I recently got the opportunity to talk to actor and punktastic rock star Roxi Gregory about her role in ‘Song Of King Solomon’. Here, Roxi talks about what it was like working with Jason Croot on a pivotal scene of the film and about how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Roxi. Thanks for taking the time out to speak to me about your new film, ‘Song Of King Solomon’.
How would you sum up the general plotline? ‘
The angels look down upon King Solomon with his many wives and concubines and realizes one thing is lacking in his life – love. Taken from on http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1640224/
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I applied online initially to Stephen Southouse‘s (the director/writer’s) casting call and after a quick audition I was given the part of ‘Tirzah’.
Tell us a bit about your character in the movie…
Tirzah is just a slave girl. Unlike King Solomon’s willing concubines, Tirzah is offered to the King against her will. She (Tirzah) shows obvious disdain for the King. After a feisty but hopeless struggle to escape his (King Solomon’s) animalistic lust, a brutal sex scene takes place. My character was written I believe to show the sheer aggression and selfishness of King Solomon as played by Jason Croot. I was worried that the scene was gonna be cringe worthy and awkward to film. I knew I was gonna be portraying a woman who in effect was being raped and that takes some sensitivity. As a reference I watched Jodie Foster’s character ‘Sarah Tobias’ in the 1988 film ‘The Accused’ (she played a rape victim). I didn’t want the scene to seem gratuitous so I played it with conviction. As it wasn’t supposed to look like a porn film I had to really work on facial expression and body language. I wasn’t to be posed (no arched back etc), my face was probably looking contorted etc but I wanted to draw anger and horror from the audience in a way that they would feel appalled at the scene. Incidentally, I haven’t watched that scene, I just couldn’t bear to see what I look like. When I’m acting I rely on my feeling as well as the director’s guidance, you both have to be happy with the work you’re putting out. It’s good to envision the scene from the audiences view.
The film stars – your good self, Jason Croot, Ifeoma Oboko, Lucinda Rhodes-Flaherty and Tony Resta – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
I had only met Jason (Croot) and Stephen (Southouse) once before but I was totally at ease and got a sense of their professional and driven work ethic. The rest of the crew and actors I met on the day of filming. Being that my role was poignant but brief, I was only needed for half a day. But that day was absolutely fantastic, everyone really pulled together and got on really well. Plenty of joking around back stage, though anyone surplus to my scene gave me room and privacy to perform….think we got it mainly in the first take! Though we nearly broke the set (bed) I’ve stayed in touch with a couple of the actors and have another part planned with Jason (Croot) very soon.
Let’s talk a bit about you Roxi. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I suppose as a kid I loved old black and white movies and I had an overactive imagination that would see me give voices and personalities to my various dolls/toys! With my cousins, we would perform little made up plays at family parties. (Not sure they were all as enthused as I was…poor things). But it was with one of my neighbours, (who later became a writer/ director) that I really found a passion for acting. As 6 and 9 year olds, he was always waving his camcorder about while I performed hammy scenes from favourite movies such as ‘Ghostbusters’…… It was also him who years later (after I finished college) spent a long time teaching me the ethics of screen acting to which his pet talk I’m still grateful for. Some of it stuck in my mind…I hope. Thanks M.B!!
You’ve had a number of different roles on a number of TV series and films – who has been your favourite actor to work with so far and who has given the best advice to you?
Again I would echo the above – thanks to Michael Booth who I worked with on ‘Diary Of A Bad Lad‘ for his coaching and prep talks! (I realize he isn’t an actor). I also really enjoyed the hilarious performance of Paul Birtwistle as Birty in ‘Diary Of A Bad Lad’!
If you could recommend a film or TV series to someone, what would you choose and why?
I really like comedy series like ‘The Thick Of It’, ‘How Not To Live Your Life’, ‘Birds Of A Feather’, ‘Gavin And Stacey’ – so many!!! My film taste is eclectic from black and whites like ‘The Philadelphia Story’, ‘The Awful Truth’, ‘Arsenic And Old Lace’ and most films featuring the lovely Marilyn Monroe. More modernly: ‘Mr And Mrs Smith’, ‘True Romance’, ‘The House Bunny’, ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ and my childhood favourite animation ‘The Last Unicorn’. ‘Monsters Vs Aliens’ had me crying with laughter. I like serious films too like ‘The Lives Of Others’, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’……oh don’t get me started, I just love movies!!
What does a Roxi Gregory day usually consist of?
Omitting a few secrets… it always starts with a wee (just keeping it real), then breakfast (my grumbling stomach often wakes me up). Then I like to listen to music, sing a little, watch some news, flap and rush around, go the gym when I can … I should check my emails but I’m not a fan of the computer…. And I’m sure I should’ve put ‘showering’ in there somewhere. And depending what’s on the working agenda, reading, rehearsing, researching, auditioning etc!!!
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
Where do we start? Amy Winehouse died and joined the 27 Club (which I found fascinating), there’s been mass rioting (written a cracking song or two on that material alone). And as always there’s the ongoing war casualties….!
What is coming up for you in 2011?
I don’t want to jinx anything but I’ve got a few acting parts coming through, my punky pop band (www.thetransmitters.com) is starting to take off…. and I’m sure I deserve a holiday too!! I’ve just had my birthday this month, best one yet!!
Thanks for the interview!