I remember the first time I saw Sherrie Rose on screen. It was, one of my favorites, a martial arts movie flick “King of the Kickboxers”, starring Loren Avedon and Billy Blanks.
Sherrie Rose played Avedon’s love interest. When I first saw her on the screen, she was really beautiful, and to me, she looked somewhat unusual among all these crazy big martial artists. She definitely has been a great addition to the cast.
Usually, when I watch a movie (no matter if it’s a low-budget or a Hollywood blockbuster), I sometimes “mark” the actors/actresses, and the next time I see them billed in a movie, I already know what to expect. Until Sherrie Rose, the only other woman that I marked, was Cynthia Rothrock.
Anyway, from then on, I saw Sherrie in “Cy Warrior”, where she accompanied Frank Zagarino and Henry Silva, and “In Gold We Trust”, where she acted alongside Sam Jones and Ian Michael Vincent. For me, she was (and still is) a “Sharon Stone” of the b-movies.
And, just a couple of weeks ago I had a chance to interview Mrs Rose (thanks to producer Fabio Soldani), and I got it. Mrs Rose did answer all my questions (yay!), so without a further ado, go on and read the exclusive interview below.
Mrs Rose, what was the most attractive thing in acting to you back when you first started out, and today? Any different?
Loosing myself in a character. Creating someone new, wearing that persona and relating to that person emotionally and hopefully having others along for the emotional ride as well. Trying to tell the story and being true to the words so the audience connects with it. I respect the written word. My training was in Shakespeare and my professor Paul Massey was adamant that we did not change a single word. I always kept that with me even though obviously not all writers are as prolific and thorough as Shakespeare, it matters. The only difference now is that as I’ve gotten more experience in acting and in life I try to find the lightness and humor in the story telling more.
You wrote and directed “Me and Will”, and that seems to be the only film in your career, as a director. Why didn’t you go on and direct any more films?
Directing is not an easy field to break into and sorry to say but especially if you are female. We finally just had the first woman win an Oscar for directing, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. I didn’t love directing enough to fight that hard for it. I am directing two documentaries, one on the great rock and roll photographer Jim Marshall and NYC visionary Arthur Weinstein. As a producer on a doc, they lend themselves to keeping your vision on them. One day I will direct another movie, probably one I finance through my production company and something I’ve written. That way I am sure to know where the camera needs to be and how the story needs to be told and I won’t have to grovel for the job. I don’t grovel for things.
One of your latest films “Night Claws”, seems to be the first film you did since 2008. Why did you take a brake from the movie business back then?
I had a son and he needed me, so that is where I choose put my time and energy. I know a lot of people go right back to work and hire a nanny but that wasn’t what I felt was right for him. It was the best decision I have ever made even though I had to turn down many opportunities and ultimately sell my house. I always put him first. He came with me to shoot the movie and that was part of the deal otherwise I couldn’t to do it. The challenge was knowing my lines and keeping up with his school work. He and I pulled it off and on my days off, we got to visit the Museums, the battleship and go on an airboat ride and see alligators. He also got to watch a movie getting made. It was fun to get back to work and have my son see me do something other than making sandwiches and helping with math in his classroom.
Continuing with “Night Claws”, what are your thoughts on the film at this point? What should a viewer expect? Anything new or exciting that “Night Claws” can offer?
I think “Night Claws” is good old fashioned 80’s throw back slasher film. David Prior knows how to tell a story. Fabio Soldani has good taste and he knows what he likes. Shooting in the South on location always brings a nice element to the film and everyone there was dedicated to doing their best. It was a good crew and the cast brought well thought out characters and ideas. My hope is the audience sees that and likes the characters as much as the scares. Everyone enjoyed the monster. It was a treat when it was on set.
B-movie fans know you from such films as “No Retret No Surrender3” “King of the Kickboxers” where you starred with Loren Avedon, “Cyborg” with Frank Zagarino and “Maximum Force”, “In Gold We Trust” with Sam Jones. Any good memories you could share with us on those films?
I was fresh out of college and shot the TV series Miami Vice down in Miami, Florida and a bunch of other films, including “Cat Chaser”. They shoot a lot there now, including the new show “Charlie’s Angels” but then it was rare and everything that was shooting in Florida, I seem to have gotten thrown in the mix. Then I was hired by an Italian film company to shoot three films in Santo Domingo and Haiti. What I remember most were the people. The joy, the art, the heart of the Island. I was there so long, I taught the kids that would come around the set how the spell their names and create little jobs for them so they could earn money. I wanted to create what I could for them. They had so little before the earthquake and I am so proud of the work that Sean Penn is doing with the Haiti Foundation because they need even more now. Wonderful people. I wish I could be back there but it would be too hard on my son.
The greatest thing about shooting these films besides being able to do what I love doing and tell a story from the emotional level, is that I got to see the world from Haiti, to Peru to Thailand. Los Angeles can get very small and there is so much to see and do and be a part of.
I became a global citizen at a young age and I never would have been able to do that if it wasn’t for making these films. And Sam Jones is one of the most generous, stand up guys you ever want to work with. I learned a lot from making those films. Who I wanted to be like and who I didn’t. I spend almost all of my time on set.
I’m not a stay in the trailer kind of girl and come get me when the shot is up. I grew up living in one, no need to spend more time there. I like to be on set learning about each person’s job and getting to know the crew. It is a big reason I started producing movies in 1992.
Your filmography includes both feature films and TV-series appearances. What’s the major difference between them for you?
The way the camera moves on most TV series is mandated more by the network and the camera operator, not the director. I like both but I am painfully aware of the restraints of shooting TV and the format it needs to adhere to. I like the liberties that films allow. With the exception of the Tales from the Crypts episodes that I did, where I really got to explore a character and do what I wanted to do with her, most TV has to be put in a box, figuratively and literally. Film feels like its supposed to be around longer. With new media and DVD and blue ray, TV shows have new life, but they are produced and written and shot to be played each week and then gone. Films become classics and bring and tie people and generations together.
Besides acting, any other business you are involved in?
I work with a lot of non profit organizations. I am a big advocate for children, animals and the planet. I’ve worked with IFAW, The International Fund for Animal Welfare, Pet Adoption Fund, Calmont (children’s school dealing with environmental issues), March of Dimes and many others, raising money and awareness. I am on the Governance Council at my son’s school and volunteer at an elementary school one day a week.
I have a production company that I work/play at every day. I still write and sell scripts. I freelance write for different magazines and publications. I still own the negative to Me and Will so I make sales for that film. Most people sell off their films to bigger production companies and let them do the work to keep selling it but I keep the ownership of the negative and keep reselling it to different territories and media outlets. The first sale was to Japan and then Sundance Channel and Showtime.
It takes more work and dedication to the project and lots of tracking of when licensing periods are up and a new outlet can be sold to, but ultimately you have more avenues to explore. I taught myself how to do it and anyone can learn it. I think it is part of being an independent filmmaker.
Thanks a lot for the interview, Mrs Rose. It’s been a real pleasure.
Thanks for your well thought out questions.
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