Interview with the "Iconic Scream Queen" Debbie Rochon
How did you get your first role in "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains!"?
A) I was homeless at the time and another street person told me about the casting call they were having for extras in Vancouver, B.C. Canada - where I lived at the time. This was a Paramount movie so they were going to be paying people what would be good money for those days (It was shot in 1980). I went in and met with the casting person and she took a Polaroid of me and said they would be in touch. It was awkward because I didn't know what phone number to give her seeing I didn't have a phone or even a home at that time. I can't remember how that was worked out but it was. I was on the movie for 3 full months. I got paid 300 cash a week. It's all kind of amazing seeing I can't imagine anyone getting paid in cash today on a big or small film. But that's what happened. I developed a deep interest and love for film from that experience. A sense of home, belonging and you were given positive feedback when you worked really hard.
- What films and/or filmmakers or Actress/Actors influenced your decision to be an Actress?
A) There was no film or actress that made me decide to work in movies. From the above story you can understand it was the experience of being on a film set for three months that made me realize I wanted to work in film for the rest of my life! But certainly since then I have been very inspired by many directors, actors and films! I absolutely love films like; TAXI DRIVER, John Carpenter's THE THING, George Miller's THE ROAD WARRIOR, Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO. Modern TV series like American Horror Story. Actors like Jessica Lange, Josh Brolin, Joaquin Phoenix. There are so many great directors, writers and actors to mention. I love movies that take chances. I love unique and unusual cinema.
- Many people know you for the Movie "Model Hunger". You just played a Guest inside but you are the Director of the movie.What can you tell us about this Movie?
A) Yes, I had many people I knew previously in Model Hunger. That's why they were there. I knew their talent and I wanted to be able to showcase it. In many instances I wanted to cast people in roles they don't always get to play - but should! I did a tiny cameo in the movie but didn't want the movie to be about me. I wanted to really show the viewers the story and the characters and do it to the best of my ability. If I had taken an acting role in the movie I would have been very distracted worrying about my character rather than focusing on directing the movie. I loved directing the movie. It's incredible to be able to have your vision realized. When you are an actor in a movie you have a lot of responsibility to play the role as best you can but as a director you not only have so much more on your shoulders but also you can say so much more with the movie because it's your vision. I really enjoyed the creative elements of directing. The not-as-much fun parts, meaning the business part, you learn very fast by trial and error. What works and what doesn't.
- At this time you a first time director, right?
A) Yes, Model Hunger was my first feature film as director. This is why there were probably just as many things that didn't work as there was things that worked wonderfully in the movie. But seeing it's my first 'baby' I will always have a special love for it! Always.
- You did a variety of off-broadway plays early on with various theater companies. How does stage acting compare to film acting?
A) I adore stage acting! It's been a long time since I have been able to do it. Most stage productions do not pay so you have to be able to have the time for a big commitment like that. They have many weeks of rehearsals, weeks for the show being open. It would be a luxury I would love to have right now! Film acting is really different. It's not just the size of your emotions but that is a huge part of it. Every physical movement you make no matter how small says something about the character whether you intended it or not. You have to always have your emotional life full for cinema because it can be seen immediately in your eyes whether you do or do not. I really love both but I haven't been on the stage in many years at this point.
- The "Iconic Scream Queen", is the a story behind this?
A) No story behind it that I am aware of. I think they only thing that makes it a story is because I have worked for many years in the independent horror movie world. I have always taken my work seriously even when it's outlandish, crazy, comedy movies. But more than that would be for someone else to say I think! I never call myself a Scream Queen but I understand it's the common thing to do because people like understandable 'handles' or titles for people.
- You make so many Movies, short films and Videos but what will we see next? You have a lot of films that are currently in production or in post.
A) Yes the movie coming out next will be a very disturbing dark movie called DOOM ROOM which is based on a true story of a woman who gets abducted by a husband and wife, that will be before the end of the year! In October there will be a DVD/Blu-ray release of an hilarious comedy-horror DICK JOHNSON AND TOMMYGUN VS. THE CANNIBAL COP. In November and December this year there will be a few movies coming out and I don't have specific dates yet, but I will post them on my site when I do know, they are; ALTERSCAPE, DEATH HOUSE, FANTASMA and MY UNCLE JOHN IS A ZOMBIE.
- What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone who wanted to get into acting?
A) Study hard! Take as many jobs as you can to learn your craft! Be careful which projects you take as they will always be there on the internet forever. Choose wisely! But work as much as you can. You will find what types of roles you might be better at playing through trial and error so try and create a wide variety of characters and see what creates the best response.
- Is there still a dream project you would love to play in your life?
A) Many! I am about to direct again. It is a road horror movie. I am writing my book. I have so many projects that are trying to get off the ground I wouldn't be able to mention them all now. But yes many different kinds of projects on both sides of the camera!
- Is there anything else you would like to let the Horror Fans and your fans know?
A) Yes, I am very happy to say I worked on Lloyd Kaufman's latest movie Shakespeare's Shitstorm. Based on the play The Tempest. It might be the last film Lloyd directs so I had to be there and act in it with him. It's a fun movie with some outrageous effects, it also has a lot to say about the current state of SJW (social justice warriors) and the overly PC extreme right and extreme left that exists in social media now. I absolutely love this movie. Lloyd plays brother AND sister in this movie, so not only does he play two parts but he plays a man and a woman. It was hard to keep a serious face some days! Also I will post a link at the end of this interview in case anyone would like to help with TORMENT ROAD my sophomore road horror film! I would greatly appreciate it.
-Thank you Debbie and maybe we will see you some day in Germany.
I hope so too! I have been there many times but would love to come over for one of you horror conventions! When TORMENT ROAD is made and edited together I hope to show it at The Oldenburg Film Festival! I have had a number of my movies screened there and I was on the first all female jury there a couple of years ago. Hope to see you soon!
Link to help support Debbie Rochon's 2nd directing project: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/debbie-rochon-s-sophomore-film#/