The Lush For Life Interview


I got a call from my anonymous Hollywood insider on Monday night. He told me to get my shit together and be ready to interview a big Hollywood star first thing in the morning Tuesday. At least, that’s what I heard through my ears filtered by two midnight joints and enough Afghani smack to knock Keith Richards through a concrete wall. I called my colleague, the esteemed Duncan Idaho (speed dial: 5) to pull up his pants and knock his dick out of that Mexican hooker’s mouth and get to my place, fast, so we could prepare for our duty.

Four hours, two-and-a-half packs of cigarettes, and 16 grams of pure Columbian blow later, Idaho sashays into my flat with a half- bottle of Glenfiddich in one hand and a training bra in the other.

“What’s this about?” he says in his Queen’s English proper South African accent. “I was busy establishing contacts south of the border!”

“We have an interview! We must prepare!”

I didn’t get much info from my source; only to watch Corpses are Forever in preparation. We did, I think, and then as soon as it ended, it was daylight. Time to meet our destiny.

We drove to South Tampa, a drive that should have taken twenty minutes, but took an hour, as Idaho had ingested eight hits of blotter acid before we dove into his vintage Aston Martin DB-5. When we arrived at our location, Alternative Edge Studios, we were greeted by a diminutive woman of thirty-something who told us that Debbie would be ready for us shortly.

“I’ll bet she means Debbie Rochon, that chic from the movie last night,” I told Duncan. “Undoubtedly.”

Few minutes later, and we’re sitting in a large concrete room with a couple of random women and the talented Debbie Rochon. Pay dirt! I set out my $4 tape recorder and began the interview like we knew what we were doing:

Debbie Rochon: I think I can answer anything.

Egbert Souse: How did you get started in the film business?

DR: When I was eleven or twelve years old, I was living in Vancouver, Canada, which is north from here… that’s terrible, sorry. I was homeless at the time, and Paramount Pictures was doing this movie called Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains starring Laura Dern, Diane Lane, some of the Sex Pistols and the Clash. This was like 1981. Directed by Lou Adler. So I went in as an extra, and they said are you willing to die your hair like platinum blonde and black on the sides and do like a skunk thing and I said, you know, absolutely. It was $300 cash a week. And I was there for three months and I got started then. I really got the bug then.

Duncan Idaho: When you were twelve?

DR: Yeah. And I’m only fifteen, now.

DI: What are you working on here? What are you doing in Tampa?

DR: I just finished the MegaCon, which is a great convention in Orlando. This particular movie is called Meat Market and it’s by Joe Casey, of course. He’s directing. He wrote it. He’s shooting it. It’s about the slave trade, really. Just like in the script, you may not know it, but 4 million people a year still get traded in the sex trade slave business. And I could probably get you somebody at a very good price.

It’s based on that. It’s part of an anthology of shorts. He’s doing two of them. And two other filmmakers are also doing shorts, and he’s putting them together as an anthology and them putting them out on DVD. [I have since spoken to Joe Casey, and there are three other producers… ed.]

ES: He’s doing that with Brinke Stevens? She has something to do with it, as well?

DR: Yes. She was in another short and she also hosts it.

ES: Out of the many movies you’ve been in, what’s your personal favorite?

DR: My favorite movie is probably Nowhere Man directed by Tim McCann. It’s a really crazy movie, sort of inspired by DOA. Film noir. DOA, of course, is where the guy has twenty-four hours to counteract the poison he’s been given. In this case, the short description is we’re a very happy couple, me and my boyfriend. We’re engaged to be married. He finds a tape of a porno movie I did five years earlier and I didn’t tell him about it. So he gets very upset and very abusive. He starts abusing me physically and emotionally. And then he comes home one night and he rapes me. And I snap, finally, after all of this abuse and while he’s passed out drunk I snip his penis off…

DI: Nice.

DR: …and I go on the run with it. So in comes the DOA influence. He has twenty-four hours to get his penis back or it will decompose. I’m not going to tell you if he gets it back or not. I don’t want to ruin it or anything. It’s really tense, like pitch- black dark comedy. It’s not light; it’s not played for laughs. It’s played very very seriously. There’s a scene in it that most men can’t watch. It’s not even the one you’re thinking. He has to urinate through a catheter. It’s just… it’s a pretty amazing movie. It played at the Sarasota film festival down here and now it’s out on DVD. It played theatrically as well.

DI: Do you know how many movies you’ve been in?

DR: 140, approximately.

DI: 140? Wow. Can you link yourself to Kevin Bacon?

DR: Yes.

DI: In how many?

DR: Honest to God, it’s one, and I can’t remember.

ES: We can do it.

DR: Okay. I’ll bet you it’s one person. I’ll bet you it’s someone like Diane Lane, or something.

ES: It’s actually not Diane Lane.

DI: Tim House.

DR: Who?

DI: Tim House, in Underdogs. He was in In the Cut with Kevin Bacon.

DR: There ya go. I knew it was one.

ES: You said the number of movies is 140? IMDb has you at 113.

DI: Well, IMDb’s outdated.

DR: Yeah. Not everything is listed. There are some things that are upcoming. IMDb is good, but it’s not always thorough.

ES: That changes our question, then. We had you as being the exact number of movies that Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, and Katie Holmes have starred in. You starred in more movies than all of them combined.

DR: That’s right. That’s right. So, where’s my mansion?

ES: Yeah! Why aren’t you on the cover of Teen People?

DR: It’s a really good question. I made the choice to do indie films and I’ve had a lot of fun, I’ve had much better roles than a lot of the women that are working in Hollywood get. Because I get to do the sort of crazy nutty characters, like in American Nightmare I play a psycho serial killer. Very seriously. Not for laughs. I get to play really good roles and that’s why I’ve always been drawn to it. At this point in the game, now, I would love to absolutely do that. And I did, actually, a role on a new series called Conviction. I worked on it for a couple of days. I’m not sure which particular episode, but it’s in season one. It’ll be on, I think, fall.

ES: Is right now the point in your career where you want to be Hollywood mainstream?

DR: Yeah. I’m making the transition. I don’t think I’ll get into Hollywood mainstream, but I think I can do character work on TV at this point. I love horror and that’s my passion, but at the same time there comes a point where you do need money. It always has been about art for me, as silly as it sounds, because some of the movies… you wouldn’t exactly call them art.

About three years ago, on a film shoot in Tennessee I had my fingers cut off. There was an accident. Someone switched up a prop for a real machete knife and didn’t tell me.

DI: Ugh!

DR: Another cringing moment for the guys. But when I was on the scene, I took the knife and plunged it down very hard into a fake dead body and there was no edge between the handle and the blade and my hand went like, you know, butter and a knife, hot knife, whatever the expression is. I couldn’t work for two years, I lost my home, I lost all my savings, a half a million dollars in surgery. It changed my whole world. It’s been a long process coming back. That was three years ago. So now, I love doing indie projects, still, but I have an agent, now, which I never used to. I get so much work offers that I really didn’t need one, but now I want different work offers, so now I go after other things.

ES: Who would you really like to work with?

DR: Oh, boy. The people I’d really like to work with are great horror directors.

ES: There aren’t many of those left, it seems to me.

DR: A friend of mine, James Gunn, whose new movie Slither is coming out. I’d love to do another one with him. I was in Tromeo and Juliet, which he directed in 1995 and he’s gone on to do the Scooby-Doo movies and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. I’d love to work with him. And Cronenberg, who is my idol. He’s just so amazing. Of course, some of the greats are dead, so it’s too late, like, you know, Kubrik and stuff like that. You know what? Anybody who’s just really amazing. I’d like to work with Tim McCann again because he’s got some good stories.

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Dr. Egbert Sousé is a columnist and the Senior Editor for Lush For Life.Born and raised in the rural Deep South, Dr. Sousé attended University of Vanderbilt, where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media, then going on to Georgetown for his Master's, and eventually graduating from Brown University with a Doctorate Degree in English, where he studied under the highly respected writer and journalist Dr. Leonard Epstein.Dr. Sousé has written articles for a variety of publications, including Newsweek, Time, and The Boston Globe.When not working, Dr. Sousé enjoys spending his leisure time at the local horse tracks, where he places two dollar bets and attempts to make contact with extra-terrestrial life.He currently lives in Tampa, Florida, and during the summer months he resides at his remote villa in Key West, Florida, where he enjoys drinking home-made Absinthe while he continues to complete his Great American Novel.

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