Jeff Hughes continues his series of interviews with the women who portray the vampires in the upcoming “FANGS” comic book. He talks with actress and model Deneen Melody about her role as the vampire “Raven” as the comic approaches it’s release at Horror Hound Weekend March 25th – March 27th .
For those that may not know about you and your acting career, could you tell us about yourself?
Well, I am a Texan, the youngest of 8 kids, and a former ballerina. Before I started doing film work, I trained and performed professionally with various ballet schools and companies in Texas. (As well as California, Vermont, and New Mexico.) However, a foot injury caused me to step away from ballet, and now… here I am! I am absolutely in love with film making and enjoy bringing various characters to life, so, it seems everything happens for a reason.
I currently live in Chicago and have several projects in the works, such as the fantasy film Rose White (which I am also producing), Prey to God, Witches Playground, Dark Light, and an upcoming drama film by filmmaker Jose Gomez. I’m also working on a new tv show being shot in the area, but am not allowed to say much about it at this point. (It looks like it will be a pretty popular one, though!)
Oh, and I’m a huge nerd, especially when it comes to Lord of the Rings and Unicorns.
What projects can we see you in currently?
My first feature film, the horror anthology III, Slices of Life, by Anthony G. Sumner, is now available on Video On Demand. I play the lead in the final segment and am very proud of this film. It should be available on DVD by this summer as well, so everyone will have a chance to see it. Another film I was involved in, Song of the Shattered, will also be available on DVD this summer.
(Deneen Melody’s FANGS Fact: I have a very wicked scene in this movie with the beautiful Devanny Pinn; who also portrays the head vampire “Lily Le Sang” in “FANGS”)
I am also a part of the web series, Western X, in which I play a mysterious character known as Hecate-Freya. You can watch the series on the official website:
What roles do you like to play and what roles do you relate to the most?
I love to play complicated characters… the ones that the audience may not exactly find likable or can relate to. They are the ones that prove the most challenging, and that is one of the many things I love about acting. The challenge. For awhile, I was getting cast in all the sexy T&A roles, and while they can be fun every now and then, it wasn’t helping me. I’ve been a little more picky and am now going for the scripts that have something more to them; the ones that will help me grow as an actress. As much as I love horror and thrillers, I want to do more dramatic work…and hopefully land a few more roles in the fantasy/science fiction drama.
The roles I relate to the most, well, that’s a difficult question… just because every person can find something to relate to in various characters. I usually look at what I can relate to emotionally when it comes to figuring a character out. My roles in both the dramatic film Loose (directed by Jennifer Morgart) and VIVid (directed by Brandon Slagle) are good example of this. Both characters have insecurities about their physical image, and due to my past with ballet, I can personally understand this. I also relate to my character in Joe Davison‘s As Night Falls, as Lizzy is a girl that has many similar qualities to myself: Geeky, tomboyish yet girly, protective, and a little impulsive. When I first read the script for the film, I felt like I was reading about myself.
Who inspires you in acting and what films inspire you?
As far as actual actors that inspire me, definitely Lori Cardille (Day of the Dead), Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, and…well…there are so many! Lori Cardille, who I have recently met, is an actress I always looked up to due to her role in Day of the Dead. She was always my favorite. Having the opportunity to meet and chat with her has been such a highlight in my career, she is truly a sweetheart! I also look up to actresses like Cate Blanchett as they tend to play the roles I would like to do myself someday… very dramatic and emotionally driven. (Not to mention, powerful. I mean, Cate is Galadriel!)
There are many films that inspire me, the main one being, of course, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I watch these movies often, and by often, I mean almost all the time. It isn’t just the actual films that inspire me either, but also the behind the scenes with all the actors and filmmakers. Everything that was put into Lord of the Rings, it just makes me want to give 100% to everything I do, because that is what every person on that set did. They loved making the movies, and you can tell.
Why did you want to be part of the comic book “FANGS”?
Aside from the fact that I love comic books and always wanted to be a part of one (thank you, Jeff, for giving me the opportunity!), I was sold when I heard Devanny Pinn was going to be portraying the main vampire.
I didn’t know Devanny at the time, but I did know she was a great actress and had a huge impact on the horror community, and her being the evil Lily Le Sang was just perfect. Also, fellow Chicago actress Michelle Shields and the lovely K.K. Ryder were attached, so I knew it was going to be a great project.
Can you relate to your character in the comic book?
I relate to Raven in the fact that, well, actually, I can’t say! It’ll spoil the book! Let’s just say, that she isn’t what she seems, and I relate to her presence and standards quite a bit. She may be a vampire, but there is something else behind her…she is different than the rest of her kind.
What other comic book projects are you involved in with Comic Book Divas or other companies?
I am working on two other Comic Book Divas projects; I’m cast in the web comic “A Life Behind The Mask” as the Batman-esque Black Bird and I am also working on Dennis Willman’s comic book “Ginger Stein: Rise Of The Undead” where I am portraying “Nicole Harmony”.
I’ve work with the wonderful folks of Legion Studios, a horror-based comic book company near the Chicago area. We did a film version of their comic, Master’s Devils, and I am the cover girl for their upcoming XES comic.
They are wonderful people and have given me some fantastic opportunities! So a major shout out to Ryan, Michelle, and all the Legion crew! Love you guys.
Is there a particular comic book and/or comic book character you would like to be part of in the future?
Actually, Jeff Hughes and I, along with artist Jason Dube and photographer Joe Rivera, are working on a pretty cool Science Fiction/Fantasy comic…and it’s right up my alley! I can’t talk about it just yet, but I think it is going to be rather interesting. Much like my acting, I wanted to do something outside the horror genre, and we just happen to come up with something that ties in with one of my favorite stories.
One of these days, I would love to portray a comic book character on film… and I have one in mind. I never really talk about it, though, because I’m afraid of the idea being done before I even have a chance! Hollywood is big on the live action comics now a days.
Are you a comic book geek or did you used to read them when you were younger?
I’m a geek in general, so, yes. My favorite comic is actually Camelot 3000, it’s genius!! I’m always surprised by how many people aren’t familiar with it. I love the characters and the story, it’s a unique twist on the Arthurian Legends. I’ve also always been a big Batman fan.
He’s my favorite. (Which is why I jumped at the chance to be Blackbird in A LIFE BEHIND THE MASKby Comic Book Divas, with art by Dennis Willman) When I was younger, I also collected the Disney’s Beauty and the Beast comics. In fact, I still have them…
What comics do you or did you used to read?
As mentioned above, my favorites are Camelot 3000 and all the Batman comics. I also recently picked up a comic called Legends: The Enchanted, which has some GORGEOUS artwork. I’m also a huge fan of the Hack/Slash comics…Cassie Hack kicks serious ass.
What other interests do you have, what do you like to collect?
Lord of the Rings. I’m all about Lord of the Rings, obviously, and I collect everything. I have all the Toy Biz action figures, books, dvds, movie companions, standees, swords, glasses, shirts, posters, calendars…even a Legolas car freshener. If it’s Lord of the Rings, I most likely have it. (And if I don’t, I’ll get it eventually.)
I also collect anything dealing with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which put me in trouble when I worked at The Disney Store. (Same thing with Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, he is way too cute.) Also, there isn’t much out there, but I also collect anything from the The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.
We all have that one item we want to own to put in a collection or have a piece of memorabilia, what would that be and why?
Viggo Mortensen… I mean, no, I want one of the original rings from Lord of the Rings. That would never happen, but, it is my precious….
What projects are you currently working on this year?
I just got cast in a new TV pilot being shot in Chicago, so I’ll be filming quite a bit on that. I’m also currently working on the fantasy film, Rose White, which is based on Snow-White and Rose-Red by the Brothers Grimm. It’s a very important project to me, as it is something I always wanted to do and fantasy is my first love.
I’ll also be filming Prey to God, Dark Light, and Witches Playground, as well as a beautiful dramatic feature by filmmaker Jose Gomez.
Can fans see you at any conventions or other events?
I’m stepping back from the convention scene this year, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be around any of them. That can always change! I had a great time at the SAC Sci-Fi and Horror Convention last year, so I’d love to attend that one again. The people that run it are just wonderful and it’s a great place for Sci-Fi and Horror fans!
Where can we learn more about you and follow your career?
My website: http://deneenmelody.net
IMDB profile: http://imdb.me/deneenmelody
You can also find and “like” my professional page on Facebook!