Your series Malvolia:
The Queen of Screams - in a few words, what is the show's premise?
Malvolia is a horror host for the modern day. She does weekly
twisted skits and reviews horror short films.
inspired you to create Malvolia:
The Queen of Screams in the first place?
I had written a treatment to be a part of a film series. The director
rejected it, but the producer encouraged me to keep going with it. Not
being under the restrictions of the film series, I knew I wanted to write
about something that no one was really talking about and wanted to make a
statement, but hit major writer's block. I went to ScareLA where they were
honoring Elvira and I was enthralled by the huge line of people that were
waiting for her. I wasn't allowed to watch Elvira when I was younger, so I
didn't really realize this incredible following and fan base she has. So,
I went with a horror host idea. However, the more I wrote, the more I
realized this would be better as a webseries. Malvolia is an Italian name
meaning "Ill-Will". It's also categorized on the internet as a
"vampire" name. "The Queen of Screams" is just a play
on for "Scream Queen".
talk about your character, Malvolia, for a bit: What do you draw upon to
bring her to life, and how much Jennifer Nangle can we find in her,
Even though I am compared to her regularly,
I really wanted to stay away from being like Elvira. So I went to the
heart of the horror hosts: Vampira. I tried to read and watch as much as I
could about Vampira, but because the station she worked for didn't back up
any of her shows, I then went to one of her inspirations: Morticia Addams.
These women were dark and fierce but also have a very dry sense of humor
along with an underlining sex appeal. That's what I wanted Malvolia to be.
I never said she was a vampire or a witch, because I wanted to make her
whatever, whenever. And I have to laugh, because I was thinking the other
day what part of Malvolia is of me. She is the darker, horror side that I
can't show is real life.
A few words about Malvolia:
The Queen of Screams' brand of humour?
I never really thought of Malvolia as funny, until a fan messaged me and
said how funny he thought the series was. I thought to myself: We go to
really dark places sometimes... HOW is this funny? I mean, I call my
audience my "victims", I talk about eating people, I drink
"blood" wine, I poisoned Victor and brought him back to life...
So I was explaining this to my associate producer Alex Napiwocki and he
thought I was out of my mind! Of course Malvolia is funny! Some of the
topics are so out there and the way the script is written and the way I
present it has that dark comedy with it. So, I would say it is a very
dark, dry humor.
you tell us about Malvolia:
The Queen of Screams' critical and audience reception so far?
prepared myself and anticipated a lot of hate when I decided launch the
idea at the beginning of 2017. I figured everyone would say I was copying
Elvira and that I was a wanna be. I didn't want to say too much about what
I was working on, so my boyfriend (G113 Photography) and I took a couple
of promo pictures as the queen and I released the one with the bluish
green background with both my arms reaching out and braced myself. To my
surprise - people LOVED the idea!!! And I was shocked! I am still shocked
to this day when people will say they are a fan and love the series. It's
a great feeling!
it's still Halloween season, let's talk about your Halloween special,
Halloween Party - so what's that one about?
Malvolia is having her annual Halloween party when she receives an
unexpected invitation that her friend "Bloody Sheri" finds on
her bloody corpse welcome mat. She has been invited to a Halloween party
being thrown by filmmakers on "earth's surface" and would like
Malvolia to be the guest of honor! Well of course she would because she
thinks that this is her ticket to Hollywood, but really, Hunter
(filmmaker) hasn't been completely forthcoming with the information and
all hell breaks loose once Malvolia finds out what is really going on.
It's definitely a dark comedy shot reality show style and everyone got
involved (ie the camera guys)! We poke fun at the industry stereotypes and
just laugh at ourselves. I thought it was an utter blast and knew it was
something we have never presented to Malvolia fans before, so I thought,
this is either going to be great or completely fall flat... So far, SO
GREAT! We have had such great responses from fans, horror bloggers, film
reviewers - I really loved how everyone got it.
talk about Malvolia's
Halloween Party's director Hunter Johnson (also a frequent
director on the series) for a bit, and what's working with him like?
met Hunter 2 years ago. His film 2 Jennifer was coming out
around the same time as my short film Demonic Attachment was
out, so we ended up filming We Are Indie Horror's It Came
from Candi's Lab
right after one another. Fast forward to a week or so before he screened
his film, his name came up and a mutual friend had said, "If you want
to get things done, you get Hunter Johnson on your side." So right
then and there I knew I was going to make this guy my friend whether he
liked it or not!!! Shortly afterwards he asked me to be a part of a horror
anthology (which is currently on hold) and we've been working together
ever since. I ended up asking him to direct a short film I wrote and was
going to be acting in called The Deal and it was such an easy
collaboration. The film currently has 81,000 views and counting on YouTube. Hunter's mind is the complete opposite of mine, so I feel we
creatively balance each other out.
can you tell us about Malvolia's
Halloween Party's cast, and why exactly these people?
tend to work with the same people. They are the people that show and prove
to me that they want it just as much as I do. Doing indie no budget films
isn't everyone's cup of tea and I have been on numerous sets where an
actor has a diva mentality and just makes the whole atmosphere toxic. I
want positivity and drive. As you know, I work with Hunter a lot. We were
filming a different segment for Malvolia:
The Queen of Screams when ideas started to flow for
the Halloween special. A week later I asked Hunter if he was still down
and we got on the phone and started hashing out what I wanted, where we
wanted to go with it, what kind of actors I was looking for. I immediately
went onto Facebook and tried to reach other to the other Malvolia:
The Queen of Screams guests
to see who would be down to come back for the special. I did an open post
in case anyone else wanted to get into the mix. Charles was always going
to be in it, he had no choice if he didn't want to. Bria and Baker
volunteered for this crazy time! Richard and Alex are associate producers
and are always behind the camera but were willing to be themselves in
front of the camera (they are naturals!). Garrett Lee came to reprise
Victor. Lastly, originally we were trying to have the actress who played
"Bloody Mary" in a skit reprise her role, but she was
unavailable... So, Hunter said, "Why don't we change it to
"Bloody Sheri" her sister! We tossed a couple names around and
Sheri Davis' name came up and I just knew I should ask her. She luckily
said yes! Once everyone was in place, Hunter wrote these parts
specifically for the actors and I think he did a phenomenal job.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
it was shot "reality show" style, there weren't a ton of set ups
and/or cuts and, if anyone knows Hunter, he loves to get a lot of
"one takes", which made sense for this film (i.e. when I pick up
the camera at the end and exit the party - that was all one take and one
shot. In fact, that was the only one we did! #onetakewonder). Charles came
prepared with that picture he drew so we immediately knew that was a
moment in and of itself! Bria nailed her character on the head - you can
tell she's around a lot of "actresses" here in LA. And Baker,
well, he really was the new guy in the group! Not really sure if he was
acting that day or thinking we were all out of our minds! No, Baker is
super talented and really embraced everything we threw at him! I naturally
flowed with Sheri (Bloody Sheri) very easily and she was cracking me up
all day long! Garrett (Victor) and I also easily work off of one another
naturally and have done this many times before, so piece of cake with him!
And Richard and Alex were such sports jumping in front of the camera and
just nailed their scenes and improv! All in all, everyone just naturally
flowed and worked off of one another. It was such a fun day creatively!
(other) of your favourite episodes of Malvolia:
The Queen of Screams?
The Ill-Will Incoxicant for sure! I told Garrett (Victor) I wanted a
drink named after me and he came up with that concoction. So tasty! Malvolia's Match! I had written it the night before and actor
Kevin Caliber (Damien) was SUCH a sport. I kept missing my cue because we
had just filmed the "Ill-Will" cocktail episode and I was
feeling a little tipsy from it and we kept having to redo a lot of it. He
just laughed so I think he had a good time! All the filmmaker's I was able
to showcase. Those shorts were great, entertaining, and to the point!
So what are the future
plans for Malvolia:
The Queen of Screams - and other future projects you'd like to
I thought once Halloween had passed, I would
take a break. The month of October was INSANE for me! However, I have a
few more ideas I'd like to film that I feel will lead up to the Christmas
holidays and then break to gather my thoughts for season 2 come 2018. I'm
also trying to figure out how I can reach more filmmakers to have me showcase their films. I'd LOVE to do more hosting! I was able to host the
Northern Fright Festival in Canada this year along with the 15 Second
Horror Short Film Challenge, a segment for the podcast Creature
and hosted writer/director Craig Fisher's Halloween horror short Nightmaere... I am going to attend as many conventions as her,
so there's no stopping! Just, go go go!
What got you into acting in the first place, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
went and saw a play that family friends were in and was just amazed by the
performance. How they moved on stage and sang - I was mesmerized. So, I
started acting in community theater and musicals when I was 10 years old.
I auditioned and acted in every show I could, acting in and rehearsing for
4 shows at once. When I went to college, I majored in theater studies and
received my BFA. I waited a couple years before I moved to Los Angeles,
but I knew I would be competing against real professionals, so I enrolled
at the Laura Henry Acting Studio and studies the Meisner, Linklater, and
Alexander technique for 2 years. It was intense, but I learned a lot and
became stronger from it. Since then I take classes here and there, but
mainly I focus on self-producing.
also tend to perform behind-the-camera duties on quite a few of your
projects - why is that so, and which of those jobs do you enjoy the most,
which could you do without?
Honestly, acting is my
love. I really only do the other duties because we are in an age of
self-production and if you want to get things done your way, to tell the
stories you want to tell, then you have to be able to do everything and
anything possible to get it all done. If I could pass one position on to
someone else it would be editing. It's not something that comes easily to
me and I feel it is a time sucker. I'll sit down and maybe sync a couple
clips, cut and paste something, and BOOM! It's like 3 hours later and I
might have gotten one scene done.
Some of your past projects
you'd like to talk about?
Writing and acting in Demonic Attachment really changed my world. The film is based
on the haunted house I grew up in and the history around Danvers, MA and
the Salem witch trials. It was a huge learning experience and made me
stronger. But it also pushed me into the horror community who completely
embraced me. I've made great friends, working collaborators, and contacts!
Without it, I wouldn't be where I am today!
minute I was asked to be a part of the horror anthology 10/31
by William "Rocky" Gray. I felt honored that someone I didn't
know was asking me to film a small segment for his feature film! When the
trailer was released, I was pleasantly shocked because he used me in the
beginning of the trailer! ME! Such an honor and he was so supportive
throughout the entire process. Def check out the film when it's released!
Lilith - I got that role after being recommended by my
great friend Charles Chudabala. It's great to have friends who look out
for you! I loooooooooove my segment and to say it got bloody was an
understatement! Filming for it was a blast! This film is coming out next
year as well!
with Vernon Wells in Lilith
How would you describe
yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your
characters to life?
I'm a method actress. I do my
homework. Learn the script inside and out. Come up with character
breakdowns/ideas. But when I arrive to set, I put all my focus on my
acting partner and just work off of them. They are the captain of my ship
and vice versa. I really love to be in the moment. Crazy, unexpected
moments come out of it and it can be really rewarding.
I recently worked with veteran actor Vernon Wells in the upcoming
horror anthology Lilith. To say I was challenged was an
understatement. He kept pointing his finger at me during one scene and it
pissed me off (in the scene of course). He ended up mentioning it in
between takes that he kept noticing me looking at his finger and I
replied, "I'm restraining myself from not biting it off!" He
laughed but I honestly felt that way! I don't think he was expecting that
answer and it's just a great moment! So much fun!
Actresses (and indeed actors) who
Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro, Julianne
Moore, Brooke Lewis.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Blair Witch Project, Insidious - but pretty much anything by James Wan and
Leigh Whannell -, The Gate (terrified me as a kid), Clue, Drop Dead
and of course, films you really deplore?
dislike films. I know what it takes to get a film made from idea to script
to budget to prepro to casting to filming to editing to post to releasing
it out to an audience that has an opinion and a world wide web to tell it
to. Every filmmaker deserves a huge pat on the back for getting a film
series' website, Facebook, whatever else?
The Queen of Screams's sites:
for the interview!
All photos except
still from Lilith by G113 Photography