Interview

Interview

'Suck' Vamp Jessica Paré on Vampires, Rock Stars and… Moby?

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Proving that vampires really are the rock stars of the horror universe, Rob Stefaniuk's Suck follows a Canadian band's rise to stardom after their smokin' bassist (Jessica Pare - Hot Tub Time Machine) turns into a super hot -- and super hungry -- bloodsucker.

FEARnet sat down with the vampy star herself, Jessica Paré, to talk Suck, vampires, and the real-life rock gods (Alice Cooper! Iggy Pop! Henry Rollins! …er, Moby?) whose cameos in the indie flick gave Suck that extra special bit of rock 'n' roll magic. 

FEARnet: How did you first get involved with Suck?

Jessica Paré: Gabriella Martinelli was the executive producer; she and I worked together on a TV  film called Lives of the Saints about seven years ago, and she read the script and thought of me. I happened to be in Montreal at the time and didn't have my computer, so I opened it as an attachment on my iPhone; I just wanted to see if it would be interesting. I read the whole freaking script on my iPhone. I was so entertained by it and so into it.

You filmed this in 2008, which was right before the Twilight franchise made vampires a commonplace element in the pop culture landscape. What are your feelings on the whole Twilight pop culture phenomenon?

Well, Rob wrote the script about five years ago, and he and [producer Robin Crumley] both say that when they were pitching it, no one wanted to make a vampire movie, because vampires were not cool. But then, of course, with Twilight and with True Blood people started to be a little more interested - especially because it's a comedy, which I think worked well for us. I feel like… go, Twilight! It'll give our movie a long life, you know?

The vampirism metaphor here, of addiction to blood representing an addiction to drugs, does seem uniquely appropriate to the rock and roll setting in Suck

Yes, and you wonder why it hasn't been done before because the drug and fame allegory is so clear.

Were you into that kind of music as well?

I'm a big fan [of rock], which is why I'm sticking around for the rest of the SXSW music festival! So it was definitely a great opportunity to be able to play not only a vampire but also a rock star -- it's every girl's dream.

Was it particularly fun to play that rock star aspect, given that your character is pretty much given free license to behave badly and do whatever she wants? 

It was really fun. Obviously she's not totally free; she's a slave to her addiction. But when she's up, she's got such strength and nothing can hurt her, literally, she's invincible. It's a pretty powerful position, but there's always that dark downside.

What was it like shooting the performance scenes, with actual members of the Goth community filling in as background players?

We shot in Toronto for 20 days and we had a lot of show scenes. We had some really great extras; this one scene in a club, I think we had 200 people. It was a Goth club so we got all these people in, and they looked f***ing amazing.  And they were so generous, so into it. Everyone walked through thanking them afterwards because they were just so lovely. They were so into it, which made it fun for us because we were performing onstage -- and we were playing with playback, not actually playing -- so it was fun to have them really into it.

There's a sense about Suck that it could turn into a cult film, with folks learning the songs and singing along.

I just hope that people see it. It would be really cool if it became a thing that people were so into that they created some culture around it… but I just want people to see it.

What was the vibe on set like when the actual rock stars - Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins, Moby -- were doing scenes with you?

It was great! I was a bit intimidated to work with them. But everybody was so lovely and so warm and so collaborative. They did it because Rob wrote a great script, and Rob and John Kastner recorded some great songs; they really wanted to do it and wanted to contribute. And, when you're in the presence of legends, it's amazing that these guys are so open and down-to-earth, and so fun.

Who surprised you the most?

I think Moby surprised me the most, because he's the world's most famous vegan and he plays a character named Beef Bellows in a band called The Secretaries of Steak. And he is a lovely, respectful man playing this really creepy dude. I think he also has a reputation for taking himself a bit seriously, so it was really cool that he tackled that and was into doing this complete reversal. And he's really funny.

Since you've moved to L.A. from Canada, how has your career changed?

I'm living in L.A. and auditioning, and putting a few writing things together. I've been thinking about it for while… it's pretty hard to be an actor, you just kind of have to wait until somebody decides it's your turn. And I love what I do so much, but I have a lot of creative energy. Also, I've been doing this for eleven years and I feel like telling stories is what I want to do. I have a romantic comedy that I'm writing; it's a sort of vulgar girls' romantic comedy. I think the way my girlfriends and I talk is a little bit shocking to people, but we all talk like that!

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