Honey Lauren, the cult film star who has appeared in such films as Satan was a Lady, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Hidden II, and The Evil from Inside Me, plays a wicked waitress in the new horror film Sweet Taste of Souls.
When four struggling band members stop at a lonely roadside cafe for a slice of pie they find themselves imprisoned in the deranged cafe owners bizarre art collection and must battle a sinister force with an appetite for souls.
Sweet Taste of Souls is directed by Terry Ross from a script penned by F. Scott Mudgett.
Dread Central was lucky enough to score a sit-down with Lauren who gave us the 411 on her fun new part, working with Tippi Hedren, and wanting to direct a film like Rosemary’s Baby in the future. Enjoy!
Dread Central: Honey, how has your year been?
Honey Lauren: Aw, this year has been such a mixed bag for me – lots and lots going on, so much has been happening to be grateful for and at the same time..… my goodness, what horror story are we all living through?! We all need to stay safe and calm.
DC: I know you directed a film this year, and it was supposed to play festivals but got pulled due to the pandemic. That must have been hard – but it looks like it’s been a success regardless! People went crazy for…
HL: Yes, I wrote and directed Wives of the Skies. It was released three weeks into festival season when the pandemic hit. The festivals then got very, very creative and started doing all kinds of wonderful pivoting, figuring out new ways to have festivals… Some did drive-in, some did Roku, some virtual, all kinds of amazing things to keep their festivals alive! So, we continued into festival season and won close to 40 film awards. It’s playing now at the 27th Chicago Underground and the 21st Maui International in December. We also got very lucky because Hewes Pictures picked it up and now it’s on Prime in North America, Australia, and the UK and soon to be on VOD worldwide.
But yeah, I’m so humbled at the response I’ve gotten for Wives of the Skies. It’s certainly been a bright light in the middle of all this. I’m really grateful for how well-received it’s been. It has honestly surpassed all my expectations– really, I’m blown away.
DC: Was directing always something you’ve wanted to do?
HL: I really can’t say that it was ever my goal to direct. I got started because a short I wrote won a script competition and I was awarded the money to make it and part of that deal was that I direct it. I ended up starring in it and co-directing and it was quite a learning experience. Then my next film was with Tippi Hedren and it qualified for an academy award. I’m enjoying directing a whole lot and I’ll be doing it more in the future.
DC: Your fans must have been surprised by Wives of the Skies – it’s as far away from a genre or cult movie as possible, isn’t it!?
HL: Yes and no. It was a period piece set in 1965 and while it’s not a genre film, people who are into genre films, love it. It features the Japanese art of Kinbaku, which is an ancient Japanese art of rope binding, very popular now in the S&M world. What was interesting about this film, it really played across the board at mainstream, genre, and underground festivals. I’m really pleased.
DC: Whatever you do is great. Now, we’re hearing a lot of actors – especially those that work on genre films- have been able to get enough work still. Have you managed to stay busy, too?
HL: First off, thank you for your kind words. I’m so touched, I have stayed busy. I have really stayed as busy as I want to be and I again, feel lucky for that. I’ve been working a long time; I have a big body of work and I feel fortunate to have had such amazing people to work with. And of course, with all the new platforms, there’s so much work out there now, my goodness! There’s so much work even during the pandemic. Business wants to do business and people are making it work.
DC: Did you get offered any of those social distance movies they’re filming via Zoom? I hear there are quite a few on the way!
HL: Ha! I am actually working on one now… though I can’t give out any real details because I signed an NDA…
DC: Ha-Ha! C’Mon! Okay, Zoom’s definitely become the new norm when it comes to communication. Have you been doing meetings and interviews and that?
HL: Yes, I have. Constantly. Only just figured out that feature ….“touch up my appearance”, I’m pissed, I wish I knew about it sooner! I’m obviously slow to the game here… But yes, lots of meetings, auditions, all on zoom. And they are shooting commercials, TV, film even equity plays on Zoom! Equity plays! People are is so darn creative.
DC: When did Sweet Taste of Souls film?
HL: We shot it at the end of 2018 but I actually did some work on it at the beginning of this year, before the pandemic. I play Ellinore as you know, but I also do a bit of voice over for another character in the film… This film came out smack in the middle of the pandemic and I think the producers made wonderful choices for it. It’s won many film awards and they got worldwide distribution immediately. Bravo!
DC: What appealed to you about it?
HL: So many things appealed to me about this film! Felicity Mudgett wrote a really original story and the characters are very well rounded. My character, Ellinore is evil and yet so vulnerable. We understand not necessarily why she is the way she is, but the abuse she suffered made her someone almost defenseless against the forces she was up against. It’s a strange story of survival for this woman.
We shot in a few locations out in Julian California, which is a mountain town, which by the way is famous for their pies… We all stayed together in a house production rented where we also shot many of the scenes. It was quite the adventure and shooting at the way we did, all became part of the experience.
DC: Did you feel the pressure headlining a movie?
HL: I think there’s always pressure when you’re a pivotal part of the film. Terry Ross, the fabulous director made it easier for me and her direction was on point. And she’s an amazing, strong and beautiful woman too. She was completely accessible to me the whole time and believe me, she was under pressure and really always kept her cool when we were shooting. I was awed. Bee Pedersen, one of the producers was on set the whole time and she was such a calming force for me. I kinda love her, lol! And of course, Felicity Mudgett was there at times and someone I could always go to with my thoughts or questions. It was so amazing. I do hope we all work together again at some point soon.
DC: Is it easy to switch on-and-off from a character like that?
HL: It is only because it’s such a relief to switch off. I had to go to so many dark and truly sad places. But no question, at the end of the day, I was affected by it… At times I found myself crying a lot even after the camera stopped rolling. At the same time, there’s this feeling of exhilaration after you’ve done work like that…
DC: Do you naturally gravitate towards horror movies like this?
HL: I do love films with interesting characters and story… I think I like a horror film like this over a blood gore film… But those are fun too and they’re a blast to shoot!
DC: Is there a certain type of genre film you don’t enjoy?
HL: I’m going to have to say a hard no to that. I honestly cannot think of any genre type film I don’t like.
DC: Which horror actors would you love to do a film with?
HL: Well, who doesn’t love Bruce Campbell? I think he’s dashing… Bruce, if you’re reading this… find me. Also, I tell you who does horror really well… Christopher Walken. I’d do anything with him! And I have had the good fortune of meeting him on several occasions, he’s so amazing.
Jamie Lee Curtis, who is so wonderful, my goodness! Wow! I love Lance Henriksen and Udo Kier.
And all the greats of course, Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi and Claude Rains!
DC: Can you see yourself directing a horror movie one day?
HL: I would love to direct a horror film in the vein of Martin or Rosemary’s Baby. Something truly frightening and beautiful.
Sweet Taste of Souls is now on digital.
Have you seen Sweet Taste of Souls? What do you think of our exclusive interview with Honey Lauren? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.