7. okt. 2014

Horror-Unrated Retrospekt #8: Lejrbål og 80ér-hår. Et interview med Sleepaway Camp's Felissa Rose.

Efter 4 år har vi valgt at lukke og slukke for Horror Unrated. Med tiden fik vi hevet en hel del spændende og dybdegående interviews i hus, fra de store kendte horror stjerner til ukendte independent filmskabere. Personligt er jeg meget stolt over den række af interviews vi endte med at få på Horror Unrated, og enkelte står stadig som nogle helt unikke. Bl.a. interviewene med instruktøren af 'Don't Go in the Woods', James Bryan og David Winters - manden bag 'The Last Horror Film', som begge velvilligt satte sig til at scanne gamle billeder filmpris-certifikater ind til os som vi kunne bruge i artiklen. Og danske Heini Grünbaum som i 1999 lavede 'Flænset', gav sig rigtig god tid til virkelig at gå i dybden med sine svar. Den dag i dag er det så vidt vi ved, stadig det eneste interview der findes med ham på internettet.
Af forskellige årsager valgte vi at lukke for Horror Unrated d. 12. november 2013, og da undertegnede tidligere har været skribent for denne fantastiske blog, Sørensen Exploitation Cinema Proudly presents, valgte jeg og bloggens ejer at flytte de mange interviews over på bloggen så de kunne få nyt liv, og forhåbentlig blive læst og nydt af nye læsere. Skrevet af Claus Reinhold.

HORROR UNRATED: Felissa, welcome to Horror Unrated – it’s cool to have you here. Tell me, how did a 13 year old girl get involved in a movie like Sleepaway Camp?

Felissa Rose: Thanks Claus. You know, I always wanted to be an actress so my parents found a local manager for me and the first audition I got was Sleepaway Camp. It was very exciting but we honestly didn't know the nature of the film at the time.

HORROR UNRATED: How was it to be at the audition and meet Robert Hiltzik and what did he make you do at the audition?

Felissa Rose: The audition was really fun. I liked Robert immediately and felt a connection with him right away. He had me sit in silence and pretend I was eating a candy bar and just completely stare into space. So I thought that was quite strange, but I had a great feeling when I left.

HORROR UNRATED: Okay, so how did you feel after this audition ended?

Felissa Rose: I thought I got the job but my mom kept me in check. She told me to relax and whatever was meant to be would happen. But I had very strong feelings that the part was mine.

HORROR UNRATED: When you had gotten the part as Angela, were you fully aware of what you were getting yourself into? – I mean this was a horror/slasher film and you were only 13 years old.

Felissa Rose: No, even when I had gotten the part I really had no idea. It wasn't until I read the script that I kind of realized how creepy Angela was and how scary the film would be. But even when we were filming I hadn't realized what a dark and creepy movie this was. Finally, when I saw the final product on the big screen was I freaked out and realized what kind of a horror movie this was.

HORROR UNRATED: You said you always wanted to be an actress, so where do you think that urge to act comes from?

Felissa Rose: I think I got the acting bug when I was three and I think it came from that natural urge to always "pretend."  I loved singing and dancing too so that was the start of it for me.

HORROR UNRATED: So what did your parents think of their daughter being in a horror film?

Felissa Rose: They seemed fine with it. I mean, they were very excited that I was doing something I really wanted and living my dream, so they really supported me.

HORROR UNRATED: Did you work and rehearse with Robert before shooting began?

Felissa Rose: We actually only had one rehearsal. But on the set he was very specific about what to do and what he wanted from the actors.

HORROR UNRATED: What was everybody like on set when shooting finally started?

Felissa Rose: Everyone was incredibly nice and we really had a lot of fun. We were all young you know, so it was like being at real sleepaway camp.

HORROR UNRATED: And how did you experience the shoot and the whole production?

Felissa Rose: It was a breeze for me haha. Oh yeah, my one problem was my crush on Jonathan Tiersten and we had a little spat. Robert took us bowling and it all worked out.  He's one of my best friends today so it's "water under the bridge" as they say. I truly enjoyed myself and made some lifelong friends.

HORROR UNRATED: What was it like for you, being only 13 years old, to make Sleepaway Camp?

Felissa Rose: Well my Mom was on set with me the whole time so she was very involved in things that I was allowed to do and things that I wasn't allowed to do. I didn't realize how young I was at the time but looking back it was fun playing that part and being everyone's little sister.
HORROR UNRATED: What was Robert like as a director?

Felissa Rose: Robert is amazing. Really fun, easy going but also very specific and kind of quiet at times. He has rehearsals on the set and gets from us exactly what he wants. Once the camera rolls he's got his shot without wasting any time or film - a very talented man.

HORROR UNRATED: The gore scenes – were you involved yourself in any or all of them or did they use a stand-in?

Felissa Rose: No, I wasn’t involved. My mom thought it would be a bit too disturbing for a girl my age, so they actually used Jonathan Tiersten’s hands and kept me far away from those shots.

HORROR UNRATED: So here many years later, how do you feel about Sleepaway Camp?

Felissa Rose: It's a huge part of my childhood and my whole life experience. I'm thankful for it in so many ways.  It gave me a career in the horror genre, a family (my husband is a fan), and a lot of wonderful friends and memories.

HORROR UNRATED: But it didn’t end back then, because in 2008 you reunited with Robert for Return to Sleepaway Camp. How did that happen?

Felissa Rose: Jeff Hayes, a good friend of mine who runs the Sleepaway Camp web-site, got in touch with me and Robert and really got the ball rolling. Robert had a script and from there we got things started.

HORROR UNRATED: So were you thrilled with the idea of another Sleepaway Camp-film from the start or did you think it was a bad idea reviving the series?

Felissa Rose: Oh no, I was very excited. I was able to relive the whole experience as an adult, very surreal.

HORROR UNRATED: Tell us a little about your character in Return to Sleepaway Camp.

Felissa Rose: I play Sheriff Jerry, in disguise as Angela. I'm coming back for revenge. After what they did to my brother Peter, I'm back to kill the mean kids all over again.

HORROR UNRATED: Compared to the first film, I take it that it was a very different experience shooting Return to Sleepaway Camp? I mean you had gotten older and more experienced – you all had, and also the technology in filmmaking had progressed.

Felissa Rose: It was thrilling to be there. The other cast members were excited and we all had life experience behind us so we took it all in. It was a party, pretty much. I couldn’t go to all the parties at the motel during the first film because of my age, but this time I finally got to have fun. My favorite time was when CKY came to visit. I met Deron Miller and that was an incredible time for me. But yes you’re right - the technical part was also more interesting for Robert as I think this time he had a lot more to work with.

HORROR UNRATED: How was it to do a new film with Robert Hiltzik? Did you pick right up where you left off on the first film?

Felissa Rose: We really felt bonded like the first shoot. I love him and I'd work with him any time!

HORROR UNRATED: I think many “outsiders” mock the horror genre and especially the old low-budget films from the 70’s and the 80’s, but the fact is that the real horror fans are truly loyal, and I believe that is one of the reasons that Sleepaway Camp is alive and well today. I’m sure you agree, but let me ask you; were you surprised when you found out that the film had a cult following and that there were web-sites on the internet dedicated to the film?

Felissa Rose: Oh yeah, I was completely surprised. I was amazed that someone out there actually knew about Sleepaway Camp - that was amazing and I'm really grateful for that.

HORROR UNRATED: So all in all, how has life with Sleepaway Camp been for Felissa Rose?

Felissa Rose: It’s been excellent, Claus. I wouldn't trade it for the world!

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