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Actress
Raine Brown!!!

Actress Raine Brown has been making quite a name for herself in the past few years, especially in the horror circles. She's appeared in Dante Tomaselli's 'HORROR' and 'Satan's Playground'. She's also been in other genre films such as 'Aunt Rose' (just released by Anchor Bay Entertainment), 'Maya's Soul' and the recently wrapped 'Barricade' (with Joe Zaso). Let's get up close & personal with this rising actress!!! - by Adam Barnick, Robg. 9/06


Rob G: What are your earliest recollections of the horror genre?

Not exactly a horror movie, that one with Cher and the boy with the disfigured face, I think it’s called Mask. I remember being like 4 or 5 and my parents were watching that in the living room and I snuck out from my bedroom to see what was going on. I remember being really scared and freaked out that someone could look like that. To me that was horror. I have a hard time with horror movies. They really do scare me, I get easily frightened. I’m a scaredy cat and often have to look away or bury my head in someone’s shoulder! But they are so fun to make!

Rob G: Can you give us a rundown of what led to/inspired you to get into acting? Give us the Raine Brown story.

I guess I just have always been dressing up, pretending, and being different characters. Ever since I was little I loved playing pretend. I think I just have a rich emotional life and consuming inner world that needs some other focus. There is really nothing else that completely absorbs me the way acting does. I think it is a lifesaver. If I didn’t have that dramatic outlet to become all these different characters and use my imagination to create, I would go crazy. I really think I would use my creativity for evil - -and that would be wrong!!

Adam: What does acting/performing achieve for you that nothing else does?

Wow, that is so hard to explain. I guess it just is a way of being completely vulnerable in a really safe environment. I mean, as an actor you get to delve deep into emotional places that most people only visit, hopefully, very infrequently. You get to experience life through different eyes, and take risks, but do it in a closed and safe system. You know the outcome, you know the dialogue, so you can be free to just be in the moment and not worry what’s going to happen next. You can just let it unravel. Acting really lets me get out all the craziness and junk out of my head so that I can function as a semi normal person in the real world, well most of the time!

Adam: Tell me about your early experience in indie films. First projects involved in, etc.

Indie film has been really good to me. I can’t complain. One of my first projects was "Horror" with Dante Tomaselli. I didn’t realize what a small world the horror industry really is, but once people saw me in that, I got cast in a lot of other horror films.

Adam: Having now done an ample amount of theater AND film, do you have a preference? Do they both have their particular points you enjoy?

I have to say, I love them both. I am theatre-trained, and that is totally my home, my baby. I really love doing theatre and the immediate reaction of the audience, it is really interactive. It is like not only you performing, but you working off the energy of all the people watching. Also, I think some of the scripts for theatre have characters that are more defined and more developed then many film scripts. It’s been said that theatre is an actor’s medium and film is a director’s. It is true. When you are on that stage, it is all you. You control what is seen and what happens. Whereas with film, the director can edit and cut your performance any way they choose, and giving up that power is sometimes really scary. But in some ways film is more real. Usually more of a real set and more natural dialogue. Plus the excitement of doing something new everyday. I don’t know which I prefer, I just hope I am lucky enough to continue to do both.

Adam: How did you become involved in HORROR? Can you tell me about how you approached your character, her backstory, etc.

I auditioned for Dante and I think we clicked right away. We both respected each other’s love for our art. The character Amanda, I always say, is like me, but on a bad day. If things had been different in my life, I could see how I could become dependent like her.

Adam: Any particular details of that shoot you’d care to elaborate on? In this film you get to work with more of an ensemble, and in Dante’s next film, your character is on her own. Thoughts on that?

Well, we shot Horror in an old farmhouse in upstate NY. It was the middle of winter; Dante always seems to have us running around in the freezing cold. But it had snowed the week before, so the grounds were covered in white which really added to the feel of the film. One of my peticular scenes was shot in the attic of this farmhouse, and it was a really creepy old attic. There was defiantly an eerie presence which I think aided in getting that unsettling feeling. In terms of working with other actors, I love it because you form a little group and can react off one another. But I also enjoy working alone, because all the focus is on you and you just get your work done with minimal waiting around.
Adam: Are you personally able to just step into and understand his surrealistic narratives? Do you tend to easily "get" an abstract, artistic film like that?

It really depends on the film. I like to take things scene by scene and look at what each individual piece needs instead of worrying about the entire project at once. Of course you have to be aware of how each little piece fits into the surrealistic whole, but it’s more about the focus on the now and what I am doing at the moment. I like rhythms, if I can find the rhythm to the script or the character, I can easily get into the abstract.

Adam: This year you return in his next film Satan’s Playground. It’s bigger, nastier, and I think more accessible than his more offbeat horror. Tell us about your character and a little bit about how you created that character.

I have a great cameo; I open the film and play a prostitute, again!!!! She is a little townie hooker, not a high-class call girl. Just a local girl that needs to make some money to survive and pay the bills. Really, she just came out. I didn’t do much research, and there isn’t much dialogue, but with the costume, hair, make-up, and then walking around in her reality, it all came together.
Adam: Did it feel different working on one project with Dante vs. the other? Can you tell me about your particular actor/director relationship?

Dante and I are just really in tune. He is very perceptive and intuitive. I also tend to go from emotion and gut instead of just logic. We kind of have a sense of what the other is. I feel when he is explaining something to me on set, that I just get what he is going for. He is just so amazing how he can create his own world. Dante doesn’t know this yet, but I have known him for many years now and was pretty young and green when I met him. I was really intimidated by him and wanted so badly to impress him. He was just always able to make me feel confident and secure. He always told me that he sees big things for me and has always believed in me. It is so comforting to have that support.

Adam: What do you need or hope for from a director in your process?

Just someone who loves what they do, and knows how to convey what they want to an actor. Someone who can give you a sense of comfort that they got your back and will do whatever it takes to help make you look good.

Adam: Often you’re asked to be in a state of fear or other intense, negative emotions in your work. Is that tough to "shake off" that fear/terror at the day’s end? Are you able to turn it on and off in the way you work?

It depends on the scene and the atmosphere and the day. Sometimes on set, once we have run though a scene a few times to rehearse, I get warmed up, and I often stay in the rhythm of that scene. I try to keep my energy there. But there is also a balance in knowing that you are acting and not to keep your emotions so high up while not shooting, or you will get exhausted and wear yourself out to the detriment of the scene. I like to stay focused when the scene calls for something intense, and there have been more then a few days that I have come home from shooting and broke down just to get out all that pent up emotion of the day.

Adam: Do you have a particular role you’ve always wanted to play, on stage or in a film?

I really just love offbeat roles. I know I can do the dumb blonde stereotype- but that gets so boring so quickly. I love to do more quirky roles, character parts. Someone who the audience can fall in love with even if they don’t always understand their motivations. A character that keeps people guessing, maybe with a secret.

Adam: You’ve done comedy, drama, and horror, though the horror films you’ve been in tend to be more prominent… is "typecasting" ever a concern for you now or in the future?

Of course. I think it is a big concern. As much as I love horror films, if I only got to do them and was not able to diversify, I would be disappointed. However, I really just love to work, so if I like the script and feel I can work with the people and have a good time, maybe learn something, I will do it.

Rob G: How did you become involved in Aunt Rose? That’s a film that’s been building a lot of genre buzz this past year. One of the things that impressed me about Aunt Rose was the script/dialogue Joshua Nelson had written. Your character, Toni, for example, is the girlfriend of the lead and I thought that Josh wrote an interesting commentary on how Toni is introduced to her girlfriend’s family. How’d you personally feel about the social commentary throughout the script?

I think it is a well-written script and a great genre piece. I think the issue with the gay girlfriend was handled well. There was a humor to it, but underneath it all, the girls were just two people who really loved each other. It wasn’t about getting two girls to make-out- although we do- and I am sure it will be enjoyed- that wasn’t the point of the relationship. It was much deeper then that.

Rob G: Josh wrote and was also the lead. What was it like having him on set the whole time, in both capacities? Were you able to go directly to the source for more information about your character, or did you have free reign to create who Toni was?

I love Joshua; he is so talented and just so serious about what he loves to do. It is great to find someone who loves and respects their work as much as you. So as for Toni, she originally was written to be a very big dykey lesbian, with a mullet and flannel. And as much I could work on characterization, I just don’t think I could pull that one off!! Joshua loved my audition for the Robyn character, but just felt that physically I was too small and not intimidating enough for that too. He actually e-mailed me after the audition saying how much he loved what I did, but just could not find a place for me in the script. Then I believe he and James Tucker, the director, spoke about it and decide that they could take the character Toni in a different direction, namely, more like the daughter character. I decided that Toni would be a tough rocker lesbian. I begged Joshua to let me go out and pick out her clothes because I had a specific look in mind that would help solidify the character. Kind of lipstick, but street smart and tough. I actually modeled her after some ex-boyfriends.

Rob G: Velocity Chyaladd is a unique personality! What can you tell us about working with someone on their first film appearance?

She is quite a character and she really worked hard on the role. She definitely brought her unique style to the part.

Rob G: You meet a gruesome fate in Aunt Rose involving a simulated "BJ" with a knife! Can you tell us about filming that uneasy death scene?

It was very surreal. We filmed it one night around 2:00 in the morning after a long day of shooting. Velocity and I really worked well together in that scene and we found this amazing chemistry to vibe from each other. It was all about intensity and trust, since she would be putting a sharp mettle object in my mouth, but she had a calm, almost nurse-like way, as strange as that may seem, but just a manner that said don’t worry I am taking care of you, even as she was being vicious. Anyway when they got to the part where she actually had to stab me, we had a dummy head. And if you ever want to trip, watch your face being stabbed with a knife oozing blood late at night after being completely exhausted. It was disturbing and dreamlike, but mostly just disconcerting.

Adam: What do you have coming up the rest of this year? I know you will be part of an ensemble for a soap opera, which is, I believe, distributed through podcasts.

Well I have a ton lined up. First of all I have 3 movie releases in the next 2 months (Satan’s Playground, Aunt Rose, and Maya’s Soul) and along with being slated to film 3 more movies, (Surveillance, Relations, and Emeralds of Darkness) which will keep me working into the new year, I am off to Germany this August to film the lead in Timo Rose’s Barricade.

Throughout, I will be filming the internet/ipod sitcom "After Hours" which will be available on HubCity TV, a new Internet network, launching September 9 th. I get to do some comedy, which will be a change and the character is a crazy whack and I love it. There are more updates on my website, www.rainebrown.com.

Adam: I think since your appearance in HORROR, you haven’t stopped working and the work you’ve been in has all found major distribution! That’s nearly unheard of for an indie career, it seems... Any thoughts or tips for actors on what you feel has helped you stay so productive and visible along the way?

Pretty much all I can say is that I have worked hard, and have been very lucky. Really it is just about putting yourself in the best position possible with training, being prepared, being responsible on set and building a reputation so people want to work with you. And people you work with ask you to do their next project because they know that they can count on you to bring your all to the set. I do feel very proud that my films are out there and are available for people to enjoy.


Visit Raine at: www.RaineBrown.com
Special Thanks to Dante Tomaselli!!!

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