Actress, rocker wife Paula Solinger and director Jeremy Campbell talk about horror, hotties and rock and roll
Skid Row frontman and aspiring TV chef Johnny Solinger not only has excellent taste in food and drink, but also in women. His wife Paula, a stunning South American import, is a talented visual artist, model and actress. If you’re friends with Paula or following her and Johnny you’ve noticed she’s been doing more and more acting in horror movies, which is fine by us. I recently had a chance to talk with Ms. Solinger and her director Jeremy Campbell about her latest flick, Velvet Vengeance, read on….
LRI: Thanks for talking with us guys. Jeremy, we heard about you via Paula and you are the director so we will start by grilling you…. How did you conceptualize your new movie “Velvet Vengeance” ? Is it a sexy, horror girlfight flick??
Jeremy: Thanks for the interview. It’s a real honor. Paula is fantastic and I can not even begin to say how happy we are to have her on board.
This movie is a giant cocktail of my biggest influences. A blend of late 80s horror films and early 90s action films. I grew up in the era of bad ass action heroes that kicked ass and asked questions later. In one corner you have an unstoppable killer that dresses like a twisted doll and then in the other you have the girl next door, an all American sweet as apple pie teenage girl. It just so happens that she is a martial arts expert that is pretty handy with a gun. Then in the middle are a cast of people that each have their own agenda. None of them can be trusted.
This movie is dripping with sexy, horror action. You have one good looking girl that uses her fighting ability and big ass gun to get what she wants, then you have another that uses an axe and then you have another that uses her sexy good looks and tempting eyes. Something for everyone.
LRI: Aside from casting incredibly appealing actresses and having great special effects a screenplay can often make or break a movie. How confident are you in both the screenplay and the girls entrusted with it??
Jeremy: From a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate my confidence in the script and the cast that has to carry it at an 11. Yes we are going to 11.
The actress playing Dolly is a horror expert that is an official judge for Phil Anselmo’s horror film fest. She is also a burlesque dancer and competitive runner. To say she is perfect for the role is an understatement. Playing the all American girl next door that turns into the killer of killers is Andee Martin. Andee trains full time in MMA. In her time as an actress she has crushed one guys head with a rock, shot a zombie in the face, kicked the crap out of one girl and shot two other girls. Andee is the female version of an old school action movie star. Then we have Paula. Paula plays a temptress that uses her sexy good looks to get what she wants. I think Paula can handle that. The great thing about casting Paula was that the role was filled. We had someone else in the role and were ready to go with her but for what ever reason the actress that was cast dropped out of the movie. Never said why but it was the best thing that happened for the movie cause now we’ve got Paula, and she has a brand new take on the role that brings it to a new level.
As far as the script. Who doesn’t want to see a movie about a teenage girl that goes Bronson and hunts a psycho axe killer?
LRI: Paula is not only a rockers wife but a big rock fan in general. Are you also a big music fan and how do you feel about some of the various attempts to blend rock with horror over the years either by soundtrack or outright plot involvement?
Jeremy: I am a huge rock and metal fan. The first album I ever owned was the Metallica “Black” album. I bought it with my allowance when I was 9 yrs old. For me music and movies go hand and hand. I fell in love with them at the same time.
We plan on doing a mix of a classic score and rock score. Like I said this is a mix up of genres and a throwback to a different era. The era we are going back to was all about mixing the classic score and rock music.
LRI: I know the film biz takes a considerable amount of behind the scenes people in the form of producers and designers and distributors before it hits the public. How difficult is the birthing process and when do you anticipate your movie coming out?
Jeremy: I’m the kind of guy that does not sit around waiting for others to do what they say they are going to do. If it’s not done in a certain amount of time I’ll just do it myself. If you make the mistake of relying on unreliable people it can be rough. Just do what you love and love what you do. The rest will fall into place.
The movie will be premiering Sept or Oct 2013. Will be having a massive spectacle of a party. Burlesque dancers, MMA fighters, horror icons and all sorts of other fun stuff to check out. It will then be making a massive film fest run. Fans can check it out at any of those screenings. As far as Redbox, VOD, Netflix. That is also in the works. We are in contact with distributors. It’s just a matter of finding the right home.
LRI: What aspect of Velvet Vengeance has you the most excited at this point and what do you think is eventually going to get people buzzing about this movie??
Jeremy: I would say I’m most excited about getting to see the movie myself. I know what it’s going to be like and how bad ass it will be so I can’t wait to see the finished product and the response it’s going to get.
The buzz is on now but I think it will hit a whole new level when the clips start coming out. Once people see scenes from the movie they’ll know this movie is just what I said it is; a bad ass old school mix of action and horror.
LRI: Paula, you have been acting and modeling for a while now but of course people will still associate you with rock and roll since you are Skid Row singer Johnny Solinger’s wife! The guys just left for an overseas tour, does acting and art kind of help make the life of a “rocker wife” a little easier?
Paula: The main difference about the “rock wife” lifestyle is that there are periods of time when we are together 24-7 and then we have to be away from each other for over a month. So I either OD on Johnny or get Johnny withdrawals! Of course having a “life of my own” helps, but that is not the result of Johnny having to leave for extended periods of times.. It may have to do with the fact that I am an only child so I didn’t rely on anyone for entertainment-other than say, the little people inside my head hehehe.
LRI: How did you and Johnny meet and how much has your life changed as a result of him being the frontman for Skid Row??
Paula: We met when he was touring South America, imagine that! He always says that some people bring little souvenirs from the places they travel, like magnets or a t-shirt, and he brought a wife. My life changed mainly due to the fact that I moved to the US to be with him. That in itself is a major change of scenery. No matter how globalized the world can be, there is still the element of the cultural shock. Add the fact that his job is not “standard” and well, it’s an interesting combo to say the least.
LRI: You are incredibly beautiful and sexy but behind all of that you are very funny, thoughtful and normal. People who are friends with you know that you are a big KISS nerd, video game player and are as big of a horror fan as anyone. What was your life like growing up and what drew you to these activities people don’t often associate with hot chicks?
Paula: First, thank you. Growing up, I had a lot of male cousins I would play soccer with. I have been into sports since I was a little girl…and I am very competitive…so I guess I can be a little bit of a tomboy. Especially because me being the girl, I wanted to prove that I could not only play with the boys, but kick their butts! Name the sport, and I probably played it at least once.
I am indeed a huge Kiss fan.. my best friend Laura and I were the “Kiss” sisters at school. I am not sure exactly how I started listening to rock except that when I got my first radio my dad let me go through his record collection and choose what I wanted to listen to. I chose “The dark side of the moon” because I liked the cover. I loved it. I assume that was a pretty cool introduction to music for a 6 year-old!
As for horror films, I became more of a fan after being in horror films myself. As an actor, they are a blast. And if there are stunts, even better!
I don’t know why there seems to be this idea that a girl can’t be sexy or “girly” and like sports, video games or horror. I love make up and clothes just like any other girl, but I want to be able to play Xbox with my husband, do kickboxing and then rock a pair of heels and a dress. None of these activities are exclusive.
LRI: You have been cast in the upcoming film Velvet Vengeance but have worked on several other projects prior to this. Can you tell us a bit about some of your other roles and how much different it is to work onscreen versus say modeling?
Paula: I started acting when I was 6 at school and loved it. I was mainly a “stage” actor until way later. I love both stage and onscreen work. They are different animals but equally enjoyable to me. We often talk about it with Johnny… It’s like playing live and making a record. The feedback you get from the people is amazing, but being able to make a record or a movie that is going to be there forever is magic. Modeling was always more a means of exposure than anything else. I can portray a schizophrenic better than sell ziplock bags haha! But I’d like to have at least a few sexy pics for posterity and to show my grandkids that grandma was pretty rocking back in the day.
LRI: Jeremy told us you have a pretty interesting role for Velvet Vengeance and that it is PERFECT for you. What attracted you to playing this character and how much different do you think this movie will be from a normal slasher flick?
Paula: The difference is that this movie is not a slasher flick per se. There is a story behind it. There is no gore for the sake of gore. The background of each character is clearly outlined and there is a real motivation behind every characters’ actions. My character in particular is no exception. It makes me incredibly happy to hear that Jeremy thought I was perfect for the character of Lita because that’s the one I wanted. Hopefully I will be able to make him proud and contribute to make this a great, entertaining movie!