March 5, 2008

An interview with Rachel Grubb

Rachel Grubb is an actress and model from Minneapolis. She starred in "13 Hours In A Warehouse" (2008) and was a major part of the all female independent production company called "Silent-But-Deadly Productions". She is currently working in L.A. and has recently appeared in the horror/thriller "Cut" (2011).

In March 2008. Rachel took some time away from her busy schedule and kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me. Here's what she had to say...

How did you become an actress?
I went to school for writing, and that was my main interest. I always thought I would be a novelist, until I became very interested in film. When I graduated from college, I wrote my first screenplay, which won a Best Breakthrough Screenplay award from the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. I wanted to write more, and maybe direct. Then I thought I would want to act in my own stuff, but I didn't really know how. So I started taking acting classes, and auditioning for local films. I was doing really well with that, and now I consider myself an actor, first and foremost.

What has been the high point of your career so far?
The highest point was directing my first feature film "Why Am I In A Box?" Two other actresses, Heather Amos and Brooke Lemke, started an all female independent production company called "Silent-But-Deadly Productions". All three of us are going to be directing at some point. In fact, Brooke is set to direct two short films this spring. But I went first, because I was the one who happened to have a screenplay about halfway finished. Preproduction for that was so crazy. I had never directed before, and I was very nervous. There were several times when I said to myself, "Why did I think I could direct?" But I had Heather and Brooke, and an awesome crew, and I had a great time doing it. I'm working on editing right now.

And the lowest?
I don't think the low point has come around yet. Some times have been better than others, but if there was a low point, I feel like I would know it right away.

What advice would you give an aspiring actress/actor?
I would recommend that you take classes. Some classes are better than others, so get some feedback from other actors in your area before you pay for anything. Natural talent will get you far, but one thing you will learn from taking classes is how to present yourself at an audition. There are a lot of mistakes actors make when they go to auditions that they don't even realize, because they don't see the audition from the point of view of the director. For example, if you make a mistake when you are reading, do not apologize. An actor might apologize for blowing a line, and s/he might think s/he is saying, "I know I did this wrong, and I can do better." But from the director's point of view, it's more like, "I wanted to point out this screw up, in case you were distracted by all the things I did well!" The director may not notice or care about one little screw up, if s/he thinks the actor did well over all.
Another bit of advice I can give is that if you have a film school in your town, audition for student films if you get the chance. They very rarely pay, but if you have little to no experience, it is a great way to get resume credits and material for your demo reel. Even if you do have some experience, it's always good to stay in practice if you are between projects. Film students can write some interesting and challenging roles, so you will learn a lot, and get free pizza.
As a matter of fact, one student film I did got distribution, and is coming to DVD this year. JP Wenner, director of "The Spooner Sisters" did a student project called "Retina" which is going to be released on an anthology of horror shorts called "The Horror Vault".

Do you have any aspirations to be an actor in a big budget major motion picture?
Not really. That isn't to say that I wouldn't do one. I'm not opposed to it, by any means. I just love acting, and there are very few movies I wouldn't enjoy doing. But I do enjoy working in independent film. Although working on a big budget movie would give me an opportunity to work with new people.

If you were to be given a million dollars right now, what would be the first thing you'd do?
I would fund my next feature film.

What would be your ideal role?
I would have loved to play Bettie Page in "The Notorious Bettie Page." I'm a big fan of Bettie, and I think she would be an interesting role.

And your worst one?
No particular role comes to mind. I can say that I wouldn't want to play a role that people are just going to laugh at in a bad way. Also, my idea of a bad role is one in which I did not feel appreciated by the filmmakers.

Who do you admire in show business?
John Waters. I would love to act in any of his films. I like his early work, but one of my favorites is "Pecker." I also admire Asia Argento. She made "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things," which was based on the book by JT LeRoy. Just after she finished, it came out that JT LeRoy did not exist, but she stood by her film, because she believed it was valid. I thought it was an excellent film. Also also admire her father, Dario Argento. I'm a big fan of his giallos. A horror film I acted in called "13 Hours In A Warehouse" recently played at the Nevermore Film Festival. Dario Argento's "Tenebre" also screened there, and I got to see it in the theater, which was exciting for me! And my favorite director of all time, David Cronenberg.

If you could be anyone else for 24 hours who would you want to be?
John Malkovich. Who else?

What part of the industry really pisses you off?
The tabloids. I don't like it that being very successful in mainstream cinema or TV means that people are allowed to take pictures of you wherever you go, and sell them. And I don't like it that it becomes more about their personal lives than their work. We all have personal lives, and issues we are working through. We don't all make films. Isn't that what we should want to read about? If you want to know who's dating who, and what problems they're going through, you can ask their friends.

Do you like to break rules or are you a good girl?
When I am on a film set, I am a good girl. I am not perfect, but I try to be as professional as possible, no matter how big or small the project.

Do you think that you are unique?
Yes, I do. I've heard it from a lot of other people, too. I think I have a different look, and can play a variety of roles.

If you were cast in an episode of 'Nip/Tuck' or 'Lost' who would you befriend and who would you least like to have an onscreen romance with?
You just named my two favorite shows! If I were on 'Nip/Tuck' I would probably befriend Christian, only I would be a quirky, bohemian chick who Christian thought was beneath him. He's with so many rich and gorgeous models, I think it would be great for him to meet someone completely different from him. I would least like to have an onscreen romance with Matt. I think John Hensley is a great actor, but his character has issues.
If I were on 'Lost' I would probably befriend Charlie. I used to live in England, and I think I probably would have seen his band before. We would have a lot on common. In a total 360, I would also befriend John Locke. He seems to understand the island more then anyone, including Ben. Speaking of Ben, he is the one I would least like to have an onscreen romance with. His is compelling as a character, and I hope he never dies, but he's just creepy!

Since 'Lost' often appears to be all about time travel, if you were able to go anywhere in time, where would you go and what would you do there?
I'd like to go back to the 60's. I've always loved the music and clothes from that era, even when I was a kid. I'd like to see The Beatles or The Rolling Stones play.

As a model, What would be your ideal photoshoot?
I would like to do a 1920's shoot. I do a lot of vintage pin up and film noir and classic Hollywood glamour, but I've never been able to do a 20's shoot before. I'd like to look like a silent film star.

And your worst?
Any shoot in which I did not have access to the styling and wardrobe required to make it work.

What is your favourite brand of make-up?
On a regular day, I don't wear makeup. The best makeup I have ever worn was in "13 Hours In A Warehouse". Crist Ballas did that, and it took about 3 hours a day to put on.

Who is your favourite fashion stylist?
Brittany Hughes. She was the costume designer for my movie, "Cave Women On Mars." I played Hagra, the leader of the evil cave women, so my costume was all black leather. She was the wardrobe stylist for the "bloody prom" photo on my Scream Queen Poker Chip.

Have you ever bought anything from ebay or a garage sale?
Oh, yeah, I am on ebay all the time! I mostly buy collectible stuff, but I also buy clothes. Corsets mostly.

What are your favourite websites, and how often do you surf the net?
My favorite website is I think it's hilarious! Any time I'm having a bad day, I always go and check out the daily Engrish. Over in Japan, there is a lot of English writing on shirts and signs and other things. But because our languages are so different, they don't always get it right. The result is sometimes hilarious, and posts it. My favorites are a birthday card that says, "I wish you many happy comes in your future life," and a Christmas card that says, "Have you done a nice boy and girl?" Yeah, I'm easily amused!

What time do you normally get up and go to bed?
I get up at 6am, so that I can work out. Then I feel adequately awake. I go to bed between midnight and two most of the time.

Do you read a lot of books?
I don't read as much as I used to, but yes, I have read a lot of books. I did my degree in English at school.

Did you do well at school or did you hate it?
I did well at school, and I hated it. I was smart, and I got pretty good grades, but I did not enjoy it. I am glad I got a college education, though.

Who is your favourite author?
William Burroughs. I read "Naked Lunch" when I was 17 and haven't been the same since. As a writer, it completely changed my view of what writing could be.

What do you like to do most when not acting or modelling?
I like to watch movies. When I'm with my friends, I usually like to go out to eat and check out different restaurants.

What is your favourite meal? Do you have a favourite recipe?
I love sushi. Just about any kind of sushi, really. My favorite is probably the crunchy roll. I like to make sushi with my dad, too. He took a class in it, and he shows me how.

Do you eat a lot of chocolate?
Absolutely! I love chocolate!

Do you like dentists?

What scares you?
Dentists. And creepy children. I'm a sucker for a horror movie with a malevolent child.

Do you get any scary fans or have they all been nice to you?
My fans are all nice to me. The fan letters I have received, and the people who have requested autographs have all been very pleasant and respectful. I appreciate them very much.

Thank you.

Please check out Rachel's website at to find out even more about this upcoming actress and model.

All pictures of Rachel Grubb on this page are copyrighted to Rachel Grubb and are used here with permission. (Date of interview: Wednesday, 5th March, 2008)

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