An Interview With Scream Queen Tiffany Shepis

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I had the opportunity to interview talented actress Tiffany Shepis, who you will recognize from both film and television. Not only did we discuss the genre in general, she gave me insight into her roles from the past and present. Check it out.

 

Horror Fuel: “What made you want to become an actress?”

Shepis: “I didn’t really want to become an actress, not that I had anything against it. I was young kid in New York, I didn’t have any family members that were in the business, so it wasn’t something that even seemed possible to me. I was reading a friend’s newspaper at school, they were a Broadway actor-kid, and there was an add for Troma. Troma was making a film called Tromeo and Juliet, and they were looking for extras. I was like ‘Oh my God! I love that company! I watch their movies all the time!’ So, I cut school and went to the audition and low-and-behold, the crazy maniacs gave me a real part. I played Peter, the bodyguard to the Capulet family and it was one of the coolest, craziest experiences of my life. You have to remember, I was a 16 year-old kid in New York that had never acted before. From that minute on I had the bug. I was like ‘This is the coolest job, this is what I want to do.’ I went and took classes and went from there. People started casting me in movies, I couldn’t believe it. I started think I might be good at this.”

Horror Fuel: “That’s awesome.”

 

 

Horror Fuel: “What was your role and what was your experience like co-starring in Sharknado 2?”

Shepis: “[laughter] In Sharknado 2, I play Chrissie. She’s friends with the main family. We are to meet up at the Statue of Liberty with my college buddy, who happened to be Peppa of Salt and Peppa. So we meet up when the storm starts to happen and we’re like ‘Holy crap there are sharks in Manhattan’. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t work out so well for Chrissie. I was so excited to work on that. After seeing the craziness that was the first Sharknado, I actually asked them for a job. They were cool enough to say ‘Hell yeah we want you’. And Chrissie came to life. Oddly enough, I was supposed to play a different part, but the part I was supposed to play took place on a yacht, but the water was so cold in Manhattan that the owners didn’t want to put in the water. So I was basically in New York with no part. Anthony was like ‘Put your heads together and come up with something for Tiffany.’ ”

 

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Horror Fuel: “I’m a big Salt and Peppa fan. What is the process like of acting in something like that when the sharks are all CGI?”

Shepis: “Oddly enough, a lot of movies in the past couple of years have all been so CGI heavy. You kind of just have to learn to wing things. If they say the shark is going to be there and it’s going to be scary, you just have to trust that the shark is going to be there and it is going to be scary. Often there is something as simple as a tennis ball on a stick that you are supposed to look at and go [screams]. We didn’t even have that. They were like ‘the shark is over there,’ and Because it was Sharknado and because it was in Manhattan, we had to shoot very, very, very fast. So this scene where this shark is on top of my face, it wasn’t even shot on the boat, we actually shot it on the sidewalk at the end of the day, the last shot of the day. We got it in one take because the sun was going down and the permits were running out. We had to shoot and get it now or there was going to be no scene. Movie magic, man.”

Horror Fuel: “That’s a trip, your scene came out well. I have to admit, I love those movies.”

Shepis: “Yeah, they are a lot fun.”

 

Tiffany Shepis (white sweater) getting her face eaten by a shark:

 

Horror Fuel: “Tell us about your role in Axeman.”

Shepis: “Axeman At Cutters Creek? I played a very, very gangster chick. I was originally offered a different part, but I was like ‘I don’t really want to do that’, it was a college kid and there was this other part, which I really wanted to play. Joston was like ‘Hell yeah, that would be awesome.’ So I play a bad, bad, bad chick, teardrop and all. Needless to say, that character died in a very bad way. That was a cool movie, it has Elissa Dowling, Brinke Stevens, two very cool actresses that I work with a lot. It was a fun reunion of scream queens.”

Horror Fuel: “That’s awesome. Joston is great. I interviewed him a few weeks ago.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Tell us about your character of Maria in Tales of Halloween.”

Shepis: “Our segment in Tales of Halloween was pretty awesome. The whole movie was made by a bunch of friends, all the directors everyone knows, all the actors everyone knows. It’s a big horror family out here. When Adam Gierasch asked me to be a part of it I was like ‘Hell Yeah’. He was the director of Night of the Demons and I had a small part in that movie, so we became really good friends. And he was like ‘I wanted your daughter to play a part as well.’ The little witch at the front door who attacks the dude is my daughter, Mia. And we are a group of bad adults is all I can tell you.”

Horror Fuel: “You gotta love crazy, creepy kids. It is great that you and your daughter are able to share that film and that experience.”

 

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Horror Fuel: “As Monica in The Black Room, you co-starred along with Lin Shaye. What was it like to work with her?”

Shepis: “You know, I didn’t really have any scenes with Lin Shaye, but she’s super sweet. Everyone loves working with her. The dynamic on set changes when she walks in. It’s like wow, she’s a professional. The Black Room was directed by a guy that I have worked with many times, Rolfe Kanefsky. He directed the movie fans best know me for, The Hazing.  In The Dark Room I play the realtor who sells Natasha her new, fabulous, but possibly demonic home. That movie comes out later this month. I’m excited to see what people think of it.”

The Hazing was the first film most fans saw me in. Brad Dourif is in it, Brooke Burke-Charvet is in it. It’s a really, really cool 80’s throwback. It’s still one of my favorite horror movies to watch.”

Horror Fuel: “The renamed The Hazing Dead Scared, correct?”

Shepis: “Yes.”

 

Horror Fuel: “If you could give people one reason to see The Black Room, what would it be?”

Shepis: “Tiffany Shepis. Come on girl! [laughter]. It’s crazy, bat shit. It’s a house that like feeds off of sex. It’s sexual, it’s crazy, it’s weird. ”

 

Horror Fuel: “Death House will also be coming out soon.”

Shepis: “Death House has everyone on the planet in it. It’s produced by one of my best friends, Felissa Rose from Sleepaway Camp. And directed by Harrison Smith. It really, truly has everyone in the genre that appears in the movie at some point. I haven’t seen anything from it. I only shot on it one day. It was a super fun day with lots of horror people. From what I understand it’s really, really cool, and very weird. It was Gunnar Hansen’s script and that guy was a genius, so I am just as excited as everyone else to see it.”

Horror Fuel: It is very different, but very good. I know Harrison, we host his series on Cynema here at Horror Fuel.

Shepis: “Oh, you’ve seen it?”

Horror Fuel: “I have.”

 

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Horror Fuel: “You’ve appeared in over 130 series and films which is an extremely impressive number. I know filming doesn’t always go as planned, what was your most awkward scene to film?”

Shepis: “Shooting something on every movie is at some point awkward or weird. I did have a moment when I shot a scene for Syfy’s 12 Monkeys. I was doing a fight scene with the lead actress and there was nothing weird about this, just scary. When you are fighting with the lead actress on a television show, you are just terrified that you are going to actually hit them, [laughter] terrified that you are going to screw up. It was more awkward than anything. I remember my heart racing and thinking ‘Please, God, Steffany don’t screw up.’ You are just so afraid that you are going to hurt the star of the show [laughter]. It’s not like working with someone on a low budget indie movie. It’s the star of a television show and you could potentially screw up the rest of shooting because you accidentally hurt them. Besides that, I don’t know. People in the genre are really bold. People tend to be cool and to really take care of each other.

I did have one moment while shooting a film called Shampoo Horns which is very hard to find because it’s a Club Kid movie from Manhattan. I had to run barefoot through Manhattan’s meatpacking district. I remember as I’m running, I remember feeling these disgusting, wet, slimy things on the bottom of my feet. I remember turning back and seeing that it was some type of animal entrails. I was like, ‘Tiffany please don’t vomit, please don’t vomit, just keep going.’ [laughter] So it’s not always glamorous. Awkward is a good way to put it. [laughter]”

Horror Fuel: “That’s nasty.[laughter]”

 

Horror Fuel: “Tell us about Asylum of Darkness?”

Shepis: “It’s a long road coming for this movie. We made it many years ago. The director, a super, super nice guy, very strange, Jay Woelfel. It’s a cool movie that’s kind of like those that make you question are the people crazy or not crazy. Are they good or are they bad? It keeps you guessing through the whole thing. It was one of Richard Hatch’s last movies. I play a very bizarre, interdimensional character that tows the line between good and bad. I’m really happy that it is finally getting the light of day. It is really thought provoking and very 80’s reminiscent. Just being able to see Richard on your screen in some way, and something that hasn’t been seen before, is very, very cool.”

 

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Horror Fuel: “Is there anything else you can reveal about your character?”

Shepis: “[laughter] Girl… (said with sass) My character appears in very strange sequences. You can’t if this guy is imagining her. And she reveals strange things about his life. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but not everything in this movie is what it seems.”

Horror Fuel: “I understand.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Most of your roles have been in the horror genre, do you choose for it to be that way?”

Shepis: “I love horror. I always have loved them, loved to watch them, loved to act in them, but at the end of the day I am an actress. I’ll act in anything. I have an audition this evening for a drama. I love doing comedy stuff. I just love making movies and making TV. But most of the time, because the genre is so loyal, and usually when you have a fan you have them for life. If you start with horror, you tend to stay there and I’m okay with that. The horror fans are awesome, the conventions are awesome and the film festivals are the most fun around. I think we have chosen each other.”

 

Horror Fuel: So Tiffany, what is your favorite horror movie and why?”

Shepis: “I’m going to have to say Nightmare on Elm Street. It would probably just showcase my age, but that was the movie I remember growing up that was a movie we watched over and over again. I still have to turn the light on when it comes to the scene where Tina is in the body bag. I still would get giggly when Johnny Depp is sucked in the bed. If there is a carpeted stairwell in a home and I’m there alone I run up the stairs really fast before it can turn into quicksand. It’s just such a movie of my childhood. It was just so cool and it has such a badass heroine. Nancy was just so cool and didn’t rely on sex appeal. She was just cool and still sexy, but the movie didn’t make her out to be. She was interesting and smart. I think to this day it still holds up.”

Horror Fuel: “Great answer. I’m huge Freddy fan. He has so much personality.”

Shepis: “Freddy is awesome.”

 

 

Be sure to check out Tiffany Shepis’ upcoming films Death House, Asylum of Darkness, The Night Watchmen, and The Black Room. For regular updates on her roles and more, follow Tiffany on Twitter.

 

 

 


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