Why don't you introduce yourself in a few short phrases to all those
who don't already know who you are ?
Well, Iím an actress
and filmmaker. Iíve had roles in horror films such as Chainsaw
Sally and The Death of Poe. Iíve also been involved with film
producing and music scoring.
By and large, you are
labelled as a horror-actress or even scream queen. Do you think this label
is correct or does it bother you ?
It doesnít bother me
at all! Iím actually quite flattered! The horror fans have been very
supportive. I think that label came about when I did Chainsaw
The scene where I scream the most is quite a memorable one!
Your upcoming film though, One-Eyed
Horse, is a Western. What can you tell us about the film and your role
in it ?
Yes, One-Eyed Horse is a western that
will be out on DVD sometime in 2008. The story is about a man named Justin
Gatewood (Mark Redfield), who gets out of prison and has his mind set on
getting revenge on a man named William Curry (Mike Hagan) who put him
there and let his brother die on the battlefield in the Civil War. I play
Justin Gatewoodís daughter, Helen, who has been running the familyís
freight business and wants her father back to lead a normal life with her.
You have two other upcoming films, Lady Gunslinger
and The Tell-Tale Heart. Lady Gunslinger also happens to be
a Western. What can you tell us about that film and do you think the
Western genre might re-emerge via independent cinema or is it just
Westerns do seem to be making a come-back in
the film industry lately. Itís a total coincidence that Iím doing
these westerns recently. Both One-Eyed Horse and Lady
Gunfighter were planned before this reemergence.
Lady Gunfighter is kind-of a road trip film. In the beginning of the
story, my character is getting married and a gang of men crash her wedding
and shoot her husband-to-be. She then sets out to find these men and kill
them. She takes her husbandís brother with her on her journey. Along the
way she meets a quirky cast of characters. Itís a drama but with a lot
of comedic elements to it.
The Tell-Tale Heart on the other hand is
all-out horror, an adaptation of the famous Edgar Allan Poe story. A few
words about that movie ...
This version of The Tell-Tale
Heart includes Poeís famous story, but also has a wrap around story
about a killer who, just after the end of the Civil War, takes over a
boarding house run by a couple named Mr. and Mrs. Clarion, who will be
played by Robert Quarry and Ingrid Pitt. The Poe story about the old
man in the room takes place within the film. Mr. Clarion is an invalid
and spends most of his time in bed. He psychologically torments the
killer. We have a great cast that includes, in addition to Ingrid Pitt and
Robert Quarry, Mark Redfield, Debbie Rochon, and Kevin G. Shinnick. Iíll
be playing ďThe ClarionsĒ daughter-in-law, who lost her husband in the
war and is living at the boarding house.
The Tell-Tale Heart is not
your first Poe-related film though. One of your most recent releases is The
Death of Poe ...
Yes, The Death of Poe is the story
about what may have happened to Edgar Allan Poe in the final week of his
life. No one really knows for sure what the cause of his death was, but
based on theory and facts the film takes you from Edgar setting out from
Richmond, Virginia on his way to New York. He stops off in Baltimore and
is found several days later in a gutter and taken to the hospital. The
Death of Poe fills in the gaps of those few days. Itís filled with
surreal imagery about what may have been going on inside Poeís mind as
he dealt with addiction and depression. The DVD is great for fans of Poe
because itís a 3-disc set that also includes the silent films The
Avenging Conscience from 1914, The Raven from 1915, and an audio
CD of Poeís stories and poems.
As far as I know, The Death of Poe is the
first film you also wrote the complete musical score for. Can you say a
few words about your music, your musical career, and your experiences with
scoring films ?
Iíve been playing music since I was a kid
and wanted to go into music as my career before I discovered acting. I had
done some music for industrials before but The Death of Poe is
the first score Iíve done for a feature film. Doing a whole film score
was definitely a challenge for me. Iíll be doing the score for The
Tell-Tale Heart next.
Apart from acting and making music, you have
also produced a few films. What can you tell us about that aspect of your
career, and what do you enjoy most, acting, making music or producing ?
I have been the associate producer on The Death Of Poe and Chainsaw
Sally but I definitely enjoy acting the most. Itís great
to be a different person for a while. I want to learn as much as I can
about filmmaking so I helped with producing those films to gain experience
can't help but noticing that Mark Redfield is in some way involved in most
of the projects you are working on. What is your connection ?
known Mark Redfield since I was a kid. Our parents are friends. I fell out
of touch with him for a long time. So, when I started acting I gave him a
call to see what he was working on and for advice. At that time, Mark had
just started talking to Jimmy Burril about doing a film about Chainsaw
Sally. I tagged along to a party that Jimmy and April Burril were
having and Jimmy asked me if Iíd be interested in playing a role that he
was thinking about for the film. Thatís pretty much how Mark and I
re-connected and I came to be involved with Chainsaw
many filmmakers, Mark has a group of actors and crew that he uses in a lot
of his projects. Wayne Shipley was also working with Mark on The Death
of Poe when he decided to make his western film, One-Eyed Horse.
Wayne cast Mark, myself, and several others from The Death of Poe. I
guess you go with people who are good and you like working with. There
seems to be this big intertwined group of us who always work together.
are a few of your past films I would like you to talk about a bit: Chainsaw
Sally, one of your earliest films as far as I know, has over the years
become quite a cult hit ...
Sally has gotten
a lot of attention and has been well received. I think the idea of a
female serial killer intrigues people. Then they get to know all of the
fun, quirky characters that are in the film that we all can relate to.
A few words about BloodShadow
That film actually has been pushed off for a little while.
In Dirty Shame, in which you only had a
small role, you actually worked with legendary John Waters. What can you
tell us about him ?
Working with John Waters was great. He is very down to earth and has a great
sense of humor. Although, when it comes to his work he takes it very seriously.
I hope to work with him again in the future.
There's one film I just have to mention,
the British TV-production Armed Robbery Orgasm - what a great title
... It's not as sleazy as it sounds like though, right ?
is, in a way actually! I did some production work and played one of the
robbery victims on that project. Itís a documentary based on a book
written by Dr. John Money about a crime spree that happened in the
1980ís in Baltimore. A man named Ronald Keyes whoís former girlfriend
Debbie Myers, claimed that the only way she could get turned on was to
commit armed robbery. So according to Ron Keyes, Debbie talked him into
going on this crime spree and then turned him in for it. Itís a
twisted, delusional tale based on Ronís diary. Debbie denied that it was
her idea to commit the crimes and hadnít seen Ron since she turned him
in. Ron passed away just before the film team came to the US to shoot the
re-enactments but, thank God, they had already gotten some interview
footage with him.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
also did quite some TV-work ...
Yes. Iím on almost every
episode of the current season of HBOís The Wire as Whitingís
( the editor-in-chief of The Baltimore Sun Newspaper) Secretary. I also
had some small roles on The West Wing and The District.
By and large, you have done all
your films in and around your hometown Baltimore. What can you tell us
about the Baltimore film scene, and would you ever consider moving
somewhere else for filmwork ?
The Baltimore-Washington DC
area actually has a pretty active film and television scene. Weíve had
several television shows that have been based here such as The Wire,
On the Block, Homicide and The West Wing. As far as film
goes many productions use the area as a substitute for cities like New
York or even Amsterdam as Ridley Scott recently did with his up-coming
film Body of Lies.
I do plan on moving out to the Los Angeles area relatively soon. Of course
itís the best place to be if you are in the film industry.
Your website and/or mySpace
and/or whatever ?
My personal website is www.jenniferrouse.com. I try to keep it updated with news and new
photographs. You can find links to the various film sites on my website. I
also have a mySpace page at www.myspace.com/jenniferrouse.
What actresses (or actors indeed) inspire you
I think there are too many to list! There are a ton of
actors and actresses from the past and present that inspire me. Some of my
favorites - not in any order - are Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp,
Christopher Lee, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Katherine Hepburn, Anthony
Hopkins, Charlie Chaplin Ö I could go on and on.
Your favourite movies (you are not in yourself) ?
love all of Alfred Hitchcockís films. Between his directing and Bernard
Hermannís musicÖwow! Itís a shame they had a falling out toward the
end. They were such a great team.
Iím also a fan of Tim Burtonís movies. I love that he does gothic
horror films. Not many people are doing that in mainstream Hollywood these
days. He has such a great eye and the art directing for his films is
amazing. I just saw Sweeney Todd in the past few weeks and loved it.
I really like what Guierrmo del Torro has done with films like The
Devilís Backbone and Panís Labyrinth.
There are a ton of other films that I love.
other interests besides film you would care to talk about ?
since I started doing western films in the past year or so Iíve acquired
an interest in riding horses and shooting guns.
When Wayne Shipley first cast me in One-Eyed Horse he started having
weekly training sessions that he called Cowboy Bootcamp. I hadnít
ridden a horse since I was a teenager. So, it was basically starting over
for me. I had to learn the commands and the personality of the horse I was
going to be riding in the film. For One-Eyed Horse Iíve been
riding a horse named Wesley that has been great to work with. He learns
all of his marks very fast, within about 2 rehearsal takes. The only thing
he had a little problem with was riding up to a bon fire in one of the
scenes. But we got through it.
The gun shooting has been a new experience for me. Back in
September of 2007 I joined the Single Action Shooter Society (S.A.S.S.).
Theyíve been great! I had only shot blanks before joining, but the
members of S.A.S.S. have been very generous with teaching me gun safety
and proper shooting techniques. The trainers Iíve been working with said
the best way to look like you know what youíre doing for a film is to
ACTUALLY know what youíre doing. Good advice I think!
projects you haven't mentioned yet ?
pre-production for The Tell-Tale Heart and right after that Iíll
be doing Lady Gunfighter. Iíve also been looking at a few other
scripts for future projects as well.
Anything else I forgot to
ask but you are dieing to talk about ?
I think that pretty
much covers it. I want to thank you for taking the time to interview me.
Itís been a pleasure!
Thanks for the