Louisville is Zombietown: Talking With Dead Moon Rising Bad-Ass Tucky Williams by Owen Keehnen

They don't get much tougher than Vix. If you haven't seen the independent film 'Dead Moon Rising' you are missing an amazing bad-ass performance by Tucky Williams as the head zombie-slaying honcho. The Kentucky based actress and yoga instructor made her acting debut as Dana, the female lead in the independent feature film 'Shadows Light'. She is the creator, writer and star of the upcoming web series 'Girl/Girl Scene'. Tucky also has featured roles in the films 'Blink' and 'Red River', the television pilot 'Bottle Rockets', and appears as herself in the documentary about women in horror called 'Welcome to My Darkside!' A meteorologist, she has worked on-air for the ABC affiliate station in Lexington, Ky. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, meditating, and studying philosophy. You can find more information on Tucky by visiting her official website, www.TuckyWilliams.com .

Tucky is refreshingly open with some very interesting things to say about the business and especially about sex and violence in film. We hope to be hearing a lot more from her in the future. For now, we have this exclusive www.racksandrazor.com interview.


 
Tucky, why don't you start us off with a visual and describe the room or place where you are answering these questions?

I'm sitting crossed-legged on my living room floor, wearing pajamas. There's a big screen TV showing The Office on mute. I'm halfway through a Vitamin Water. Dwight Schrute is my hero.

Tucky is such an unusual name. Is it a nickname or a family name? How did it come about?

It's complicated. It has to do with Tennessee Williams, a significant chunk of my family living in Toronto, and me being the only grandchild on both sides.

You've made quite a splash on the horror scene with your work as the bad-ass zombie killer Vix in "Dead Moon Rising". How did you being cast in that role come about?

They had an open casting call. I got up early one Saturday morning and drove to Louisville. That was the first time I met Jason Crowe. He was doing the same thing I was, showing up to do a cold read. There was this crazy actress there who refused to audition and was making a big stink about it. And it was like, why was she there then? She was trying to talk me out of auditioning, too. She ended up leaving without doing anything. It was totally weird, because there I was trying to focus, and this chick was having a meltdown. Then I went in and read. I walked in like I was the baddest bitch in the universe, and let's just say that was an effective strategy. A few days later the director called and offered me the part.

If you could tuck one memory of making that film into a time capsule to preserve what would it be?

Being surrounded by 2,000 extras on a street in downtown Louisville. There were five of us actors in the middle of them, and all eyes where on us. It was crazy being at the center of that tremendous amount of attention and energy.

What was the best and the worst thing about the shoot?

The best was having the opportunity to play my dream role - Vix, an action star and a porn star swirled into one demonic Ubermench. The worst was the heat. It was especially hard on me, because I had full hair and makeup, including fake eyelashes, and after about two hours I would literally start to melt. Then I'd have to wash it all off and reapply it, which was a major hassle.

What is your favorite way to kill a zombie?

Let me make it clear that killing a zombie is an act of compassion. I don't believe they feel pain. So I don't think there's anything wrong with killing them in an especially gruesome way. That said, I'd have to go with either beheading or a shotgun to the face. You can also throw in some dismemberment for shits and gigs. I've killed hundreds of people in my film career. The first one was a zombie I shot in the face, blowing him backward down a flight of concrete stairs. I felt terrible about it. I was apologizing to the actor between takes. But by the time I finished DMR, the killing became second nature. I could chop up a horde of zombies without batting an eyelash.

So how is Lexington as a location for shooting? Were people cooperative because filming a movie is a relative rarity or did that also make it tough at times?

Anytime you film something in Kentucky, the biggest reaction you get is confusion. It's surprising how little most people know about the industry. You can tell someone you\rquote re making a movie and they just won't understand. I guess that makes it easier. Nobody is aware enough to cause any trouble.

Going along with that, do you see yourself heading for LA/Hollywood in the future?

No, but I'm never going to be one of those people who hates on Hollywood. It is what it is, take it or leave it. But honestly, I just loving living in Kentucky. My mom is here and can't leave her. The only reason I'd consider spending significant time in LA is to further my yoga career, and LA is the best place on earth for that.

I've loved what I have heard you say about sex and violence and the rating system for films? I agree totally. Why do you think two women kissing (as in 'Dead Moon Rising') is such a big deal and some of the violence we see merits no more than a shrug?

The best way to control someone's mind is to control their sexuality - look at organized religion, the Nazis, the terrorists. Historically, ideologies that have been able to control large groups of people have had very strict rules regarding sexual behavior. Taking it a step further, one could look at violence as repressed sexual urges. America has its own weird rules regarding sexuality. We see violence in films, and we think it's okay, because it's depicting sexual frustration, so it's maintaining the status quo. The violence is pacifying, because it affirms that innate sexual urges can be successfully repressed.

Then throw in two women kissing, and everybody freaks. It sends the message that sexuality is determined by the individual, not the collective. This is a terrifying thought to most, even those who consider themselves open-minded and sexual liberated.

The real way to be a radical is not to be a bondage freak, or a homo, or any other externalized behavior; the most radical thing to do is allow yourself to exist as you are.

And now the sequel is happening? Tell me about 'Dead Moon Rising 2'.

They've ve put that on hold indefinitely. I'm sad about it. Vix is not a character I wanted to give up. But she lives on as a tulpa in the hearts of the fans. Had there been a sequel, I know she would've kept doing the same thing: killing zombies, protecting the weak, sleeping around, and never learning a goddamned thing.

Do you have any other projects lined up you would like to let the racksandrazors.com readers know about?

Yes! I'm very excited about my new webseries, 'Girl/Girl Scene'. Once 'The L Word' was cancelled, it left this huge hole in the market. We're filling that need, and them some. 'Girl/Girl Scene' is raunchier, grittier, and sexier. I wanted to see a show that depicted what life was like for me and my friends - queers who have thrown heteronormativity out the window and never looked back. Go to girlgirlscene.com to watch. The first episode is coming soon!

What was the first movie you saw that scared the crap out of you?

'Poltergeist' when I was three years old. I saw five minutes and was majorly traumatized. I had had a relatively happy toddler-hood up until that point. Even now, I'm getting uncomfortable thinking about it.

Do you have a horror movie dream role?

Vix was my dream role. Other than that, it'd be nice to play a vampire. I don't want to jinx anything, but it looks like that may be happening soon. I'll keep you posted...

Okay, we're pulling into the Tucky Williams Drive In. What three horror flicks are on the triple bill for tonight and what goodies are they going to be serving up at the concession stand?

The big secret about me is that I don't like horror films. I haven't seen any of the classics. No, I take that back. I recently watched 'Friday the 13th' because I was on one of the DVD features on the re-release, so I figured I had a responsibility to at least watch the movie. I liked it. Based of the few horror films I've seen, my top three would have to be: 'Scream', 'Aliens', and 'The Lost Boys'. I can eat way more than most humans, so I'd have my own giant bucket of popcorn with lots of butter and salt. And I would totally get the refill.

If you could perform identity theft on anyone, whose identity would you steal and why?

Either Tegan or Sara, from the band Tegan and Sara. I realize they're two very different people, but they're equally wonderful and talented, so I could never choose. Why? Because they're rockstars! They're also worldly, compassionate, well-read, and funny as hell. I'd love to be able to play the guitar like that. Then there's the awesome hair and the tattoos that I want but am too chicken-shit to get. And I would never take advantage of the groupie situation, because that's gross, but it's always nice knowing you have options.

What scares you in real life?

Rape. Torture. Violence. Police brutality. The crimes committed in the names of supernatural deities. The Kill the Gays Bill in Uganda. That the Taliban practiced gender apartheid in Afghanistan for a decade and no one intervened. That Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times. That America is the wealthiest country on earth and we don't take care of our sick and dying. How quickly these things are shrugged off and forgotten.

But I'll never believe in that humanity is inherently bad or evil. My faith rests in the goodness of others.