Colleen Elizabeth Miller: Growing a Spine with Paranormal Calamity’s Sassy Wonder. By Brian Kirst
Talented and eclectic Chicago based performer Colleen Elizabeth Miller has just celebrated the premiere of her challenging role in the Paranormal Activity spoof Paranormal Calamity (also featuring Dallas’ Charlene Tilton, Seinfeld’s Larry Thomas and Satanic Panic’s Cyn Dulay) – with several other independent horror films including Dr. Spine and Howling Moon also in the can. While very busy celebrating her newfound, soon-to-be iconic scare film status, the adorable Miller recently took a few moments to answer some body challenging questions for this mind shrinking Horror Society exclusive.
Brian: Who were your first performing influences – Oscar, the Grinch-a slightly inebriated school teacher who directed the winter play?
Colleen: Well I do have to say that as a young child I was allowed to watch some of your more risqué films. So with that in mind I was first exposed to some intense acting and therefore was never really impressed with your everyday actors. To this day my “heroes” in the acting world are Kathy Bates and Gary Oldman. I have always been very turned onto to “character acting” that still consists of realism, such as Kathy Bates in Misery or Gary Oldman in True Romance. These roles are examples of what I strive to create. Every character Oldman plays is a completely different person from himself, yet you never have to ask yourself twice if the character is a “real person.” These roles are examples of what I strive and long to create. And although in Paranormal Calamity I do play a bit of a vixen, I don’t want to be the pretty girl. I want to be the crazy freak that bends your imagination and twists your mind and emotions.
Brian: Cool! My brain’s already buzzing! – So, what’s worse than a “Howling Moon”? – A screaming sun?
Colleen: A Taco Sunrise! Do not ask what this is, but when one is inquisitive enough to acknowledge and accurately challenged, then, and only then will they be attuned to become… a Taco Sunrise.
Brian: Wow! I actually think I had one of those at the IHOP the other day! – What was the scariest thing about visiting “Dr. Spine”? (Was it that he didn’t actually have one, perhaps?)
Colleen: The sad part about this is Doctor Spine is not scary. He is actually a very lovely yet sad, tormented man inside. Well I mean aside from the fact that he mutilates people in various unheard of ways.
Brian: Whoa- definitely sounds like some of members of my family! – You give a subtle yet sassy performance in the goofy n fun horror spoof “Paranormal Calamity”. Were you channeling anyone specific during filming or did you just let the script be your guide?
Colleen: As I mentioned earlier, I think of myself as more of a character actor and the thought of playing someone desirable to this day makes me blush, so playing Polly was a bit of a challenge for me. I did let the script be my guide but also I got my inspiration from the loads of beautiful, sexy woman around me all the time. I used bits and pieces from each of them to portray the different sides of my character and then just went for it, as nervous as I was actually feeling inside.
Brian: Well, you did a great job! – Do you have a most memorable moment from any of the films that you’ve worked on thus far?
Colleen: I love being on camera so much and just being on set that it is truly hard to say if one instance stands out more than another. But since you brought it up “Howling Moon” was one of the most intensely awesome experiences I’ve had. I got to fly down to Oklahoma to shoot with my brother-in-law Damon Blalack, who is really more like my brother to me. We shot his 80 page script in six days, including one shoot day which was over twenty-four hours long, and I was in every scene in that movie. On top of that, we all had to deal with my sister Kate who was pregnant and having some of the craziest hormonal mood swings I’ve ever be privy to witness in my entire life. Boy was it a ride!
Brian: I’m traveling at 60 MPH here myself! – Lastly, any words of advice (IE: Make sure someone’s really asleep before you try to ghostly possess them) or future projects that you’d like to tell us about. And thanks, this has been better than an Amityville Horror parody any night of the week!
Colleen: I have a couple of films set to either come out or start shooting this year. As well as my show “Determination,” a terminator spoof that is running in April. So I’m busy, busy, busy. You can check out more information for any of these events on my website. www.colleenelizabethmiller.com. – As far as advice a quote from one of my favorite comedies Galaxy Quest… “Never Give Up! Never Surrender!” And I mean it! DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED and Quit. You can get discouraged but DO NOT QUIT! And trust your instincts. If you have a bad feeling about something or someone… YOU’RE RIGHT!!!