Exclusive Interview: Actress Debbie Rochon Talks Psychic Experiment and More!
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On Tuesday, December 6th, Lionsgate is set to release writer/director Mel House’s latest genre offering, Psychic Experiment, which features an all-star cast including Katie Featherston, Debbie Rochon, Adrienne King, Reggie Bannister, Glenn Morshower, Kathy Lamkin and Shannon Lark just to name a few.
Psychic Experiment is centered around an idyllic, small, self-sufficient community which seems like the perfect neighborhood on the surface. After all, everything you could possibly need is within walking distance. But eventually the pastoral exterior conceals a dark past and an even darker secret, and as a group of individuals – each with their own ties and agendas with the town and each other – converge on the enclave, strange things begin to happen. Very strange things. Strange enough to test – and then break – the very fabric of reality itself.
In honor of Psychic Experiment‘s upcoming home release bow, Dread Central had the opportunity to talk with the insanely busy Rochon (just check out her IMDB profile and see the staggering amount of projects genre fans have yet to enjoy her work in) to talk about her experiences working on Psychic Experiment, what the actress looks for when considering roles and what we can expect from a few of Rochon’s upcoming projects.
Dread Central: Talk a little bit about how you got involved with Psychic Experiment and what your first impressions of the script were.
Debbie Rochon: Mel House approached me about playing Maria a few months before filming began. When he sent the script, I immediately started reading it and couldn’t put it down. It was so original and fresh, something that’s pretty rare with lower budget movies. I read it in one sitting and knew right away I wanted to be in the film. I saw what he was doing with the story, and it really blew me away. I was hooked! It was complex and layered and very engaging. So well-written.
Dread Central: I love that you have such a diverse slate of projects lately- what do you look for when you’re considering a project?
Rochon: I look for films where I can play a character I have never played before. I try and do different things, although I will always relish being a bad guy! Who is making the film matters; it’s important to work with people who are really there to serve the film and are interested in trying new things. Creativity is very important because I have made good movies and bad ones. The bad ones were never from a lack of trying, but funny enough, I feel the last slate of films I have made all have something really great about them, and for that I am happy.
Dread Central: How was it working with Mel? Did you guys collaborate on fleshing out your character Marie at all?
Rochon: Working with Mel is a dream. He is so easy to work with, and whatever I do with a character he adds to the mix and gives terrific direction. He loves making movies so it is really fun to be on his set because of that. The stress level was pretty much non-existent because he handled things so well- Mel’s a real pro. We were definitely on the same page as far as the Maria character goes. She is ‘inspired’ by a real life relative of his so I was happy to help him exorcise that demon. Maria is terrifically selfish, and that was a LOT of fun to play. Psychic Experiment is really an ensemble effort, and I think it works so well- not one actor drops the ball in this film.
Dread Central: So what were your experiences like working on set for Psychic Experiment?
Rochon: Great times. I have a scene in a bar where I see my son for the first time in years, and it was really explosive. The characters can’t stand each other, and during the scene I hit the actor playing my son across the face. It really engaged him so when he got up and pushed me backwards, I went flying into the bar tables. That part was cut out, but it was really intense so I am grateful to him that we, in a pretty controlled fashion, really let go and did the scene with as much tension and venom as possible, setting up their relationship in just a few lines – perfectly!
Dread Central: Since this has been such a long journey for everyone, how does it feel now that Psychic Experiment is about to be released by Lionsgate?
Rochon: I am very proud and excited! I am hoping not just the terrific actors, but also Mel of course will get notice for this film. It is really special, and he has worked hard on it for a while now. I think it will be pretty easy for it to find its fans, and Mel deserves to get some real recognition for this movie.
Dread Central: I noticed you have about a zillion other projects either recently wrapped, in production or coming up in the near future – can you talk a bit about some of those projects as well?
Rochon: Well, it’s hard to single just a few out without pissing off folks (LOL) so I will mention just a couple of movies. This year I wrapped Wrath of the Crows, which I shot with Ivan Zuccon in Italy. He also directed Colour from the Dark, which is another film I did with him, and it will be a real mind-bender for sure. I also shot another film in Italy for the first time with Stefano Milla making his ‘rock and roll, meteor hits Earth, zombie film’ called Solid State, which will also be super cool.
I also just wrapped some scenes on Disciples, which was directed by Joe Hollow, and we will be finishing it next month. I also did a short film called The Tell-Tale Heart, which is currently working its way through fests and has already won some awards; I am very proud of that movie, too! There’s also Razor Days, Gallery of Fear and Sick Boy, which are all wrapped and will be coming out next year. I’ve also been keeping busy with a few web series, too. I just shot two: Mel House’s Placeholders about a public access station, which is hilarious, and I shot a few episodes on The Chainsaw Sally Show, which is always a terrific experience. Good people, good times!
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