Strain, why is calling you "The Queen of 'B' Movies" OK--but
calling you a "Scream Queen" isn't?
Well, you know, I don't mind being called "The Queen of 'B'
Movies"--and you can call me a "Scream Queen" if you
want. But I'm the one that makes other people scream. I kill people
in these types of movies. I'm a demolitionist, I'm a sorceress, I'm a
witch, I'm the "bare wench." I've played all these
characters. I think the "scream queens" are the chicks that
seem to relish being the "Queen of 'B' Movies." Why is that?
enjoy being the "Queen of 'B' Movies" because it's all
about independent film making, independent thought, and things you
can do quickly. I can do a lot of projects in a short period of time
rather than being stuck on an "A" movie for six months. I
just like the freedom I have to wear my stupid little costumes and my
six-inch heeled boots and big hair and I can ad lib lines like,
"Milk! Milk! Lemonade. In the back, fudge is made!" for
Troma and they don't cut it. That's why I love it. I get to be campy,
and meet all the girls and be kind of "Mama" to everybody.
do you say to people that feel you should aspire to move beyond the
"B" Movie genres?
know, I would like to dabble in "A" movies just a little
bit here and there, but I'm not one for traveling or going to like
Romania for movies and so forth. I like the comfort of my own home in
Beverly Hills and milk I can buy in a grocery store and all that
stuff. And, you know, I don't know that my acting is all that
"A"-quality. I don't think I could get away with it for a
whole movie. I think for a week or a really strong character part, I
could slide in and steal the day. But that's hard work. These people
have to cry, and grieve deaths, and go after their kidnapped child
with a vengeance. I'm just so spoiled by being a "bad guy."
It just comes natural. I don't want to work that hard, really. That's
probably one reason I stay where I'm at.
had roles in more than 90 films and videos. Tell us about your favorite.
the moment, I'm enjoying all the success of the "Heavy
Metal" project including the game, the soundtrack, the movie,
the dolls, the toys, the coffee cups, the lighters, the shirts . . .
so that was probably my all-time favorite since there was so much
gratification involved. I collect Julie Strain, so that gives me a
lot of stuff to do, to run around and collect. Believe it or not, we
weren't given one free DVD of the movie, so I have to go out and go
to different video stores to buy it for my family and friends.
stated that doing the voice-work of an animated character in
"Heavy Metal 2000" was a challenge. How did you prepare
yourself for that?
you know, I studied for a year. I had an acting coach. I worked
really, really hard. I just lived the character, and the character
was me, but I had to go into a different world where I'm flying
spaceships and doing control panels. So I had to sit there and really
pretend I was asking for the "incoming docking flight
coordinates"--and those are tongue-twisters--but you have to be
able to say things like that like they're part of your everyday
vocabulary. I just familiarized myself so much that it just enmeshed
in my real life.
just kind of a natural thing. For anybody else to play the part at
this point would be ridiculous if you see the character that is
said that the character was largely based on yourself. Is that
because of your husband's influence in developing it?
know, I think, even without me in the picture I think the character
would have ended up looking something like me anyway. Spawn or any
other toy is exactly my body with different face and hair. They make
a big, tall, powerful woman with a "Barbie Doll" body, and
I'm just lucky enough to fit the mold where it should have fallen
anyway. I just added a little extra to it because I had the long,
dark, curly hair and that I was somewhat known in the entertainment
big of an advantage is being married to Kevin Eastman, the man that
co-created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and publishes, writes,
and produces everything from low-budget movies to "Heavy
a great advantage for me business-wise because before I was
scrambling and taking every single job to keep a roof over my head. I
took some "C" movies, which I didn't really need to but I
did them any way just so I could pay the rent and keep the food long
enough to survive to get a big job. But you know that's every actor's
thing. It's not like a regular job where people have it. You're
auditioning for a new job every other day. You're singing for your
dinner. Kevin made it possible to put a big roof over my head, and
hot meals and a maid so I don't have to cook, I don't have to do
dishes, I don't have to do laundry. I just have to get up and keep
myself in shape, my skin nice, not get any bruises. I have the
freedom to run around Hollywood and pick and choose the jobs I want
and play with my friends and do photography and publish books. It's
really a dream-come-true lifestyle. I couldn't have even dreamed of
he active in helping you achieve your goal of becoming "The
Queen of All Media"?
had everything set in motion, Kevin just set it in high gear with
being able to afford things like a publicist, who gets your name out
there, and publish a couple books for me. I think I would have done
it all on my own. I would just be a little more ragged, beat-up and
hungry at the moment, not sporting two cars and car phones. I would
have probably only had one car.
addition to the string of horror films you've done, you're
frequently found on the cover of such dark comic books as
"Vampirella"--for which you're the current cover model. Do
you think people misinterpret the kind of person you are in
I don't really care how people interpret me. I'm an entertainer, and
however they see me that is hopefully fulfilling in their day-to-day
life is fine. If someone wants to see me as a nasty
"Penthouse" chick that spread her legs to make a living,
then that's how they see me. If someone sees me as a G-rated
"Vampirella" character, and that's their favorite vision of
me, that's great. Some people only know me from the HBO movies, and
some people see me on the VH1 Lists show with my top on. So, you
know, I don't really care what people think of me--as long as they
think of me and have a soft spot for me in their heart somewhere.
the best part of being 6'1"?
being able to walk down the street and be powerful and be strong.
Knowing that the person walking next to me that is going to attack
somebody is probably going to pass me by because I'm probably going
to kick his ass! I feel like when the dinosaurs ruled the world,
there were big ones and this one and that one--I'm the Tyrannosaurus
Rex. Nobody messes with me, and I can call my own shots. Being tall
kind of makes me special, but at the same time, it's another thing
that has to do with me not working in "A" movies.
"A" movies are a lot reflective with real life and in real
life people are in relationships, and actors are 5'8". It's kind
of hard to cheat me playing the wife, the vindictive little bitches.
I see poor Geena Davis and they've always got her in a pair of ballet
slippers--even if she's got a nice dress on--because she's 6' tall.
You know what I mean? She doesn't get to be the full character. Like,
what would that character really have worn? I like that freedom,
because I wear a lot of six- and eight-inch heels, boots and hair and
hats and wigs and so on. That would kind of put me in a box--but whatever.
when you're all done up, you're almost 7' tall.
did your height affect you as you broke into the industry and earned
the title of "Penthouse Pet of the Year"?
think it made me special just because I had an athletic body from
being that tall and being involved in sports. I made my claim to fame
by doing body work and being a dead body in the Steven Segal movie
and "The Body" in Penthouse and all this different stuff.
So the height is how that helped. I was 28-years-old and I think if I
was 28-years-old and was 5'6," there's no way I would look as
lean and lithe and muscular as I do, and it would have completely
changed the face of my career.