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Roxanna Bina

Roxanna: "I never was the deep,
dark and depressed type".

Conducted by Phil Davies Brown
April 26th, 2004

I recently had the pleasure of chatting to up and coming actress/model/singer Roxanna Bina about her role in the horror movie Scarecrow. This multi-talented lady works hard!! Read on for some crazy talk from a lady last seen playing a mental patient!!

When did you first become interested in the arts?
Well, I was involved in High School Theater and the Drama Club, but I never was the deep, dark and depressed type. I also did sports in High School, including Track and Captain of the Cross Country Team. Fashion interests me a great deal, even since I was in junior high. I collected every Vogue magazine since August of 1988, but I had to throw them out last year. They take up a lot of space! I suppose fashion and acting go hand in hand. Like, if I wear something black, I feel depressed and act depressed. But, if I wear something super colorful, I feel like I'm so happy to the point where I usually annoy the people around me! I also carry myself differently when I wear a skirt versus pants. I guess it's all in my head. Scary!

What is your first love, acting or music?
Well, I love music, and music and fashion are like an equation where acting is the product of both music and fashion. Like this, music + fashion = acting, because without those two elements it's hard to figure what you want to express with acting. For me, I have to get into the mind frame of the character- what kind of music, what would she wear, does she shoplift, you know stuff like that. So, I guess it's like comparing sugar to tea.... one without the other sucks!

Did you always want to act or did you just stumble into it?
I wanted to act ever since I started waitressing after school. I guess around 13-14 years old. I knew I had the skills when I had to act nice to the customers. (I am severely anti-social, by the way).

You were in 5 episodes of Troma's Edge TV, how did you get involved and what was the show like to work on?
Actually, it was quite funny, I knew a girl who was a Troma fan and she told me I should send in a headshot. I didn't know what Troma was, I thought it was an unwanted condition... and then she explained it was this -thing... well, I sent in the headshot and got a call like a week later for an episode. I was living in Providence, Rhode Island at the time, so I had to take a bus to NYC (about 3 hours). It was funny because I had to come down at least five times and I ended up missing my bus home and sleeping at the Port Authority (the bus station). It was a wild, adventurous time in my life! I met Lloyd Kaufman and the crew and they asked me back for more episodes. I am still in contact with Lloyd and a few at Troma...They were very pivotal in my acting career.

You got the chance to work with some great people; did you learn a lot of things about TV and acting? Is it true what they say? You can study all your days but you'll still never know half of the stuff you learn when you actually start to work!!
Yes, I actually learned a lot by just traveling to NYC on a bus and just going door to door to all the casting agencies. I really was focused and determined. I even made friends with bums in the bus station! Eventually, a break will come, I guess, I am still searching for my break. I did a lot of hair modeling for hair shows and odd jobs before I got a small role in "Scarecrow". I even auditioned to be Winona Ryder's butt double in a movie with Richard Gere, but they told me I was "too aerobicized"! It's mostly about personal experiences and life experiences. I don't think a school can teach you to act. It's innate. I've taken acting classes and it's sort of a waste for me. Maybe not for someone else.

Roxanna: "I even auditioned to be
Winona Ryder's butt double".

In 2002 you starred as Stephanie in Scarecrow, which your husband directed. Did you and Emmanuel meet on the project?
Actually, we were engaged during the shoot. We had met only 6 months earlier at the Sundance Film Festival. I was looking for a director for a feature I was producing, but the deal fell through and we remained friends. Slowly, we were getting closer and we were meeting in NYC, since he lived in Los Angeles and I was in Providence. We went to the Cannes Film Festival and voila! He proposed to me after the trip. During "Scarecrow" I was planning our wedding in Providence for two months after "Scarecrow" was shot. So, if I had a glazed over look anywhere in that film, it was because I was deciding over a lemon wedding cake or a cheesecake wedding cake!

How did you become involved in the project?
Emmanuel asked me to read for a role and he said okay.... (I threatened to make the entire wedding ceremony pink if he didn't hire me).

What was it like to work on?
It was soooo hot, I am not used to California weather.... it was shot in the middle of summer in like the worst cornfield...with gnats and flies mostly at night... it was sort of gross. But, it was super fun and everybody was cool.

Do you have a favourite scene?
Yeah, the part where I'm in a mental hospital at the end. I've always wanted to play a mental patient. I think I would be good at it. Maybe too good.

Where there any practical jokes on the set?
Not really, I was frazzled with wedding arrangements. Emmanuel and I had some great times though.

What was the atmosphere like was it relaxed or very uptight due to the very tight schedule?
For me, it was sort of awkward, because Emmanuel was the director and I really wanted to do a good job. I didn't want people to think I only got the part because I know the director. So, I sort of had to prove I was good and right for the part.

Were you ever scared on set? The scarecrow does look mighty creepy!!
Well, yeah, especially during the nighttime shoots. You would hear people scream in the distance and realize it was part of the shoot. Someone could really commit some murders on a horror set and not know if it's real or fake. I don't want to give any psycho pointers or anything.......

You scream very well, did you suffer from a sore throat afterwards?
No, I yell frequently at food, computers, cell phones, clerks, postal office people, Emmanuel, etc...

Roxanna: "I'm a professional screamer!".

What were the cast and crew like to work with?
They were just dandy!

Did you make any new friends? Horror movie sets are normally a blast and the cast usually bond really well. Would you agree?
Yeah, for about a month and then people go off and do other things. Remember, we're in Los Angeles.

Are you a big fan of the horror genre?
I like horror films that involve psychology and the paranormal. I guess smart horror films, like "Silence of the Lambs" and "The Ring" and "Darkness Falls". I also like "Austin Powers" and "James Bond". I collect James Bond memorabilia, as well as Barbie dolls, and doll parts. I also like deer.

Would you like to do more horror movies?
Sure! I'm a professional screamer!

Do you fancy yourself as a scream queen?
No! A professional screamer! But I would love to be crowned queen somewhere one day, perhaps my own island. Did I tell you I'm the Queen of England's long lost daughter? Shhh...Pass it on.

What are you working on next?
I just moved to the Los Angeles area, but I have started two fashion lines. Roxanna Bina Couture and Ready to Wear Mooshibear. A fashion show is available at my website, www.roxannabina.com.

Are we likely to see you appear in your husband's next horror film Nomad?
Probably, but my fans will have to send me ideas on how to bribe Emmanuel. Remember, we're already married! Maybe I won't make crème brule for him anymore if he doesn't hire me!

Any other horror involvement in the pipeline? Perhaps you could do a score...you make music don't you?
Wow, you're keen! Yes, I was in a few bands, most recently, 2AXIS, with my friend, Eddie Campos. It was electronic music. Actually, there is a song in "Scarecrow" by us. I manage 2AXIS now, since I moved. But, I'm sure for Nomad you will hear more of us.

As for more horror films, nothing yet. Anybody interested with me in their movie, don't hesitate to call. Don't worry about what you're getting into!

"Thanks ever so much for taking part in this interview Roxanna.
We wish you the best of luck in the future with whatever you choose to do."

You can visit Roxanna's official web site right here: www.roxannabina.com

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