I recently got the chance to talk to Dustin Quick about her role in Rob Zombie’s new film, ‘The Lords Of Salem’. Here, Dustin talks about how she got involved in the project and what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set…
You’re welcome, Matt – thank you for having me.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
You know those women that were burned by the Salem witch trials? Well, they’re back, and they’re pretty fired up.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
Masie Mather is a sweet hard working Salem girl, waitressing until the wee hours at Fire Engine Pizza, closin up shop while the radio plays a mysterious new tune sent to one of the DJ’s by The Lords Of Salem.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I had read for the casting director before on another project for a lead role that ended up going to a famous star, but she wrote that I did a really great job. I’d tap dance on broken glass for this woman, I’m very grateful that she believes in me. I hope to make her a very wealthy person.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
Rob Zombie’s incredibly unique in his style and characters, and even amongst his past work and other directors’ work – the only other films that I can recall off hand where both the protagonists and the villains are female, is Tarantino’s, ‘Kill Bill’ series – so I think that it’s shows how evolved that Rob is that he, an actual rockstar, thinks that women are rockin too. Plus this film not only has a cool 70’s vibe in the costuming, but shooting it in Salem – you really get to sense a beautiful old town that is rich in history and haunting beauty.
The film stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Judy Geeson, Meg Foster, Patricia Quinn, Ken Foree, Dee Wallace, Maria Conchita Alonso and Richard Fancy – with Rob Zombie onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
When I got on the plane from LA to Salem, I noticed that there was a tall well built man stuck in between two other men – they looked squished, so I offered to switch seats. The man in the middle, Mike Wiles, turned out to play my Dad in the film, so I was happy to be a good daughter to him in that way – we had real family feel. We actually had time to catch dinner, and it was the first time that I had the experience of having dinner with a father figure – my real dad lives outside of Boston ironically (I’m from Nebraska), so I was giddy of finally getting that nice moment that I didn’t know existed until then. Once we were driven up to the hotel where the cast and crew was staying, we met up with Jeff Daniel Phillip, who is like the cool brother from another mother – we all went for beers and some food and traded stories like a band of good pirates.
Once on set with Rob, I had heard that he wasn’t a talker, so I just came prepared, made my choices, and we spoke for the most part via the Force – which worked, I come from theatre so I’m happy to bring it all and let the director adjust if need be. Originally my scene had ended with the Lords of Salem symbol carved on my chest, so here I am bloody as hell and i say to Rob and the crew, “Yeah, Masie’s a cutter” – he laughed, so I’m quietly thrilled that I just made Rob Zombie laugh – it’s those moments that you put on your internal fridge door.
Let’s talk a bit about you Dustin. What made you want to get into the acting industry in the first place?
My mother had taken me to a production of ‘The King And I’ at the theatre that Marlon Brando’s mother started in Omaha, I nudged her and asked, “How do those kids get up there?” She replied, “I think that they go to an audition”, so I had her drive me to the next audition for ‘A Christmas Carol’, and while the other kids had sheet music and taped accompaniment – I just had me, so I sang acapella and was cast as an angel – been flying hard ever since.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Learn how to edit, so that you can create your own content – then just go and make your dreams a Reel-ality.
You’ve been in a number of different film and TV projects – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with and why? Any good stories?
I recently shot a guest star role for Comedy Central’s ‘The Jeselnik Offensive’. I think comedians are the most underrated and most intelligent because they write & perform comedy which is the most challenging b/c you can’t make someone laugh – it just has to be truly funny. So I came ready with ready with replies to rhetorical questions that Anthony was going to bat at me, and between the director and I, i was able to hit them right back and make Anthony and the producers laugh.
I was the only actor in Slash’s new music video, “You’re A Lie”. We shot at Universal Studios on the same stage as ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ where Lon Chaney is whispered to haunt. I started off in ‘beauty’ and with the help of talented SFX make-up artists, become a creature of the dark. So I had a pig’s hoof on my foot, dangly goop from cheeks, and just bizarre forms on my head and chest, and Slash comes on set and says hello to me – he is very kind and we made each other coffee at the craft service table. There’s something to be said for a person who is polite even to someone who looks like a monster.
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
I love music, am really into Muse right now, but I don’t have anything on my phone, because I need someone to teach me how to do it – I know vinyl though – have a cool James Bond album that I love to play – and I think that sounds best on an old school turn table. I do love to sing along and will dance to anything quality from the 50’s to present day. I dig hip hop, Beethoven, Rage Against The Machine, Otis Redding, Miles, Al Green basically anything with real soul.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Martin Scorsese – (who studied to be a priest), Jesus – (how fascinating is this dinner conversation going to be, right?) and since you set it up, you should totally be there, Matt.
Which film was your favourite of 2012 and why?
I’m a bit of a movie geek, so I could go on this for an entirely other interview, but I will highlight a couple of indie films that you may not yet be aware of yet: a documentary called ‘Side By Side’, interviews dozens of great filmmakers (Scorsese, Fincher, Lucas etc.) and goes into the science of movie making but you’ll be engaged so it doesn’t feel like homework, and ‘Generation Um’ – I just went to the premiere and have gotten to hear the director, producer, and actors insight on this hand written letter of a film in an age of text.
What’s coming up for you in 2013?
I produced/wrote/performed in a sketch called ‘ESPMen’ – (if you Google me under videos, it’ll come up), I figure since I’m sleeping with myself I might as well cast me in my projects, so I think I’ll continue creating work, while others (I pray) learn that I exist and can kill it for them.
I’m also creating a podcast reviewing coming attractions called, ‘Quick Pics’ and in the meantime, please follow me on Twitter – (@dustinquickfem) for cool behind the scenes photos from Slash’s video to one with Rob Zombie at ‘The Lords Of Salem’ premiere, to pics of a funny squirrel who knocks on my window everyday that I named George Clooney – he’s smart, sweet, delightfully a lil nutty and quick.
Thanks for the interview!