Betsy Rue has done a variety of television roles before her breakout performance in movies via 2009’s “My Bloody Valentine”. She continued down the horror path with an appearance on “True Blood” and in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween II”. 2013 was her first starring role in a horror film, “Lucky Bastard”, and Betsy took a few minutes out of her day to chat with us about that film.
GS: Is it true that you indirectly launched Kristina Klebe’s career?
BR: Because I passed on a part that she got?
GS: Yeah, apparently you were supposed to be one of the babysitters in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween”.
BR: That’s true. And the reason is because I was scared to do the nudity. How ironic, eh? But that’s alright, it’s how it goes. We’re good friends, we do charities together as horror starlets. So it’s all good.
GS: How would you compare the directing styles of Rob Zombie and Patrick Lussier?
BR: Well, both of them are absolutely amazing. I love both of them. But they are different. I think Patrick is a little bit… Rob is more laid back than Patrick, he’s more chill. He’s not quite as hands on, at least the parts when I was filming. It’s not like I got a lot of direction per se from Rob like I did from Patrick. Patrick was very much present. I feel like Rob prefers the style over the performance. But that could be just my experience.
GS: Moving to “Lucky Bastard”… how was working on “Lucky Bastard” different than working on “iCarly”?
BR: That’s funny. Obviously an adult’s film is different than a children’s series. It was different in that I had to be a lot more professional when I had kids surrounding me. It’s also different because it’s humor and it was really popular. I remember the producer, Dan Schneider, kept asking, “Can you do it bigger?” On “Lucky Bastard”, we were kept being told to “take it down”.
GS: How much involvement did producer Jim Wynorski have on “Lucky Bastard”?
BR: Jim Wynorski ordered lunch. He was there every day and made sure things ran smoothly and that we weren’t getting behind schedule.
GS: The role of Ashley Saint required nudity above and beyond the average film. Did you have any concerns about that?
BR: When I saw “Lucky Bastard” for the first time… Well, before I saw it, I thought “Oh man, this is gonna really be not good.” But then I saw it and I thought it was nothing. Compared to “My Bloody Valentine”, it was nothing. I didn’t think the nudity was all that bad in it.
GS: And yet it got an NC-17…
BR: I know. I wrote to producer Robert Nathan an said it was too bad we got an NC-17 because it’s going to limit us. A lot of it is the content. The language is crude, with talk about “sucking cock” and things like that. I don’t know, but I think that’s probably why we got the rating. The MPAA doesn’t really like pornography, and then when you add violence to it… but there wasn’t anything gory about it. It’s just the content. And I understand, that’s our culture.
GS: The film is supposed to be similar to “found footage” — was there anything different about filming with that in mind?
BR: Yeah, definitely. Instead of shooting with one or two cameras, we would have four cameras going at one time. When we were filming certain scenes, like in the car, we used a little tiny camera not normally used for filming movies. So that was a lot different, and you never quite knew where the camera was going to be. Which is fine.
GS: Did the extra cameras make you more self-conscious or more relaxed?
BR: I didn’t notice a difference. The only difference is when I have to address the audience or cameraman and look straight into the camera. That’s awkward to me, because as an actor I’m trained to avoid the camera.
GS: Winding this down, is there something the audience should know about “Lucky Bastard”?
BR: I think the audience should be aware that pornography is such a part of our culture, even though it is seen as hidden or taboo. Millions of people are into it, so why can’t it just be out there and not remain a hidden thing? I would never be in pornography, but I would also never judge someone for what they do with their career or their bodies. We make these choices individually. Maybe it does devalue sexuality, and maybe it does express the idea that sexuality is nothing that’s sacred. The reality of it is that it’s really not. It could still be sacred between you and your partner, but other people enjoy it on another level, i.e. pornography. Some couples bring pornography into the bedroom with them. Everyone I know does. It’s just a tool to… I don’t know.
GS: Thanks for you time, Betsy. I hope we see you in more horror films.
BR: I don’t even audition for horror films anymore. They just sorta come my way. The last one I auditioned for was the new Chucky movie. I just did “Book of Fire” with Carmen Electra and Jason Mewes, from the special effects people who did “Spider-Man”. It’s not really horror, but a mythological thriller. It’s not slasher. Slashers are my favorite, so I wish I could do more of them, as well.
GS: There’s always more being made. We’ll see you again.
BR: No doubt. Thanks, Gavin.