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Actress
Christa Campbell!!!

It's hard not to feel a bit intimidated when you're sitting across from a gal as beautiful as Christa Campbell. But after a few minutes of her putting me at ease, it became quite clear that the only thing that matchs Christa's beauty... is her sweetness. She talked to Icons Of Fright about first getting into acting, her experiences on the set of '2001 MANIACS' and the upcoming remake of 'THE WICKER MAN' starring Nicolas Cage. Read on & ENJOY, ghouls!!! - by Robg. 8/06


What are your earliest recollections of the horror genre? Do you remember the first movie to really scare you?

Oh yes! When I was a kid I had 3 movies that I watched about 30 or 40 times. One was ‘Vacation’. Another was ‘Poltergeist’, which was my favorite! And the third was ‘Kentucky Fried Movie’. And so, I know every line in ‘Poltergeist’ because I’ve seen it so many times. It scared the crap out of me. That was my first taste of horror and I’ve been addicted to it ever since.

So, you actually started a career in modeling, which eventually led to a career in acting, correct?

Yea, I was modeling and it got kind of boring, so I thought I would try something a bit more challenging. When I came to LA, I started studying and acting. And that was pretty much it.

How difficult was it to make that transition?

Very difficult. It was very hard, because when you’re a model you’re always aware of the camera and when you’re an actress you’re never aware of the camera. So to make that transition was difficult, but if you work at it, you can do it. If you work at anything, you can make it happen for yourself.

You’ve worked in a lot of different mediums. You’ve done modeling, you’ve worked in television, you’ve done a number of different types of films, and you’ve been in horror films. What are among the difference you’ve noticed from working in so many different mediums?

I don’t prefer one over the other. I just do whatever comes to me, in good taste. I love to do everything. With TV, the turnover is really quick. So, you go in, you shoot and you’re done. You don’t have time to get SO into character. You just have to jump into it, because the production moves fast. With film, you get to have time with the script initially and really get into the characters. I think I prefer film, but I love everything. TV pays really well though! (laughs)

Do you remember your audition for ‘2001 Maniacs’?

Yea, actually. I originally was going to play the character with the mouth piece (Peaches). I was still the milk maid, but I had the teeth & that kill, so I had all of her dialogue and lines. The audition went very quickly. The call back was on a Friday, and later that afternoon, they called me and told me I got it.

So, it happened so quickly and originally, I auditioned for Peaches, the gal with the Penis Fly Trap. (laughs) And I had to DO that scene in the auditions with the other guys. They kept bringing in all these guys. They realized they wanted me for the movie, so they had me do the “penis fly trap” scene over & over again with 20 different guys! (laughs) They’d come in and be so freaked out, because I’d just grab them and spread their legs and put my mouth right by their thing. It was acting! I wasn’t going to really DO anything, but I could see each guy sweating. (laughs) It was fun!

Now, when you had gotten the part, were you familiar with the original movie?

You know what? I own it now, and I’ve seen it now, but originally I wasn’t familiar with it. And I didn’t really want to watch it, because I didn’t want to get an idea in my head of how the character was supposed to be performed. Sometimes you see plays over and over and you try to emulate what was done before just by instinct. So, I didn’t want to have any of that influence. I wanted to do my own thing, and I think that was a good choice. Now, I’ve seen the original since, I own it, and I think it’s great, but it’s definitely different.

I felt that it’s got the same vibe as the one your guys did, which is great. And Tim was so happy that we picked that up in his version.

Yea.

You have obviously one of the more memorable kill scenes in ‘2001 Maniacs’. What was it like to prepare for that?

I didn’t really have time to prepare, because we were on such a tight schedule, that they decided maybe they’d shoot that scene when they got back to LA in a studio. Then, all of a sudden Tim said, “Nah, let’s do it NOW.” So, I thought “Umm… OK!” So, we were rushing to get ready for that scene, and I think that was the moment that Tim got stung by like… 6 wasps!

And he was passed out seconds before the scene. Plus, the film was running out, and wrap time was coming fast. So, literally, we did 2 takes and that was it. They told me “Christa, you’ve got two takes and then we’re done.” So, I got comfortable with doing it on the location as opposed to LA. It was pretty rushed, but I was very happy with the outcome.

Your kill scene was actually one of the few scenes that involved nudity on your part. Was that at all weird for you? Or were you comfortable enough with it for this?

Umm… I REALLY wanted to do the movie. (laughs) And I don’t think I had an option at the time. But…

Well, it worked in your favor. It was a really funny scene!

I feel comfortable with my body, so I don’t think there’s a problem with it. I mean, you go to Europe and everyone’s naked. I don’t understand why there is such a weird thing about nudity in the states. Who cares? I’ll turn on the TV and see some movie with Nicole Kidman naked in some birth scene. I think people having a problem with nudity, it’s stupid. As long as it’s done in good taste. As long as it’s not a porno (laughs), then who cares?!

I’ve heard plenty of stories from Tim (Sullivan) and Wendy (Kremer). ‘2001 Maniacs’ just looked like SUCH a fun film to make. So, when you look back at the shoot, is there anything that for you sums up that whole experience?

I learned SO much on that movie, because I’d done small parts on big budget films, but I’d never done an independent feature. You don’t have all the luxuries that you would normally have on a big budget film. We didn’t have trailers or heaters or anything and we worked our asses off! We were there to make a movie, and we were there to have a great time and do the best that we could do. And we had to work 10 times harder then we would on any other film, because we only had one or two takes. You don’t have 30 takes to say one line.

Everyone on the production was so positive. Lin (Shaye) and Robert (Englund) were SO positive. It’d be 4 in the morning and we’d all be freezing our asses off, and Lin & Robert would be happy just to be there. I kept thinking “Wow, this is really cool.” If they’re not complaining, then why would I? It was a really great learning experience, because anything I work on now, I’d just go with the flow. When I have a stand in on a movie, I’m usually shocked! (laughs) “Thank you so much!” I’m very appreciative when it comes to work.

I assume you grew up like the rest of us watching the ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’ movies, and of course, you’re co-star in ‘2001 Maniacs’ was Robert (Freddy Krueger) Englund. And Robert loves to talk, so give us one good Robert Englund story?

Well, there was a story going around at one point that he was rushed to the hospital or had choked or some crazy thing like that, and in fact, he had just taken some kind of antacid and ended up going to the hospital for like… a minute. And then it ended up being reported & exaggerated on CNN. (laughs) He’s just an all around great guy. He has a gazillion stories to tell.

Was it intimidating working with him? I mean, the guy was Freddy!

No, because he doesn’t act that way. He treats everyone on an equal level. He talks to people and he knows details & he remembers everything about you. He’s really just a great person. No ego. Just happy as can be. I was always a huge fan of his. I wasn’t afraid of him, I was afraid of maybe when I first met him being intimidated, but once I realized how cool & down to earth he was, I was really excited just to work with him.

Tim (Sullivan) is obviously very enthusiastic when it comes to his films and just the horror genre in general. What’s it like to work with something who’s that enthusiastic about the work?

You know what? It set the tone for the whole movie, because a lot of times you work on films with the director’s just making it thru the day. And it shows in the movie. But I think when you have someone that is passionate and prepared – I mean, he sketched out the scenes long before we even shot them. It was crazy! His passion rubs off on everyone and it makes everyone work harder, and it pulls great performances out of people, and I think it’s really important that you set the whole tone for the movie, which is why we shot it in a certain amount of days and it looks beautiful. I think that’s what good filmmaking is. Doing stuff from the heart. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
‘2001 Maniacs’ is definitely a fun theatrical experience, or at least great to watch with a crowd. In fact, I had a screening of it Icons crew when the DVD came out. What was it like for you to see it on the big screen for the first time with an audience?

Oh, I was REALLY nervous! I was in Montreal at the premiere with my boyfriend and I was so nervous because we had just started dating, so I thought he was going to see it and be like “Oh my God!” (laughs) I felt like I was going to faint. I had a few drinks before we went, and afterwords I felt like I was going to pass out. Afterwords, he just said, “Wow. That was… a crazy movie.” (laughs) I was just so freaked out about the nudity and about the killing, while sitting next to him. But he just thought it was a crazy movie. I figured if he could put up with that, he could put up with anything.

Well, you did fine! Ya know, I’ve seen you now at a few of the different conventions. What’s the convention experience like from your perspective?

It’s really, really a great thing. Most people don’t realize what a great thing it is. Because you get to meet with the fans, and they get to talk and hang out with you. And you get to sign pictures for them. I think to have a personal relationship with people is really important. Because it’s viral. Those that weren’t original fans are now going to check out your other movies. It’s really nice to see that people are responding to the work you put out there. And it’s wonderful to meet people, and take pictures and talk to them. It’s wonderful for everyone and I love doing conventions. Yea, it gets a little tiring because you’re here for long hours, but it’s definitely worth it.

As a horror fan, do you walk around and check out the cool stuff people have to offer?

Yea, I like to walk around and check out everything. I think I’m going to get myself a ‘ Land Of The Dead’ T-Shirt before I leave this weekend.

You have a part in the upcoming ‘WICKER MAN’ remake. Can you tell us anything about the part you’re playing?

I’m in the first opening 3 scenes with Nic (Cage) when you first see his character. I own the diner that him and his cop friend come to. I’m just in the opening scenes, I’m not on the island. On the island, it’s all woman, and they’re all… sorta of these blonde… crazy woman. (laughs) I can’t say much. The movie’s really scary and it’s great. It’s different from the original, but I think it’s going to scare the shit out of you.

What was it like working with an established actor such as Nicolas Cage?

I realized why he’s a movie star. He comes on set. He knows his lines. He’s very professional. He knows his shit. He is on it. And he’s great. When I met him I realized that’s the reason he is who he is. He’s very professional.

Well, the word is out that Tim Sullivan and the crew are coming back for another ‘2001 Maniacs’ movie. Are you excited to do the sequel and do you know anything about it as of yet?

Yes, I am VERY excited and I’m playing the milk maid again. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to working with Tim, Lin and Robert again. The script is really good and different from the first. There are more killings and I believe the infamous barrel roll will be in it. I can’t give away anymore details! But it’ll be good.


Special Thanks to Tim Sullivan!!!

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