I recently got the chance to talk to Rebecca Ann Johnson about her role in ‘Twilight’ spoof, ‘Breaking Wind’. Here, Rebecca talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Rebecca. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Breaking Wind’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film? I understand it’s a comic spoof on the ‘Twilight’ series?
Yes it’s a spoof of the ‘Twilight’ films ‘Eclipse’ and ‘Breaking Dawn’. The story picks up with family preparing for the vampire war and ends with the marriage of Edward and Bella.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play Esme, the vampire brood’s mother. I like to think of her as the silent observer of the group.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I was called to audition, got the sides and laughed my ass off. I originally auditioned for the role of “Victoria” (which ultimately went to one of my oldest and greatest friends, Kelsey Collins) but when I read I apparently had such an Esme vibe they called me back for her.
How would you say this film is different and unique to both the ‘Twilight’ series and general comedy films?
Well I’d say it really comes down to how many fart jokes the original movie has compared with ours. I think we might beat them by a few farts, but it’s close. As for smoldering looks and lovelorn angst, I think we’re neck and neck. With regards to comedies in general, I would put ours in the same category as some of the great old spoof films; ‘Airplane’, ‘Spaceballs’, ‘Blazing Saddles’, etc. It’s just plain fun and silliness. We all enjoyed working together and with Craig (our director) so immensely, and I think that’s pretty evident in the film.
The film stars Heather Ann Davis, Eric Callero, Frank Pacheco, Michael Adam Hamilton, Alice Rietveld, John Stevenson, Taylor M. Graham, Peter Gilroy and your good self – with Craig Moss onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
The entire cast and crew was a dream. I was only on set for five days, but it was the best week of my life. Craig was amazing and so open to all of our comedy styles, it made for such a comfortable/fun working atmosphere. The make-up trailer was always full of fun stories and LOTS of white makeup! Oh lord, it was hilarious. I’m already pretty pale, but slap some white vamp makeup on and I looked pretty convincingly dead. HA!
Which team are you – Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Oh…how could I choose? They’re both handsome…however….
Let’s talk a bit about you Rebecca. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I retired (such a nicer word than ‘dropped out’) from college after my first year and moved right to NYC. I was green, had no friends and didn’t know up from down…but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else in my life but entertaining. So I never gave up hope. I did small theatre gigs for about four years until I booked the lead in a television show for the Women’s Entertainment Network. It ultimately never made it to air, but that really kick-started my career and I moved to Los Angeles. Since then, it’s been a long, winding road to where I am today. I learned (and continue to understand) the definitions of endurance and patience and I figured out who I was as a person, which I think is key to understanding who you are as an actor.
You’ve been in a number of different film and TV projects – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with so far? Any good stories?
I love Joel McHale and the cast of ‘Community’. I just co-starred on their holiday musical episode and every single cast member was so kind and quick to say hello and ask how our day was. Working with them was really delightful. I also recently worked on a new musical with some of my favorite Broadway actors, Adam Pascal, Cady Huffman, Daisy Eagan, Bob Torti and Joanna Ampil. It was an amazing summer!
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
What would I BAKE is a better question! I would choose my Grandfather, Gilda Radner, and Kate Winslet. Kate is effortless in her subtlety and the grace to which she lends each performance. It’s thrilling to watch. But I think I would love to just hear her talk about what she likes to do on a normal day, her favorite books, etc. I’m fascinated with how lovely and normal she seems to be. Gilda I have admired for as long as I can remember. She is the epitome of funny. She was so easy to watch. She wanted you to laugh and gave everything she had to make you laugh and if I could be even a fraction the performer/comedienne she was, I would be miles ahead of the game. Growing up, my parents would point to her on old SNL reruns and say, “This is what ‘funny’ is Becky, this is real comedy”. And my Grandfather…I’d just like to hear him call me “Beck” one more time. And to see if he’s been laughing at all the crazy stuff I’ve been doing lately. I know he has.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three ‘personal’ things could you not live without?
Ooh, I would need those dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s (a local grocery store in LA), a complete set of the ‘Harry Potter’ series, and some SPF 75 because lord, do I burn easily!
What is your favourite word?
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I am hoping to start singing in a few cabarets around town and am keeping my fingers crossed about a few roles in the works for some new projects. May this year be the best yet!
Thanks for the interview!