Katharine Leis is a true Renaissance woman. Yep, she does it all. She has starred in movies, modeled, directed & written - funded & edited her own film, written a book…this woman is a wonderful EXPLOSION of creativity as well as a nice and funny woman…yippee! We love that combo!

Horror fans probably know Katharine Leis best from her work in the low budget indie films ‘Phobias’ (as Sarah), as Ashlyn in ‘The Uninvited’ directed and filmed by Greg Rivera, as a ghost in ‘Ghost Hunters’, ‘Memory’ (as Emilia), ‘Blackout’ (FearFilm), as Patt Kerr in the Joe Casey directed ‘We’re Coming To Help’, and even in the Springfield Films comedy ‘Stealing God’. However, Katharine’s biggest project to date (6 months shooting on weekends and with zero funding) is her wonderful directing & writing & producing & casting & starring (as Delilah) & editing tour de force feature ‘There’s a Caterpillar in My Bok Choy’…WOW --- that isn’t just diving in…that’s diving in from the HIGH DIVE!!! The film works on 2 levels --- it is a low budget stalker film but more so it’s an on-target parody of the insanity, hilarity, and “make-do ness” of low-budget filmmaking. Her “trial by fire” gamble paid off – the film has been getting wonderful reviews and nice word of mouth approval at screenings. The experience must have personally been a good one as well --- since then Katharine has directed (but maybe not donned QUITE as many caps) the two film shorts ‘Run’ and ‘Perspective’. As if this resume weren’t complete enough (for several people or a medium sized family) Katharine has also written a book. Glimpses is a collection of 10 character pieces/monologues – 5 male and 5 female – each revealing or offering, through small normal moments, a glimpse on their internal world in the wake of September 11th. It’s available through her website www.katharine.com as well as through Amazon.

After that list of credits and accomplishments in one so young I felt like saying, “What no album in the works?”  But I held my tongue (a rarity!). I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

OWEN: How did you get involved in the entire independent film/horror genre?

KATHARINE: When I decided to pursue acting, I realized very quickly that I was not the only one with that idea. I've always liked horror movies and there is definitely a market for them. Rather than go on four callbacks for "woman #2 waiting for bus" in a large production, I opted for larger roles in the lower budget variety movie.

OWEN: You have starred in several horror movies 'We're Coming to Help You', 'TheUninvited', 'Phobias', and 'Blackout' among others.  Are you drawn to the genre or is that where the work is for a beautiful blonde in the low budget film world?

KATHARINE: Well, I didn't star in all of them, but who am I to argue? Yes, most of the time the beautiful blondes get the roles, but occasionally they sleep in and I'm able to snag one. I am much more drawn to the genre than say, Art Films. There are only so many running buffalo/atomic bomb scenes you can take, you know?

OWEN: You also directed, starred, wrote, and edited the low budget comedy 'There's a Caterpillar in My Bok Choy’ that includes many of the comic problems with low budget shooting.  Which parodied gaffs in the film have you experienced on genuine sets?

KATHARINE: The making of Bok Choy was seriously the best time I've ever had in my life. Oh, wait, that wasn't the question...sorry...We made fun of things like crew members in shots, continuity errors, people breaking character, and story lines that just do not make any sense. The end result was a movie that was called "brilliant" by some and "atrocious" by others. OK so nobody ACTUALLY called it brilliant YET, but there are a lot of people left in this world who haven't seen it, so I've still got hope.

OWEN: From being in other films what did you learn in front of the camera that you wanted to be sure to incorporate once you stepped behind the camera?

KATHARINE: I learned that it is very important to not forget the actors' egos. When a director compliments an actor, he or she is giving encouragement, which helps with the performance. By saying nothing, or by saying, "That was the WORST acting I've ever seen in MY ENTIRE LIFE YOU IDIOT KATHARINE!" a director is not helping the actor to do his or her best. Er-hem.

OWEN: Did you follow that feature with directing two shorts ('Run' and 'Perspective') to work with a more manageable size of film?

KATHARINE: 'Run' and 'Perspective' were ideas I had that could either someday be incorporated into features, or used alone as short movies. I've seen a LOT of movies that could have been great 5-minute films, but instead the directors decided to drag them on another 75 minutes in order to have a feature. Both of those movies took a few weeks of preparation, one day to shoot, and a week or so to edit. With each, I learned a lot (which I've unfortunately forgotten since - - bad memory) and will use that knowledge in future films.

OWEN: What makes you scream in real life?

KATHARINE: Frogs. For real. Tadpoles don't bother me at all...in fact there are several thousand of them in my swimming pool right now. But frogs always seem to want to jump on me or sit in wait at the crosswalk button. I wouldn't do well with French cuisine, screaming like a Banshee when the waiter lifts the silver dome.

OWEN: I am also intrigued that you recently released a fictional book entitled Glimpses, a book of 10 fictional character sketches surrounding everyday people in the wake of 9/11.  Was getting into the narrative head of those characters similar to your acting technique of inhabiting a character?

KATHARINE: I was in between jobs at the time of 9/11 and basically sat and watched the news for a month straight. I wrote the book in 9 hours straight one night in front of my computer. The characters are some people I've known, some I'd seen in interviews, and some have parts of myself. I think similar to acting, the characters are all people I could at least understand, if not fully agree with. I would not be able to play the role of a character who I could not understand. That's not to say that I wouldn't play evil characters...just as long as I could see their point in acting that way.

OWEN: The topic must strike close to home.  How did 9/11 affect you?

KATHARINE: I think it affected me like it affected everyone...the same as what people go through when they lose a close friend or family member. After the initial shock, I realized how extremely fragile and fleeting our times here on earth are. I waste less time now with futile projects and people, and try to be and do my best. Otherwise, what's the point?

OWEN: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

KATHARINE: Oh, I don't have a clue. If it's not acting, hopefully it's doing something that I can be creative in. I also got into photography a couple years ago and love it. I have a site (shameless plug) at www.peepsphoto.com and find I bring my camera with me most everywhere I go. As far as family, I really don't see myself getting married anytime soon. A lot of my friends are already or are getting married within the next year or so. I guess I just haven't met anyone yet who I can honestly say I'd like to spend the rest of my life waking up next to.