create this interview, and to Tracey and Neil for including me in this
XO Brooke Lewis