Your upcoming movie Wineville - in a few words, what's it
It's a film set in 1978 I like to call it a cross between
Massacre and Psycho, it's about a young girl of 15 that ran away
from home because of severe emotional and physical abuse at the hands of
her really messed up family. 26 years later she has to go back to the
family ranch because her father has died, and she has to deal with the sale
of the vineyard. But when she gets back home she finds that her family has
become even more psychotic and all the dark festered secrets are revealed.
We donít know if she and her young son Walter will escape and come out
alive. Or even possibly repeat the evil cycle.
How did the project fall together in the first
place, and what convinced you to star in it, produce and direct it?
I have always wanted to make a horror film, itís up there alongside
murder mysteries as my favorite genre of film. I even took a course in
college on serialkillers. I knew I wanted it to be at my friend's winery
so writer Richard Schenkman and I went to the winery and came up with this really
story. This film is my baby and I wanted something I could be proud of
that I was in charge of, that way I knew it wouldnít be crap.
can you tell us about Wineville's writer Richard Schenkman, and
what was your collaboration like?
I was introduced to Richard
through another director, Brian Herzlinger, a friend of our producer Robin
DeMartino. Brian thought Richard would be a good fit for my project.
Richard and I hit it off right away. I felt like most the time we were
thinking the same things and most of the time agreed with everything, and
when we didnít we were great compromisers. We worked very well together.
We both have the same twisted minds and we both like to push the envelope.
Richard was with me through the entire process and has been an amazing
What were the
challenges of bringing Wineville to the screen from a producer's
point of view?
I donít know if I can answer that just yet since
we just finished production. Now the fun starts! But what I can say is
that during production it is extremely difficult waiting for people to do
their job. Itís the waiting thatís hard. It takes a long time for a film
to get made because you are at the mercy of everyone's schedules.
With Wineville being a horror
movie, is that a genre at all dear to you, and why (not)?
memories of horror films go all the way back to when I was 6 years old
when I watched The Exorcist
with my mother. From that point on we were
always watching horror films together. I know that sounds kinda messed up
but it's been a bonding experience for mom and I throughout the years.
few words about Wineville's approach to horror?
your typical slasher, this is a film about a real life effed up family, and
we explain throughout the film why they are the way they are. And you
almost sympathize with the killers because you see how they got that way.
It's really very story-driven.
talk about your directorial approach to your story at hand!
wanted the film to have no cheese factor. No girls falling down running
from the killer. I wanted everything realistic. Lots of practical effects
as well, I aimed for a Hitchcockian smooth, steady style (as opposed to
handheld or jumpy), making the images as beautiful as possible Ė while
incorporating a 16mm projector ďhome movieĒ look for the key flashback
also play the lead in Wineville - so what can you tell us about
your character, what did you draw upon to bring her to life, and how much
Brande Roderick can we find in Tess?
There is a lot of me in
Tess, Iím a single mother of a young son. Iíve had adversities Iíve had to
overcome throughout my life. My life wasnít always a bed of roses. And I
will do anything in my power to protect my son as Tess would.
What can you tell
us about the rest of Wineville's cast, and why exactly these
Carolyn Hennesy knocked her audition out of the park.
She was the perfect Margaret. As far a Walter, that role was always my
son's, it was written for my son Keaton. Heís such a natural talent and a
strong kid. Casey King brought a nice tenderness to the character showing
that sometimes evil doesnít always come from a malicious intent, but that
it can just come from something imbedding into a person from an early age
or even a bloodline.
A few words about the shoot as such, and the
We shot the film in a short 12 days, so for
me it was pretty stressful trying to get every shot done by the end of the
day. One thing that Richard taught me was the importance of picking well-seasoned, great reputation actors for a low budget film because we donít
have the luxury of multiple takes and drama on set. And boy was he right.
Everyone came to set prepared and ready to work. We would have been in
trouble if they werenít. And the result was a wonderful feeling of family
on the set, lots of laughs.
The $64-question of course, any idea
when and where the film might be released?
Since we just
finished the film we missed the deadlines for most of the major film
festivals but were able to squeeze into a few. The first one is the La
Femme International Film Festival October 19th in Los Angeles, then
off to Kentucky for Scarefest Weekend, where we will be screening
at the prime time slot Saturday night October 21st at 9pm, then off to the
Fort Lauderdale Film Festival to Scream, there November 4th at
projects you'd like to share?
Iím currently in pre-production on
two anthology series, one regarding human trafficking and the other a
revenge-based show. Both series are based on true events.
What got you into acting
in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the
I have wanted to perform as far back as I can remember.
Starting as young as six years old I was putting on performances for all
the neighbors and would sell tickets to the show. I have been taking
acting lessons since high school, through college, and then in LA with
renowned acting coaches like Ivanna Chubbuck, Howard Fine and Sandy
Of late, you've also increasingly taken up work
behind the camera - why is that, and what side of the camera do you
I now consider myself a filmmaker, I want to
create content that I believe in. When it started it was content that I
wanted to act in, but now itís more than that. For me it's about getting
someone's story across, 'Im sure that will shift again at some point, and I
may want to make a comedy and have a little fun, but for now Iím wanting to
use my voice for something more meaningful. As far as which do I prefer? I
love it all! Iím a filmmaker.
In the early 2000s you've starred on
the TV show Baywatch - and since that show has many fans to this
day, you just have to talk about your time on the series!
Baywatch was my real big break and Iíll be eternally
grateful for that opportunity. That experience was truly magical, living in
Hawaii and forming the bonds with the cast were like a family. Best job in
the world truly!
other past film and TV work of yours you'd like to talk about?
have been blessed with some amazing films and co-stars ranging from
Scarlet Johansson in The Nanny Diaries to Ben Stiller and
Owen Wilson in Starsky & Hutch. Even my reality career
had me working with the likes of Joan Rivers, Latoya Jackson, Trace
Atkins, Clint Black and the list goes on.
would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
My acting approach is to be as
real as possible. How can I relate to this character? What can I draw upon
in my own personal life to mesh these two people together. I act in the
moment - ďacting is reactingĒ -, but always be prepared
whoever else who inspire you?
Iím inspired by
actor/producers like Angelina Jolie, Jessica Biel, Elizabeth Banks and
Your favourite movies?
all time favorite is, and always has been since our teacher had us watch
it in the 5th grade, Gone with the Wind. I love the triumph
of a women getting knocked down, losing everything and then getting back
up and rebuilding it all again. Shows a very strong woman. My second
favorite movie is the original film Spartacus starring
Kirk Douglas, it's such a powerful story of love, courage and strength. My
third favorite guilty pleasure is Pretty Woman. My top
favorite horror films are
Nightmare on Elm
Street and Bram Stoker's Dracula.
and of course, films you really deplore?
This is a tough
question, Iím pretty open to anything. If itís well made and has a good
story, Iím open.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
All social media, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. is
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Ha ha, I donít think thatís possible, lol.
for the interview!