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          Rachel and I met up at 'The Red Dragon' in uptown Minneapolis for some drinks, horror chat and an interview in August. We had a great time talking about her career and bitching about shitty horror films. Ahh, what a great time.
          After a couple hours we headed outside for a cigarette before heading our separate ways. So I wasn't surprised when a homeless man stumbled up asking us if he could sing some Gospel bullshit. We kindly declined, but I wanted to smack him upside the head and scream, "Get a fucking job you lazy crack head!" And that's how our interview ended... with a crack head homeless man.
          Enough about that. Enjoy our interview with the beautiful Rachel Grubb.

September 1st 2007

         Thanks for the interview, Rachel! So how did you get interested in acting?

         You're very welcome! I didn't start off as an actress. I went to school for writing, actually. I wrote a screenplay a few years ago, and I won an award for it. I was thinking about making it myself, and I wanted to act in it, too. I didn't know much about acting, so I started taking some classes. I learned a lot, and started auditioning for a few film roles around town. Since I was only doing it for fun at first, I never got nervous at auditions, because I didn't mind not getting the role. But then I enjoyed it so much that I kept doing it, and I take it very seriously. I completely forgot about that script! I'm so over that script now! I'm just now getting back into writing.

         When we met for drinks, we had a chance to discuss your production company, Silent But Deadly Productions. Tell our readers the history of the company and how it started.

         I was cast in a film called "Tales Of The Dead" by Haunted Autumn Productions (http://hauntedautumn.com/). It's a feature length horror film made up of five short stories. They wanted me to play Laurie in the "Reckoning Of The Werewolf" segment. But they were still looking for two other girls to play my friends, and they were having trouble finding actresses. I recommended two girls I knew--Brooke Lemke and Heather Amos. From reading the script, I thought they would both be right for the roles. So they met with Tim Rasmussen, the director, and they both got cast. They had never met before.

         So the three of us were working on "Tales Of The Dead," and we had an amazing time! I mean, it's always fun working on movies, but we were having a blast together! Tim and Lisa from Haunted Autumn were great to work with. It was freezing cold outside, but Brooke, Heather, and I were always laughing and talking between takes, and after Tim would yell, "cut," we would all applaud and high five each other. Honestly, you'd think we were 12, and it was out first movie! The dynamic between the three of us was pretty incredible. So that night, on our first day of shooting together, we decided to start our own production company, so that we could keep working together. And that was when Silent-But-Deadly Productions was born!

         What projects has the company recently been involved with?

         We're in preproduction for our first film right now, and we've acted together in several projects. All three of us were in a dark comedy called, "Group Home" by Ted Dewberry. It is a hilarious and often disturbing story about two parolees who get sent to work in a group home for developmentally disabled people. Ted used to work in a group home, and he told us some crazy stories while we were working on it. It's a world you don't usually see portrayed in film, and that's what made it interesting.

         In 2008, I'm doing another horror movie with Brooke and Heather called, "The Spooner Sisters." We're working with this director named JP Wenner, and he's just awesome. I've acted in a few horror shorts for JP, and I'm always up for working with him again. Earlier this year, Heather Amos and I acted in a short horror film JP directed called, "Retina." One of the other actors, Joshua LeSuer, was also a writer. He wrote a feature length script and asked JP to direct it. JP loved it, so he asked everyone from "Retina" to come back to be in, "The Spooner Sisters." The other lead role is going to be played by Clarence Wethern.

         We've learned your directing your first film, "Why Am I in a Box?", in October of 2007! Tell us about the project.

         God, I'm so excited about that! I wanted to direct before I even got into acting, but I never believed it was something I could do. But I realized that I probably never thought I could act, either, and that's been going well for me. I get offered a lot of roles, and I get good feedback about performances. And I never would have known I was able to do that if I didn't at least try. So why not try to direct a movie?

         We're all acting in it, too. That was part of why we started Silent-But-Deadly Productions--to create interesting roles that we could play ourselves. I'm playing the female lead, Ellen Farnsby, who gets kidnapped by an insane failed novelist, played by Brooke Lemke. It's a dark comedy about art. Heather Amos is playing Malea, the only character in the whole film who has it together.

         Preproduction has been a lot of work, but I'm learning so much. I wrote the script myself, and so far, the response has been very positive, which is encouraging. We held auditions recently, and we have a great cast. This is something I've never done before, but I'm going to do my best, and I look forward to the experience.

         For more information, you can visit our official website at http://www.silent-but-deadly-productions.com

         You had mentioned the title was inspired from a television series in the 90's. Give us the scoop.

         Oh, yes! That! There used to be a really awesome show on MTV called, "Sifl & Ollie." Like most shows on MTV that are not reality TV, it didn't last very long, but it was hilarious. It was about these two sock puppets who hosted a variety show. They had this segment called, "Calls From The Public" that was something like Loveline, except that it was sock puppets calling and asking sock puppet questions. One day, they had this cardboard box call up and ask, "Why am I in a box?"

         Since I was in college at the time, I thought it was hilarious, so I had that phrase for my user title on my email. When I wrote my first script, I still had no idea what to call it. I emailed it to my friend for feedback, and she left me this voicemail message saying, "Rachel! I read the script! It's great, and I love the title!" I was like, title? I don't have a title! So I called her and asked what title she meant, and she said, "Why Am I In A Box?" She thought my email user title was the title of my script! But I liked it, too, so I decided to use it. As I mentioned before, I never made the first script I wrote, so I just used the same title. It fit even better in this case, since it's about a women kidnapped and locked in a big white room.

         Your IMDB page says you won a "Best Breakthrough Screenplay" award in 2000. How was that experience?

         Since it was the first feature length screenplay I had written, it was very exciting. It definitely attracted attention to my script, too. My dad knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who read screenplays for Ridley Scott, and that person ended up reading it because of the award. Of course it wasn't the kind of film Ridley Scott would usually make (it was a character driven drama) but the woman called me to personally tell me how much she enjoyed reading it. Filmmaker Lizzy Borden read it, and she told me she thought I did a great good job and that I should make it myself. I finally gave up on getting that one made, but I still treasure that award. I have it above my computer.

         Have any fun behind-the-scenes stories to tell us about a filming experience?

         Recently, I did a movie called, "13 Hours In A Warehouse." (http://www.13hoursmovie.com/) The special affects makeup artist was Crist Ballas. Other actors were telling me how they had worked with him before on commercials and print ads and things like that, and I kept hearing how good he was. He showed me around his workshop, and I recognized pieces and photos from all these different Hollywood movies, which was a surprise! Like I said, I heard he was talented, but I didn't realize he had worked on so many big films, because he still lived and worked here in Minnesota. He told me about how he had worked with David Lynch, whom I'm a big fan of, and just before "13 Hours" he was in China working on a movie with Jackie Chan and Jet Li. You'll get to see what he did with my makeup when the film comes out. I talked to the director, Dav Kaufman, and he's got the rough cut done.

         You mentioned a couple filming projects coming up, including a film entitled, "Tainted Love Doll" which you're starring in with Scarlet Salem, one of our Flesh Farm models. Please explain.

         Yeah, that was Mike Etoll's project. He did the special effects makeup for NFTS Productions' film, "Doomed To Consume," and I had a small part in that. He approached me about, "Tainted Love Dolls," and I thought it sounded like a cool, fun horror film. It's a good vs evil story, and it involves these dolls possesed by ancient demons. One of the girls in the movie buys them for her friends. I knew Scarlet, because she and I had both done photo shoots with the same photographer. I am excited to work with her on this!

         You grew up in Minnesota didn't you?

         Yes, I did! I was born in Ohio, and I moved to Minnesota when I was eight.

         Ever thought of heading to L.A. for more opportunities in acting?

         I've thought about it. I have been to LA, and I have decided to stay here. I love Minnesota, and I love the film community here. Actors are very supportive of each other here, and I appreciate that. I coproduce a local TV show about the independent film scene in Minnesota called Minnewood (http://www.minnewood.com) My friend Ryan Strandjord had this idea, and I've been helping him with it. I might be willing to travel for a role I really liked, but, I love acting here, and I don't want to leave.

         How do you feel about the direction that the horror genre is heading? Do you think it has gotten better or worse since your beginnings in the genre?

         The good thing about horror is that if you don't like where it's going, you know it's going to change soon! If a horror film comes out and a lot of people like it, you know there's going to be a lot of similar movies coming out. Some of them are pretty good at first, and then you start seeing really bad imitations. Then that trend dries up pretty quickly, and a new one starts. I always hear people say, "all horror is like X now," but it's going to change. Horror is always fluctuating and getting new and fresh ideas in. So in answer to your question, I am happy with the direction in which the horror genre is heading, because it's always changing.

         If you could say one thing to your fans and the visitors of The Flesh Farm, what would it be?

         Thanks for the support! I act in lots of different types of movies, but I love horror, because I find that horror audiences are so open minded. They are willing to take a chance on a director or actor they might not have heard of before, and if they like what we do, they support us. I'll always appreciate that.

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