KILLER KATE, the feature film debut from director Elliot Feld, centers around two estranged sisters - Kate and Angie - who find themselves up against a family of amateur killers during Angie’s bachelorette party. For the film’s release, I had the chance to speak with actress Tiffany Shepis, where we discussed everything from the joys of playing a villain, to what she looks for when choosing a role.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Tiffany, thank you so much for speaking with me today! To start things off, could you tell us a little bit about your character Christine in KILLER KATE?
Tiffany Shepis: Christine is part of the “bad guys”, which is always the most fun to play, and she’s a relative of our lead angry dude. Basically, she’s a family member that’s willing to do whatever it takes to save the family’s legacy, and she’s bat-shit crazy. Her and her brother are insane and are like, “Fuck yeah, we get to go and kill some people, this is great!” I don’t think for Christine there had to be a reason, it was just like “Okay, cool, you asked us to do this and we are in!” It’s like that saying, blood is thicker than water - they take that to heart (laughs).
Nightmarish Conjurings: You mentioned that playing the bad guy is fun, it that what attracted you to this role?
TS: Yeah, it’s just so much fun playing the bad guy. I’ve made over a hundred horror films and I would say 70% of them I was the victim, but generally the victim that sort of deserved it (laughs). I don’t play “nice” victims very well, it’s often like “Oh wow, she’s a total bitch” or “Oh wow, she’s kind of an asshole.” But playing a straight-out bad guy was just super fun. I’ve always wanted to be able to root for the victim and in this case, without spoilers, it didn’t necessarily work out the way I would’ve wanted (laughs). Playing a bad guy is super fun, it’s fun to wield an axe at anybody.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Well it sounds like you really love playing the bad guy!
TS: Absolutely! There’s no reason for [Christine] to be involved in this, there isn’t any monetary gains that will take place towards her and her brother’s fortune, it’s all wrapped up in the son.
Nightmarish Conjurings: You mentioned that you’ve been in over 100 horror movies, what is it that you look for when you choose a role?
TS: Well, for many years it was like, “You want to hire me? Great!” (laughs). Now, I’m fortunate enough to be a little bit more choosy. The most awesome part of being an actor is having such a cool job that allows me to travel around and do cool stuff and not have to work an ordinary boring day job. But, doing the same thing every day will always get boring, so it’s great to go from something like VICTOR CROWLEY, where my character was sad and sweet, to something like KILLER KATE, where it’s super fun, ridiculous, and over-the-top. That’s what kind of attracted me to this and what kind of attracts me to everything I do now, like how different is this role going to be from my last one.
Nightmarish Conjurings: What is it about the horror genre that you love so much and what changes would you like to see within the industry?
TS: I grew up a fan, I was a fan before I made horror movies. The only reason I made my first horror film was because I was a fan of Troma. There was an ad in the paper in New York and I was like “I’m going to cut school to be in that!” It was pure fandom and Troma graciously gave me a part in TROMEO AND JULIET, which was my first movie, and then I kept working. I realized that I was sort of okay at this and so then I kind of did things backwards where I would get work and then do training. I then started taking classes in New York and started figuring out how people do this for a living.
In regards to what changes I would like to see, I would like to see myself work more, that would be a good change (laughs). I think we are on the right track with everything, man. There are so many more female directors popping up and getting cool jobs and I would love to work with a lot of them. The change is there, I mean shit, ten years ago we were all like, “Man, when’s mainstream going to care about horror films?” Well, it’s there. Look at Netflix, every other show is a horror show or horror influenced in some way. It’s there with a vengeance.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Lastly, are you working on any projects that we should be keeping our eyes out for in the future?
TS: Currently, I’m not on anything, but we are all excited that KILLER KATE is now out on VOD! I also did a movie called TEXAS COTTON, which is oddly enough not a horror film, but stars a bunch of horror movie people like myself, Lew Temple, Jason Douglas, Judd Lormand, and George Hardy from TROLL 2! It’s really, really cool, and that’s doing a theatrical run starting November 11. It’s like a kind of weird “Scooby Doo” mystery, it’s a lot of fun and very weird and certainly really awesome to see George Hardy in a big role ever since TROLL 2. I also do some of the DARKEST NIGHT podcast, which is on Shudder, where you can hear my voice on this new season.
KILLER KATE! is now available on VOD and Digital HD from Freestyle Digital Media.