Friday, 4 March 2016
8 ? With... Stacy Chbosky
This edition of 8 ? With... is with the uber talented Ms. Stacy Chbosky. I had the pleasure and the great oppertunity to interview Ms. Chbosky, for the second of this segments installments and you guessed it folks here is that interview.
At the age of 14 you wrote an illustrated a children’s book entitled “Who Owns The Sun?” Which went on to win many awards and was adapted into a short film by Disney. Were you always so creative, where did the idea to write the book come from and were you surprised by the unbelievable success it went on to have?
I was a very creative, imaginative kid. By middle school, I’d dedicated one big dresser drawer to my writing: poems, short stories, cartoons. I’d write something and just shove it in that drawer. So when my 8th grade gifted-and-talented teacher told us about “The Written & Illustrated By… Awards Contest,” all I had to do was dig a story out of my drawer. I had to illustrate it and type it up, but the story was already there. I was pleased by the success of the book, but not surprised. I was a very confident teenager who’d never experienced failure. It wasn’t until my twenties that I got my first real taste of shit sandwich.
You toured the US with Jerry Lewis in a production of “Damn Yankees!” What was it like to be on stage with Jerry Lewis and to tour with and be a part of such a great show?
To be honest, I had much more fun touring Europe with “The Rocky Horror Show” than I had touring America with “Damn Yankees!” the following year. Europe was, like, night after night of charming German cities where everything was within walking distance and all you needed was a map and 20 minutes to get to a cobblestone square filled with awesomeoness. Plus, the other cast members were young and fun and partied a lot. With “Damn Yankees!” we’d always stay in, like, a Radisson 30 miles out of town, without a car. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, basically. Jerry Lewis was a trip. Onstage, he did this shtick where he’d throw his cane in the air, and if he caught it, he’d tell a joke. That might go on for half an hour before he dropped the cane. An old-school Vaudevillian. I loved that.
You performed at Woodstock in 1999 with the rock band “Young and Fabulous!” and with your band “Skum” played the Slamdance Film Festival’s 2004 opening night party what were those experiences like and is music still a huge part of your life?
I have a talent for going berserk, and being in bands—especially fronting Skum—was the most I ever got to use that talent. When you’re acting, you’ve got to be appropriate to the material, but with Skum, I could do whatever I wanted so long as it was fun to watch. So I would freak out like I was the world’s craziest backup singer, sort of go-go dancing like a punk rock robot cheerleader. It was fun. I miss it a lot. But I’m not made for the music industry: I’m a morning person, and I get bored very easily. Traveling the world to sing the same songs year after year sounds like zero fun to me.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes was a very interesting project where you played the character Cheryl Dempsey, what was that film like to shoot and what challenges did you encounter in bringing that character to life?
I love “The Poughkeepsie Tapes.” It’s the only time I’ve ever starred in a movie, and it was so much fun to have that big arc and all those meaty scenes. To get to make lots of choices. It was challenging, for sure: physically, vocally, and emotionally. I got tied up; I screamed myself hoarse. I got held under water for real and hog-tied for real and dragged out of a grave for real. And I had to cry a lot, which is draining. But I loved it. I was creating a cool character in a movie I love very much.
You went on to appear in Quarantine, Devil and Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2. Is horror a genre you like to work in and what are your memories of those shoots?
Horror can be very fun. Actually, two of my favorite genres—horror, and kids’ shows—are genres that people in the industry tend to look down on. But they’re so fun! I’m a big actor. I like chewing scenery and mugging and prancing around like a stage hog in a school play. In “Quarantine,” I literally got to attack the camera. How fun is that? Most of the horror movies I’ve been in were written and directed by my husband, John Erick Dowdle. He’s killed me five times so far. I’m looking forward to death #6.
You appeared in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” which was directed by your brother Stephen Chbosky based on his own novel. What was it like to be directed by your brother and is directing a film something you would like to do in the future?
In “Perks,” I shot a scene with my son, that was directed by my brother, while pregnant with my daughter. It doesn’t get any better than that. Plus, Steve is my hero, and always has been. I would love to direct. I think about it a lot. But so far, I’m just not brave enough. You have to be very brave and very bold to direct a film. It is HARD TO DO. Haters give the impression that movies are easy to make and most filmmakers are just out for a cash grab, but they are wildly off-base.
You had a role in the John Erick Dowdle directed, Owen Wilson Lake Bell starring “No Escape” what was that movie like to work on and?
Fun. I got to do a stunt with the amazing Thai stunt people (I fell off a roof) and I also got to do the voice of the woman getting beaten to death in the hotel room next to Lake’s. That was a great scene: Lake’s super expressive face freaking out as she listens to me getting whooped. Good times!
You have recently written a screenplay entitled “Exorcism on Crooked Lake” what, if anything, can you tell the DCS nation about that project?
Only that it’s in flux. There’s some good stuff in that screenplay. If it ever gets made, it’ll be a kick-ass part for a young actress—like a hillbilly Emily Rose.
I'd like to thank Stacy for sharing her time and story with the Drew Carson show Nation, yes I am still calling you guys and girls that.
You can find Stacy at: