Whether she’s wielding a shotgun against zombies, playing a seductive member of the undead that might come knocking on your door, or using her martial arts skills in a theatrical production of Hamlet, actress Nicole Blessing stands out. The statuesque, red haired beauty has worked in film, theater, and television. Now this descendent of Davy Crockett (no joke) is taking time out of her hectic schedule to talk to us about her upcoming films, how she got her start in acting, and how she knows Clint Eastwood is a nice guy.
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Nic- Nicole, you have a couple of films coming out shortly: Unholy Reunion and Psycho Holocaust. Can you tell us a bit about each film and your roles in them?
Nicole- Unholy Reunion is the story of a young woman and her friends who are terrorized by an escaped killer her father put away twenty years ago. I play her drug dealing, slightly slutty friend, Liz. She’s a bad girl, but it’s always fun to play the bad girl. Psycho Holocaust is the tale of a dream vacation turned into a nightmare. I play one of the vacationing friends, Sara. She’s a nice person and wants everyone to get along and have a good trip. Against her better judgment she follows her boyfriend into the woods.
Nic- When and where will we be able to check out Unholy Reunion and Psycho Holocaust? Are they in distribution yet?
Nicole- Both films are still in post-production. The last time I checked, Unholy Reunion was to be finished late summer, early fall of this year, and Psycho Holocaust is aiming to be completed in June. So nothing is definite yet about distribution.
Nic- Looking at your resume on your website (www.nicoleblessing.com) it says that you played Ophelia in the theatrical production "Kung Fu Hamlet". That sounds fascinating, can you tell us a bit about that experience?
Nicole- "Kung Fu Hamlet" was Shakespeare theatre come alive in the style of Kung Fu cinema. There were many, many fight scenes, and I was fortunate to work with kung fu master Allen Wong. Ophelia was a physically demanding role, but a lot of fun. "Kung Fu Hamlet" has become sort of a cult phenomenon in Twin Cities Theater. All of the shows were sold out and at times there were lines around the theater.
Nic- How did you get your start in the film industry?
Nicole- I’d always been interested in acting, and started to seriously pursue it several years ago when I took classes from veteran acting coach, Lev Mailer. After working with him for several months I got the lead in a French language film called Pauvre Anne. It was to accompany a French language book marketed to high schools. The same director also shot a short called Kill Cinderella in which I had the role of the Little Mermaid. It was about Fairy Tale women in a divorce support group. I continued to do more film work, and lately it’s been more in the horror genre.
Nic- You do seem to be working in the horror genre a lot lately. Do you worry about type-casting because of that?
Nicole- I’m not really worried about type-casting at this point. I look for interesting roles; currently they happen to be more in the horror genre. I do have some upcoming projects that aren’t horror related.
Nic- Many actors/actresses aspire to work behind the camera. Is that something you’re interested in doing?
Nicole- I don’t have any aspirations at this time to work behind the camera. That may change one day, you can never rule anything out, but for right now I’m very happy to be in front of the camera.
Nic- What has been your favorite role so far and can you tell us why it is your favorite?
Nicole- My favorite role has bee Nastya in Double Eagle which should be finished this year. Nastya worked for the Russian mafia, and was dark, mysterious, and ruthless. She’s kind of like a Bond girl, which I’d really love to play one of these days. Bad girls are interesting characters, and just fun to play.
Nic- You’re based in Minneapolis. Many indy filmmakers I’ve talked to prefer being outside of the Hollywood market. What effect do you think that being in Minneapolis has any on your career?
Nicole- There are both positives and negatives. By being in Minneapolis, I’ve been able to gain a lot of experience, build up a reel, and work on a lot of projects that I might not have been able to in the Hollywood market. One of the drawbacks is that there are a limited number of projects in production at any given time, unlike L.A. or New York. I look forward to expanding my career and branching out to larger markets.
Nic- If you had the opportunity to pick any director to work with, whom would it be and why?
Nicole- That’s such a difficult question. There are so many talented directors that I’d like to work with. I’d really like to work with Clint Eastwood. He’s extremely talented, knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera, and just a nice person. When my Great Aunt Ida (in her early 90s at the time) was on vacation in California with some of her friends they got lost on the way to the airport. They found a golf course and stopped to ask for directions at the main office. She didn’t know it until she came back to the car, but it was Clint Eastwood that gave her directions and drew her a map of how to get to the airport and told her that if she got lost to come back and he’d help her get there. That’s the type of person I’d like to work with.
Nicole works with Diva MN -a nonprofit organization working to help people with HIV/AIDS
in Minnesota LEARN HOW YOU CAN HELP! http://www.divamn.org
Unholy Reunion Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYVYrM1v–Y
Nicole Co-hosts a talk show called Chicktopia: http//www.myspace.com/chicktopia
Interview for Dr Blood: http://www.drbloodsvideovault.com/NicoleBlessing.html