Gina LaPiana Indahouse by Owen Keehnen

Gina LaPiana loves acting and composing with equal fervor. She has worked on scores for several films such as 'Robosapien Rebooted' and 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2'. Acting-wise she has made an impact in several films. Her horror credits include her role as Gloria in Mark Roemmich's 'Black Widow' with a great cast that includes Janine Turner and Jack Scalia as well as '30 Days to Die' in which she battles a maniac and eventually takes an axe to the head. Ouch! Many will remember her as Jerry Maguire's stripper ex-girlfriend with Tom Cruise or in Sascha Baron Cohen's 'Ali G. Indahouse'.

And Ali G isn't the only one indahouse. Ms. LaPiana was kind enough to take a few moments for this exclusive interview.



  Gina, why not start us out with a visual and describe the room where you are answering these questions?

If you took a stroll through Restoration Hardware, sat on and touched every "cuddly" thing in the store--that would feel very much like my bedroom. The paint, the bedding, the heavy artillery, (I mean lighting and window fixtures etc..) I'm kicking back in my white pleather (looks like leather-- all sexy and dramatic without the cruelty part) California King bed with my feet up on a huge squishy pillow in the most comfortable position imaginable, to do what I love to do the least -- Talk about me. I say "least " because I have the most incredibly challenged memory! I have no problem learning my dialogue for a job but when it comes to bringing up the details of my own personal story, forget it... So this interview will very much feel like a pop quiz for me and I hate tests! But it's Ok I love you guys so I'll try and bring it!

Tell me about your role as Gloria in Mark Roemmich's 'Black Widow' costarring Krista Allen, Christopher McDonald, Rachel Hunter, Janine Turner, Joanna Pacula, and Jack Scalia. That's a great cast!

It is a great cast. One of my best friends is in the Film Jennifer O'Dell, and she recommended me to the director. He saw my resume and body of work and said "Let's do it!" I know... It's never that easy right. My Character "Gloria" owns the hot spot spa in town where the first murder takes place. It's massage and murder. What could be sexier?

Tell me about your role as Sophia in 'Girls Gone Dead'. Is it as fun as it sounds?

The film is now titled "30 Days to Die". And yes I had a blast filming it! It's an homage to 'Friday the 13th' really. A group of high school and college age girls are sent to an institution for various reasons--either by their parents or court ordered by the state-- to try and clean up their act and get straightened out and on the right path. My character Sophia is a klepto and has a compulsion with stealing things. I was sent there by my parents to figure out why I've got such "sticky fingers". The girls get to bonding right away, and I'm considered one of the tough bullies among them. Instigating all sorts of mayhem. In the mean time, there's a killer on the loose picking us off one by one. I put up a good fight a la Michelle Rodriquez style in "Girlfight"--trying to save the other girls from the scary guy in the George Bush mask. Needless to say I'm killed in the battle with the boogeyman in a shocking and terrifying way--AXE TO THE BRAIN BABY! UGH.

Gina, I also need to hear all about the 'Jerry Maguire' experience - vibe on the set, star interactions, tell me everything.

Wow that was so long ago really--the memory? Well, I have always been a Tom Cruise obsessed human so getting to be in the same film with him was definitely a pinch me moment. In fact it's one of my current future goals as well (that one was a very brief experience without much Tom time) so Tom if by some strange twist of fate you see this interview, can you please pretty please with sugar on top think of me for your next film, Oh God of all things Cinema! (Maybe as your Wiseass assistant who won't shut up, or the assistant you make shut up by holding her down and kissing her very hard and fast (& for a long time....) Oops sorry Katy no disrespect--I didn't know you were sitting there reading this.) I think he is so sexy and such a Badass risk taker! Anyway, I had worked with Mark Pellington ("Mothman Prophecy" "Arlington Road") a few times--who is truly the sweetest kindest Teddy bear of a guy (where are you Mark?)-- on a commercial and then a music Video ("Beautiful Girls")and he was shooting second unit for Cameron Crowe on Jerry Maguire at that time. He called me in to play one of Tom's ex girlfriends--a stripper from New Jersey. I had the best wardrobe really, I'll never forget that sparkly sequence tight pink top they put me in....Sweet! I met Jay Mohr and kibitz with him a bunch, Very funny guy, and got in the same vicinity with my long time my crush Tom Cruise, but he was much busier with more important people. Someday! It was all very fun and for me my first taste of working on a big Studio film so I was grateful for the experience. Fingers crossed for many more like that.

I also really want to hear about the film you have in development entitled 'Torture Farm' - that definitely sounds like a kind of movie.

I have to be honest; I'm not sure what the status is on that film. It's the same crew as "30 Days to Die". I think Griff Furst is a very talented and upcoming director. He's one to watch out for. I would very much like to work with him again, but I'm not sure it will be "Torture Farm". I think there are a few other more interesting scary stories to tell!

You have quite a resume as a film composer as well - 'Robosapien: Rebooted', 'Tekken', etc. What are the best and the worst aspects of composing for film?

Worst-- That I'm a woman. Best--That I'm a woman. The challenge is getting these very prolific "know it all" music producers to truly HEAR me sometimes. I bring in most of the work so I guess they have to listen. How being a woman helps: ... I bring in most of the work! All the projects we're doing (most recently "Ramona and Beezus" for Disney and also "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2") have been vastly different from each other so it's made it really interesting and challenging to write for such contrasting subject matter.

Which is your first love - music or acting?

If I had children it would be like asking me which one of them is my favorite. It's all creation to me. An extension of who I am. I grew up in a musical household. My Father is a musician sings and plays several instruments. He was a in a band on Capitol Records before I was born. When I came along he decided to put music on the back burner and raise a family. My fondest memories are sitting at his feet while he plays the guitar or banjo singing and writing songs. Music comes very naturally to me like smiling. I wake up singing. I go to bed singing. I always WANTED to be an actress though. I was and am still in love with Lucille Ball. I've OD'd on her my whole life! She's the reason I wanted to act. I Love Lucy helped me to get through some of the tougher times growing up and also reminded me that women could do that... Anything... Make people laugh, bring them back to themselves--Escape the hard moments with such joy that I wanted to give that gift to people too. Still to this day if I watch an episode of I love Lucy before bed I'm strangely comforted and will sleep much better. Acting is the only thing I ever really imagined myself doing. Music is my lucky and blessed day job on the way to my dreams.

Do you have any other upcoming projects you would like to let the readers know about?

Yes! I'm executive producing, acting, and scoring, in my first feature film this February called "Audrey". It's a wonderful little script being brought to life by some special people and it will target the festival circuit so stay tuned. I'll also be shooting an awesome episode of "The Mentalist" called "Red Herring" during the month of January, I don't know the air date yet so keep a look out! Thank you to the casting house Ulrich Dawson Kritzer... Eric, you guys are the best!

What was the first movie you saw that made you go to sleep with the lights on?

'Nightmare on Elm Street'! Classic. Love that film!

Vampires, werewolves, psychos, witches, zombies, creatures, aliens, or something else - what does it for you horrorwise and why?

Vampires YES! I am fixated on "Trueblood" Love that show..Alan Ball you seriously ROCK! That's my other fantasy job! Also digging the "Vampire Diaries" on the CW. I know I know, I love TV! Ian Somerhalder can bite me anytime! Witches and Aliens of course! I was so captivated by 'Witches of Eastwick' back in the day (yes the film) but probably because of Nicholson. Then "ET", "War of the Worlds", and now "Avatar". I want to visit that world so bad... Please let me take a month long trip to speak with Eywa! Go see the film you'll understand what I'm talking about. It's surreal!

Okay, we're pulling into the Gina La Piana 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?

'Dial M for Murder', 'The Shining', and 'Jaws' -- which is in a tie with 'Rosemary's Baby' (depends on the mood). I'm serving homemade popcorn with real butter and a little cayenne pepper. Sugar free chocolate bars by Yamate and Root Beer... baby! If I get really hungry maybe some Mac N Cheese as well (the gluten free box kind from Whole foods is the best!)

What is the best Halloween costume you ever had?

I always got the most love when I wore this Dark Princess Bride costume. It's a full wedding dress, bridal train and all, but instead of marrying a nice sweet writer or someone like that, I would be marrying the scary red guy with horns who lives in the center of the earth. Yea-Ewww... What can I say people I like weird shit!

What scares you in real life?

Osama Bin Laden and global warming!