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  Knoxville Horrorfest

Horror Movies and Stuff Interview:   
Argentinian Horror Babe - Actress Deborah Funes!   

Horror Movies and Stuff linked up recently with lovely and talented Argentinian Actress, Deborah Funes! Funes is a last name which you don't hear very often in genre circles. But that doesn't mean she is allowing herself to go unnoticed! The Argentinian born, now Miami-located thesp, is appearing in more and more horror projects by the day! With flicks such as 2008's "Scream Farm", and the 2013 indie-slasher "Jebediah's Axe", already under her belt. And projects such as "Dracula's War". And the loaded scare flick "Disciples", yet to come. Deborah is quickly and surely carving out a nice little niche for herself. As horror fans become more and more familiar with her range of diverse roles within the genre. In this interview, Deborah talks her past, present, and future roles. As well as her journey from a difficult upbringing in the Latin American country of Argentina. To a much more stable arrival here in the states. A move which has placed her smack dab where she is today, with the best yet to come!

Horrormoviesandstuff:For those who haven't heard of you yet, tell everyone out there about your upbringing in the country of Argentina.

Deborah:I was born and raised in a small but beautiful city in Argentina. While living with my parents I was taking singing, piano, guitar, and some British English classes. Dually, I was also practicing tennis, swimming, rollerblading and taking up artistic gymnastics. My first modeling, acting and singing experiences were at the age of 6 at school. At the age of 16 I had my first bikini fashion show and my first singing show at public venues with hundreds of people around. I was in love with all type of arts and I wanted to become a professional artist doing the best exhibitions of paints and sculptures. I also had acting as my highest ( but secret) dream.

Following my parents ambitions at the age of 17, I moved out to Buenos Aires to attend an American University and study Advertising with Marketing orientation. My country was falling apart with corruption and was in a big economic crisis. It came as a shocking change in my life as I came from a rich and spoiled childhood, and never expected to experience struggle - as I did. At that point I used to see my parents every 6 months. Even if they helped me, I had to work and I had to study at the same time. I was a promotional model for many products and eventually, got my first appearance as a performer in a top TV show with millions of viewers.

Horrormoviesandstuff:What spurned the decision to leave Argentina for Miami? And what were you hoping to accomplish with such a bold decision?

Deborah:Argentina didn't offer the possibility of having a good life style. Didn't matter how many jobs I got, or how many long hours I worked. I used to work also during the weekend in sales....I couldn't reach the level of my ambitions. I was tired and frustrated. Another reason to leave my country was the sexual harassment with no strong laws to protect me. The "macho" attitude of men in Argentina was annoying. I couldn't survive in a such a corrupt and macho culture. Those weren't waters I could thrive in. I decided to move to the US to Miami Beach, a city that I visited couple of years before. A city that was seducing me ever since I saw the TV series Miami Vice, for the first time.

Horrormoviesandstuff:You got your first in-front-of-the-camera break as a lingerie model for an Italian firm. From there you've moved into commercials, and television. And then movies. But would modeling have been something you would've been happy staying with for the long haul?

Deborah:After many years, modeling become monotonous. Models are treated like objects not like humans with emotions. It's a painful and hard career. A model has to be able to deal with rejection, and accept that no model can fit every type of modeling job. I was perfect for lingerie, pin up, glamour, Play Boy, and sexy swimwear. I am still modeling and enjoying doing that, but acting is fascinating...something much stronger and more demanding as I have to use not only my face and my body, but my entire soul and emotions. Acting let me live inside the character and experience a story in a short period of time (during shooting). I become someone else entirely, and that's a phenomenon because I see how I change my body language, my emotions, my age, my inner self and after shooting I have the sensation that I was that character for real.That's amazing, fun and crazy to me!

Horrormoviesandstuff:Your acting career, like many before you. Got going in Horror. With Scream Farm (2008), directed by the one and only Jim O' Rear. You then followed that up with "Hell Glades" and "Jebadiah's Axe". Both 2013 releases. Was Horror as a genre something that's always stood out to you? If so, why?

Deborah:When he (Jim O' Rear) offered me the role of Robin in "Scream Farm", I was modeling in New York and acting in Latin American television in Miami. It was not in my plan to become an actress for American audiences. Even though the "Baywatch" producers with whom I worked in 2005 encouraged me, I was not expecting to act in American movies as my English was not good and my accent was stronger than it is now. The funny thing is that Jim wanted my accent. And then later I found out that many producers too, wanted my accent. They normally ask me not to lose it.

In response to your question, no...I did not chose Horror films, they chose me. Same with thrillers. I got a lot of productions that are crime and thriller like the "Wisp" TV Series that I shot in 2013. I have many thriller-feature-films coming up. As long as the role fits me well, I don't care about the genre. I only care about getting involved in productions that can help me. And not damage my acting career.

Horrormoviesandstuff:One of your upcoming genre projects I'm personally most excited about, is "Disciples". Which comes from filmmaker Joe Hollow. And in it, you appear alongside Horror greats Bill Moseley, Debbie Rochon, Tony Todd, Linnea Quigley, and Brinke Stevens. Just to name a few. Tell us a bit about "Disciples", and do you know when can we expect it to be released?

Deborah:Yes, "Disciples" is a super natural horror film with an amazing cast, I mean...top figures on the horror film industry! This amazing feature film was shot in 2012 in Los Angeles and is about a group of strangers fighting for the fate of humanity. The director Joe Hollow and the cinematographer Wolfgang Meyer did a great job from what I saw in the trailer. "Disciples" is going to Premiere this coming May 31st! In a few days in Orlando FL, at Spooky Empire Inc's Mayhem Convention. I am so excited as I will be able to watch the film and see myself on the big screen again! It should be a fun experience!

Horrormoviesandstuff:You've also got "Bikini Swamp Girl Massacre", and "Dracula's War" coming up as well. The former directed by Aiden Dillard, and the latter by one Jonathan Moody. What was it like working with both filmmakers, and tell everyone about the characters you play in both pics.

Deborah:Aiden Dillard first offered me a top-less role in "Bikini Swamp Girl Massacre". A role that I rejected, so he gave me a very small role in which I was able to keep my clothes on (smiles). The driver picked me up in Miami and he drove me all the way to the Everglades. Where there are lots of alligators desperate to eat beautiful women! Thank God the director did not ask me to jump in the water! Honestly that was way too much of a risk to take for a film. They treated me very well during shooting. I just wish I had a bigger role not only for my benefit, but for the benefit of the entire movie as well. About "Dracula's War". This film is still in pre-production. I will play the role of a German woman. This is another supernatural horror film with all type of creatures of the night! It will be my first time working with Director Jonathan Moody, and it should be a great project!

Horrormoviesandstuff:What are some of your favorite horror films, and what is your take on the Indie vs. Studio debate? Do you feel that the best horror material these days, is coming from the Independent circuit, the major studio circuit, or a little bit of both?

Deborah:I think the independent filmmakers are much better at doing horror films than the big studios. I saw one zombie horror film where Brad Pitt was the lead actor. In my opinion that was not a good movie, nor was it scary or creepy at all. The indie filmmakers know exactly what the horror fanatics want! But I must say that "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" 2003, from German director Marcus Nispel and producer Michael Bay, was a really good one! And is one of my favorite horror films ever! I am sure that many Indie filmmakers could do amazing movies if they had the budget to make them.

The budget puts a lot of limitations on most Indie filmmakers. On the other hand, the studios some time throw millions of dollars into movies that I can not possibly like. For example "Contagion", which cost 60 million. A ridiculous budget for a very boring movie! With 60 million, I could probably make 60 amazing movies with a few amazing indie filmmakers. No doubt about it! I think the big investors should think a little bit more about what I am saying. They also should check the statistics which show the overall Indie Horror Movie fan-base, is growing by the minute!

Horrormoviesandstuff:Who are some of the best directors to ever take on the Horror genre in your opinion?

Deborah:In my opinion, some of the best horror directors were - Stanley Kubrick with "The Shining" and also for "Eyes Wide Shut". That film doesn't fall into the "horror" category, but...was very close. To me, it was pretty scary. Simon West impressed me as well, with the movie "When a Stranger Calls" (2006). That's definitely the type of horror film that I like the most. As well as "Night of the Living Dead".

Horrormoviesandstuff:As a child of Latin America, who are some of your biggest influences when it comes to Spanish Hollywood?

Deborah:As a child, I witnessed some Latin actors such as Antonio Banderas, Erik Estrada, and Steven Bauer (who I met later in Miami). Rise to the top of Hollywood. And I was asking myself: "How did they get there?" And I am still asking myself the same question. Without noticing how close I came, last year, to working with one of these actors on a feature film!

Horrormoviesandstuff:Do you think Latin America's biggest impact on Horror is still yet to come? Despite the effect films like the REC franchise, The Devil's Backbone, Mama, and Julia's Eyes...have already had on the genre?

Deborah:Probably the biggest impact on the Horror genre could be from Guillermo del Toro. Again, to me...he is one of the best Latin directors with whom I would like to work with in the near future. Like you said, he already had a big impact with "The Devil's Backbone". Which won awards at so many film festivals. And also with "Mimic". Another Latin director who's had a big impact on the genre is Robert Rodriguez! Who directed the horror films "The Faculty" and "From Dusk Till Dawn" in the 90"s. Both movies were very good!

Horrormoviesandstuff:Two other genre projects you have forthcoming are "You Found Me", and "Devil's Choice". Can you give us any juicy bits on those two?

Deborah:"You Found Me" Is a horror feature film from Director Lawrence Nelson. I play the lead Charlee. A professional photographer, who's a little flirtatious at times. Charlee and her friends go on a relaxing getaway. Not knowing about a sick, twisted game! "Devil's Choice" is more like a James Bond type of movie that is going to be filming in casinos worldwide! It's a Marlene Mendoza production, and I'm lead actress on this one. This film is one of the most exciting projects that I have coming up, but is also still in development.

Horrormoviesandstuff:Are there any big names involved in the Horror Genre that you'd like to work with in the future?

Deborah:I would like to work with Michael Berryman! I think he is a character himself. I'd like to meet him, as I am very intrigued by his personality! Not too many people like him have the courage to become a big actor, and to play the type of roles that he plays. We also have co-workers, directors, and producers in common. So the opportunity to work together could be right around the corner. He's definitely got my admiration! I'd also like to work with Jack Nicholson! Not every actor can take on the type of roles that he plays. He's definitely got a very strong screen presence! That shows up on film, and fascinates the audience! I don't know if I will ever perform with actors of that caliber but...we will see!


    You can keep up with the world of Deborah Funes at her Official Site, IMDB Page, and Facebook! You can also shop with her at Cafepress!

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