Deadly Beauty: Horror’s Scream Queens and Rising Talent: Asta Maria Paredes
“I was born in Beaumont, Texas, in the middle of a hurricane. I then spent part of my childhood in Spain and the Netherlands, eventually moving back to Texas where I learned, among other things, how to survive, as well as arts like ballet and theatre. After graduating high school I trained at the University of Minnesota/Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program with brief study at the Globe Theater and L.I.S.P.A. Afterwards my heart led me to NYC, and I continued to act in plays and became involved in improv and sketch comedy. I took courses at the Upright Citizens Brigade Improv Training Center and collaborated with some of my classmates on outside projects. One of these projects was the sketch comedy video “Battleship Pitch Meeting”, which ended up on several sites including CollegeHumor.com and FunnyOrDie.com.
Though I had focused on theatre for years, my dream was always to be in movies. I started by doing various background and small bits, featured and not-so-featured, including work on: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, “SMASH”, “Elementary”, and “Orange is the New Black”. Last year everything changed when I was cast in a starring role as ‘Chrissy’ in Troma Entertainment’s subversive horror-scifi-comedy “Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1 & 2.” “Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1” had its first major screenings at the Marche Du Film at the Cannes Film Festival. Besides being in Cannes for the screenings, I participated in guerrilla marketing for the film as well as networking and press. “Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1” is slated for a Worldwide theatrical release with North American distribution by Anchor Bay/ Starz Media in 2013. Since graduating from “Tromaville High”, I have participated in projects from video games to music videos, and web series to short films. With several feature projects in development, I am excited to continue to do provocative and compelling work!”*
Location: New York City
1. How did you get into the industry?
I went to my first audition in junior high with a lofty monologue from Antigone. I was ridiculous and too serious but I think they saw something in me. (THANK GOODNESS) Though I had performed before with dance–theatre was never something I considered but it became all I could think about once I had it. Fast forward-I went on to study at a conservatory style program: The University of Minnesota Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program. There I studied everything from stage combat to African dance to Shakespeare. Part of my time in the program I studied at the Globe Theatre in London. There, among many mentors, I had this magical teacher named Glynn Macdonald who at evaluation time told me, “you’ve got it. Don’t settle for something else.” That was a turning point for me and I planned my move to New York and started to focus on what I wanted out of acting. I got my start in the “industry”, film wise, by simply deciding a year ago that I’d focus on it. Law of attraction. I applied to a couple projects and a friend of mine Dave Herman, cast me in two sketch comedy shorts. At the same time, I also studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade Improv Training Center where I zeroed in on learning to have fun again and be quick on my feet. One of the sketches online did fairly well and it gave me a confidence boost. After that I entered Tromaville. The rest is history.
2. What Scream Queen inspired you most?
Most Inspiring Scream Queen?! What a toughie! I of course adore Jamie Lee Curtis for all her “Prom Night” to “Halloween” and beyond glory. I even love Olivia Hussey in her strong role in the classic, “Black Christmas”. (I love my slashers!) However, the Queen of my hearts in this regard is easily the one and only: Sigourney Weaver. I as a person, actress, and future alien fighter have been most influenced by her performance in the Alien franchise. I saw it early in life and had I watched something else maybe I’d be a daintier flower– but I didn’t. I watched Sigourney skillfully fight against this freakish creature and I was forever changed. Ripley was not simply a “Scream Queen” in this horror world set in space; she was a “Horror Heroine.” She refused to be the victim of her circumstances and confronted things head on. She was someone with an unbelievable inner strength that glowed. She was not simply a woman in a man’s world but a fellow space traveler. I frickin love her.
3. What are the next couple projects you are working on?
What’s next for me? Well, there are a few projects I’m connected to and once everything is greenlit I can speak on them more. (The nature of the biz…) A video game, some features ,etc. However, in the near future I will be guest starring on this season of “Mummy Cop”, a fun web series produced out of Philadelphia. There will also be the theatrical release of “Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1” in January 2014 thru AnchorBay Entertainment/STARZ Media. “Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 2” will follow shortly after, I presume, as we are just wrapping production this summer. In the meantime, I’m working on a screenplay for a film adaptation of a classic tale (sorry no spoilers) and learning more about the film industry as I go. Right now I plan to move to the West Coast next year and have a few production companies I hope to work with there. (Shout out to NightWalker Cinema!)
Click here to read a previous interview with The Dedman:Talking With the Dead: 13 Questions with Asta Maria Paredes
*Bio Courtesy of www.astaparedes.com