Chandra West [Interview]

Welcome to Day 24 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 6 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

 

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely wonderful interview to share with you all today. We have yet another legend of the screen in the world of horror, from one of our most celebrated horror franchises here at Trainwreck’d Society. For those who have been following along over the years, I could only be talking about the Puppet Master franchise. We have spoken with the person who created the entire thing, as well as several folks who have appeared in the franchise or wrote and directed some variation of it throughout the plethora of sequels that have been graciously given to the world. And today is no exception! Today we have the great Chandra West! Puppet Master fans will instantly recognize her as the lead actress in the brilliant 4th and 5th installments of the franchise, in which she plays Susie, and is absolutely fantastic within them.

While the world of horror is not Chandra’s primary focus, her impact to the world of horror is absolutely undeniable, and insanely positive. Beyond the world of horror, West has appeared in just about every TV show you know and love, as well as a smattering of wonderful films. She is an absolute star and we are so excited that she was able to make time to grace our digital pages today in our 24th installment of this year’s Month of Horror series. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Chandra West!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it an early aspiration you can always remember having since your youth, or did you just find yourself in this world one day?

I’m the youngest of nine and was subjected to a lot of ‘advanced’ movies at a very young age- for better or worse 😉 Clockwork Orange at ten may have been a bit more than my young brain could process but at the same time it exposed me to a lot of great films that definitely had a huge impact on inspiring me to get into this business. At the same time I was pretty heavily involved in ballet which sparked the performance aspect.

 

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work today?

My first real paid gig was a movie set in the 50’s called True Confections. It was my first time on location- with perdiem- and to say I made the most of it would be putting it mildly. It was a young cast and we were going out every night, having fun, and then I’d go back to my room and order room service. I think I gained about 10 pounds in a month. My period costume was definitely getting a bit tight by the end of the shoot. So I suppose my takeaway would be that it’s probably not a good idea to hunker down in your hotel room before bed with chocolate milk and fries…

You gave wonderful performances in two installments of one of our favorite horror franchises known as Puppet Master. You came around for the 4th and 5th installments. So what was it that drew you to this franchise? Were you a fan of the franchise going into it?

I actually wasn’t aware of the franchise when I auditioned for it. It was my first job when I moved to LA and I was just happy to be working. Pretty sure I had no idea what I was doing but we had a great time shooting them.

 

 

Beyond the world of horror, you also had a reoccurring role on a TV series that shamefully didn’t get its chance to flourish, in my personal opinion. The series also featured our friend and past guest Matt Mauer, and it was John from Cincinnati. I remember being devastated when the series wasn’t renewed. But, as a season alone, I thought it was wonderful. So how was your experience working on this series? Did you enjoy your time on the project while it lasted?

I loved working on John From Cincinnati. It was an incredible experience. It was an amazing cast and of course working with David Milch was an experience I’ll always cherish.  I also had a particular fondness for my character Tina- so that always enriches an experience. I wish HBO had given it another season. Who knows where it would’ve gone… but I think it could’ve been interesting.

In your own personal opinion, what do you believe it is that makes the horror genre special? What sets it apart from other genres you have worked in?

I think what sets it apart is that it’s very visceral. Everybody wants to feel something and never is that more true than going to a horror movie. It’s a different challenge as an actor because often you’re working things that aren’t there. It’s the ultimate suspension of disbelief.

What is your favorite scary movie?

I would have to say probably The Exorcist, though Psycho would be a close second. Carrie also terrified me and also The Changeling with George C. Scott which I always thought was very underrated.

Do you have any plans for this coming Halloween? And fun traditions that you try to stick to every year?

No big traditions but it’s always fun to watch a scary movie and eat popcorn. It’s also the best time of the year with the change of seasons.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

A horror movie called Z directed by Brandon Christensen (Still Born) and a thriller called Spiral which just premiered at FrightFest directed by Kurt David Harder. Both are produced by Colin Minihan (Grave Encounters and What Keeps You Alive).

What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you?

Would have to be a Trump Halloween mask that my friend snuck onto the couch next to  me when I left the room.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Looking through the window at the Doggie Day Care down the street from me and all those happy wagging tails.

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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