VH1 Game Break’s Rose Interview

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Harold Goldberg from VH1 Game Break, recently sat down with Rose McGowan, in a chat that took a different take compared to the other Grindhouse promotional interviews. This time talking about Rose’s favorite video game, though also Black Oasis!

GB: What video game was a favorite of yours?

RM: The one I really know how to play and is really old now is “House of the Dead 2.”

GB: For the Dreamcast, right?

RM: Yep. My dog got so mad because I obsessively played it. She peed on it and blew it up.

GB: Seriously?

RM: It really blew up. I saw this weird steam rising in the air over to the side while I was playing. I said, What the hell? And she was running away. I said, OK, dog, I’ll take the hint. The thing is, it smells really bad. Besides the blowing up metallic burning smell, it has a nice urine overtone. And so that was the end of “House of the Dead 2” for me. Occasionally, I’ll find one in an arcade and I’ll get so excited.

GB: You’ve worked with two of the most independent-minded directors in the country. Can you contrast their styles?

RM: Quentin’s style is a more controlled insanity, and Robert’s is really quiet and focused because he’s got so much going on. He’s shooting it and then he’s editing it in his head, and then he goes into his rough edit on a playback machine. It was very funny because Quentin and Robert use the same crew. So everyone was very quiet on Robert’s set and then a little wild on Quentin’s set. I guess it’s just that you take on the personality of the captain of the ship.

GB: Did you know immediately that you’d be in both “Grindhouse” movies, “Planet of Terror” and “Death Proof”?

RM: No, not at all. I auditioned twice for “Death Proof” – while I was shooting “Planet Terror.” I met Robert at Cannes two years ago. We were just talking in general about film. I like old movies and we were discussing old movies we loved.

GB: What specifically did you say?

RM: I wasn’t doing the there-are-no-great-roles-in-movies-for-women kind of thing. I was just curious as to why women couldn’t play the male roles. Like, why can’t I be the guy? Why couldn’t I be Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler? Obviously, there are things to prevent that, being that I’m a girl. Which I hate.

Anyway, there are some movies where the lead doesn’t have to be a guy. For instance, in “Planet Terror,” Freddy (Rodriguez) and I could have exchanged roles. So once I was talking to Robert about that, his mind got kind of spinning. He went back and started writing.

GB: So time passes and he’s writing “Planet Terror”…

RM: And then he called me while he was driving in traffic one day and said, “Oh, my God. I’ve got the best idea. I’m going to have (my character) Cherry have a machine gun leg!” A lot of interviewers have asked, “Did you freak out when you found you had a machine gun leg? I’m surprised you wanted to do it.” Well, gosh. OK, first of all, I don’t understand your lack of imagination. Secondly, it’s Quentin Tarantino and you would do anything. And thirdly, I think it’s hilarious. How could you not want to be a part of something that no one’s seen before?

GB: As a cinefile yourself, had you seen grindhouse-type movies before?

RM: Well, a grindhouse movie is the gig, and it’s not the gig. It is, in a splattery sense. But Robert and Quentin are just so like the 13-year-old comic book lovers. (After watching it) Somebody said they never laughed and dry-heaved like that in the same moment.

GB: I did that on a roller coaster once.

RM: Right? That’s what I said about this. You just have to go with it. You go to the theater, strap yourself in for the Rodriguez/Tarantino ride. And that’s what I was doing when I was filming, too.

GB: What was hard about making the movie?

RM: The more mundane stuff trying to get up and down this giant hill was very difficult for me. In “Planet Terror,” I had a four-inch high heel on one foot and on the other side was a gray cast which had a little ball bearing on the heel. My toes were pointed up in the air and I would rest on that ball bearing. I worried that my Achilles tendon was going to snap.

GB: Did you get hurt?

RM: I got hurt a lot. Robert found out I have all these useless talents. There’s even a line in the film that came from me: There are a lot of stupid things in my life that I’m actually good at but make me no money and do nothing to further anything else in my life other than being good at something pointless. One of those things were backbends. I had to hold them for long periods of time. Then, I just did a simple, quick one in a scene where Quentin’s trying to attack me. And I got really bad nerve damage in my wrist and my fingers. My fingers are still kind of dead. They move just fine. I just can’t feel anything.

GB: So you’re in a slasher movie and a zombie movie. Which do you like better?

RM: Of the genre? Neither. I’m more likely to watch “Remains of the Day” five times. But, that said, both of these movies are so kick-ass, I can’t easily dismiss these. It’s two artists doing their thing. There are a lot of movies out there now that are just torture movies. These are incredibly evil towards women. I mean, let’s find some new ideas for serial killer movies.

GB: I wrote about book with a psychiatrist who thinks that serial killers have a genetic mutation which makes them kill.

RM: Yeh, I think they have a chip missing, something missing in their biochemical makeup. I firmly believe O.J. has some chip missing in his head that allows him not to feel any empathy or anything for another human being. So he doesn’t believe he did it. I remember when the Dahmer case came out, the thing that stuck in my head after reading about it was that in his freezer was really neatly packaged and marked human meat, things he was going to eat. And the only other thing they found in his fridge was condiments.&; For some reason, the condiments stuck in my head and gave me nightmares. The weird thing? If Ted Bundy came up to me today and he had a cast on and a crutch, I would still help him put his groceries in his car. I totally know that about myself. I’ll help somebody.

GB: You sing in this movie, right?

RM: Yes, I do actually. There’s a scene in which Freddy and I reunite in the diner. And there’s a little jukebox there, so I thought it should be something wistful. So I suggested “You Belong To Me” by Patsy Cline. Robert had me sing it more in a sultry way than in a Patsy way. (Sings) “See the pyramids along the Nile.”

GB: You might do a CD yourself?

RM: Because of the way the music industry is right now, I kind of want to do it on my terms. There really isn’t that much money to be made, so I’d rather do an album with standards and torch songs because that’s what makes me happy.

GB: Tell me about your next film, “Black Oasis.”

RM: I’m super excited. It’s written and directed by Steven Elliot, who wrote and directed “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” It’s basically about Susan Cabot, her really tragic life. She was a B-movie queen in the Roger Corman movies like “Wasp Woman.” She’s had such a tragic and bizarre life. Her house even had all the props from these crazy movies in them. She starts losing her hold on reality and starts blending with all her movies. I’m, like, I hope that doesn’t happen to me when I’m going crazy and older and I start limping and trying to shoot people with my leg.

Filed in 'Grindhouse' Articles Written by Rachel

Rachel left the staff in 2008.


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