We here at Kewel World are big fans of movies and more in particular the indie scene in general, so as you may have guessed we were extremely happy to get a chance to spend some time with Brooke Lewis not only an actress in her own right but also a very accomplished producer having been involved in Slime City Massacre, iMurders and The Drum Beats Twice to name just a few.
So to kick things off as always Brooke can you give our readers a brief bio about yourself?
"Love to! I hope the readers don’t mind that I copied my publicity BIO: A native of Philadelphia, the vivacious and versatile Brooke Lewis has made an impact as both an actress and producer. Brooke relocated to New York, where she began her professional career. Her first major taste of the limelight came from Tony n' Tina's Wedding – the Off-Broadway hit comedy- in which she played the "prima donna" bridesmaid Donna Marsala. Brooke soon signed with Tazmania/Metropolitan Records and released the freestyle song "Get Me Off Your Mind". Brooke would also find success on-screen, appearing in The Rules (For Men), A Packing Suburbia and Pride & Loyalty. She headed west – to Hollywood. There, she would create Philly Chick Pictures, an endeavor designed to increase opportunities in front of the camera, as well as behind it. Since making the move, Brooke has had roles in, or on, several projects, including, Quintuplets, Mafiosa, Break, Gerald, Dahmer Vs. Gacy, Double Tap, Alien Dawn, The Mourning, Starship: Rising, Starship: The Coming Darkness and Lazarus. She starred opposite Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) in the indie TV pilot/web series Life's A Butch. Some of this firecracker's impressive producing credits include: Circuit Riders (actress/producer), Broken Angel (co-producer), Kinky Killers (actress/co-executive producer), iMurders (actress/executive producer), The Drum Beats Twice (actress/executive producer), At The Sinatra Club (actress/producer), Slime City Massacre (actress/co-producer) and Sprinkles (actress/executive producer/producer). In March of 2009, Brooke launched the Ms. Vampy TV/talk show/web series, in which she starred, produced and co-directed! In July of 2011, Brooke went on to launch the teen smash hit TV/talk show/web series Ms. Vampy’s Tween Tawk, Teen Tawk & In Between Tawk, which won the HONOLULU FILM AWARDS 2012 SILVER LEI AWARD and the coveted 18TH ANNUAL COMMUNICATOR AWARDS (2012) AWARD OF DISTINCTION for Social Responsibility. Ms. Vampy is currently being developed into a feature film titled Vamp It Out. She was honored by Screamqueen.com as SCREAM QUEEN OF THE MONTH November 2008!!! SCARS MAGAZINE honored her with the centerfold and interview in March 2009 and she graced the October 2009 Cover of SCARS with iMURDERS Co-star Tony Todd. “VOGUE for Horror Fans” GOREZONE MAGAZINE chose her as their GOREMATE August 2010. Spreading out to SciFi, she is SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s SLICE OF SCIFI’s SLICE QUEEN. Brooke was honored by the B MOVIE GOLDEN COB AWARDS 2010 for BEST SCREAM QUEEN of 2009. Brooke won the PollyGrind Film Festival 2011 BEST ACTRESS IN A SHORT FILM AWARD and the Action On Film International Film Festival 2011 honored her with the prestigious WRITE BROTHERS EXCELLENCE IN FILM AND VIDEO AWARD. In 2012, Brooke was honored with a column, as a Contributing Writer for the prestigious HUFFINGTON POST. As if she is not busy enough, Brooke strongly believes in charity work and was chosen HOT HUNKS OF HORROR HOTTIE 2009. The amazing “hunky horror” calendar benefits the Lynn Sage Foundation for Breast Cancer Research and Brooke promoted this cause throughout the year. She is also on DREAD CENTRAL’s BOWLING FOR BOOBIES HORROR STARLETS Team to raise money and awareness for Busted Foundation and Breast Cancer. Brooke is a proud member of Women In Film and Film Independent. And, during football season (when she finally decides to take a break from working!), you will always find her at a sports bar cheering for the Philadelphia EAGLES!"
“And no guys, I haven’t failed to mention Brooke is pretty beautiful I think you can see that by the pics smiles”
You have won an awful lot of awards and honours from the film and TV industry including, Excellence in Film award for Sprinkles, Polly Grind Film Festival 2011 and many more, is there any one of them that you are particularly proud of?
"Thank you! I try not to focus on the “external” stuff too much, but I will tell you, I am soooo grateful for all the awards and accolades, as they are simply “gifts”from a higher power confirming that I am doing something “right” all these years 🙂 I cherish them all, but I think I’m most proud of winning the B Movie Golden Cob Award 2010 for Best Scream Queen of 2009 for my work in Slime City Massacre. I believe that award really solidified my earning the title of “Scream Queen”.
I have to ask; how did you go from doing the likes of Tony n Tina's Wedding an Off- Broadway comedy in which you played a prima donna bridesmaid to Slime City Massacre, have you always been interested in Horror Movies or was it something you kind of grew in too?
"Interesting transition, huh? I was singing and dancing from a young age, which led me into musical theatre in Philadelphia, which led me into comedy in New York. I got my first “break” in the New York Off-Broadway Comedy Tony N' Tina's Wedding, then went on to do TV sitcoms like Quintuplets and Mafiosa, then acted in mobster dramas like Pride & Loyalty and Sinatra Club, then broke out in the horror genre with films like Kinky Killers, iMurders and Slime City Massacre, then combined my experience in comedy, mobster pictures and horror and created the role and brand, which I am best known…Ms. Vampy!!! See, I was obsessed with vampires, as a young girl and was a huge fan of all the 80s horror films when I was a kid! Who knew where life and my career would take me?"
You have now also moved in to producing, is this an area you will continue in or will we see you Directing or possibly writing more?
"I’ve been producing for many years in order to create a career for myself, but I don’t love it…just happen to be pretty good at it 🙂 I have experimented with directing my Ms. Vampy series and am really not interested in directing as a profession. I have written a few screenplays with my partners, but, again, not my passion. I do, however, enjoy writing for several magazines as a Life Coach. The only current films that my company and I will produce are “Vamp It Out” and Mark Weiser’s Vampire Rock Opera “In My Blood”, because they are the only projects I am inspired by to produce and star in!"
You have your own production company in Philly Chick Pictures, how did this come about and what is the ethos ideas behind it?
"In 2002, I created Philly Chick Pictures to "produce entertainment with an attitude". My movie career started as an actress in low budget independent films in NYC. I was always the actress with a ton of energy and a business brain, who would call in a favor to attach talent, crew, locations or think fast enough to do damage control on a set. After doing this work for other people's companies or projects and not being credited or compensated properly, I finally realized that I had been "producing" all along! I learned that I have a creative soul and a business mind, so I started Philly Chick Pictures to further my acting and producing career, make films with an edge and find and develop strong roles for women."
Ms Vampy is I have to say one of my favourites and reminds me very much of a dark alto ego of Fran Drescher from The Nanny. Where did the idea for this show come from?
"Kieran, you nailed it! That’s totally the idea and my pitch…Elvira meets The Nanny meets Mona in My Cousin Vinny! For those readers who don’t know, Ms. Vampy is my alter ego and is very special to me, both personally and professionally. She is a Vampiress with a mission! “Ms. Vampy is America's funniest, sassiest and most high maintenance vampire! Her personality is as big as her hair and is often described as Betty Boop meets Marisa Tomei in "My Cousin Vinny". She loves pleather and fur and wouldn't be caught "dead" without high heels! But, there's much more to this loveable vampiress from Brooklyn. Following the hit web series "Ms. Vampy" in 2009 and as a prelude to the Halloween Family feature "Vamp It Out", Ms. Vampy is back with "Ms. Vampy's Tween Tawk, Teen Tawk & In Between Tawk" to inspire tween and teen girls in a "tawk" show format, which covers issues that these girls are faced with today. Discussion topics include: Stereotypes; Body image; Self-esteem; Bullying; Peer pressure; Caring about what others think of you; Being popular; Facing your fears; Following your dreams; And, of course, boys and "Twilight"!”"
Looking back on your career and life today is there anything you would have done differently or any career you would have possibly pursued, if you had not chosen the acting life?
"There is NOTHING else in the world I would rather do than act! Acting is my heart, soul and passion and I will do it forever! As far as doing things “differently”? Absolutely! But, I have learned so much from my mistakes and poor choices. I wish I had the confidence and courage that I have now in my 20s. There were times in my career when I felt “desperate” and made some lousy choices as an actress, producer and woman. I think that no matter what we choose in our lives and careers, we have to maintain our self-respect. No job is worth compromising our integrity!"
Following on from the last question Brooke is there any advice you could give any young aspiring actress or actor who is just starting out?
"BE YOU…AND, BE FEARLESS! Follow your heart and your dreams. Face your fears. STUDY! Commit! Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you can’t do it or you are not good enough! Do not compromise your beliefs and integrity. Remember Ms. Vampy’s catchphrase: “When faced with fear, dig deep inside, find your inner “vamp” and Vamp It Out!”"
You are a very busy women as I have come to see, can you tell us what you’re working on at the moment or what projects you have in the pipeline?
"I worked on some incredible films in 2012 and just wrapped another this week! Stay tuned for the release of Neil Johnson’s Sci-fi features Starship: Rising and its sequal Starship: The Coming Darkness, Marc Clebanoff’s drama/thriller The Mourning and I just wrapped Thomas Churchill’s noir/horror/thriller Lazarus. I am also very excited to reunite with my iMurders director, Robbie Bryan, to act in his drama/animé feature “Black Hat” later this year."
One more serious question before we ask a few fun ones and something I think you must be commended for, you do a lot of charity work. Can you tell us about this and expand on some of the charities you are involved with?
"I believe strongly in “giving back”! I have been on the Dread Central Horror Starlets team for Bowling For Boobies for five years. The Busted Foundation and Bowling For Boobies inspires me, because I have lost friends to breast cancer and I have fought with others to beat this challenging disease. Breast cancer is one fight we cannot back down from, and I am here to let women know they are not alone during this battle! I have also been active over the years with the children’s Variety charity and have hosted events for them across the US. We help to raise money for sick or underprivileged kids whose parents are struggling to pay their medical bills. I recently became involved in several celebrity auctions and I have donated Life Coaching sessions to raise money for Normal In Schools, which helps teens with body image and eating disorders. Lastly, I have an on-going commitment to help bullying campaigns for teens. Yeah, charity has become sort of a part-time job for me! :)"
Now just before I take the fluffy handcuffs off you and set you free, we always like to ask our detainees errrr I mean guests some fun questions:
"Kieran, what if I like my handcuffs??? ;)"
What's your favourite type of food ?
"I could eat pizza and French fries every day and be happy! I also love red velvet cake. Of course, these are all ‘special’ treats, as I am always watching my voluptuous figure and can’t have it get too voluptuous ;)"
If you could choose any place in the world to go on a date where would it be?
"Italy; Paris; or The Oscars :)"
Do you own your own fluffy handcuffs?
"I don’t, but I’m sure Ms. Vampy has some stashed away somewhere!"
Have you read fifty shades of grey? if so, what did you think of it?
"I have not! I know, even my Dad read it! 🙂 I don’t love reading fiction and I am too busy reading scripts, self-help books and metaphysical books."
What type of music do you like to listen too?
"I love everything from jazz to pop to R&B to disco, but I have a special place in my heart for old school 80s soft rock! Bring on Journey and Styx any day!"
"What can I say it really has been a pleasure chatting with you and if it were not against the law I would leave the handcuffs on smiles, thank you so much Brooke for coming to chat with us we love your work and please keep us up to date with all your happenings."
"Thank you and the readers for spending time with me!"
Brooke also writes for the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brooke-lewis/
and She Knows’ Loving You http://www.lovingyou.com/articles/968705/happy-halloween-learn-to-face-your-fears