Acting careers can take you in some unexpected directions. Just ask ZoŽ Hunter. She was trained for dance and studied acting for several years. She was in numerous theatrical productions and off Broadway plays. Her career was progressing at a steady rate and then she was offered the showy role of Piper King in Tony Urban’s horror film production of ‘Klownz’ (1993). Overnight she made a mark in the horror genre. Next came a couple roles Crazy Ralph Productions – she was Buffy in ‘Kottentail’ and Tiffany in ‘A Pound of Flesh’. She followed those parts by playing “like a zombie sorority girl” named Natasha in ‘Alpha Dead’ (2004). Next came the inevitable title of Scream Queen of The Month, which she held in July 2005 and gave her added visibility. Currently she has a couple of horror gems in the works that seem destined to cement her status as a scream queen. She just completed filming her showy role as Skylar in ‘Witchcraft 13: Blood of the Chosen’ and is soon set to begin filming her part as Angel in the deliciously titled ‘Psycho Cheerleaders’. As you can see in this exclusive racksandrazors interview ZoŽ Hunter has the “acting chops” to make it big in the genre as well as a great adventurous personality – a very winning combination!

Owen: Hi ZoŽ, you've studied acting and worked on stage and in a variety of mediums and such.  Did this entire career in horror and your subsequent scream queen status come somewhat unexpectedly with your role as Piper King in Tony Urban's KLOWNZ (2003)?

Zoe: Yes, Piper was my first lead female horror scream queen. Previously, I had worked on a short thriller in which I played a killer named "Forsythia" but never a scream queen.

Owen: So tell me about that "click" when you realized horror could be a big career move?  How did the promotional aspects of being a scream queen snowball from there? And what does maintaining that title entail in your experience?

Zoe: I am still getting used to horror being a career move. I spent my first 20 something years studying for the musical theatre and singing/dancing so it was a big stretch from that. What I found was the horror genre and filmmakers construe a relatively small world, so it was eventual that Klownz would lead to other horror roles.  As for maintaining, I am continually making new contacts and auditioning for horror roles as well as others. Also, I have plans to build an extensive website with new photos etc. in the horror and gore genre.  Also, I have a couple of projects in the works and look forward to expanding to sci-fi and thrillers as well.

Owen: Well, what helped cement that status was your title as July 2005 Scream Queen of the Month from the magazine/site.  How is that title chosen?  Do you submit pix and a resume?  Do they approach you?  I'm curious.

Zoe: I don’t quite remember how I received that title...I just remember receiving an email that I had been selected and I could promote the link and site a couple of weeks beforehand.

Owen: Now you are currently wrapping filming in Houston as Skylar in 'Witchcraft 13: Blood of The Chosen'.  Tell me about your work in that film.

Zoe: I wrapped my work on the film this past Monday, and it was a wonderful experience. The crew was very professional, the set was amazing and Mel House (our director) really worked new life into the series. I think it will be the best one ever!  Plus 13 is my lucky number, so it has to be successful. As for my role, Skylar was fun to play. Diabolical, sensual and cheeky…those were my motivational adjectives while playing her. Great fun.

Owen: So what draws you to choose your projects - is it location, money, the part, the challenge, the exposure, a gut do you decide?

Zoe: Hmm… Generally, I choose a project that challenges me; a role that I haven’t played before or find really fun.  Also, I love to travel so I am really open minded to scripts/projects that shoot in other parts of the US or abroad.  I am dying to shoot a vampire film, and love historical horror as well, with corsets and bustles.

Owen: So as a trained actress how does one "act" like a zombie --- I'm referring basically to your work as Natasha, the zombie sorority girl in 'Alpha Dead' (2004)?

Zoe: Natasha was really fun to play as she started out extremely jaded and bitchy (as well as slutty) so it was easy to love her zombie side or should I say zombie slut side.  I basically cleared my mind, got the drool going, let my eyes roll into the back of my head and went with it!

Owen: I also see you have the deliciously titled 'Psycho Cheerleaders' lined up this year.  Who can resist a title like that?  Tell me about your work on that project as Angel.

Zoe: We are in preproduction for that project (it was pushed back for the spring), so I don’t want to ruin too much of the plot...lets just say that Angel is a cheerleader without a heart.  She also gets zombiefied and I can’t wait!!!

Owen: You also worked twice in 2004 with Crazy Ralph Productions in 'A Pound of Flesh' (as Tiffany) and 'Kottentail' (as Buffy).  How was your experience working with that production company?  What about working with him made you come back a second time?

Zoe: Working with Tony Urban and the whole Crazy Ralph family is always gut-busting fun. I love the scripts, and working with a lot of the same actors makes for a wonderful ensemble cast.  We always have a great time shooting and I look forward to shooting with him again.

Owen: So as a woman deemed a scream queen I'm sure you are asked to do some pretty gruesome things on screen.  Do you have boundaries in that regard...i.e. -- I will do this, but not that...if so would you care to share one or two of them?

Zoe:  One of my favorite aspects of working in horror is the blood and guts. I love the gore. I don’t really have limits as for dying, though I am slightly claustrophobic so I don’t think I could shoot a "buried alive" scene or one in a coffin or trunk.  I love being shot, burnt, drowning, etc, great challenges for any actor.

Owen: What other projects do you have lined up in the future?

Zoe: I am currently in preproduction for a romantic comedy feature shooting in NYC called "Together", as well as the previously mentioned "Psycho Cheerleaders" set for the spring 06.  Also, I am shooting a small part in an indie feature this week, "Playing Doctor" and have several auditions over the next few weeks.

Owen: What frightens you in real life? 

Zoe: OOh...I love this question, although I am sure it will be used against me by some director who reads this, haha.  I am afraid of really high heights, being buried alive and short really. I cut my hair short for a role in college and cried for 2 years. I looked like a mushroom head.  I am also afraid of Pam Anderson look-alikes, long nasty needles, and sports fanatics.