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INT: Rose McGowan


The first time I saw Rose McGowan was in the outrageously f*cked up little film called THE DOOM GENERATION. I was blown away by her utterly unbelievably assured sense of humor and crude charm. This girl was one to watch. Soon after that, she made for one of the best horror victims ever in SCREAM and soon had many copycats of the tough chick who ends up biting it. For awhile, it seemed she would become a b-movie queen with DEVIL IN THE FLESH and JAWBREAKER.

Then there was TV's “Charmed” where she replaced Shannen Doherty and she stayed for five seasons. And now, thanks to Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino she gets to kick some serious ass with a machine gun leg. In GRINDHOUSE, she gives one helluva performance. Her work in PLANET TERROR is nothing short of amazing, bringing real depth and edge to Cherry Darling, along with an all-star cast that make GRINDHOUSE one of the most outrageous movie experiences you will have this year.

Well, lucky for me, I got a chance to go one-on-one with Ms. McGowan for the second time. With the release of JAWBREAKER, I had dragged my wife just to get Rose’s autograph -- I’ve got a very cool wife. Back then, she was incredibly nice and charming. So it was no surprise that she is not only beautiful, but she is also smart, funny, and every other positive thing that I could think of. Yes, I’m a fan and after sitting down to talk about movies, celebrity, running around with a machine gun leg and some dude dragging his wife with him to get her autograph, I had an fantastic time.

Rose is very outspoken and honest but there is no pretension here. Hey, she offered me some coffee when I arrived. I was a fan of hers before, and now she is just an awesome lady that I feel very lucky to have been able to hang out and shoot the shit with. And as for Cherry Darling… there is something very sexy about a woman with a machine gun leg and a killer survival instinct… Is that wrong? You won’t think so when you see GRINDHOUSE.

Rose McGowan

So I’ve gotta tell you something. About the time of “Jawbreaker” I made my wife drive over an hour to Costa Mesa [ California ] just to have you sign an autograph.

Awww… was I in the…?

Remember, the mall…?

Was that Orange County ?


I think that’s the only time I’ve ever done a signing anywhere.

Yeah and I said, ‘You know honey… we have to go… I mean, we HAVE to go.’ [A high five happens] And it’s my birthday tomorrow...

Happy birthday… kick ass!

So it’s a great weekend.

I love Courtney Shane [Her character from “Jawbreaker”], she was hilarious. She was very misunderstood. People said she was so evil and I say, well, she was just a sociopath. And not to let sociopaths off the hook because O.J. [Simpson] certainly did it, but he doesn’t think he did it.


And people are like, she was diabolical… yes, but accidentally. She didn’t think so. I actually based it on a Gene Tierney character in “Leave Her to Heaven”.


And she… it was just beautifully shot, really funny movie, I mean not funny intentionally but, a little bit. She marries a guy who has this little crippled son named Timmy and she basically starts 86’ing anything in her life that takes any time away from them, you know, for the husband and wife. And so at one point she pushes Timmy off a cliff or something… into a lake. And he says, ‘but why, why did you do it?’, ‘but darling, I thought we needed more time alone.’ So I completely based it on that.

Do you dwell into the dark side a lot?



Not at all. I think things are… in fact I was just telling my publicist about this website,, that’s my favorite. It’s just all cute animals and puppies and miniature horses. I have a bursting huge file on my desktop of just cute baby animal photos.

Yeah. I would have just thought, you know, gothic stuff…

I’ve never been gothic in my life, it’s hilarious. No, no, no. Cute baby puppies, and I spend hours perusing baby Boston Terriers on-line.

You know what I found cool about you back at the “Jawbreaker” experience is that, I walked in and said, ‘I’m a big fan of yours’ and you were like, ‘Really?’ [Surprised].

I’m kind of still like, ‘Really?’ That was more with “Charmed”, “Charmed” is hilarious to me because you know there’s like a big writer at Vanity Fair that loves the show and a seventy-five year old, gruff New York cabbie and they start telling me lines from the show. It’s such a peripatetic audience, it’s so all over, so when somebody is… you know, it’s still… it’s just anybody, you’re just wandering around, you’re in your own head. If you’re in the aisle at the supermarket, you’re in your own brain and somebody comes up from the outside and I always kind of jump and go, really… It just startles me because I’m like anybody, you know…


Do I need five lemons… and so the outside world… it’s funny, I never… I don’t really ever think about people ‘liking me’. I probably think about people disliking me. [Laughing]

Well that’s…

I think that’s human nature…


If you get fifty compliments and one mean thing you remember the mean thing.

And you have had your fair share of crap thrown at you in the media.

No, I think, you know people never know what somebody’s going through and I’ve learned a lot about the gray area. I used to be very black and white as well, like this is right and this is wrong and the thing is, nobody knows if my dad’s really sick or this is happening but go for it… make fun of me for bad toe-nail polish cuz it makes you happy.


Does that make you feel better about yourself, like, how does that actually affect your life as a human being?

People do get excited about seeing other people’s demise.

Obviously you could take it back to the gladiators; you could take it back to anything, just society in general. I think so much of… you know it’s interesting, like, ‘well, they wanted to become actors so they deserve to be taken down a peg.’ Wait a second, I wasn’t trying to be an actor… can’t I just skip out on that whole thing. [Laughing] Hey, how about focus on others. [Laughing] No, but it’s very “Lord of the Flies”-esque too.

Yes it is.

Very much the media and just people in general… [An ice bucket on the counter makes a noise as the ice melts] [We pause looking at the water] Exactly! The ice bucket concurred.

Yes, exactly.

I think that so much of it is so “Lord of the Flies”, one person piles on and you see everybody else doing it as well. And the thing is, as I think it’s easier for people to do that then reflect upon themselves and what things they’re maybe or maybe not doing right in their lives.

Now with “Grindhouse”, was it always planned that you’d be in both films?

No, I auditioned for Quentin’s twice; [I] had to go back twice while I was shooting “Planet Terror”. So no, I did not; it was not a forgone conclusion.

Was it fun being able to do both films?

Absolutely… it was definitely a big arc.

What was it like working with Kurt Russell in “Death Proof”?

It was great. And what’s interesting actually, is that, it’s almost the way it’s been cut I have two different roles in “Death Proof” because Quentin wrote a 130 page script which is really about two hours so he had to condense it for this. But once it’s on DVD and the International release is a lot longer… and I have a lot more stuff with Kurt which develops his character a lot more.

In the bar?

Yeah, he and I were primarily together the whole time, that was pretty much all of our scenes. Other than his stuff out on the porch, it was all he and I. So that will be seen a lot more but as it is its interesting because right now I’m playing the character of the girl who you’re like, “Don’t go in the woods you dumbass!” [Laughing] “You’re going to get killed by the guy with the axe!” and now I’m playing, “Don’t go in the car you dumbass!” [Laughing] But once you see the longer version of it, you kind of understand why I’m getting in the car. Currently, she’s the girl you’re going to yell at, basically.

What about the machine gun leg in “Planet Terror”, what did you use for it?

I had a really heavy gray cast and it kind of had like a ball bearing on the heel, so if you had a table leg, or a machine gun or a rifle, you would have a little nub so that was the ball bearing. And my toes were pointed in the air so I thought that maybe my Achilles tendon was going to snap. And the other side is a four-inch high heeled boot.

How did you walk like that?

Very awkwardly… how did I run like that, how did I jump like that, how did I role like that… yeah.

How did you fly like that?

I love flying.

Did you have a crane or something?

Nah, I was on wires, it wasn’t a crane. But it was funny because I had to run to get up enough speed to be flown over the wall. So of course I had like the four-inch heel so…

Now when I got to see “Grindhouse”, it reminded me of the first time I saw you at a midnight showing of “The Doom Generation”.

I love that movie. I had no idea what I was doing, I mean I’d never done a movie before, I’d never done anything. He’d say stand on your mark and I’d go wander across room, I had no clue what was going on. But I don’t know, I thought it was hilarious of course.

I did too.

It was a very tough film to shoot. I’m very happy for it now because it was boot camp. I learned so much on that, so fast it kind of instilled the work ethic of not holding anything up and not wasting film. But I think it’s also just [an] empathy kind of the thing with people that don’t come out of their trailers… I’m like, what about that guy that has to drive home for two hours just to see his kid for like a half an hour before he goes to bed… Come on. And I think it all kind of goes in line with that. But working obviously with Robert [Rodriguez] and Quintin [Tarantino] was, I think for any actor was pretty much a dream and the fact that I got to work with both of them.

[Playing] Cherry [Darling] was amazing and I think, probably til I die; she will always be one of my favorite characters I’ve ever played. And I feel quite protective towards her, so hopefully nobody will put her down. And if they do, she can just shoot them in the face with her machine gun. [Laughing] I think the whole thing in expecting to see this movie, I think you should expect to laugh and dry-heave at the same time and just go in knowing… just sit in that roller coaster seat, you know, buckle up and go along for the ride. And have fun… gosh. And I hope to see people with a machine gun leg for Halloween outfits next year.

Click here for a ton of photos from the GRINDHOUSE premiere

As do I… Let me know what you think. Send questions and comments to




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2:23PM on 04/02/2007


Anybody else notice that the machine gun is on the wrong leg in the top poster?
Anybody else notice that the machine gun is on the wrong leg in the top poster?
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