Digging into the role
In local director Jason Rudy’s new feature film, Lady M—which premieres this week—model, media mogul and the flick’s lead actress Kenyon Page was stabbed by a beer can, smothered with rotten cottage cheese and performed surgery by Super Gluing a flesh wound. Is that method acting? Anyway, when Page isn’t getting deep into her film parts, she runs VChi Studios, a local multimedia and arts hub for 916 creative types; find out more at www.vchi.org. And catch her in Rudy’s film on the Crest Theatre’s silver screen this Friday and Saturday, October 8 and 9; 11 p.m.; $10.
Tell me about this movie; I know Rudy flicks are violent and gory.
This film, Lady M, was actually consciously produced to be less gory than his previous films. It is still horror, but has more of a spiritual-thriller flair to it. … The goriest scene I would have to say is the black-light kill scene, where cottage cheese was used in place of blood. The cottage cheese was thrown all over my victim and myself. [And] as I stabbed her with a stick—my character’s weapon of choice—I realized it wasn’t fresh. The cottage cheese got everywhere, including my mouth, and tasted pretty funky.
Did you always want to shank people in a movie?
(Laughs.) By no means did I always want to be an actress. … My passion is and was science, ecology more specifically.
What kind of films do you enjoy?
In my spare time I enjoy a menagerie of film genres, although I tend to get pulled into foreign stuff or anything done smart. Pi is a great film. I liked I Heart Huckabees. My favorite stuff has often had an excellent villain, like the Masterpiece Theatre piece House of Cards, where Ian Richardson plays the prime minister of England, who is also a murderer. Beyond that, I like your run-of-the-mill Fight Club, The Hunger, Suicide Kings—anything where the director had some massive control over his or her project.
Is a Rudy a massively controlling director?
In some of his past films, Jason controlled nearly everything on a shoot you can. He was the editor, the cinematographer, the [production assistant], so on and so forth, although this can often happen in many indies, the difference is his drive to see the vision through. He is the “Man” who will get it done.
What was the most challenging scene for you in this film?
The last day of shooting—it is actually emotional to even think about. It was a bit traumatic for myself, and perhaps everyone involved. My hand was rather deeply cut open by crawling out in a field in Rio Linda near the airport. In this scene, there was the bottom of a broken beer bottle, with a shard like a thick knife sticking up, that was buried in the dirt. I didn’t see it there and, as I crawled as if my lower body was paralyzed, pulling all my weight with my arms, my hand went over the shard, into it, and pulled. That was filmed and was one take. It is used in the film. It is kind of a long story. It is hard to pull my mind away from the emotions and simplify it for you. I came back to my studio and everyone here helped me clean a roughly half-inch-deep hand cut. I cried before we decided finally to use Super Glue to seal it. It is obviously taking a while to heal.
Whoa. What is your real job?
My real job is I am starting a creative/media/film village on the grid in Sacramento. It is called VChi. We try to involve creative types to work together, who are not immune to “checking their egos at the door,” and are what I can best describe in the words of Little Big Man, “human beings.”
I also do construction from time to time, as well as runway and print modeling on top of acting. Acting actually is my main “real job.” I do it professionally.
Do you have anything in common with the stab-wound enthusiast you portray in the movie?
Wouldn’t you like to know? I have a dark side. Actually, the whole “sticks as weapons” thing, [Rudy] came up with based on me. I was carrying around sticks a lot last year, and this year, too. I think they are an accessible form of beauty. I was my metaphor, secretly, for how people can survive the tough times coming.
Hmm. Will your parents watch this movie?
I do not think my parents will dig it for the content’s sake. If I were not in it, this movie has a bunch of main plot points they go out of their way to avoid, i.e., horror and penis. But I think they will support me for sure and watch what we put a solid eight months into.