Rose McGowan Interviewed – GRINDHOUSE

     April 4, 2007

By now you’ve all heard of Grindhouse as the stars and the directors have been on every TV show and radio program from Los Angeles to New York. But if you’re one of the few who has no idea about this movie, I’m going to make this nice and quick.

Opening this weekend is a film to drop a third nut if you’re a guy or grow a third tit if you’re a girl. It’s called Grindhouse and it could cause permanent brain damage from laughing too hard or screaming too loud while you’re watching it.

The film has it all – fake trailers, tons of exploitation, and two separate movies for one low price.

The first film is directed by Robert Rodriguez and its called Planet Terror, the second by Quentin Tarantino and its called Death Proof. One is about Zombie’s and one about killing with your car.

While most studios try and bore you with the same story told over and over with different actors playing the same type of role…I promise you’ve never seen what this film is offering.

So to help promote the movie a number of the people in the film did a press day and I’m posting a lot of the interviews.

Each one is solid. They all talk about the making of the film and their motivation for being apart of this crazy movie.

All of them were done in roundtable form – meaning a bunch of us were in a room taking turns asking questions. That’s why some of the questions come out of left field and others are the kind of things you’d want to know.

If you’d like to download the MP3 of the interview click here, otherwise you can read it below.

Grindhouse opens this Friday and it’s definitely worth your hard earned dollar.

Spoilers are discussed in the Grindhouse interviews – you are warned

Question: Can I ask the leg question to get it out of the way?

Rose McGowan: Please.

What was it like? What were you really wearing?

What was I really wearing? I was wearing a really heavy grey cast with LED lights, and it wasn’t the most high-tech thing, because when Robert wrote it, the technology wasn’t there to do it. Which I think is pretty amazing. And he never assumed that people wouldn’t be able to do it, he just makes them step up and create it. So yes, it was quite uncomfortable. There’s a little ball bearing on the heel, because if you were resting on the end of a machine gun leg or a hospital table leg, it would be very small and round and kind of tippy. And so my toes pointed in the air, my heel was on the ground, and on the other side, I had a four-inch high heel boot. So it was…No. If you’re going to save the world with a machine gun leg, make sure you wear a high heel, at least on one foot. [laughs] But it was cool because…I’m not, you know, the complaining sort. I’m Irish. Just pull up your boot straps, soldier on. But I had to go as fast as everybody else, do everything as everybody else, and they got to basically wear boots and tennis shoes, essentially. So it wasn’t like, “Wait for me, I can’t run up this hill with them!” And I did run up the hill, I just fell back down. But then I would go back up.

That was really you jumping on that truck?

That was really me jumping out of the way of the truck. I worked with a fantastic stuntwoman for about six years now, because she worked with me on Charmed, and it’s very hard to find somebody with thin bones, because a lot of stuntwomen are pretty buff. And she’s fantastic. She was doing it. I was like, “That’s retarded. I’m standing here. Why am I not doing this?” So I…you know, at night, I would take off all the body make-up, and it looked like someone took a baseball bat to me. Very sexy.

What about the scene where you’re flying through the air? Do they just strap you into something and catapult you?

No, they didn’t…That would be fun! [jokes] “A giant slingshot is really what that was. A giant slingshot.” Although that would be cool, too. No, actually…A lot of people don’t like wirework. I love it. I think it’s the closest you come to flying. And that was a really tall wall. There was only one time it kind of missed and the system didn’t pull me up high enough. And I had the grey cast, and I just got it up in time because it would have smashed everything on the wall. So I wouldn’t have cleared it. But no, it was just kind of a pulley system, but I had to run. I had to run from behind that wall to get enough force to take off. So running, again, with the ball bearing, five-pound cast, and a four-inch heel, I was like, “All right, here we go.” And they greased me down from my head to…just the back of my head, though. The front’s okay to catch on fire. But they really don’t want to ruin the back of her head to the back of her feet. So that was gelled up, and I still singed my eyebrows off in that. But there’s a picture, there’s a companion book that goes with the movie, where I land on the other side and I’m sliding across asphalt. And even though, yes, I lost skin in the process, I did have a huge smile on my face. And I thought it was just hilarious!

You just signed on to do Susan Cabot?



Thank you. I’m excited.

We know she dies at 59. So does that mean we’re going to see you in some cool make-up?

Yeah, I think so, definitely. What’s really cool about it is as she got older, she kind of got…What’s going to be easy about doing that aging make-up is she kind of went crazy and was really obsessed with getting older, so she would just pile on like crazy amounts of make-up. So that’ll help already. But like really cool, like crazy green eye shadow and just really, really, really pancakey. But it’s also cool, as she got older, she kind of started going nuts, and confusing her real life with these crazy old movies like Wasp Woman and these other really fantastical movies which had all these like weird costumes. So I’ll get to be playing her in those movies. All those sets. Stephan Elliott who did Priscilla Queen of the Desert wrote and directed, so obviously he can handle these crazy sets and all that stuff. And of all things, she was killed by her son with nunchucks. Kind of an ignominious death, if you will.

Who’s playing your son?

That’s the casting thing right now. Actually, no…Well, yeah. I think an unknown would be best for that, because she’s obsessed with being really small. She’s about 4’10”. So that, I don’t know how we’ll do that. And she was always going around in 8-inch heels, and for sure that was why she was doing these crazy movies instead of the really big movies. And she actually became engaged to King Hussein, who then discovered her real name was Harriet Shapiro and she was Jewish, so he couldn’t marry her.

You’ve been in a few horror projects, are you a fan of the genre?

ROSE: That’s a big oddity. No, not really. I’ll be honest: no. [laughs]

What was it like shooting the final season of Charmed while you were filming Grindhouse?

ROSE: Massive exhaustion. Yeah, I started Planet Terror at 104 pounds, and I went down to about 98 1/2, which on a small person, 3 pounds is like 10 pounds on a bigger person. And everybody thought I was trying to be like Nicole Ritchie or something like that, God bless her, but I do not, in fact, have hypoglycemia. No, I thought it was hideous. I actually did not like it. I don’t think that look is so pretty. And it was just complete exhaustion. Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m., I would wrap in Texas, and I would fly back to L.A., worked till 11:00 p.m. to make it up. Go back at 5:00 a.m. Worked around 10:00 p.m. And then on Thursdays on Charmed, I’d get off at 3:00, fly to Texas, and go back to the all-night schedule. So it was…And then doing all the physicality. And then I stopped traveling about four more months after that. But if you’ve met anybody who does an hour-long series, usually towards the end of that, they turn grey anyway. And actually I have some friends on them, and I just enjoy watching towards the end. I’m like, “Ha-ha, sucker!” Their eyes are going down, they’re grey. The undead. So I was just like, “Dang, I hope I pull this movie off.” And considering what was going on, I’m pretty proud of it.

Having acted in both segments, what were the differences between the directing styles of Quentin and Robert?

Well, I think, obviously, if you’ve ever met or heard them talk, there’s a huge difference between Quentin and anybody, really. [laughs] I don’t think there’s another like him, I think maybe in 500 years or so. I’m not sure. Maybe never. But it was interesting, because while I was doing that crazy schedule, I had a 4-hour window on different days, like a month apart. And I had to come up and I auditioned twice for Death Proof, and convinced him that I should have blonde hair, because I look very exotic as Cherry, and I wanted kind of a 180. And they’re different. I would say Quentin’s is kind of controlled insanity on his sets, and a lot of music and boisterous, but still very much in control. And Robert’s extremely quiet. I never worked on such a quiet set. I couldn’t figure out what was happening at first. Because the Charmed set was the prop guy shooting spitballs at my head while I’m working. I’m like, “Dude, you just ruined another take. Thanks.” So then I would go there at night, and it was very strange. But he’s got so much going on, because he’s shooting, and then he’s editing in his head, and then he goes and does playback and edits part of it right there, because he goes and edits at night. So everybody’s extremely respectful. He’s got so many different things going on. It was funny though, I would start feeling bad if I laughed. So then when I went on Quentin’s, he saw me, I laughed, and I immediately stuck my hand over my mouth, and he said, “What are you doing?” And I thought, “Oh my God, I’ve become so programmed, I’m flinching because I laughed. Oh dear.” But the movie is kickass and so much fun. The best description I’ve heard of it, I was talking to somebody, and he said, “I have never laughed and dry heaved in the same moment.” And I thought if that could explain the movie in any way, that would be…I think that should be on the…I’m going to talk to Harvey, that really should be on the poster.

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No matter what crap she went through, she always had that great red lipstick. Were they fixing that constantly?

Well yes. And I also have a machine gun leg, so let’s go with suspension of disbelief.

Was the missing reel scene really shot?

No. Which one? In Quentin’s, not the sex scene, no.

Oh, okay.

Ah-ha, sucker!

The horror genre was kind of dead until Scream came along.


And now it’s culminated in this. What is it like being part of the bookends?

Yeah, it was very funny, because when I did Scream, it was my second movie. And I adore Wes Craven, and I still see him from time to time. And I just love him. He’s so gentle and so brilliant. But it was funny because, again, not liking horror films, I had to reference these other directors in there. I had no clue who I was talking about. Like really no clue. I said, “Oh, it’s like a John Carpenter film.” I didn’t know I was combining two names and being funny. Hey, that got a laugh, I wonder why? [laughs] No clue. I have really bad nightmares in general, like every single night. So I try not to add to the stock of things in my head.

So you didn’t really watch grindhouse movies…?

I did, actually.

…growing up?

Oh, no, not growing up, certainly not, no. I lived in a commune. We had no TV or films or anything. But Quentin did screen a bunch for us before we started the movie. At least for most people, the Planet Terror cast, and then by the time the other part of his cast put in, he was like, “Oh, screw it, let’s go see Borat.” But what I thought was fantastic about these guys is the homage. And I’ve had people say, “Oh, are they trying to make bad movies?” No. Because first of all, they’re not bad movies. And it’s these two brilliant directors. Real mavericks, except for they’re within the Hollywood system. And because they’re so at the top of their game, they can do anything they want, really. I mean, they could sit and shoot paintballs at a wall for three hours and it would get released. That’s just how they are. But what they did love about these other directors was that these were the outcasts. These were not studio system people. And because they were outcasts, they could do anything. They could kill a kid, kill a dog, break all the sacred rules of filmmaking. All the things you really do not ever do. And what’s fantastic is that they’re now getting to do it within the studio system. They actually, I know, had a dinner with a whole bunch of these directors last night, of these old kind of grindhouse films. They’re all older now, and the guys, I think, all those old directors, were so excited that they were getting to do it. It was like, “Yeah! Doing it for team now!” Doing it on a grand level.

What came first for you, Planet Terror or Death Proof?

Planet Terror. And then Death Proof after. Yeah, I had about a week break between the two. I was very tired.

What was it like working with Kurt Russell in the car?

Ah, Kurt, Kurt, Kurt. Bastard! [laughs] No, I actually love Kurt. I told him he should really get on thinking about adopting me. I’m just saying. I know I’d have a lot of houses. I’d be rich! [laughs] But I thought it was quite funny because I think Kate Hudson has that kind of same long blonde hair that I had in the movie. Or at least very similar. And I just thought, “When you kill me, you need to think about this: you are killing your daughter.” And he’s like, “Aw, you’re evil!” And I said, “Uh-huh. Just planting the seed. Just think it over.” [laughs] So what was cool is that…It was 130-page script, Quentin’s. So it had to be really condensed, because that’s a two-hour movie. So it’s almost like I get to play two different roles, because he had to truncate his so much to fit into the double feature that I kind of played a character of the girl who’s going into the woods that everybody’s yelling at, “Don’t go in the woods, dummy! What are you doing you, you dumbass? You’re going to get…God, there she goes. What an idiot!” That’s the same thing with getting into this car, like, “What are you doing?” But in the longer version that will be on DVD and internationally released, it’s a completely different situation. You completely see why I get in the car, and we have a lot more scenes together. And his character development is a lot broader because of those scenes as well, because all those scenes are primarily with me.

Any chance we’ll see you in Sin City 2?

[smiles coyly]

We’ll take that as a yes.

I don’t know. I like smiling.

Your character is the break-out icon character. Are you ready for her to be plastered everywhere?

You know what I’m really excited about because I still see Scream masks trick or treating at my door? I’m like, “There better [be] machine gun legs.” And I also really, really want it to be a drag outfit, because I think the drag queens…They’ll love, love, love that. I’ll be the new Judy Garland, except for with guns.

How was she firing that gun?

A flex in her thigh muscles. It’s a secret.


Bye guys, have a great day.

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