June 29, 2010

An interview with Rena Riffel

Rena Riffel is an actress best known for her co-starring roles in "Showgirls" (1995) and "Striptease" (1996). However, she also has a darker side with aspirations to become the world's greatest scream queen!

With several horror roles already under her belt, including playing Lena in "Candyman: Day of the Dead" (1999) and Detective LaRue in "Dark Reel" (2008), she is already well on her way. Rena also directed/produced/wrote and plays the lead in "Trasharella" (2009).

Rena recently took some time away from her hectic Hollywood lifestyle and kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me. Here's what she had to say...

How did you become an actress?
I started taking an acting class, there was a showcase day with an agent that came to see the class. The agent signed me and a week after, he sent me on my first audition. It was for Bert I. Gordon, the director of a lot of famous cult films from the 50's, 60's, 70's like "Village Of The Giants", "Empire Of The Ants", "Earth Versus The Spider" "Attack Of The Puppet People"! Great titles!! So, I auditioned for him and he called my agent and said, "I am the best fuckin' actress to walk through his doors in a very long time". It was a death scene I auditioned for. And he read the lines with me. I was 18 or 19, so I did my reading as if it were a dramatic piece. I screamed so loud that I was embarrassed after the audition. They told my agent that I would have to drop a few pounds because I was playing a high fashion model.. so I starved myself. The film is "Satan's Princess". My Mom was on set with me. It was a great time. I thought I had really made it big at that point. LOL! That was Bert I. Gordon's last film he made. Though, he is still alive and well. I wish I could see him and thank him for my big break into acting. He "taft-hartley"-ed me. Which means, if you are non-union and get hired on a Union project, the producers have to pay more to get you into the SAG Union. So, I was really fortunate I got into SAG that way.

Did you do well at school or did you hate it?
Both. I got good grades, I was an over-achiever. But, I couldn't wait to graduate and get on with my life and career.

What has been the high point of your career so far?
Getting my hand prints and name in cement in front of the Hollywood Vista Theater at the MGM Showgirls DVD Box Set red carpet premiere in 04'.

And the lowest?
Lots of highs and lows. Mr. Skin said I have the most "schizo" career.

What part of the industry really pisses you off?
Auditioning and not getting the part.

What would be your ideal role?
A lead role in an A-List big budget film directed by a genius talented director.

And the worst one?
A stripper with one line in a non-union no budget movie with a bad script to start with.

If you were cast in an episode of 'Desperate Housewives' who would you befriend and who would you least like to have an onscreen romance with?
Marc Cherry.

Have you ever thought of being on a reality TV show such as Big Brother?
I was in a pilot called, "The Real Hollywood" with Season 1 Big Brother winner, Mike Boogie. I would like to be on a reality show, as long as I don't have to eat worms or be in a rehab.

What would you like to win?
A new car, money, a vacation to St. Martin...

If you were to be given a million dollars right now, what would be the first thing you'd do?
Buy a nice house to live in.

What are your current projects?
A thriller dance movie, two films in pre-production with Tony Todd, Inner Balance with Josh Eisendstadt, a couple horror scripts I am writing/producing, some low budget horror films, a documentary I am making... ok, I'll stop there.

Do you like to break rules or are you a good girl?
I'm a good girl.

Who do you admire in show business?
Naomi Watts. Drew Barrymore.

What is your favourite film ever?

If you could be anyone else for a day who would you want to be?
Ennio Morricone. Or Madonna.

As a model, what would be your ideal photoshoot?
In the French Riviera shooting with Helmet Newton. I was scheduled to do a shoot with him in 1994 while I was at the Cannes Film Fest. The director was good friends with him... but we never made it down there.

And the worst one?
Shooting with a psycho pervert.

What is your favourite brand of make-up?

Who is your favourite fashion stylist?
Dita Von Tease.

What do you like to do most when not acting or modelling?
Be alone, write, workout, dance class.

What music do you like?
I am loving Ennio Morricone and Piero Umiliani.

Do you play any instruments?
Kind of, a jack of all instruments. A master at none.

What time do you normally get up and go to bed?
Late to bed, late to rise.

Have you ever stayed awake more than 24 hours in a row, internetting for instance?
Only when taking long flights to Europe or when I went to the Carribean for Dante's Cove... I can't sleep on planes.

Have you become addicted to the net yet?
Yes, I sometimes get addicted to the internet... but mostly, just addicted to my computer and working on scripts or editing film.

Do you have a favourite website?
Of course, Dr Blood's Video Vault!

Have you ever bought anything from ebay or a garage sale?
Yes, a 1950's desk at a side walk sale and a 1930's hat from ebay. The hat was much smaller than it appeared to be in the ebay picture.

Would you have your picture taken wearing nothing but a Dr Blood's Video Vault t-shirt if you were sent one?
LOL. Of course!!

If you were stranded on a desert island which three things would you like to have with you?
Food, Water, and Internet. (that includes my computer)

What is your favourite meal? Do you have a favourite recipe?

If you were able to go anywhere in time, where would you go and what would you do there?
I would be on stage as Josephine Baker in 1920's France doing the banana dance.

Do you get any scary fans or have they all been nice to you?
My fans are nice and wonderful people.

What scares you?

If you were a cartoon character who would it be?
I like Jessica Rabbit. Hhhmm, Olive Oil. Or no, Speedy Gonzales.

What advice would you give an aspiring actress/actor?
Don't do it!!! Just kiddin'. I would tell them to get my upcoming book, The Starlet Survival Guide. Then they can survive in this industry, like I have managed to do.

Do you read a lot of books? Who is your favourite author?
No, I wish I would make more time for reading. It's on my list.

Which question would you most like to be asked?
How old are you and how much do you weigh?

And the answer to that question?
I don't really want to be asked that. How bout, would you like to join us for some champagne, caviar and crackers in Monte Carlo and we can discuss the financing of your new movie? And YES!

Thank you.

All pictures of Rena Riffel on this page are copyrighted to Rena Riffel and are used here with permission.

Please visit her website at www.renariffel.com for more details.

Rena can also be contacted at: http://www.myspace.com/renaonmyspace or visit her IMDB page.

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