Horror legend status for a character in a horror film, this is an accolade that is normally attributed to the villains and either the last man standing or more often the final girl. It’s not very often that the villain and final girl happen to be the same character. But for a 13 year old Felissa Rose, this would be the case…well, sort of. And it would be this role, which incidentally was her very first, that would immediately solidify her position as a horror legend.
This Long Island native would make her debut in the role of Angela Baker in the 1983 classic summer camp horror flick, Sleepaway Camp. All the while Felissa knew that she was the killer in question, but it was a shock even to her what the big reveal at the end of the film would be. At this point I’m not even calling the twist ending a spoiler, because the movie is nearly 34 yeas old. So if you haven’t seen it, that’s YOUR problem. Anyway, the effects department did a life-cast of Felissa to create a mask that an 18 year old male of the same height and slight build could wear for the final scene. So at the end as Angela stands up completely naked in the moonlight, it was revealed, as Felissa herself has said, that she “was the chick with a dick”. That’s right, the seemingly quiet and mousy Angela Baker turned out to be a 13 year old transvestite killer. So where Friday the 13th may have soured young kids on the idea of going to summer camp, Sleepaway Camp went a step further. Thanks a lot Felissa…just kidding, I still love you to death.
In the 20 years after Sleepaway Camp, you could literally count on one hand the number of on screen credits she had to her name, having somewhat quit to acting. However, few people likely know the at the age of 17, Felissa applied for and was accepted for early admission to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and also went on to study formal acting at The Lee Strasberg Institute. During her break from films, she perfected her craft by performing in stage plays. She appeared in many off Broadway productions, including her portrayal of Desdemona, the love interest of the title character in William Shakespeare’s play, Othello.
Since 2003, Felissa has been a busy girl adding 68 more film, short film and television credits to her on screen resume. And to think that the catalyst would be an interview request Jeff Hayes, the man who runs The Official Sleepaway Camp Website, would send her back in 1999. The two met in New York and shortly after the resurrection of her screen career began. Add to that, her convention appearances and other engagements, and one would wonder when she has time for anything else. Well, she absolutely does. Because Felissa is not only married to Derron Miller, the singer and guitarist for CKY, but is also the proud mother of three wonderful children.
After 25 years, Felissa returned to the role that cemented her icon status in the genre, playing Angela Baker aka Sheriff Jerry Roebling in Return to Sleepaway Camp. Over this next year she is involved in ten projects (so far) that are filming, completed, in pre-production or in post production. I say take a break Felissa, if anyone has earned one…it’s definitely you. Some of the films she has recently completed are Dead End, Garlic & Gunpowder, Death House and Bethany.
It was my absolute pleasure to become acquainted with Felissa at Days of the Dead’s Indianapolis Horror Con in 2015 an then again in 2016. She is truly a live-wire to be sure. She’s energetic and fun and absolutely LOVES her fans. But be warned, she’s a hugger and if she takes a liking to you she may not let go. What the hell am I saying!? Like that’s a bad thing!? I must be out of my MIND! OK, anyways…back to the subject at hand. If any of you attend a convention that she is appearing at, seriously do yourselves a favor and at least stop by and say hello to her. She is honestly one of my top five favorite convention guests I’ve ever met, and it’s NOT just because she’s beautiful on the outside…it’s because she is equally as beautiful within.
Okey dokey my Little Monsters (yeah I said okey dokey, what of it?), if you wish to find out more about the lovely and talented Felissa Rose, you can visit her official website at FelissaRose.com and her IMDb page or you can also give her a follow on Twitter.
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