Ryli Morgan: A Dozen Quick Questions with the Vixen from Carolina by Owen Keehnen

Blue-eyed and curvaceous scream queen Ryli Morgan is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina --- and believe it or not she even lives there still. Fiercely determined, she wasn’t about to let a small problem like geography and the lack of a local film community stand in the way of pursuing her dreams of a career in entertainment. She started at home…literally. Ryli began her movie career with a couple of films (‘Despair’ and ‘Runaway Terror’) done by her husband Mark Baranowski for On Mark Productions. She was fine with the nudity and liked making movies. It was just as she’d imagined!

With her lifelong interest in all things Goth and ghoulish, it was only natural that the petit Capricorn would be drawn further into the horror genre. Ryli followed her first two films with several other dark delights – ‘Expendable’ (with Brinke Stevens), ‘Sin By Murder’,  ‘The Spicy Sisters Slumber Party’, and ‘Severe Injuries’ (starring Amy Lynn Best, Debbie Rochon, Lilith Stabs, Robyn Griggs and Brinke Stevens). She was Troma’s July 2002 Tromette of the Month and has also been featured in magazines like ‘Draculina’…and she’s a cyberceleb as well. Ms. Morgan has become a regular sight at the fright conventions and is networking her further into independent horror world. There’s little doubt we’ll be hearing much more from her...in fact, there’s a little more from her below.



  Owen: As a Scream Queen who still lives in her hometown of Charlotte, NC --- Have you become somewhat of a local celebrity?

Ryli: I don't really think of myself as a Scream Queen.  I leave that title to those who created it -- Janet Leigh, Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer... Oddly enough, I'm more popular overseas than I am in my own hometown. I have a following in Germany, of all places. 

Owen: So tell me about your German fan base.  Was it a response to your films or your website?

Ryli: To be honest, I'm not really sure if it was a film or the site...  but I appreciate it, either way!

Owen: How did you realize it existed?

Ryli: I started receiving fan mail from Germany -- that's when I first realized I wasn't just known by a few peers.

Owen: You started in films with a couple movie projects ('Despair' and 'Runaway Terror') with your husband Mark Baranowski for On Mark Productions and have since done 'Expendable' and 'Sin By Murder' for him as well.  Was if tough to be married to the director or did that make it easier?  

Ryli: I think it was harder, in some ways -- it can be stressful on both sides, because I want to do such a good job since it is for my husband's project, but sometimes it seems that he doesn't have quite as much patience with me as he does with the other actors -- but that's a hazard of the game.

Owen: You’ve mentioned wanting to follow in the footsteps of SQ royalty like Brinke Stevens, and since then you have made 2 films with her -- 'Expendable' and 'Severe Injuries'.  Were you star struck?   

Ryli: Brinke and I have appeared in two films together, but have yet to actually be on the same set. She filmed her scenes with her own crew for ‘Expendable’. It would be great to actually shoot some scenes with each other -- I just know I could learn tons from her!  We've appeared at conventions together for the past few years, and she's truly a treasure, both as a friend and as a colleague.

Owen: Did she still manage to give you any advice as an up and coming SQ?  What did you learn by watching her work?

Ryli: Not to compromise. Anything. Ever. That's the main thing I've learned from her. That, and that we don't all have to fit into a particular mold to be succesful in this business.

Owen: Speaking of Brinke --- 'Severe Injuries' is like a who's who of modern scream queens with you, Brinke Stevens, Debbie Rochon, Amy Lynn Best (who also directed!), Robyn Griggs, Lilith Stabs, etc.  Was there a lot of scream queen sisterhood happening on the set?

Ryli: Actually, primary filming was completed when Mark and I shot our scenes, so I didn't get to experience the on-set sisterhood. We shot our scenes on the fly while attending a convention with Mike Watt and Amy Lynn Best.

Owen: What makes you scream in real life?

Ryli: The supernatural and spiritual gets me more than slasher-type stuff.

Owen: Where do you see your career five years down the line?

Ryli: I hope to still be acting, maybe writing more. Maybe venture into music, even... 

Owen: Do you have a dream role?

Ryli: Not really a dream role, I don't think, but there are certain people that I would love to work with sometime, both "B-" and "A-listers"...

Owen: Any other new projects upcoming?

Ryli: Currently, we're working on a new film, ‘Twilight’s Parasites’ --- The outside world is overrun by zombies, and several people seek refuge in the various rooms of an abandoned hotel. As night falls, the tension causes them to unravel, and one by one, they begin to turn against each other…

. www.rylimorgan.com