On September 23, Killer Reviews staff writer Gavin Schmitt had a short and sweet phone chat with actress and singer Sophie Monk, to talk about the release of her new film “The Hills Run Red”, as well various other projects and personal stories.
Topics covered include PETA, helping the homeless, what scenes are graphic enough to get cut from a horror film… and Gavin comes closer than ever before to digging up the dirt on David Hasselhoff. Thank you Sophie for your fun and candid conversation. I hope we have the chance to chat again.
GS: From what I can gather, you are fairly new to the horror scene.
SM: Yes. I’ve done one before, called “Pearblossom”, though I think the title has been changed to “Murder World”. Otherwise, yeah, I’ve mainly done comedy.
GS: But director Dave Parker has been in the genre for quite while now.
SM: Yes, he has.
GS: Did he have a style different than you were used to?
SM: Um, well, yes, but it also depends on the size of the production. And also, I played the lead role, so there was a lot more time spent with him. He’s a great director. Very good with timing and that kind of stuff.
GS: You also worked with actor William Sadler.
GS: Now, when I see William Sadler, I see the Grim Reaper from “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey”.
SM: (laughs) Right.
GS: He seems like a fun guy with a good sense of humor. Is he?
SM: Yeah! He’s actually just a really good, good guy. He helped me so much with acting, especially in scenes we shared. I asked him for help, I asked him, “Is there anything that would make it better for you?” He gave me a lot of help. But, I wouldn’t call him… well, yeah, he’s pretty funny, actually. He’s a very strong character.
GS: Yeah, and this film was a departure from what I’m used to seeing him in, because as you obviously know, he’s much darker than usual here.
SM: Yeah, I don’t think he can get much darker than this movie.
GS: (laughs) No, I don’t think so. Do you have any genre favorites of your own? Not ones you were in, but that you’ve seen?
SM: I’m kind of scared of horrors, honestly. I have enough nightmares as it is, so I don’t watch them. But I liked the movie “The Others” with Nicole Kidman.
GS: An Australian actress like yourself. “The Hills Run Red” took some criticism for being too graphic. I had no problem with that, but what are your thoughts?
SM: I don’t read the reviews, because I don’t want to see anything bad about myself. (laughs) That would ruin my day. But yeah, it’s graphic. I read the script, and it’s not so much “boo” scary as disturbing scary. It’s definitely a twisted plot, but I think it’s valid. It follows the storyline.
GS: So, you don’t feel that there was anything in it that went too far?
SM: There was, but it got cut out.
GS: What? There’s even more?
SM: Yeah, in one scene I mastur– well, I don’t actually do it, you just see my arm, but in one scene you see me masturbating my son. They cut that out.
GS: Oh yeah, that was definitely not in the movie.
SM: No, it wasn’t. I mean, you couldn’t see, it was just our heads, but… it was meant to be… and I was like, do we need to do that? But actually, it made sense in the storyline and just showed how messed up she was. Her dad had manipulated her so much that she thought this was normal. And all that good stuff.
GS: Right. (laughs) Along the same lines of being messed up, you play a drug-addicted exotic dancer, and spend a fair amount of time naked. How does one prepare themselves for that kind of role?
SM: Well, it depends on what the role is. If I’m playing someone with a German accent, then I just couldn’t do it. [Sophie has a very distinct Aussie accent.] Now, obviously there was more nudity that we cut out. If it’s necessary for the scene, I’m for it. And I felt like it was. I’m a stripper heroin addict, so I’m not going to be in a strip joint with clothes on.
GS: Okay, now, I haven’t seen many of your other films, but I’m guessing injecting heroin and running around all messed up is not something you do on a regular basis.
SM: Oh, no. And I’ve never done drugs in my life, so I wasn’t sure how to do it. One of the cast members had to come over and show me. But that was fun. I don’t get a lot of opportunities — usually they want me as the funny girl, so I don’t get a lot of opportunities to play a character like that. That was really fun, yeah.
GS: Let’s jump ahead to “Murder World”.
GS: You appear with Scout Taylor-Compton and Charles Napier. I’m not sure how much you directly worked with them.
SM: Oh, a lot. I was on the set every day. Oh yeah, I very much play the lead of that movie, so it was great. They were great fun, as well, I loved it. I was evil again, so it was good.
GS: Only the most general synopsis has been released. What can you tell us?
SM: Right. Well, I actually haven’t seen it yet. It’s about two lesbians back in the 60s, and they get hit by something and get (coccooned?) and come back in the modern world. And they come back as vampires. I don’t know if they are actually called vampires, but they come back and my partner won’t eat people. I will. I end up doing bad things and she’s like an angel. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
GS: This is a strange question, but I ask everyone this question, not just you. But you may be the first one who can answer it: do you have any dirt to share on David Hasselhoff?
SM: Are you kidding me? I mean… I’m not going to, but yes, of course.
SM: I have a lot! But, um, he’s a lovely guy, a very lovely guy.
GS: I know you’ve met him, but no one else ever has an answer.
SM: I can’t believe you actually asked that. That’s hilarious. That’s very funny. But I toured with him in Australia a little bit and then we did “Click”, but that’s so funny. But he’s a lovely person, lovely.
GS: Prior to recently, you’re probably best known as a former pop singer in the band Bardot, you once played Marilyn Monroe and appeared in a Blink-182 video… so my question is, do you like the taste of Diet Vanilla Coke?
SM: I did, but I drank too much of it. (laughs) That’s hilarious, you know that, right? See, what they did is they sent me cases, so I was drinking it every day. It tastes like poison now.
GS: You can’t even find that stuff around here anymore.
SM: No, I know. I like your questions. They’re hilarious.
GS: Well, this question is a little more serious. There was some controversy surrounding statements you made about animal cruelty contrasting with an alleged photo of you eating KFC. Would you like to clear the air on that?
SM: I know! I have to clear this story up. I’m the face of PETA, but I saw this homeless man when I was going to the store, and he said, “I’m so hungry, can I please have some food?” He was with a few other people, so I was like “fuck it, I’m going to go in to KFC”. But I did not eat KFC, I did not. They just happened to be right next door, so I went in, got some bags of food and gave it to them. The only thing is, they shot me with the bags.
GS: Okay, and that’s what I wanted to hear. Personally, I don’t have a strong position one way or the other on eating chicken, but it was presented very poorly.
SM: Well, of course. That’s pretty bad when you’re the face of PETA. I thought I was doing a good deed.
GS: Well, you were and you weren’t, depending on how they looked at it.
SM: Yeah, there’s no easy answer. You can’t really defend yourself.
GS: Let’s move back… what’s next in the world of horror for Sophie Monk?
SM: Well, I don’t know. Obviously, with horror, I’m going to be the victim, the girl with the underwear on.
GS: Not necessarily.
SM: Yeah, so, I’m waiting for one to come along…
GS: You certainly were not the victim in “The Hills Run Red”.
SM: No, I wasn’t. I love that.
GS: So what besides horror can fans look forward to?
SM: Well, I signed a deal with MTV to do a comedy reality show. Russell (Stevens? Simmons?) is one of my best friends, and he’s producing that, as well as looking into other things for me. We’re developing a few things.
GS: I take it those are still under wraps and we can’t talk about it.
SM: Yeah. Those are works in progress, so hopefully they’ll be up and running next year.
GS: Awesome. That’s all I had for you today, thanks so much for talking with me.
SM: Oh, thank you. And thanks for adding in those quirky questions. It can get monotonous otherwise.
GS: Oh, believe me, I know. I get tired of reading the same interviews as much as you probably hate answering the questions.
SM: Take care!
GS: You, too.
Gavin and Killer Reviews would like to thank Sophie for her kind words and the great interview. Hope to talk to you again soon!