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Interview: Barbara Kingsley (Honeydew)

Actress Barbara Kingsley (Ticket Out, Jessica Jones) does an incredible job in the new film Honeydew. Honeydew was directed by Devereuax Milburn, and stars Barbara Kingsley, Sawyer Spielberg, Malin Barr, Stephen D’Ambrose, and Jamie Bradley. Kingsley has been a theatre actor and in this business for forty plus years. Check out the interview for Horrornews.net.

Hi Barbara, I watched Honeydew, and you made this entire movie. It’s sort of like you took Annie Wilkes from Misery and Jack Nicholson from The Shining, and you created this magical character. How did you get involved in Honeydew, and why did you decide to take on the role of Karen?

Barbara- Thank you. I was contacted through a friend of mine in Minneapolis, where my husband (Stephen D’Ambrose who plays Eulis is Barbara’s husband) and I had worked with an actor. When Devereux was looking to cast the film, his mom was a friend of this actor. I guess it was recommended that Devereaux and I should be in touch. That’s how I met Dev, and the reason I did the film is that Karen is such a delicious character. I’ve been in the business for forty-six years. The bulk of my work has been on stage. I love Devereaux’s eye, I love his voice in the writing. I’m not a horror-genre person. I don’t watch Horror movies, they scare me. Seeing his take on the movie, I thought, wow I could really get behind this. That was a great adventure.

That’s so unbelievable. I didn’t know you and Stephen were married. It’s funny because when I was watching the movie, I thought, gosh, it’s like they know each other forever.

Laughing and Barbara has the greatest laugh! 😊

Barbara- It’s funny, most people don’t, in our career in Minneapolis for thirty-five years. Early on, people would say, we would love to use both of you but you don’t look like you belong together. We did a film called Ticket Out with Ray Liotta. We got on set and our casting director knew we were married, but nobody on the film knew. So, we got done filming the scenes and the DP came out and said, my god, the chemistry the two of you have is just amazing. You would think the two of you are really married so, we held up our wedding ring fingers and said, we are. When Devereaux was looking to cast Eulis, I said, I hope its not presumptuous of me but there’s this guy I know. I sent his picture and resume. Stephen and I do the same.

Oh wow. Ticket Out was great too and I didn’t know then. Oh gosh.

Barbara- Yes.

What was it like working with this cast? Sawyer and Malin, and Jamie? I felt for Sawyer and Malin, they both looked terrified.

Barbara- Oh gosh, I felt so badly for them that night. That was when the weather shifted from like high 90 degrees and then that night, it went down to low thirties. I had a night gown but also a robe. They were up there, practically naked. They kept a burning barrel for everyone. That whole night was one of the first complicated scenes. I kept thinking; oh, Barbara don’t screw this up. They were such troopers. It was one of those moments where real life contributed to the film. The production team made sure everybody was safe.

What was it like working with Devereaux?

Barbara- Oh, I would do anything. If he said, bark like a dog and lick the dog food off the floor, I’d go cool, I can do that. He is an incredible artist and he is such a genuine, good human. In the business some times things are not great with all the money and the tiers of power. I’m hired as an actor, but essentially I’m hired to be invisible as much as possible. Devereaux is open and you want to serve his story. I spent six weeks walking around New York to make sure, I learned his words.

I don’t want to give away spoilers but there is a cooking scene. This movie has a few powerful messages. You truly disappear into the character of Karen. I love theatre so much. Do you think being a theatre actor helps you more as an actor in a film?

Barbara- I’m absolutely sure of that for me. I’ve been so lucky to do a lot of plays and play a lot of great characters. You get to play these fully dimensional characters. Improv is part of her back story and for me, it’s been easy to get a backstory going fairly quickly. I was raised with two great-grandmothers, a grandfather, and three grandmothers. I shared my bedroom with one of those grandmas that played with her teeth. I know farmers and people that are connected to the ground. I wanted to make sure that Karen had her own sadness.

What do you want to say to people that will be watching Honeydew?

Barbara- I’m not a horror genre person. I not good on the slash and burn but what I find interesting in this sort of Hansel and Gretel, it’s a cautionary tale. It’s a cautionary tale for us to look at people. The judgement of good and bad, and most people are not psychopaths and sociopaths. There are people who make some bad choices. It’s to look at ourselves and say, oh there is accountability. Golly, I don’t know, part of it is to look at our behaviors. Pay attention to all things.

That makes sense. I think society has sort of become okay with spewing hate and negative stuff. I think we need more love, compassion, and empathy. I think this movie delivered such a powerful message and Karen’s a person who is trying.

Barbara- Yes, I agree with you. I think that one of things is the relationship with Karen’s son Gunni (Jamie Bradley). Karen truly loves him. When something happens to Gunni, it makes her sad. Karen tries to give Gunni the best life. It seems to be okay to just be a hater and spew lies.

Thank you so much. It was such an honor to talk to you. You are amazing. I loved Honeydew and you are just magic. Thank you so much.

Barbara- I’m going to close by thanking you because when I got in to this business, all I wanted to do was connect with human beings. Thank you.

IMDB

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