The very first time I had the opportunity to meet Christa Campbell was when she was promoting the horror comedy 2001 MANIACS. She was amazing! I was a fan of the bloody horror flick and quickly became of fan of hers as well. Since then the actress has appeared in a number of low budget features including MANSQUITO and DAY OF THE DEAD as well as starring opposite Jason Statham in THE MECHANIC and DRIVE ANGRY with Nicolas Cage. While they were smaller roles, it was great to see her on the big screen at my local Cineplex.
Currently on VOD you can catch her in her latest creature feature SPIDERS (which enjoyed a brief theatrical release as SPIDERS 3D and is spinning its web on home video this coming Tuesday, March 12th). This fun flick is reminiscent of such cult classics as C.H.U.D. or KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS and as always, the actress shows that she is not only captivating, smart and beautiful, but she is a seriously talented actress as well. Simply put, Christa may very well be one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood and she looks damn fine doing it! So check out SPIDERS on VOD and keep your eyes open for her upcoming feature THE ICEMAN opposite such talent folks as Michael Shannon, James Franco, Chris Evans and Winona Ryder!
So first off, how could you not want to work with real spiders? Come on.
Are you kidding me? They’re disgusting! I mean, I’ve never met anyone who that says, “Oh! I LOVE spiders!”
So, it’s safe to say you’re not a fan of spiders?
No! I freak out if I see one.
Well, they used C.G.I. so you were okay with that.
Yeah. I was happy.
Have you always had this fear? Are you an arachnophobe?
Well, it’s not like I have a phobia, I just really don’t like spiders. I think a lot of people don’t like spiders or snakes or any other creepy crawler. So, I don’t know.
What’s cool about your latest, SPIDERS, is that you’re working with Tibor (Takacs), again. This is your fourth film with him, correct?
Yeah. Tibor is great. He directed MANSQUITO, which was only my second movie, and he’s great. He’s so much fun. We’ve gotten to know each other really well and it’s to that point where it’s easy. He knows me; I know how he works, he knows my face. He knows everything. We get along really well. It’s easy on set. He knows I’m gonna be prepared and now we kind of know how each other works.
And he’s also a pro with this whole low-budget, chiller-thriller type of production.
Now, I was watching SPIDERS last week with my son and I really dug the way that it harkened back to the old fashioned CHUD-like humanoid from the deep, you know? Was that kind of something he was going into while making it?
You know, he definitely has his favorite style of movies that he has in mind while he films, but it surely has an old style monster movie feel to it. That’s what I love about it. It’s really cool.
And you get to headline a movie. Why does this not happen for every movie you make?
(Laughs) It’s hard to make movies. It’s tough out there.
But, when he approached you, did he mention that it was a lead role for you?
No, he just handed me the script, I gave it a read and I was like, “Yeah! Let’s do it!” I love working. There’s nothing better than being on set and being in a movie. The experience is just so much fun. It’s the best feeling in the world.
Well, the thing about you is lately, you’ve been in a lot of big movies, like DRIVE ANGRY and THE MECHANIC, which has been terrific to see. What is it like stepping into both worlds?
Well, obviously with the bigger films, it’s hard to get a lead role because they’re looking for big stars. So, you need to fight for it. I always want to be in a movie that releases into theaters, but you never know what’s going to happen when you’re making a film. You always go into it thinking you’re making the best movie in the world and you don’t know whether it’s going to end up in a theatre or straight to DVD or if it’ll just end up in the director’s home videos. I’ve done quite a bit of low budget horror, which is really fun and really great, but I want to do some things a little more high profile, even though I’ve auditioned for a lot of lead roles. Sometimes, they’ll offer me a supporting role, but I want the experience of working on a big film with big stars. You take smaller roles and sometimes five or six scenes will be cut down to two or three. In a low budget, though, everything you shoot will end up in the movie usually because you don’t have time and you know that every scene is important. On DRIVE ANGRY, I was on set for nine days for my two little scenes! I remember some of the actors on CLASH OF THE TITANS worked for six months and they didn't even end up in the movie. I mean, that’s crazy.
It’s insane to put in that much effort. You get paid, but it’s still a little disheartening.
With THE MECHANIC, I had about three or four scenes, and it got cut to one line in the bar and then I had a make out session with someone in an alley. I was like, “Wait a minute!” You never know, you never know. If you work on a big feature, during the editing process, a lot of it can end up on the cutting room floor. If they have a bigger budget and more time, it’s more likely to happen.
Do you ever Google yourself and if so, what do you like or dislike about it?
Well, I hate the unattractive photos of me.
That is impossible.
No, those pictures...I see them and think, “That was a bad night. What was I thinking?” I just woke up from a nap, didn’t even do any make up and look like hell! As for the nudes, I don’t care, as long as they look good.
Speaking of, your spread on Playboy, that was incredible. Looking back, has doing that helped your career?
Not as much as I would’ve liked it to! (Laughs) Originally, I was supposed to be on the cover; we even shot the pictures for it and I didn’t get it! I was so bummed out. Years later, I shot with another photographer there and he mentioned that it wasn’t my fault and it was just a whole political thing. The editor of the magazine in L.A. was leaving and another was taking his place and apparently, I was caught in the middle. They wanted to please the new editor, so they threw a picture of another girl on there, it was all political. I was hurt, but sometimes, you just don’t know. However, the pictures of me nude, I love them. I’m very proud of them. They look beautiful. I’ve barely seen myself naked before that. I remember shooting, then starving myself for three months thinking, “This is gonna be bad!” Then, I saw them and I was really proud. I don’t know, it hasn’t really been helped or affected my career negatively.
I’m going to be honest. Even though a lot of the work you’ve been in is consists of low budget horror films that go straight to V.O.D. you’ve made a hell of a career for yourself. I think a lot of people think of Playboy and actresses and automatically assume that’s all they do.
Well, when I first came to L.A. it was my dream to be in Playboy. I swear to you. I tested four times and each time, they passed on me. I remember they told me, “You’re not pretty enough. Our girls are perfect.” I cried and I cried and thought, “What am I gonna do with my life? My life is over!” So, I decided to pursue acting and when Playboy came to me later on in my career, they offered me a bunch of money and asked, “Do you want to do the magazine?” I just thought, “Wow!” It kind of came full circle. I think if I would have done it then, I’d be stuck and I wouldn’t have pursued acting. It was because I was rejected that I worked so hard. It forced me to do something else. I went to acting classes three times a week and worked hard because I wanted to do something with my life. If it had happened back then, you know, it would’ve held me up.
So, I have to ask you, being a beautiful woman in this business, you see these other beautiful women who get really huge. Who are some of the women you’ve seen build a career for themselves and really respect?
The first that comes to mind is Salma Hayek. I don’t know. There’s so many. They’re all really great. All the actors and actresses I’ve met are really, super cool. They’ve come to this point in their lives where they’re comfortable. The people that didn’t make it, they’re assholes! (Laughs)
Last we talked was at the Eyegore Awards party for Halloween Horror Nights, is that your scene or would you rather just hang out at home and just pop in a movie?
I hang out at home far too much. I do go to parties, but they’re mostly events. Usually, I’m supposed to be there or I’m there to support a friend. Nowadays, I’m either working or preparing for a new project and I just don’t have the energy to go out and party, but if I get invited, why not?
Now, what is your favorite kind of party? What’s your favorite thing to do when you go out?
Oh, I don’t know. I definitely like going to premiers of friends’ movies so I can support them. Just relaxing stuff. I’m not a big club person. I especially like just hanging out with friends.
Who are some directors that you would like to work with in the future?
Well...anyone who’ll take me. (Laughs) No, no. I just love to work and be on set. Whenever I do work with a big director I’m so thankful. I’m so humbled as an actor because I started on low budget films. With 2001 MANIACS, we didn’t have trailers to rest in. We had a store room where we’d sit for fourteen hours a day. If we had a scene, great, if not, you just sat there. You couldn’t go back to your hotel or anything. So, when I finally did get a trailer, I was like, “What? Wow, what is this? I can take a nap? That’s great!”
It’s funny to see how far you’ve come, especially from the milk maiden in that movie.
Yeah. That was a fun experience. It was intense, but it was fun.
Speaking of intense, you have THE ICEMAN coming out. Who do you play in that?
Well, it’s a smaller role, too, but I get to act with Michael Shannon and Chris Evans. I play his wife. It’s not a major role, but there’s a lot of cameos in that movie, so everyone can sort of stand out. It’s nice and all the acting is great, so I’m really proud to be a part of it.