Actress Tiffany Shepis has been acting since she was 12, and over the years has become one of the most recognizable and successful “Scream Queens” in the business. The NY City born beauty has appeared in scores of splatter films, starring in such horror fan favorites like Chainsaw Cheerleaders, Bonnie and Clyde Meet Dracula, and Dorm of the Dead. In 2004 she appeared in the independent comedy, The Deviants, where she played Marina the nudist. She also appears in the remake of Night of the Demonsand the new DVD release Frankenstein Syndrome. One of her most notable role was in The Violent Kind, a psychological thriller, which received some solid reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.
AD: With Frankenstein Syndrome coming to DVD and all the other projects you have lined up, I want to thank you again, for taking the time to do this interview. I also want to congratulate you on your recent marriage to director Sean Tretta. How did you and Sean meet? Was it love at first sight?
TS: We met when one of our producers on “The Frankenstein Syndrome” (Previously “The Prometheus Project”) brought Sean to meet me so we could chat about me playing Dr. Elizabeth Barnes in the film. We had spoke a few years earlier when Sean was hired to direct “Death Factory: Bloodletting” the sequel to one of my earlier films “Death Factory”. He called to get me involved but well….long story short, turned I it down.;) I did not however turn down “The Frankenstein Syndrome”. We shot the movie and it came out great. Love at first sight? No, Not exactly. Everybody knows “on‐set” romances don’t work…so we waited till we wrapped …400 cocktails later…married!;)
AD: You recently appeared in the remake of Night of the Demons. Tell me a little about your role in the movie?
TS: I was a huge fan of the original “Night Of The Demons” so when I friend of mine suggested that I go in for the casting of the remake I was totally game. I would have done anything to be in that film. I unfortunately came in a bit late in the casting but the director and writer were cool enough to write me in a small part as the thieving door woman Diana! Small part of not I couldn’t have been happier with my part in the movie and the way the re‐make turned out. What’s also cool is…who can they bring back for the sequel? DOOR WOMAN DIANA!!!
AD: You were also in The Violent Kind? Can you tell us a little about the movie and your character?
TS: So excited about the upcoming release of “The Violent kind”. TVK is a weird, bizarre, twisted li’l movie. I play a girl named Michelle who use to be part of this sort of biker gang family. Long story short I leave the party and come back covered in blood and babbling some type of nonsense. Nobody can figure out what’s wrong with me and there are no vehicles to get me to a hospital. Did I get attacked by a dog, a human, or hit by a car? Nobody really knows what happened to me. Needless to say it‘s not something good. All hell breaks loose! Fighting rock-a-billy’s, angry bikers, chick’s covered in blood. How can that be a bad time?!?!? Image bought the movie for the US release and is scheduled for a March release!
AD: You had an interesting role in the movie The Deviants, playing a nudist—which by the way you received some very good reviews. Mark Burger of the Winston-Salem Journal said that you were “a saucy standout.” It must make you feel great to be getting bigger and better roles, and some good reviews for your work? I mean, critics tend to look down on anyone involved in horror or sci-fi movies.
TS: I love, love, love the movie “The Deviants”. It’s such a funny, weirdo comedy. Not my usual type of stuff. The Winston –Salem Journal said I was a “Saucy Standout”?? Damn I have to send that guy a fruit basket or something!! I think all the performances were great in that film. It’s a movie about a match making service for sexual deviants. I’m sure we ALL know somebody that could use a service like that. LOL. As for me getting better roles that make critics take notice, I say it’s about damn time!;) Seriously, it’s great to finally be able to branch out a bit beyond scared girl in the woods.
AD: Over the course of your career you’ve had to do nude scenes, but in The Deviants, you play a nudist? What was that like for you? I mean is it tough to do nude scenes? The reason I ask is because when I first met you, waaay back, about 10 or so years ago, you seemed a bit shy.
TS: I obviously have no real problem with nudity on film …obviously as long as the person doing it feels comfortable. For me I wasn’t always there. You mention meeting me early on in my career and said I was “shy”. I can’t imagine that, however I was definitely not ready to “bare‐all” back then. Times change, and for me I grew to appreciate my body. What I felt was flawed before didn’t bother me as much as I got older. The United States makes a bigger deal about breasts then they do over a face being caved in. I’m sorry but how many teenage boys/girls do you see having nightmares about beautiful women??? I think we need to get over it. If somebody is ok showing their body then more power to them. If you don’t like boobs with your blood then you certainly don’t have to watch the movie.
AD: A while back you made a commercial for Nintendo, but the commercial was never aired, because it was deemed too vulgar. Was it? What was in the commercial that made it unairable?
TS: I did a Nintendo commercial way back when. It was for a game called Conkers bad fur day. I think the game was about a squirrel that had a drinking problem and would get in to tons of trouble. I play the chick he was with the night before. There are tons of gross sound effects and I’m wearing the tiniest outfit ever. They said it was pulled cause it “implied to much”…not sure what that means. All I know is I didn’t have a commercial play during the super bowl thus I never got that new house and car ;(
AD: You’ve done your fair share of zombie flicks. Why do you think zombie movies, and zombies in general have become so popular lately?
TS: Blah boring. I don’t know why they are so popular. Maybe cause they’re easy make‐up fx to do on the cheap, maybe cause everybody knows what a zombie is, maybe cause uhhhhh I don’t know. I’m sick of them. That being said I have 18 new zombie movies coming out this year.
AD: Out of all of the films you’ve done, which is your favorite?
TS: That’s a hard one. I love a few of my movies for different reasons.The Hazing has always been my personal favorite. It’s just my kind of humor and who on earth wouldn’t want to be possessed by Brad Dourif?? I really love what I did in “The Frankenstein Syndrome” and “The Violent Kind”. Two totally different types of movies and I play two very different people in each. I also am a big, big fan of “Bonnie and Clyde Vs. Dracula” that one will be out in March. I play Bonnie and I’m in love with that movie and the character I play. Watch it and you’ll understand why. My Bonnie is just pure bad‐ass‐ness!!!!
AD: Which one do you wish you didn’t do?
TS: Ummm that’s a hard one too. Let’s see number 4, 8,9,12‐22, 30,32,34,36,40‐65…damn way too many to list;)
AD: Any movies that you passed up and later regretted?
TS: As you can see from above question, I don’t turn ANYTHING (sadly). So none.
AD: Would you ever consider branching out, away from horror to do, say a romantic comedy, sci-fi, or period piece?
TS: Well yea. I’m not “married” to horror I just like to spend most of my time with it. Like The Deviantsthat was a comedy, as was Pretty cool 2. I made a movie a year ago called Rule Of Threewhich was a weird, dark, awesome thriller. The Frankenstein Syndromehas some very horrific moments and plot lines but in my opinion it’s more of a medical drama. I’m also currently working on stuff that’s very different then my normal fare. Not to say there is less blood or boobs just slightly more brains.
AD: Not to long ago I wrote an article about the return of Hammer Films. They were the Cadillac of horror movies, back in the day, and launched the careers of many actors, including Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Any interest in doing a Hammer Film given the chance?
TS: Well yea but does anybody make movies like that anymore?? If you find them…let me know.
AD: Are you still making the rounds at the horror conventions?
TS: I still make my rounds at horror cons and film fests across the country and still love it! There is nothing cooler then getting to hang out with folks that love the same stuff you do. In my case it’s horror and Tiffany Shepis ;)
AD: How is it you’re so down to earth and nice? I mean, these days you see a lot of actresses and “self-made” celebs getting into so much trouble—their lives literally falling apart—Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton to name a few. You seem to have kept away from all that trouble.
TS: Thanks! I think it’s silly for people to change just cause they make movies. It’s just a job. How how I kept away from all the bad stuff and trouble? I haven’t I just got it all out of my system at about 13 so it wasn’t public.
AD: Is there anything coming up that you’d like to plug? Any scoop you want to lay on my readers before our interview comes to an end?
TS: Yea. Rent/buy The Frankenstein Syndrome, The Violent Kind, Rule Of Three, Bonnie And Clyde Vs. Dracula, and every other one of my films that’s coming out this year. Also keep an eye out for Wood, Glass and Bonea feature that I will be producing that Sean wrote. For more info hit me up on face‐book and on my website www.screamshepis.com.
AD: Well Tiffany. It’s been fun talking with you— so much so, I hate to see our interview end. Thank you so much.
TS: Thanks so much for being so bored that you thought interviewing me would be a good pastime.