Monday, July 06, 2009

iMurders: An Interview with Brooke Lewis

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Brooke Lewis is a prolific actress with dozens of acting credits to her name. However, Brooke is not only a previous off Broadway actress, but an executive producer, producer, director, and promoter of horror films and now one of several stars in the upcoming "iMurders," which, as previously reported here, will show in a limited engagement in Pasadena this July 25.

Small in stature, curvaceous, and big in heart Ms. Vampy talks of "iMurders" and several other upcoming features in this one of a kind interview from one of the most beautiful actresses in the horror genre. Check out the interview and get a sense of Brooke's passionate personality on camera and off just past the break

(Michael Allen) When did you realize your passion for acting?

(Brooke Lewis) "I feel like I have been very fortunate to know what I wanted to do with my life at an early age. I was the kid who sat by the TV and talked to the characters, watched all the horror film marathons every 'Friday the 13th' and fantasized about Dracula! I performed in musicals growing up, went to college for theatre, then bagged acting to go to law school because I thought that was the 'right' thing to do...well, it wasn't and I bagged that instead! I headed right to NYC and successfully made a living doing 'Tony n' Tina's Wedding' off Broadway and indie films for 4 years. Television work soon brought me to LA LA Land. I originally started in comedy, but always loved horror and dreamed of working in the horror genre and, years later, here I am and loving every minute of it! And, Michael, I am living proof that Passion goes a long way!"

(MA) I can see the passion right here! Also, you have acted in many genres including drama, comedy, action, and thrillers with several horror pictures either completed or in the
works. Is there anything about horror that draws you to these roles?

(BL) "I have always loved horror and most aspects of the horror genre. My perception of horror is dark, intense, sexy, thrilling, secretive, suspenseful, seductive and a medium that pushes boundaries beyond any other genre. I find horror to be a very unique form of expression for an actor. I also love that women in horror are not expected to be 'Hollywood perfect.' Women in horror are appreciated at all ages, shapes and sizes...gotta tell ya, since I have been working in horror, I have learned to like my curves more than ever!!! :) I am not inspired by roles in which the female is perceived as 'weak' or 'helpless' or 'the victim.' This is another aspect of the horror genre that I love! You can find a million sappy 'Hollywood' films where the woman has been hurt and cries half the movie or you can find a horror flick where the lead female is now the killer, psycho, detective, cop, vigilante,, that's the kind of strength and power that draws me to a role!"

(MA) In "iMurders" you play Lori Romano an FBI agent in search of a serial
killer and brother to Joe Romano. Can you talk about the psychology of
your character and how she is multi-dimensional in the film? How do
you relate to Joe Romano in the film for fans, like me, who have not
seen the film?

(BL) "The role of Agent Lori Romano was such a gift! Lori is a 'tough cookie' detective who struggles between busting the case and protecting her family. Although she emotionally unravels throughout the film, she must be careful not to allow her emotions to interfere with her job. She is the younger sister of the Romano brothers and when Bobby Romano is murdered during an investigation Joe blames himself turns in his badge and becomes a bit of a recluse. Lori is that 'baby' sister who is always trying to prove herself in her life and work. She looks up to her big brother, Joe, so much and feels like she is losing him emotionally, since Bobby's murder. She takes on the 'protector' role with her big brother and will stop at nothing to make sure he is safe. Good thing she has a partner like Agent Washington, Tony Todd, to 'protect' her, huh? I mean, who'd mess with him, right? :)"

(MA) I would not mess with her. Does your character Lori get involved in any action sequences in the film while chasing this crazed killer?

(BL) "Lucky for! I'm not exactly the 'stuntwoman' type :) Especially running around in 5 inch boots! ;) There was one scene that was hilarious to involves Agents Washington and Romano chasing the killer after an investigation. Here I am 5' tall next to Tony Todd who is 6'5. So, I was always wearing my high boots (hell, I'd be in 5 inch heels if were next to an actor who is 5'7...I'm like a modern day Mae West!). Tony and I have to run down several flights of steep, narrow stairs in a New York 'style' walk-up building and I could hear our director, Robbie Bryan, laughing behind the camera! Between Tony being such a burly guy and my boots clumpin' away, it was classic! We also have a scene in which we get to bust open a door and shout 'FBI' with guns in hand...I always love a big gun in my hands! ;)"

(MA) Speaking of Tony Todd, your partner in "iMurders," what was it like working with this veteran actor from the horror field? What did you learn from playing your character in the film and from Tony Todd?

(BL) "I must admit, when I heard I would be acting opposite Tony, I was both nervous and scared. I mean, I was terrified of "Candyman" when I was a young girl!
But, Tony is such a gem to work with! Tony is one of those rare horror actors who is seasoned, classically trained, has performed on Broadway, yet still knows how to have fun and play off his partner.

On set, conversations between Tony and I would go from method acting to thong underwear! :) He would bust my chops, because I am such a 'Type A' perfectionist, even with my preparation and character; he would tell me to relax and loosen up. He also had excellent tips for me as a detective, since he has had many years of experience with those characters."

(ML) Without giving away the ending can you provide a tease for fans as to
what to expect from the film? What sets "iMurders" apart from other
horror/thriller or related films?

(BL) "Oh, I am such a tease! ;) Let me just say there are interesting twists and turns throughout the film. "iMurders' is more of a mystery/thriller than hardcore horror. It is a smart whodunit with lotsa characters and subplots...probably not for viewers who don't want to think and follow clues! If you are looking for pure 'slasher' this is not it! The real element that sets this apart from the rest is the off-the-charts, star-studded cast, which includes, Tony Todd, William Forsythe, Gabrielle Anwar, Billy Dee Williams and many other phenomenal actors!"

(MA) "iMurders" definitely has an all star cast and on this project you acted as an executive producer and have set up your own production company: Philly Chick Pictures. What films are you currently producing right now or have recently finished producing?

(BL) "After 5 years in the making I recently wrapped work as an actress and producer on the incredible mobster drama 'The Sinatra Club.' This is based on the life story of Sal 'Ubatz' Polisi and was directed by the talented James Quattrochi. The biggest project on my producing plate this year is my pilot/web series 'Ms. Vampy' in which I created, produced, directed, and starred. Here is a lil' 'bite:'

'Ms. Vampy' is a true blessing! I had played a sexy, sassy, sarcastic, high maintenance, comedic Vampire character for fun and my strategic marketing executive, Keith Cunningham, created a promotional marketing concept for her and she just exploded (well, she is very loveable)! One of my best friends and business partners, Todd Tucker, of Drac Studios, helped me come up with the idea to produce a pilot/web series for Ms. Vampy and I ran with it from there! The show is 'talk meets sketch' with indie horror stars who come to Ms. Vampy's Villa to play. Guests include Michelle Tomlinson, Denise Gossett, Jeff Dylan Graham, Lee Perkins, Kenneth J. Hall, Ford Austin and Chris Hannan from Scars Magazine.

To quote Vampity Fair:

'Ms. Vampy is America's funniest, sexiest, sassiest and most high maintenance vampire! Her personality is as big as her hair and is often described as Betty Boop meets Marisa Tomei in 'My Cousin Vinny.' She wears pleather and fur and wouldn't be caught 'dead' without high heels! But, there is much more to this loveable vampiress.'

Also, check out:

Lastly, one of my producing partners, Jim Pacitti, and I have teamed up with Roger A. Scheck to star in and produce a scifi/horror feature titled 'Tonight, He Walks.' I had been cast in the lead role last year and Roger came to me to see if I would be interested in getting involved in the producing aspect, as well. Although I am completely focused on my acting career at this time, I felt the project was worthy of attaching Philly Chick Pictures (!"

(MA) What are some of your upcoming horror films? What can fans of Brooke
Lewis look forward to?

(BL) "We are so excited for the release of 'iMurders' this Halloween! Soon to be released is Ford Austin's 'Dahmer Vs. Gacy' in which I play televangelist, Tammy Hart. I ship out this week to star in Greg Lamberson's 'Slime City Massacre' with horror icons Debbie Rochon and Lee Perkins. In the next year, I am attached to star in Roger A. Scheck's 'Tonight, He Walks,' Anthony Brownrigg's 'Untitled' drama/horror, 'The Last Revenants' a vampire drama written by Ron R. Anand and Scott C. Sanford and directed by Joe Eckardt with several others, both in and out of horror! Oh, and, don't be surprised if you see a bloody lotta 'Ms. Vampy! :)

Michael, I want to thank you from the bottom of my Scream Queen heart for taking the time to create this interview and covering many of my projects! You have been an 'undying' support for me in the horror community and I appreciate you very much! To you and all your readers...Love & Horror, XO Brooke Lewis"

(MA) My pleasure Brooke and I look forward to talking to you in the future. I wish you much success with the "Slime City Massacre" shoot that kicks off this week. Say hi to Lee Perkins for me and get back in touch with me on future horror projects.:)