On December 18, 2009 in the middle of some holiday shopping, Gavin caught up with Gina La Piana for a quick question and answer session for her horror fans. If you know Gina, you know she has appeared on soap operas and has a remarkable music career in Europe. She might be a little less known here, but is no less a star and a genuinely sweet woman.
Gina appeared with Sacha Baron Cohen, who she sees as a serious dude, in “Ali G”. She has worked with Pauly Shore, who she calls very professional. And if you have read other interviews with her about her early acting work on “Nash Bridges”, you know that Don Johnson is a horrible flirt.
We’re not going to concern ourselves with that, instead just tackling some horror projects and coming almost as close as ever to digging that dirt on Hasselhoff. One of these days, I swear!
GS: So Gina, what’s your horror film background? Did you have any favorites growing up?
GL: It’s actually one of my favorite genres. I was obsessed with “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th”. I know those are the cliche answers, but I was. And I went to all the haunted houses, loved camping outside in a tent and telling ghost stories. I love horror.
GS: A few years ago, you appeared in a film called “Experiment in Torture”. It doesn’t appear on your record, though. What can you tell us about this one?
GL: Well, it’s a tougher market out there and you never want to be typecast. Ultimately, I want to do television and this film for me was more for fun and to practice than to try and generate more work for myself. It was truly an “Experiment”. I had a blast learning on it, though!
GS: Did you use an alias or just remain uncredited?
GL: I chose to remain uncredited. I wasn’t sure about the title they ended up with… “Experiment in Torture” (laughs). It’s a Lionsgate film and it’s really cheesy/campy in my opinion. No disrespect to the producers, they were a fantastic group of people to work with, but as an actor you never have control over what the public ends up seeing in the final product. It can be frustrating sometimes. Basically, a group of strippers spend a weekend in a cabin, which was shot in Arrowhead, and I actually get to survive throughout the whole story, believe it or not… but not before getting a compound fracture in my leg. The makeup was so real and so gross. On one evening, we were shooting at 4 in the morning, and did several takes, and I get dumped into the lake. I’m in the water, freezing, in the dark as the boat drives off, out in the pitch black alone until they come back to pick me up for the next take! That was the most terrifying part to be honest. Your mind starts playing funny tricks on you! In fact, the director did play a dirty trick on me while I was out there — He jumped into the murky water at the same time as they dumped me in and he came popping up moments after the boat had disappeared into the horizon. Needless to say I practically had a heart attack. I guess it was all in good fun but it sure didn’t feel like it at the time!
I got off easy compared to the other girls — one had acid put in her shampoo, for example. I guess I can see its appeal, The movie has a lot of hot chicks in it.
They’re going to be doing a sequel because one girl gets sent to a psychiatric hospital after witnessing all that she did, and now she’s Cuckoo for Coco Puffs.
GS: A thriller, “Black Widow”, wrapped in September…
GL: Actually, it hasn’t even started shooting. IMDB is wrong on that one, shooting starts in February. It’s only just been cast, they were putting the financing together. So there’s really not much I can say about that one yet.
GS: I suppose not. How about the horror film “30 Days to Die”? I saw the trailer and this one looks pretty good.
GL: I get killed fairly early in the movie, I take an axe to the head. But you know how it is, the Latinas have to go first, blondie gets to stay until the end! (laughs)
GS: And the story takes place somewhere called the Crystal Lake Treatment Center.
GL: Yeah, it’s a place for bad girls. I (Sophia) was a kleptomaniac, had sticky fingers, couldn’t visit a new spot — especially the mall — without taking a little something as a souvenir. Some of the other girls are alcoholics or drug addicts. I liked to steal clothes. What happens is that the newbie comes in and we terrorize her, like one girl has a makeout session with her, two others jump her in the shower. One of the actresses would get really emotional during takes. After the director yelled cut, she kept crying and I had to remind her it was just a movie. (laughs)
GS: In the trailer, the killer has a George Bush mask. Is there any significance to this?
GL: It was supposed to be funny, not really a political statement, just the director’s inside joke. The guy was played by a terrific actor named Marc Scheffler — the creepiest looking sweet guy you will ever meet. I forget what big movie he did back in the day?
GS: Marc was in the original “Last House on the Left”…
GL: Oh yes, that’s right! Cool — I want to say that I think this director is going to blow up, I believe in him.
GS: I see that you composed the theme music for 2010’s “Tekken” film.
GL: I’m currently still working on it. Yes, there was a rough done for AFM, but we still need to piece it together. The songs are a lot of hard rock and metal, and I normally work on dance and pop, so it’s a challenge for sure. This is more like Metallica and Puddle of Mudd style stuff. It’s not just the score, it’s also soundtrack songs, music and lyrics. But I’m not lucky enough to get to sing on this one, obviously they need male voices. If it turns out great I’ll continue to put my name on it… If not??? (laughs)
GS: I had expected the sound to be more techno, based on what I know of the game.
GL: Well, me too, and that would have been much easier! I have dance hits overseas as “Gina Martina”, so that would have been great, but this one is much more difficult, which in the long run is better — it helps me expand and grow.
GS: It’s time to ask you the question I ask everyone. Do you have any dirt on David Hasselhoff?
GL: (laughs) Oh my god, that is hysterical! Crap. Well, a girlfriend of mine dated him, but… no, I have no dirt. I love David Hasselhoff!
GS: What does the future hold for Gina LaPiana?
GL: Let me just say, I’m ready to go, give me more. I’ve been working professionally since I was 17 and I’m ready for the next step! I want to do television. Ultimately comedy, but I’m also obsessed with vampires, especially the “True Blood” series that’s the baddest badass of the bad! Alan Ball, you’re a god! “The Vampire Diaries” is fun. I would really love to combine my two greatest joys: music and TV. It would be thrilling to do a show where I get to sing or score or both. “Glee”‘s a blast! I really think I should come on as Rachel’s sister. Who knows, maybe a singing vampire? (laughs) Oh, and I’m shooting an episode of “The Mentalist” this month called “Red Herring” — I’m so excited to work with Simon Baker… keep a look out! Holla.
GS: Thank you, Gina, for chatting with us today!
GL: Thank you, Gavin, for your kindness and for being super cool! And thank you to everyone who even knows I exist. Maybe some day you will. You guys are the the greatest! Huggggs.