Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Brief But Very Candid Conversation with Betsy Rue

Betsy Rue has a small part in My Bloody Valentine 3-D, but it is a part that most viewers will not forget. In her scene, Betsy’s character, Irene, has just finished having sex with Frank, a truck driver (portrayed by My Bloody Valentine’s screenwriter Todd Farmer), in a motel room. Frank has made a home movie of their sexual activities. As Frank walks out, Irene grabs a gun from her purse. Although she hasn’t gotten dressed yet, that doesn’t stop her from her coming out of the motel. The naked Irene follows Frank to the parking lot and points her gun at him. Frank laughs because the gun is filled with blanks. Unfortunately for Frank, the killer is behind him and hacks him to death with a pickaxe. The killer then chases Irene back into the hotel room. Although Irene locks the door and hides, the killer manages to break in, find her and kill her.

My Bloody Valentine, Betsy has kept busy for the last three years. She has made several appearances in film and television. 2009 has been a particularly good year for Betsy. In addition to My Bloody Valentine, Betsy can be seen in Rob Zombie’s H2 as a redneck girl who falls victim to Michael Myers, and on the hit HBO series True Blood, chasing Ryan Kwanten’s character Jason Stackhouse.

In this brief but candid conversation, Betsy and I discuss her famous scene from
My Bloody Valentine. We also discuss her appearances in H2 and True Blood.

I met Betsy at the Horrorfind Weekend convention in Hunt Valley, MD. I want to thank her for taking the time to do this interview with me.

Jeff Cramer: How did you get started in acting?

Betsy Rue: I moved to L.A. about three years ago and I got started because a casting director noticed me in a coffee shop and asked me if I was an actress. I said “No”, because I was coming out to L.A. to go to school. She said, ”Well, you should come in for an audition.” I had no idea what an audition was. I had no idea how to act. I had no idea how to read. I went in and it was Days of Our Lives. They must have been desperate because they gave me the job, so I worked on Days of Our Lives and I loved it. I’ve never quit acting since.

JC: What other roles did you do before My Bloody Valentine?

BR: Before My Bloody Valentine, I did a lot of television spots. I was on How I Met Your Mother, According to Jim, Bones, NCIS, and CSI. I did a little movie called Deep in the Valley, which is a comedy, and I did a movie called Miss March, which is also a comedy. Then I got My Bloody Valentine.

JC: Now, when you were reading the script for My Bloody Valentine, did you have an idea of what type of role you were about to play?

BR: You know, I didn't actually get the script before I auditioned. I knew that there was some nudity involved, but I didn't know the capacity of the nudity, so I went in and I auditioned. I waited about two weeks and I didn't hear anything, then pretty soon I got a call from Patrick [Lussier, director of My Bloody Valentine.] They wanted to offer me the job, but they wanted to make sure that I was going to be comfortable with everything before I did it, so I knew what it entailed before I went in and actually, the end product was a lot more than they expected. When you're watching the movie, if you look at the part where I take the gun out of the purse, before I come out into the parking lot, I grab a sheet off the bed.

We did this many times with the sheet, and it just wasn't working, so I said, “Forget the sheet, I am leaving the sheet behind.” So that's how I ended up getting so much more nude.

JC: So this was your idea? Not the screenplay's idea?

BR: It was partly my idea, yes. Because, as an actor, I just felt a lot better forgetting the sheet. I felt like it was more real. I felt like I was in my reality. I was, like, “I would not be worrying about this stupid sheet right now! I just want the tape back.”

JC: I was watching My Bloody Valentine with a very noisy crowd. Everyone was kind of talking through the movie, but the minute you walk out into the parking lot, all that stops. Everyone was, like –

BR: Everyone was, like, “Oh, what's going to happen?”

JC: Yes, because you are only wearing high heels!

BR: Yeah, that was pretty crazy. They actually wanted me to wear UGG boots, you know, like the winter-type boots. That's what they wanted me to have and I was, like, “Oh no, this girl would be in heels all the way!”

JC: Did the script have you running back with the sheet on in the hotel?

BR: I wrap the sheet around me and I never take it off, so therefore, I die with the sheet on, but the sheet got left behind, as it should have.

JC: That’s very interesting. A lot of people, like me, were speculating on what courage you must have had, to just go ahead and do all this.

BR: Oh, I did. I said, “Forget it, if you want this, I'm going to go balls to the walls and here it is.”

JC: Can you give me the reaction of what it's been like since that movie came out?

BR: Yeah, it's been awesome. The reviews are really awesome and I was worried that I was going to be the naked girl. I definitely am the naked girl, but I'm glad that I made an impression. I felt that the reviews and a lot of people's reactions were that it was such a memorable scene. A lot of it, obviously, had to do with the nudity, but some people say that by the end of it, when I was dying, they didn't even remember that I was nude because they were just so scared for me. That, to me, was very important as a character. Forget about the nudity, what is happening right now? I am going to get killed!

JC: I don't know if you saw Eastern Promises with Viggo Mortensen. There’s a scene that is very similar to what you just described to me. He’s sitting in a bathhouse and these two guys are about to kill him. So he has to defend himself while he is naked. If there had been a towel in the scene that would have been more distracting to me.

BR: It’s true. It's funny that you mention that because when my manager, Patrick and I all got on the phone, that's how he described the scene. It was like Viggo Mortensen's scene.

JC: Let's talk about Halloween II. H2, how did that come about?

BR: That came about because I was actually going to do the first Halloween and I couldn't do it. I was actually going to play Kristina Klebe's part in Halloween, then I was going to come in and play the part of Mya [Bree Grant’s role] in Halloween II but I was filming True Blood so I couldn't get away. Rob Zombie and I talked and we really wanted to work together, so basically he wrote the part for me in Halloween II because I only had a couple days. I went in and shot it. It was poorly lit, but that's all right.

JC: That's probably one of the reasons I didn't catch you right away.

BR: A lot of people haven't been able to recognize me. They ask, “You were in Halloween II?” and I say, “Yes, I was.” It's so funny because so many people were in that movie and they got cut out. I actually didn't get cut out, but you just can't see me. It's all right, it was so fun working with Rob Zombie; he is amazing, I love him, so it was just an honor to be working with him.

JC: A few online reviews mistakenly credit you as the stripper in the bunny ranch.

BR: They think that's me?

JC: One review said something like that.

BR: (gives a brief disapproving look for a second) That's what they do. That's okay.

JC: Let’s talk about True Blood.

BR: I did a couple episodes of season two and I'm going to be coming on for season three. I can't really talk about it, other than that I'm going to be on it.

JC: Can you talk about season two?

BR: Season two I play Shawnelle, and basically, I'm trying to get the Jason character to have sex with me. I have the hots for Jason Stackhouse, who doesn’t?

JC: (Laughs)

BR: You haven’t watched it yet. So anyway, that's what I do and season three, they're maybe going to give me a shot to –

JC: Become a regular?

BR: Well, I'm going to be doing a few episodes, so we'll see what happens.

JC: Any other projects besides True Blood?

BR: Well, they're working on Halloween 3D right now. [Note: Shortly after this interview, Dimension Films postponed the production of Halloween 3D.] Patrick [Lussier, director of My Bloody Valentine] and Todd [Farmer, screenwriter of My Bloody Valentine] are doing it, so I am in talks with them, as well as Dimension, to do it, so we'll see. I have another film I'm going to be doing in January, but I have signed a confidentiality agreement about, so I can't talk about that. Other than that, I have a guest appearance on the show Eastwick this fall. I'm playing Melody and I’m going out with Rebecca Romijn’s ex-boyfriend, so I fight with her, she's a witch. She might have to put spells on me. That's it.

JC: Okay, any last words you want to say out to your fans?

BR: Oh, my God! You guys, I love you. Thank you so much for not judging me. I know that I took a risk and I went balls to the wall with going fully nude. It was awesome and it was liberating. Thank you guys, so much, for not bashing me for it.

1 comment:

Darnell Henderson said...

She's really good in "Fake It Till You Make It"!