Alice Rose Interview on But Deliver Us From Evil: Bringing Black Actors and Actresses to the Forefront Is Only Going to Advance the Industry
Newcomer Alice Rose stars in the new Biblical thriller But Deliver Us From Evil. In the film she is a demon who wreaks havoc on mankind—just because they are God’s creation. Lilith was Adam’s first wife, but God expelled her from the Garden of Eden because of her refusal to obey Adam, the man. And now she’s out for blood: The scorned Succubus returns present day with a vengeance against man and his offspring.
We had a chance to sit down with Rose to ask her about taking on a big starring role… her first!
Dread Central: We really liked your performance in But Deliver Us From Evil… impressive for a newcomer. Can you tell us how you connected with the producers of the movie, how you were cast, and what it was like to be in a feature film with such an important role?
Alice Rose: Thank you for the acknowledgment! But Deliver Us From Evil is my first feature film. So to say I was a tad nervous on how my performance would be perceived is an understatement. I feel like most actors in the sense that having your work critiqued is a little like baring your soul…then having someone chew on it and spit it out and tell you all the things you all the things wrong about it. So positive reinforcement is always welcomed! It’s true that I’ve had few credits under my belt prior to the film. Joshua [Coates] found me as a habitual newbie of sorts. My most relative work would be in the performing arts. Due to the fact that I’ve done theatre my entire childhood. Usually nabbing the main role even though sometimes I didn’t feel deserving. It seemed to happen more often than not, so soon it became a common place occurrence. I even remember being in the Christmas play in preschool, back then feeling the exhilarating enjoyment being on stage brings (granted, it was a 2ft stage made of tables with a white sheet daintily placed on top). As a youth it was always a dream of mine to be an actress when I grew up. Unfortunately, as my innocent left fleeting and the real world slowly reared its ugly head, I soon found myself abandoning this childhood aspiration.
So years later when Joshua and I met through mutual acquaintances, he told me about this project he was working on and that childhood ambition that I had buried for so long began to unearth itself. He told me he was auditioning the lead in his horror film and once he explained the premise of his screenplay, I knew I had to have that part. Thankfully Josh saw something that motivated him to take a chance on this simple girl from Jersey and the rest is history.
Even though I felt as if I triumphed in being chosen for this role, I truly didn’t understand the gravity in what I was partaking in. Little did I know, the hard part had not even begun. I went into this project with an air of ignorance, just overjoyed in being a fraction of such a massive production. I foolishly surmised that if I knew the script and simply showed up on set everything would be just fine. Naturally I was in for a rude awakening. As I took my place on set the first day to get hair and makeup started, I looked around with wide eyes as people I’ve only seen on TV were sitting across from me. They were nonchalantly joking and casually drinking a soda as I was trying not to throw up from sheer nerves. When it was my time to step in front of the camera and try my hardest to keep up with the incredible talent opposite me, it was pretty obvious I was shaken. I can’t thank Joshua Coates enough for taking his time to really get me comfortable and remind me that I am no different from anyone on set. My co-stars and the talented crew were equally as patient and nurturing. The encouragement from everyone calmed my nerves and helped me tap into the evil demon I always knew I could be. Before I realized, I had found my rhythm and by the end of filming I found myself wanting more. Something about that last day on set as everyone stood around clapping for me, I couldn’t help but to feel a sadness wash over me, I just didn’t want it to end.
DC: What did you learn in the course of playing Lilith? Did you do research on her? What parts of her character did you connect with personally, or what did you like most?
AR: When I first received the script, I was mesmerized by the story itself, even furthermore by the narrative that is Lilith. Her character really blew me away and naturally I wanted to know more. I looked into her origins and found she really did have a part in the Bible, albeit a small one. Although her story is only touched on in the ‘most read book in the world’ Jewish mythology goes into her history a little deeper. Here, Lilith is described as being created at the same time and of the same material in which Adam was conceived, making both Adam and Lilith equal. This was a cause for discontent when it came time for Adam and Lilith to consummate their union. Adam wanted to be in a dominate position which was the role Lilith envied. Needless to say, their union was never consummated.
God took it upon himself to make a more suiting companion for Adam, one a little more willing to submit, hence Eve. So in a way Lilith represents strength and independence in women. A brave woman who’s not afraid to stand up for herself. She owns a unique power that can often intimidate men leaving them to seek an easier spouse to control. I think many women aspire to imitate the confidence of Lilith, to know what you want and be unwavering in that desire. For me, embodying this strong, sexy, independent, dangerous, ancient evil spirit was beyond exhilarating. The ‘ancient evil spirit’ part may have been a bit harder to manifest but as a twenty something American woman I can say with certainty that I’ve experienced all of the adjectives stated above at one point or another in my own life. But like most modern-day women I often find myself concealing the sexually assertive part of my identity or hiding the unladylike strength I possess, all in an attempt to seem like the quintessential woman; dainty and bleak. Lilith gave me a chance to throw societal norms to the wind and truly embrace all of these powerful, distinctive traits within myself. I got to be unapologetically sexy and brass, fearless and certain, intimidating and smart all without holding back in the slightest. I’m thankful to Lilith that I was able to experience that.
DC: What was one of the more difficult or challenging things about being Lilith in the film? Any funny stories you can share?
AR: The hardest part of playing Lilith was definitely being completely evil. In real life I’m as soft as a lamb, I don’t even kill bugs. So to be this evil villain ready to kill at the drop of a hat took a lot of getting used to. I had to channel a wickedness I didn’t even know that I had in order to get that ‘bad guy persona’ across. Which was not easy in the slightest.
And as for funny stories from set, there are no shortage of those. If I can recall a rather funny one. I think back to a fight scene we were about to film. The DP was showing Cynthia and I how the scene was going to play out and in the process was trying to show me the correct way to ‘fake slap’ someone. Of course he decided to demonstrate on me the correct technique. So he cocks his hand back and as I’m anticipating the slap I get ready to move with his hand but he swiftly comes across my head and hits me directly in the face. Now I don’t know if you’re familiar with Kevin Hackenberg but he’s a pretty big guy. His hand is essentially the same size as my skull so the slap was pretty intense. Everyone in the room just stopped as Kevin nervously covered his mouth in an ‘Oh My God’ moment. He didn’t know whether to apologize or burst out in laughter at the realization of what he’s just done.
Thankfully he went with the first option. He quickly wrapped his arms around me trying to hug the accidental slap away. I understood it was unintentional but refused to have him give me any more pointers when it came to staging a fight scene. Fortunately, the real scene went off without a hitch and actually is one of my favorite scenes from the movie.
DC: What would you say are some of the scarier aspects of the story?
AR: First of all, when I was told I had an interview with Dread Central I was thrilled to be able to connect with such a great forum for horror enthusiasts and to give some insight into But Deliver Us From Evil. On that same note, a feeling of anxiety came over me because I know how diehard horror fans are about their movies and I didn’t want to disappoint. Overall, however, I’m ridiculously excited to present our completed project to the fans. I’m positive But Deliver Us From Evil will not dissatisfy in the slightest.
In addition, I’m almost certain that Lilith will become a fan favorite for men and woman alike. There are many aspects to this antagonist that make her not only a sexy, sultry, siren-like bad ass but also a completely terrifying, grotesque, and horrible force not to be reckoned with. Her ladylike appearance often leads the audience to forget her animalistic and demonic behavior which in many ways is her greatest asset. Among her many chilling qualities, this red-hot succubus had a unique way of leaving her victims. She did something special to them to always have attachment to the many men that fell prey in her deadly game. This bond keeps her reign of terror enduring long after her lovers meet their untimely demise. Not only did she manipulate her casualties in death, she toyed with them while they were alive. My favorite scene that demonstrates Lilith’s sick form of humor and true nature is when she crashes a football player’s birthday party. I don’t want to give away too much but she truly is an unwanted house guest from hell who turns the party upside down in only a way Lilith could. Undeniably, thanks to her presence, the team was left with a night they wouldn’t soon forget.
DC: Do you feel like black characters in horror movies are finally coming into their own? In the past, it was always “the black person dies first!” and now we’ve got Get Out nominated for Academy Awards! It seems like genre films and the efforts toward diversity are really coming together now (finally, there’s a Black Panther movie, etc.) – please tell us how you feel about this and what it means to you as an actor.
AR: I’m so glad you brought that up! I’ve had a plight with horror movies for as long as I can remember due to that specific reason. I never wanted to watch or get attached to the character that looked like me because I could almost always guess their unavoidable end which, often times, was in the beginning. I’ve even made it a point to remember in which movies the black person survives to its completion, deeming these ‘favorites’ for that simple fact; Deep Blue Sea, House on Haunted Hill, and others. So the fact that I was given the opportunity to play a strong, black, leading character that was not only not being killed but actually doing the killing, made me beyond happy. In a way it does feel like the playing field is being leveled with movies in recent years such as Get Out (which is a personally favorite), Black Panther, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and so on. Bringing black actors and actresses to the forefront is only going to advance the industry, help dispel stigmas and remove old habits that only hold Hollywood back. Acting should transcend race and be based on talent, who is best to convey a role without any political agenda overshadowing the intended performance.
DC: What were some of your favorite scary movies growing up, and what did you love about them?
AR: Growing up I was definitely a big scaredy cat! I don’t think I made it through many horror movies without throwing a blanket over my head and cowering in fear for the majority of the plot. So to be honest I only watched a horror movie in its entirety as an adult. A few movies that scared me beyond repair and still give me the chills to this day are: Child’s Play, The Puppet Master, From Dusk Til Dawn, Stephen King’s IT (the miniseries) and Candyman, just to name a few. All of these films gave me recurring nightmares. They truly left a scar on my psyche I can’t shake even in my adulthood. All the villains in these cult classics had a very chilling calm to their demeanor during one point or another in their respective films. I tried channeling this very maniacal behavior as Lilith. Hoping to creep a little girl out enough to give her a nightmare or two. Maybe even scare her enough to turn her into her own bad ass succubus when she grows up.
DC: What’s your next role coming up? Where do you see yourself in the film industry in the years to come?
AR: I have an upcoming independent film in April I’m taking part in and I’m teaming up with Joshua Coates again for his newest movie, which is called So Enticing.
As to where I see myself in the industry in years to come, I couldn’t tell you with exact certainty where I’ll be. Oscars, Emmys, and so on, wouldn’t necessarily be my goal. I’m a big believer in things that are meant for you will come. I’m not discrediting hard work in the least because I love working hard for what I want. I’m excited to continue in my pursuit to delve deeper into the industry.
I have a desire, a passion and a love for the art of not only acting but film making as a whole. On a higher level I would interpret it simply as a general desire to create. I maintain that if I continue in this love and passion, pure and uncorrupt by a longing for fame, fortune or stardom, that energy will be reciprocated by the energy I put forth. Ultimately leading me to a place where I can use my platform to help animals and children around the world (another true passion of mine). The incredible Princess Diana once stated: “Anywhere I see suffering, that is where I want to be, doing what I can.” I find much solace in this quote, for it’s the first thing I’ve read in a long time that’s made sense to me. I understand so deeply how Princess Diana felt and desire to conduct my life in a similar manner. To be able to touch the lives of those in need through my love of acting, would trump being the recipient of any Academy Award.
But Deliver Us From Evil is available NOW on VOD and Digital via Indican Pictures. Eric Roberts, Grant Harvey, and Pooch Hall co-star.
A Succubus demon wreaks havoc on a U.S city. Lilith, Adam’s first wife according to Jewish mysticism, seeks revenge against all of God’s creation. God expelled Lilith from the Garden of Eden because of her refusal to obey Adam, the man. Scorned, she returns present day with a vengeance against man and his offspring.