Brooke Lewis, the small but perfectly formed star of movies such as ‘Kinky Killers’ and ‘Slime City Massacre‘ is more than just your average B-Movie actress.
She runs ‘Philly Chick Pictures‘, her own production company and is not afraid to take on the big boys of Hollywood. Her boundless energy and hard work ethic mean she is an actress always in demand with casting directors (She also has a great pair of lungs).
As part of our Monster Movie Month we spoke to Brooke about becoming a Hollywood player, Screaming and Vamping it up.
How did you get into the movie biz?
Darling, I was born a Drama Queen! I was a very emotional child, so I think I liked to escape by dressing up and singing and dancing. I started doing local theatre when I was young, then moved to New York and got my first good break doing “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” Off-Broadway, which opened doors for me in indie film and TV.
After making a living acting in NYC for a few years, I headed West to Hollywood!
What is your role in Philly Chick Pictures?
In 2002, I created Philly Chick Pictures to “produce entertainment with an attitude”. My movie career started as an actress in low budget independent films in NYC. I was always the actress with a ton of energy and a business brain, who would call in a favor to attach talent, crew, locations or think fast enough to do damage control on a set.
After doing this work for other people’s companies or projects and not being credited or compensated properly, I finally realized that I had been “producing” all along! I learned that I have a creative soul and a business mind. I have never been the type to sit back and wait for things to happen, so I started Philly Chick Pictures to further my acting and producing career, make films with an edge and find and develop strong roles for women!
Eight years later, I am still learning and growing every day and with each project I choose. I have made a lot of mistakes in my career, but am very committed to learning from them and moving forward!
What advice would you give someone looking to get into the movie industry?
DO YOUR RESEARCH! Headshots, acting classes, mailings to casting directors/ agents/ managers, casting workshops, etc…And, I was a big fan of doing student films at Temple University and NYU when I was first starting out.
For actors, I recommend casting workshops to network with and meet casting directors. For filmmakers, I have always found film festivals to be a productive venue for networking. I also love film seminars and organizations. I have been a member of both Film Independent and Women In Film for many years.
The film industry is a challenging business but like Ms. Vampy says, “Follow your dreams and when faced with fear, dig deep inside, find your inner vamp and VAMP IT OUT!”
Is it harder for women to be successful in the movie biz?
Yes, unless they are young, smokin’ hot and willing to get naked. Honestly, I think it is difficult to have success in the movie biz now PERIOD! It is a very different business than it was years ago and I am still trying to learn the new formula.
I believe the internet and Reality TV have hindered the opportunities for true success and stardom!
That said, I wasn’t kidding about my first line. I think that on one hand, women have an advantage when they are young, hot and willing to show skin, and on the other hand, I know that beauty and ageism is still a huge problem in the movie biz.
As a producer, I feel I have had to “fight” for rights and respect equal to that of my male producing partners.
As sad as it is in 2011, I feel that women still have to “prove” themselves in positions of power and to be taken as seriously as men.
Pic above right with Tony (Candyman) Todd