You have recently starred in no less than three episodes of
In Fear of's
season. So how did you get involved with the
project in the first place, what attracted you to it, and were you aware of the series before getting
cast in it?
It was love at
first screening! I stumbled upon
In Fear of
when I was scoping out
the latest batch of indie horror films at the Macabre Faire Film Festival
in Long Island [Macabre Faire
Film Festival interview - click here]. I heard a resounding positive
buzz about In Fear of and was told it was the MUST-SEE of the
weekend. Everyone agreed it had the potential to be the
stand out of the season. Though the feedback was initially what drew me
towards the series, the end product was the clincher. The concept was
brilliant and it allowed for infinite storylines. I was
mesmerized within seconds. I stayed after the screening to talk with
the series creator, Scott W. Perry [Scott
W. Perry interview - click here], and we instantaneously became good
friends. I got involved a few months later when Scott asked my
opinion on the script for Dysmorphophobia:
Fear of Deformity. I read it and fell in love. He surprised me by telling me it would be included in
season 2 and
he wanted me to play the lead. We have become great
I'd like you to talk about each of your
episodes, your respective character and your approach to your role for a
Fear of Deformity?
Preparing for Dysmorphophobia:
Fear of Deformity
was a very visceral experience.
We filmed it in a house that was devastated by the Hurricane in LI. It
wasn’t hard to feel empty when I looked at the watermarks on the wall
and tattered Teddy bear left behind. It was truly dilapidated. On the date
of filming, I literally trapped myself in one of the rooms for 10 minutes,
laid down on the floor, and cried my eyes out. It
crushed me knowing that these poor people had lost their homes, cherished
belongings, and what was once their ‘safe’ place. I
tapped into very dark and hopeless thoughts for the role. I used
memories of feeling inadequate and damaged. We may not want to admit
it but we all have allowed these toxic ideas to invade our minds at one
point or another. In Dysmorphophobia:
Fear of Deformity
I used those memories as the
‘creature’ that was stalking me. A fear I can’t seem to face or
Glossophobia: Fear of Speaking in Public?
Glossophobia: Fear of Speaking in Public
Glossophobia: Fear of Speaking in Public was a case of being in the right place at the right time. I have
been a huge fan of Debbie Rochon [Debbie
Rochon interview - click here] for years and was invited to watch her
work. Something happened and one of the actresses had to be recast
on the same day. Luckily, I was on location already and everyone on
crew knew my work.The lead actor, David Marancik, was
comfortable with me since we had worked together before. I just
tried to fall back on my four years of horror/sci-fi classes at the
ActorsConnection NYC, taught by Pamela Kramer (producer, CD, owner of
Bradley Baron). I was prepared for the physical work
due to my studies with Pamela. My character was the survivor
girl who realizes that she may have just run into a dead end.You
have to watch to see.
Fear of Being Bound or Tied Up?
The approach to this
role was simple. I knew I had to get to know Kaylee Williams beforehand [Kaylee
Williams interview - click here]. I wanted to find a mutual connection so I could be her supporter,
friend, and truthful voice of reason. I was cast in the role the day
before, so Kaylee and I talked that same evening. I learned my lines
overnight and used the context of our previous conversations to help mold
our relationship on screen. The wardrobe did the rest of the work in
finding character and mannerisms.
Heather with Scott W. Perry
What can you tell us
about your collaboration with your director Scott W. Perry [Scott
W. Perry interview - click here] on these shorts, and how did you
two first hook up?
is one of my best friends in the world. I believe in
his work and writing. He has created not just a network
of over 150+ people that have worked on this project, but he has managed
to create a talented family who support one another. As
a director, he is very hands-on. He will sit with the actor for 5 minutes before every scene and discuss situations to reflect
upon. He uses memories and emotions to evoke an innate
reaction within the actor. I believe in his writing and he believes in his
cast and crew. We bonded after the In Fear
of - Season One-screening and his scripts inspire me. Being
a part of his work has been a blessing and it is an incredible feeling to
cheer on a friend that is on the rise.
with Kaylee Williams in Merinthophobia:
Fear of Being Bound or Tied Up
Do talk about your respective shoots
for a bit, and how did the experiences on the three episodes compare?
chuckle at this question because they were all polar opposites.
Fear of Deformity, I had to crawl under a house, wade through woods, and
be covered in SFX. I felt secluded and was on the verge
of wanting to puke from my emotions.
It was the
complete opposite for Merinthophobia:
Fear of Being Bound or Tied Up. I got completely pampered
in a lavish NYC photo studio. The location was a huge, beautiful, white
studio in Astoria. We even filmed it on my birthday! Filming
with friends is the best way to celebrate! They dolled me up in high
fashion makeup and I felt like royalty. Playing a model was definitely a
blast and filming it on my birthday put it over the top. After,
I even got a photoshoot from the amazing DP Steven-Mark Glassner as a
birthday gift [Steven-Mark
Glassner interview - click here]. I’m a big geek so Scott and Steven
brought in a Samurai sword for me to pose with!
Lastly, Glossophobia: Fear of Speaking in Public
was just a whirlwind. It was an unexpected
dream come true. I just came to meet Debbie Rochon [Debbie
Rochon interview - click here] and
I was lucky enough to be in a short scene directed by her! Debbie is
HYSTERICAL. There was this one scene we shot in a
U-Haul I’ll never forget. Instead of revealing her shooting zombies,
Debbie lifts the back of the U-Haul open and she is fake humping her co-star.
We all cracked up laughing for 10min.
We had to take a break before we shot again.
fear of deformity, of speaking in public, of being bound or tied up - at
all phobias you can relate to in your real life, and what are you,
personally, afraid of?
I am totally afraid of funeral homes
and wakes.I hyperventilate and have panic attacks.
I literally feel like my skin is crawling and I feel an immense
pressure all over my body. I just freak. One
of the reasons I like this series is because we can all relate to at least
one, if not all of the episodes. Everyone is afraid of
something. I am not really afraid of public speaking
but sometimes I get nervous before interviews so in a way I am. As for deformity, I can relate to not feeling
had my awkward phase like everyone else. I went through
braces, glasses, acne and the extra few pounds. I also
know what it feels like to come in last for something you gave 100 percent
at. There are some groups of people you just can’t
connect with in life. One of the things I like about
the indie film Industry is that we accept each other’s quirks and
differences. We are all here because we love what we
do. As for a fear of being bound, if it is followed by
some Saw-like torture: Hell yes!
You have also worked behind the
scenes on quite a number of episodes of
In Fear of that you have not starred in -
so what can you tell us
about your work on those, and how did your involvement come about?
worked on about 8 episodes behind the scenes. I’ve been working in production for years. My resume is filled with credits ranging from PA to
associate producer. I’ve worked for the government numerous times
and worked with Netflix as a PA and art department. I worked mostly as a
PA on In Fear of
but I filled the void wherever they needed help
because of my vast background. I even AC’d for a day. Scott
W. Perry, Steven Glassner, Tony DeBenedetto, and Bob Brodmerkel [Robert
L. Brodmerkel interview - click here] hired me
because of my experience and because we have become like a big family.
Besides, they say they need me. Apparently I am their
good luck charm and they refer to me as the official In Fear of-mascot.
on your experiences on
In Fear of
so far, would you return for a third season if there was
ABSOLUTELY! Family reunion: check box for YES please! I am so proud of our team and this
series is something I’d want to
watch. It would be an honor to continue to grow with this series. I enjoy making and watching every new
has been a very humbling experience to work with such great talents.
screengrab from Absent Witness
Any future projects beyond
Fear of you'd like to share?
currently co-teach a class at the ActorsConnection in NYC. I am a
death scene coach/consultant, which means I coach actors how to properly
die on-camera. I am very proud of this class and I work alongside acting coach and
CD Pamela Kramer. She teaches the horror/sci-fi acting class at the same school
(ActorsConnection.com). I am
also working on a paranormal TV drama called Absent Witness based on
the true accounts of Karl Petry. (Google that man! His abilities
will floor you.) I will be acting in 3 short films this summer and a
feature called Slaughterhouse, where I will be working both in front
of and behind the camera. I am also working on revamping a comedy web series called
TrueStorytheWebSeries.com. Look out for
A Place In Hell hitting theaters later this year too. I
was the assistant to the director and on-set death coach. I also helped
behind the camera for Flesh For The Beast which is making its festival rounds.
got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
grew up believing the myth that you had to be born into the career.
I got my B.A. in Contemporary Arts but I still never knew acting could be
a career for a normal girl. I couldn’t shake the feeling I had gotten
performing in school so I decided to audition for a play in Hoboken just
for fun. I got the lead… and then I got the lead in my
next two shows. After hearing great feedback, I was referred to a
school in NYC. I took a class and it changed my world. After seeing my first
musical, I snuck up on stage and looked out
at the empty audience. I felt like I belonged. I felt that same feeling in class when they yelled ACTION. I
decided to make acting a career move and began studying On-Camera with
some of the best coaches in NY. I have taken 4 years of Horror
Acting Classes and am now privately coached by the teacher. So my formal
training is 10+ years of Theatre, 4 years of Script Analysis in College,
and going on 4 years at the ActorsConnection.
Can you still remember your
first time in front of a movie camera, and what was that experience like?
was exhilarating. I was doing a show in Hoboken when a friend of
mine referred me for a role. They needed someone in Brooklyn that
weekend to film a commercial to be inserted in a movie. I remember
being pampered, getting free wine and gourmet food, and then being handed
a check for something I would have done for free. Acting is the best
feeling in the world and being able to pay my bills with it is absolute
heaven. Acting makes me feel alive.
with David Marancik and Debbie Rochon on the set
Glossophobia: Fear of Speaking in Public
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to
In Fear of?
In Fear of
I had done over
20 indie horror films. I was lucky to have made some wonderful
connections through film festivals. I was also the spokesperson for
Readorium.com and you can find me in many middle schools around the
Tri-State area teaching Science on a program used to assist kids with
How would you
describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring
your characters to life?
I use a coach to help me bring
each character to life. Every character has a posture, a range of
facial expressions, and a backstory. I try and find who they are and
how they are related to their surroundings and friends. As an actress, I am told that I have no filter. I go all out and have no
boundaries. Someone flicks a light switch in my head when "Action" is
called I will do anything the character would do even if ‘Heather’
would never dare. It is almost out of body. I totally enjoy
creating voices and mannerisms. My demon voice and possession death in The Locked Room is a great example. I’m told my comedy is compared
to Cheri Oteri and Annie Potts. I also have a very expressive face.
Actresses (and indeed actors)
who inspire you?
Katheryn Winnick. You all know her
from Vikings but I have been following her since a little movie called
Amusement. She has always inspired me and I hope to have a
career like hers.
Your favourite movies?
all you want, but Queen of the Damned and Final Destination 3 are some of
my favorites. Akasha is one of the best characters
ever! I am a huge Soska sisters fan [Soska
sisters interview - click here] and James Wan fan. American
Mary and Insidious are masterpieces. I also love
Forget Me Not and the new Indie smash hit Wrath of Crows starring my
friend Suzi Lorraine [Suzi
Lorraine interview - click here], Debbie Rochon [Debbie
Rochon interview - click here] and Tiffany Shepis [Tiffany
Shepis interview - click here]. I also love Jacob
(Larry Wade Carrell [Larry Wade
Carrell interview - click here]), Stay Alive, Ceramic Tango (Patricia Chica), and
anything by Alfredo Arcilesi [Alfredo
Salvatore Arcilesi interview - click here].
and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I try to find
something good in most films. I recently saw a film that was so not my
style that I loved it. I saw a midnight screening of Time To Kill. It was fantastic because the audience jeered and made
comments at the screen. It is the new Rocky Horror of
festivals.Thumbs up with the right crowd. Oohhh
and I snoozed through Twilight and hated
Funny Games and The Strangers.
Facebook, whatever else?
My website is Heatherdrewacting.com.
My FB is https://www.facebook.com/HeatherDrewActing
The acting school and death class: ActorsConnection.com
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
first half schedule for In Fear Of Season
2, coming June 13th to Vimeo On Demand! I also want to give a special shout out to Michael Christopher
Jones for writing the article naming me one of the Top 5 Rising Scream
Queens of 2014 for HorrorSociety.com and
Living Dead Magazine.
It was a pleasure to be a Deadly Beauty: Rising Talent in 2013 and
I hope to make you proud. Also a thank you to Michael
Gingold of Fangoria and a special thanks to all of you for reading this
and air hugs for allowing me to have this interview!