Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tara Cardinal interview!

For February, which is Women in Horror month, I was honored to sit down with the multi-talented actress Tara Cardinal.

SB: What inspired you to get into acting?

TC: I wasn't so much inspired as I was "born this way". I've always had a burning desire to perform, first in theatre, and then accidentally made my way into film.

SB: What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you onset?

TC: I guess this would qualify as after the set.. but since we were shooting on location ...
Tiffany, Debbie and I all stayed at a little bed and breakfast in a small town in Italy while we were shooting Wrath of the Crows last year. One night - Debbie and I had booth been "roughed up" via make up - dirty, bloody, I was bruised, and Tiffany had glam make up on for her scenes. Anyway, we shot through the night, and into sunrise. Our driver (usually the director who was incredible!) dropped us off and headed home. And we found out the WHOLE B&B was locked up. We couldn't get in.

So, the three of us, looking VERY suspicious, tried to find an unlocked door, window - ANYTHING just so we could get in, get cleaned up, and go to sleep. It was a no go.

Then we tried knocking, pounding, something - it was still a few hours before they officially opened. Finally, one of the other guests (and we were lucky there WAS another guest, there were only 6 rooms in the B&B) came on to the balcony, took one look at us and had NO intention of letting us in.

I *tried* to explain, in my broken Italian that we were working late, and that we were staying there. And then I showed him my room key. Eventually he let us in and we got keys to the front door - but that whole adventure was so silly, and we were laughing all the way through it.

SB: What are your top three favorite horror films of all time?

TC: Insideous is a new fave, Poltergiest - a classic - and I'm leaving a spot open to see what 2012 brings.

SB: You are a philanthropist as well as an actress/writer/producer. You co-founded the peer counseling organization “C.L.U.B.” (Children Living Under Blindness) at the tender age of 12. Tell me about the current charities you are involved in and how people can help support those.

TC: Oh, you give me way too much credit. I'm just an actress that likes to give back to the community that gave me SO much.

Currently, I'm giving my time to Star Paws Rescue, a dog rescue organization. I just organized and hosted a fundraiser at my favorite bookstore, "Dark Delicacies" in Burbank (that store has EVERYTHING - books, movies, memorabilia, autographs). At the 3 hour event we raised $3000 from celebs signing autographs and taking photos with the fans on the red carpet.

There's an indiegogo page too for people to contribute anywhere - up until Feb 29th.

Here's the link:

I'm also in touch with Covenant House LA to help homeless youth. Last year I did a clothing drive/household goods drive - and that was an EPIC success.

SB: You have an athletic background that includes martial arts as well as professional wrestling. Where did you get your training?

TC: I took the Dread Pirate Roberts approach - I learned anything anyone would teach me. Thus my style is MMA. I don't have "formal" sword training - I was trained by a sword master who'd been a "master" for over 20 years. He would train me in his yard in Florida. It wasn't "fencing". It was real sword fighting. And he taught me not to get poked. There were no "rules", just survival. I liked that approach. It felt like something I could use both in my real life and on screen.

As for wresting - well, that was something I did for fun for a few years. Granted, it paid exceptionally well, but the training is time consuming and my focus is on acting. And it seems a little disrespectful to get in the ring with girls who do this day in and day out, and call myself a wrestler. I did have the honor of learning from, and training with some of the greats - including former WWE wrestler Al Snow (we did a waterfall fight scene for Red Reaper), Bronco Billie and Caliente from "WOW". Indie superstars like Christie Ricci, Frankie Zappitelli, and Julie Squeeze. I miss it sometimes, but my acting keeps me SO busy, I just don't have time to step back in the ring.

SB: What are your greatest obstacles as a woman in the horror genre?

TC: Being type cast as a woman in the horror genre.

SB: You co-produced and starred in Legend of the Red Reaper. Tell me about that project and when can we expect to see it?

TC: Oh, again with all that credit! Really, I'm just an actress on the project. The real producers were Tim Hays, Vicki Hildebrand, Cal Simmons and Michael Scheafer. I just had some ideas, and some Hollywood connections to make everything go.

Red Reaper is a story about a girl born wrong, half human, half demon who is forced to abandon her dreams of marrying the human prince to save the world from demons. Of course there's a metaphor there - with her two halves - the human side and the demon side warring with each other in the "real" world, as well as within herself. By the end of the film she learns to accept both her sides and finds a new place in the world - a world of which she was never really a part of - has now become hers.

SB: In addition to Legend of the Red reaper, what other upcoming projects should we be on the lookout for?

TC: Zombie Massacre shoots in a few months and should be out early next year - look out for me, with a sword, taking out the zombies.
Wrath of the Crows shot in Italy last year, and that should be out soon.
Song of the Shattered should be available soon. Also Spreading Darkness, which also stars Eric Roberts, Louis Mandylor, and John Savage.
Liberator - starring Lou Ferrigno, Ed Asner, Peta Wilson, Michael Dorn and Don the Dragon should be out later this year.

Red Reaper won't be out until 2013. BUT - it will be out!

SB: You are also a model for Comic Book Divas. How did you first become involved with CBD?

TC: I approached Jeff a few years back about a project close to my heart "Heroine!" She was a female super hero I created, but never knew what do with her... well, she still hasn't found a home yet, BUT, Jeff and I have been working together on projects ever since.

Speaking of comics, legendary artist George Perez drew me as the poster for Red Reaper. George, who has been under contract with Marvel and DC since the dawn of time, has drawn EVERY great super hero for the comics. I'm SO honored to have joined the ranks as the Red Reaper.

Also, there is a Red Reaper comic book. The ash can version was rolled out at San Diego comicon last year - and sold out. I was on hand for a few days to sign autographs. The comic is being drawn by Michael Champion - a FANTASTIC artist, and colored by William Anderson - a great colorist.

SB: What would you tell young people who want to get into acting?

TC: If you can do anything else and be HAPPY - go do that. If not, do your research first.

SB: What are the best websites to find out more about you and your upcoming appearances and projects?

TC: I use facebook the most to interact with my fans. I have the "subscribe" feature enabled, so you can always find out what I'm thinking, doing, promoting, or my current campaign to save the world.
I can't really add anymore friends, because of that silly 5000 limit, but I highly encourage people to join in the discussions!

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