First off, could you introduce yourself to those of us unfortunate enough to
not already know you?
name is Elissa Dowling: I like long walks on the beach and to spoon in front
of an open fire (laughing). Just kidding, though I really do like to cuddle,
and Iím crazy about the ocean. Well, I'm an actress that's been working in
film for about three years now and managed to already have about 50 indies
under her belt. I'm also a singer, dancer, artist and according to the people
that know me best overall... rock star (laughing).
Going through your upcoming films-list, one finds Vaginal
Holocaust, Caged Lesbos A-Go-Go, Orgy of Blood, Erection,
The Brothers Cannibal, and the Final Girl-films, all
directed by Creep Creepersin [Creep
Creepersin interview - click here]. Could you maybe talk about
each of those for a bit?
Brothers Cannibal is a dark comedy.
The Final Girl films
are more murder mysteries than anything else. As much as I love the horror
genre, it's nice to do other genres. Those films have yet to be shot,
unfortunately the lead actor broke his leg and we've had to postpone
production. But I'm looking forward to doing them, Creep's films are
always a blast.
I play a badass backwoods blood sucking vampire in
Vaginal Holocaust, the character is actually pretty comical. What
was intended to be a four day shoot ended up crammed into 24 hrs when we
hit some incredibly bad weather. It was cold and a virtual monsoon but we
did manage to pull it off. It helps when youíre working with friends.
Orgy of Blood, I worked with my new BFF, Miss Phoebe Dollar,
the chemistry was great and we were very funny together. We're sort of
like the Romy and Michelle of the film. Our characters broke up some
of the drama with a little bit of healthy laughter.
In Erection, I have a
small part, and even though we didnít shoot together I was stoked to
work on the same project as Trent Haaga.
You have worked with Creep Creepersin
before on O.C.Babes and the Slasher of Zombietown and Peeping
Blog. A few words about these two films?
OC Babes I play the quintessential bitch that puts others down to feed her
own ego; it's the polar opposite of my real personality.
In Peeping Blog, I'm a victim, which is also a rare role for me.
Peeping Blog was unique in that it was shot with one take and
no cuts -- very experimental. The outcome was petty creepy and somewhat
voyeuristic. Actually I just wrapped another film shot the same way
called Telephone World, directed by Ramsi Abed, whom I worked
with before on In a Spiral State.
How did you hook
up with Creep Creepersin in the first place, and what's it like to work
originally auditioned for a bit part in OC Babes but instead
was cast as the lead. The Creeps have been addicted to me ever since -- I
mean, can ya blame 'em? (laughing) I enjoy working with Creep. When
you work on a small scale and with the same people again and again, you
become family. There are times when it can drive you into a state of
delirium (laughing). Actually, there are several production companies that
I work with regularly. Iím enjoying it, and they know I'm fairly easy
going and will deliver. Most of all, I love having the freedom to
improvise on set, and smaller movies tend to be more open to that.
You also have a starring role in Shane Ryan's Amateur
Porn Star Killer 3D [Shane Ryan interview
- clcik here]. How did that come into being, and were you aware of
the previous Amateur
Porn Star Killer-films?
think I met Shane at the Poulrtygeist premiere outside the
Hustler on Sunset, and we just ended up shooting one night. I hadn't seen
the other films, but I read a little about them on some of the horror
One of your upcoming films has just
too interesting a title to not ask a question about it, Dahmer vs Gacy.
Could you say a few words about that one?
Austin is a super guy with a very magnetic and dynamic personality. The
day we shot, my call time was 8 am. I had been up the night before until
3:30 AM shooting Never On Sunday, so I got maybe an hour of
sleep. I shot eight films back to back that month -- it was pretty insane.
Thankfully Ford was so damn funny that it was easy to keep my energy up. Dahmer vs. Gacy
has a stellar cast that includes Felissa Rose [Felissa
Rose interview - click here], Guns N' Roses guitarist Steven Adler and Harland
Williams. I've also got another project with Ford lined up that I'm very
You also have role
in the new Clive Barker-adaptation Dread?
was an overall amazing experience and I absolutely fell in love with
London. My role is brief, but it's a great character and very funny.
Itís really a phenomenal film; I like it because it falls into both the
horror and art house genre. Iím also happy to have had a chance to be
part of what I call the new The Shining. Anthony Diblase is a
brilliant director; he has a bright future ahead of him.
A few words
about Tom Savini's The Unleashed?
Unleashed was a commercial promo for PBR. I know what youíre thinking
and no, not the beer. I was a little disappointed myself (laughing).
Actually it was for Professional Bull Riders, and shot for the Verses
Network on the Red. Tom and I worked together for about four days prior on
a doc that aired on Starz called His Name was Jason. It was
about all the Friday the 13th flicks. Anyway, Tom ended up
casting me in the promo because he liked my killer scream. Those two were
the only real scream queen roles Iíve done so far. For the most
part I'm cast as a lead or a villain.
Any other current or
future releases you'd like to talk about?
excited about Live Evil. It just scored a theatrical release
and will be on 300 screens when it is released on September 18th. It
should also be going to DVD in early November. Another exciting future
release is Dread which will be out in theaters on January
29, 2010 as part of After Dark Films Horrorfestís 8 Films To Die
Leaving the present
behind for a bit: You got your start in performing pretty early in life,
and as a dancer I believe. What can you tell us about your very early
was fortunate - I had parents who exposed me to the arts early on in life.
That usually works well for kids because those skills become second nature
when you're taught them in the early stages of life. It gives you a leg up
and lets you focus your abilities on a higher level later on. Because of
all the training when I was a kid, the arts come naturally to me now, and
I can't say the same about math though (laughing).
Did you ever take acting lessons?
went through a good amount of theater and improv training. I remember
playing Audrey in a small stage production of Little Shop of
Horrors. I was very young, but I found that really enjoyed the
positive feedback from my teachers, friends and of course the audience.
Iíve always been a bit of a rebel... still am (laughing) and Iíve had
my share of getting into trouble, so when I was finally appreciated for my
talent, it made me feel like I had found my place in life.
have been a stage actress before hitting the screen. How does
acting on the stage differ from acting in films?
is obviously much bigger because you're projecting to a field of audience
out there that you can see. Film is a lot more intimate and itís the
little things that really matter. The camera reads much more detail, so
what you feel inside is what projects.
film I believe was Dracula Rising. What can you tell us about that
film and your transition from stage to screen?
it or not, I actually got that gig off Craigslist.com an hour before I had
to be on set. It was a heavily featured role but had no dialogue. I showed
up around noon along with another actress, but the scene wasnít shot
until 2 am. By that time, the other girl had left so they were left with
me. I remember being scared shitless; it was my first flick, and the
director (who Iíve worked with several times since) wanted me to cry on
cue. Amazingly, I managed to pull it off.
You have also
worked a lot with director Ulli Lommel pretty much since the start or your
movie career. What can you tell us about him and the films you did
is kind of punk rock when it comes to filmmaking, at least on his smaller
ones. We cranked them out fast, and he gave me lots of villain roles,
which are hard to come by for women.
You also had a role in The Asylum's borderline
notorious Transformers rip-off Transmorphers. A few words
about that one?
was pretty proud of my acting in that one. I played a very serious scientist and I think I even managed to sound
somewhat intelligent (laughing). Iím still not quite sure how I pulled that
one off. All I can say is thank God
I'm an actress and not a rocket scientist (laughing).
Any other past films you'd like to mention?
been quite a few so there are times that they all kinda blurred into one chaotic
story I call my life. Keep an eye on me though, I'll try to keep you
Given the fact that you have been in movies for
only a relatively short time, you have already been in an amazing number
of films. How did you do it, and what keeps you going?
guess Iím just a driven personality and I really love to work. I had a
somewhat complicated life. Iíve dealt with some things most people my
age haven't had to. So, I've become pretty resilient... or at least manage
to come across that way (laughing). But I always try to use truth in my
work, because it provides me a purpose for the experiences I've endured.
Each and every day is a gift, and I try to accomplish as much as I can
with the time I have.
all of your movies are horror flicks in one way or another. How come, and
is horror a genre dear to you?
Well, I canít say the majority of them really scare me, but what I
love is the dark drama, that is really why the genre heavily intrigues me
and I think it had a lot to do with sending me down the path of the horror
Caged Lesbos A-Go-Go
Women in horror films are
usually labelled scream queens. Do you think this is a label that applies
in your case, and how happy are you about it?
don't see myself as a scream queen, more of a scream Cinderella
(laughing). No, seriously, I'm usually the one who makes them scream, not
the one screaming. Funny, when I started out all I ever wanted was to be a
scream queen, but now that Iíve dug into it I realize that
what I'm eventually aiming towards is character acting. That of
course includes horror films, but I am also open to other genres. A big
part of what I have already committed to so far over the next year is not
horror. Why would any actor want to limit themselves? I'm not really a fan
of labels, period, I think they serve as kind of a crutch. A
person should be confident enough within their self to be themselves and
not have to call themselves something to feel secure. But that's just
my humble opinion (laughing).
website, MySpace, whatever else?
Plummer, Juliette Lewis, Brittany Murphy, Meryl Streep and Toni Collette.
What many of us out there might not know is that
you are also a quite accomplished jazz singer. What can you tell us about
that talent of yours?
thanks! I was trained in voice as a kid, but I sort of put it down for a
while aside from continuing with the musical theater. Then within the past
year or so the muse came back into my life and I felt inspired to cover
some songs. Now I'm mostly gravitating towards doing some original work.
In all honesty though, I have yet to master the secret to composing and
songwriting. I'm still looking for the right people to collaborate with.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Any other talents you'd like to talk
Um, I plead the fifth -- wink wink.
Your favourite movies?
directed by Tarantino or Burton. I'm also a fan of True
Romance, Natural Born Killers, The Shining, Carrie,
Stay Tuned, Beetlejuice, Death Becomes Her and of course
The Big Lebowski, especially after I've consumed a couple of ďCaucasiansĒ.
And of course, some
films you really deplored?
I'm not one for trashing anybody or their films. I think every film has
its audience, whether I'm into it or not.
If you leave an impression on just one individual, it's all
Anything else you are dying to tell
us and I have just forgotten to ask?
think you covered just about everything (laughing). But here's something
pretty random I just learned about my name but itís kinda cool. Elissa was the name of the founder and Queen of Carthage, who
fell in love, then killed herself by sword when her lover abandoned her.
In the Roman legend, she is known as Dido, which was derived from a
Phoenician root meaning the Wanderer.
Thanks for the interview!