Felissa Rose is an actress and a producer. She has quite a few new films coming out. Felissa took the time to talk with Horrornews.net about her new film, For Jennifer and we chatted about SHUDDER, movies, special effects and more.
Hi Felissa, how are you?
Felissa- I’m doing great. How are you?
I am doing good. Thank you.
For Jennifer is a great film. You always make great movie, great horror movies. I always think of growing up with Sleepaway Camp! I love them!
Felissa – Thank you so much. I always feel like just saying thank you is never enough. I mean it from my heart though. I appreciate that.
How did you get involved with For Jennifer and why did you decide to take on the role of Jennifer?
Felissa- I met the amazing James Cullen Bressack years ago. We met through friends; you know how the horror community is a small circle. I was in his film, Bethany and I met Hunter Johnson who I just loved immediately. I feel like all horror people just have that connection that is so closely bonded. He called and said, hey I have this cameo in For Jennifer, what do you think? I said, yeah, it sounds super fun. I love that. I love the guys; I love James and Hunter. So, I thought it was hilarious in the first one, the character and the way she was starting out. They had me come in and go crazy. It was fantastic. Jody (Director Jody Barton) said, I’d love for you to come in and I love them so much so, it was a no brainer. They are so creative, so smart and fun. Tiffany Fest is one of my closest friends.
I love that. James is awesome. Bethany was a great movie. James is creative with everything he does. He is very talented.
Felissa- He’s fantastic. His talent is massive. We’ll see a lot from him, for sure.
What was it like working with Jody Barton?
Felissa- Jody is such a sweetheart. I love Jody. Jody was kind and giving, thoughtful. Jody had me take my time and we worked on exactly what he wanted so in that moment that I have; I was able to kind of play around and get it to the point where he was happy. I loved working with him. I would love to work with him again.
I grew up watching horror movies and making friends and being a part of this community is always positive. It hasn’t always been so accepted; we were sort of the “go sit in the corner” group. It has become such a close-knit group and a positive experience for so many people.
How does it feel for you being a part of the horror community? What does it mean to you?
Felissa- First of all, that’s such an excellent question. There’s so much heart in that question. I’ve been working on horror movies for so many years. I live, eat and sleep them as an actor and a producer. I do all the conventions. I think, first of all, thankfully its changed, being the stepchild if you will. I think times have changed and we really have come to appreciate and love the art.
Its fascinating to me. I fell in love with horror movies because when I was making Sleepaway Camp, I loved the effects work. I loved watching Ed French create all of the massive creations that he made for that film. It was just wild to me. I am both in love with making the movies and watching the movies and being bonded with the community. It runs so deep and my kids are huge fans of the genre. I always say that, I find that people who love these kinds of movies are so incredibly profound, loving, and creative. I feel so grateful to be a part of this community. It really is a community of people who just love on each other and exercise all parts of our lives in watching these films and making these films. I cherish it.
I agree. I love the community. Horror movies sort of became an escape, an escape from real horror in life.
Felissa – I think its really helpful. I know I can speak for, even the way I met my husband. He was bullied really badly. That’s when he felt really connected to Sleepaway Camp. Bullying is such a topic in the film and he felt like this connection to Angela and I feel like when I speak with people, that seems to be a running theme. I was super insecure having made Sleepaway Camp when I went back to eighth grade after filming. The girls were brutal. Girls are mean to each other but we watch these films and we sort of get through it. We feel some comradery, some understanding. I can’t even explain how much I love the genre, both the films and the people. Its unbelievable.
That’s crazy that you were thirteen. Did you always kind of know this is what you wanted to do?
Felissa- I didn’t know. I’m a person that tries to follow my energy, just go and live life and surrender, have fun and enjoy every moment that’s given to you. I feel like as a kid, I wanted to be an actor but at that age my mom really loved the whole idea of acting, singing and dancing. I took time off after Sleepaway Camp and gave myself time to figure out if this is the path I wanted to embark on. Fortunately, it was the right place for me but I think we always think about, right? Like, are we exactly where we want to be, you know, how did we get here?
Right, right. Yes.
Felissa- I couldn’t be happier and I was with my son last night hanging out, he’s ten and we were talking. I love this quarantine, just for the conversations alone. I said, I love this life, I love this genre. I’m really grateful. I hope they work in this industry in some compacity.
That would be interesting. The behind the scenes stuff is so fascinating.
Felissa- It’s funny because I have a podcast and we were talking to Danielle Harrison the podcast and I was saying, I would never want my kids in it now, as a kid. It’s hard to navigate those roads with a young person. I support any dream that my children have. I say go for it, really put your heart and soul into it. I would never discourage any person from doing anything that creates a fire in their heart. I saw the negativity and the rejection at a young age. That’s really tough for a young person.
It is tough. I want to ask you about the podcast. Casualty Friday is one of my favorites. It saves my life so many times. If you are having a shitty day and you just listen to Casualty Friday. It is so much fun. How did the podcast happen?
Felissa- I am so happy to hear that. That was the brainchild of Matt Manjourides, he is the producer on the Joe Bob Briggs Show on Shudder. I met him a couple of years ago with my friend Michael who is an excellent writer. Then I got to talking with Matt and we were discussing fun ideas in terms of the possibility of a podcast. He said maybe we could talk to FANGORIA about it and I thought yeah, that would be so fun. I had never done a podcast before. We are really about letting it all out. It’s a safety place. I am thankful that people who are listening see that we are all feeling stuff. Whether we talk about aliens or horror movies or whatever the topic is, we are all in this conversation together.
I love it. The three of you are so funny and its great. It never feels scripted. Kane and Tiffany are so funny and so are you. It is a no bullshit podcast!
Felissa- (Laughter) Kane and I often say we are the back-up singers. We let Tiffany fly.
It is a great podcast. Tiffany is incredible.
Felissa- She is thoughtful and loving. She is a warrior.
What are you working on next? I know we are all in quarantine but I still want to ask. Do you ever think you would direct again?
Felissa- The directing thing comes up quite a bit. I’m on record saying, I’m never directing. But, I’m kind of thinking about that. I do love producing, its kind of a natural segway for me, from having been an actor for so long. I like being a parent, a mom and since I have three kids, I am always juggling food and activities. You take care of everything and put everything together. I have great films that I am super proud of coming out. Terrifier 2, which I am a huge Terrifier fan so I stalked those guys to be in it.
I have a cameo in that. I worked with Vincent Ward on a movie called The Step Daddy which was directed by Thomas Churchill and then Thomas directed me in a movie called Big Freaking Rat coming out. I did a movie in January that I am beyond excited about. It’s called Scream Test, which is a little bit in The Knives Out family. The cast is fantastic, its Dave Sheridan, Glenn Morshower, Vincent Ward, Darby Hinton, and Jeffrey Druce. There’s a lot going on and I am working on a lot of projects even while I’m home now. The Last Drive-In on Shudder, season two is coming and you never know, I could be popping around there. Shudder has a thing where you can get thirty days free and they have deals going on.
I love Shudder. I am always on Shudder watching movies.
Felissa- I love Shudder. The greatest part of anything I do is that the things I get to talk about, I really love. Oh, I have another movie called Rootwood. It is available digitally.
Do you have a favorite character that you played so far? Or, do they all mean something different to you?
Felissa- I like to believe they’re all completely different. Like, I played this character named Ma, this big mob boss in a movie called, Garlic & Gunpowder. Its like having kids, I love them so much but it would be hard to say.
What do you want to say to the fans who will be watching the movies and to your fans? You have been a staple in the horror community and the movies are sort of an escape. I want to say thank you. They help.
Felissa- Thank you. That means a lot to me. Especially where we are right now in the world. I hope everyone can look at this as a moment to take a deep breath and regroup. Think about all of the things that mean so much to us. Whether, it’s having good friends around and watching great movies. Taking time reflect on all the things I’m appreciative of. I love everyone and like I always say on social media, I’m always here. If anyone feels like they’re having a bad moment, I’ve been trying to reach out to people. I make sure everyone is feeling a little uplifted. We will get through this and we have one another. That’s the greatest gift.
I agree. I thank you so much for taking the time to talk. Thank you so much Felissa.
Felissa- (Laughter) Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. You’re amazing. Thank you.
I love GARLIC & GUNPOWDER. I was thinking about the movie when I asked you the character question. I love it! You rocked in that movie.
Felissa- (Laughter) Again, I love effects make-up and getting in that make-up was incredible. Thank you so much.
MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT FOR JENNIFER 5.0 AND ROOTWOOD.