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Lin Shaye
Horror Interview by The Gravedigger

Q: You were an art history major at the University of Michigan and acquired your Masters in acting from Columbia in NY. How would you say the Masters degree helped you in your career?

My Master's Degree was in Theater Arts at Columbia University. A fabulous program...8-12 hours a day of voice work, body work/dance/fencing/self expression, theater history, acting classes, scene study, script breakdown, rehearsals, performances and just plain "emersion" in what I love. We had amazing guest teachers/directors...The most influential for me was the fabulous Joseph Chaikin who had a group called THE OPEN THEATER based on the techniques of a Polish theater genius named Jerzy Grotowski : ("Theatre - through the actor's technique, his art in which the living organism strives for higher motives - provides an opportunity for what could be called integration, the discarding of masks, the revealing of the real substance: a totality of physical and mental reactions.") That is a quote from Jerzy Grotowski's " statement of purpose" and sounds very intellectual, but it is really quite the opposite: it is an amazing physical investigation of the "masks" we all wear, and the use of sound and movement to express character emotion and story. Also being in NYC, was the perfect segue into NY theater, where I worked for over 10 years before coming to LA. This was where I learned and practiced "my craft," and may I add had one of the most amazing times of my life!

Q: You're originally from the Detroit area--have you been back to Detroit to shoot any movies since Michigan passed all of their film incentives the past several years?

I was back in Detroit for 1 film called RED AND BLUE MARBELS, a sci fi tale directed by Shaun Lapacek...which has not been released yet. It was strange indeed to drive down 7 mile road and Livernois...where I used to "shop" with my grade school girl friends, and be making a film there!

Q: What is it about horror films that appeal to you, from KILLER PAD to SNAKES ON A PLANE to 2001 MANIACS? What would you say are some of your favorite horror movies?

To be honest?...I am not a horror fan!! BUT...I love acting and finding the reality of ALL characters, and have been lucky to have that opportunity on quite a few occasions in "scary movies!" My favorite "horror" film is the first NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET...but I think one of the scariest movies for me ever, was REPULSION directed by the great Roman Polanski.

Q: You're my favorite character from the 2001 MANIACS movies...how was it working with Robert Englund on the first and then Bill Mosely on the second one?

I LOVED working with Robert Englund on the first Maniacs film!...(as well as with my buddy, the wonderful and faithful Tim Sullivan, who directed it!) Robert is smart, funny, engaging, prepared and terrific in all ways. And working with Bill Mosley was equally as wonderful. Actually I can say almost EXACTLY the same things I just said about Robert about Bill! "smart, funny, engaging, prepared and terrific in all ways!" Now, may I add....THAT IS NOT ALWAYS THE CASE!!!..But with both of these fine actors, it is!!!! I adore them both...

Q: How did you become involved with Jose Prendes' movie, DOG EAT DOG?

I got involved in DOG EAT DOG, actually "meeting Jose" on Facebook! I had worked on an amazing film directed by the incredible James Wan called INSIDIOUS which will be coming out sometime next year. Actor Ruben Pla, who is also in INSIDIOUS, is the scary dude/murder in DOG EAT DOG and through Ruben, I "met Jose" and low and behold we struck up a "friendship" and when I saw the promo he did, I knew he was a wonderful filmmaker! When he asked if I would like to play a role, and I read the entire script, my answer was a resounding YES!!!

Q: Tell us a bit about your character?

I play "one of the "kidnappers" DENISE....All we know about her is that she "used to be a nanny," which was enough for me to immediately begin to "chew" on!!.....a "nanny???? who is now "kidnapping little girls???" hmmmmmm....very interesting indeed! Looking forward to this wonderful process of creation and investigation! No matter if it is horror, comedy or drama, for me, it is all about "discovering" the person, who what when where and why!! Jose is a talented, persistent wonderful and creative writer/director, and I can't WAIT to work with him and to breathe life into DENISE!

find information about Lin Shaye at imdb.com find horror stuff by Lin Shaye

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