Recently we here at the ‘Corpse had a chance to speak with actress/dancer/activist Tonya Kay. Having enjoyed her performance in last year’s The Butchers, we were proud to have the opportunity to chat with her about that role and her other endeavors.
LeglessCorpse: How did you become involved with The Butchers? Conceptually, it’s a pretty cool idea for a horror movie; what were your thoughts when you saw the script?
Tonya Kay: I auditioned for The Butchers, but for a different role than I was cast in. STAR, the rebellious Goth lover, was perfect for me and I’m lucky Debbie Sheridan Casting spotted me and production supported it, even though my hair was very blonde and not stereotypically Goth at all.
I read the script and immediately started researching serial killers. I hadn’t even been offered the role. I was compelled. These deviants are documented and there’s a lot of police reports and detail. As an actor, it’s the research that turns me on about the creative process; that’s when you learn everything about the person, mannerisms, era, styles, beliefs, fashion, music, society – everything. The Butchers research made me a little batty, I confess.
LC: What was it like on set? Any memories that stick out in your mind?
TK: So thankful they were willing to wig me cause I love the black hair. After a long shoot day, the AD calls wrap and I peel that itchy kind of tight thing off and the look of shock on actor Jeremy Thorsen (WREN)’s face was inspiring. I had just spent all day watching him get dragged across the floor by a 6’5 hooded serial killer with a sickle and the shock at being confronted with my short blonde hair outdid any of our previous scenes. Pure, controlling, shock…plus that long, black wig ended up being instrumental in my bleed out SPFX.
Director Steven Judd was a calming presence on set, which is not always the case. Every shot was set up with focus on beauty and when I watched the film premiere, one of my favorite things about this slasher horror film is how absolutely beautiful it is!
Oh! — and that one night after filming the bleed out: There was blood everywhere on my body head to toe. Places fake blood should never be. I was literally covered, Carrie-style, in SPFX blood. At 1am. In the middle of the cold desert. In an unheated location without a shower or running water. Yup. I stood mostly-nude in the middle shivering as the make up department dabbed and scratched unapologetically at me with baby wipes for well over an hour from all angles just to get that dried blood off enough I could drive home!
LC: We’d like to know more about you: You’ve got a very diverse body of work; television, instructional videos, films, dancing, stage work…what do you like the best? Obviously, we’re gonna ask how you feel about horror films…
TK: All I’ve got is passion to guide me. I don’t have guardians, I don’t have after-death ideas, I don’t have a five-year-plan. All I have is passion telling me what to do. If it’s fun, if it’s challenging, if it’s renegade, I want to do it more. And that’s what compels me down my path. I genuinely love everything I do. And it’s extra fun when things combine. Like when acting involves stunts. Or when burlesque involves comedy and dance. Or when hosting involves classic cars. Or when modeling becomes activism. I love that shit! What if I could always be playing the ass-kicking, hot-rod driving, sexy rock and roll burlesque renegade in charge? What about that?
I grew up in rural Michigan and us girls had lots of slumber parties on my family’s dead-end property, or at my girlfriend’s country house across from a cemetery or on the farm. We used to play Ghost in the Graveyard in the cornfields. The single most terrifying horror film I’ve ever seen is Children of the Corn. I grew up in the corn fields and I can hardly step into one today because of that movie!
LC: Besides your professional talents and skills, you’re a prominent and passionate advocate of animal rights, fitness, and nutrition, among other good causes; anything you’d like to say about those?
TK: I approach life like this: I’m doing a good “human job” if I take care of myself and when we’ve taken care of ourselves it is a privilege to have energy to direct outward. You know I’m doing well as a human when you see me taking action for causes I believe in. Endangered wildlife protection, marijuana legalization, the end to animal circuses, environment and habitat conservation, preservation of indigenous cultures. Really, all of that goes perfectly together. To be active on issues is sexy.
Check out some of mine:
LC: I know you’re a writer; as far as films go, do you have any screenplays cooking? Perhaps a turn at producing, or maybe even directing? Tell us about your future.
TK: Yea, great question, right?!? I’ve got the Midas touch! I’m producer of the classic car cruise-in and live pole show in vintage styling, http://pinuppoleshow.com <http://pinuppoleshow.com/>. You must follow us and see the next live show in Los Angeles!
I am in pre-production on feature length horror film, The Art of Murder with Seraph Films. Like our FB Page and view our trailer here https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Art-of-Murder/1537176223201788?ref=br_tf.
I have written in my online journal for many years at http://tonyakay.com/journal <http://tonyakay.com/journal> and am staff writer for http://pyragraph.com <http://pyragraph.com/> and http://ecohearth.com <http://ecohearth.com/>.
TK: Right now you can see The Butchers and Dark Space on-demand and streaming platforms! You can see me in The Art of Murder shorts (inspiration for the feature film I’m producing) here http://www.tonyakay.com/journal/the-art-of-murder-tonya-kay-seraph-films-horror-haiku/ <http://www.tonyakay.com/journal/the-art-of-murder-tonya-kay-seraph-films-horror-haiku/>. You can watch me as the black market killer for hire, DEV, in The Kill Corporation series online now http://thekillcorporation.com. If you like the web and are a geek in any way (remember when I did that original season as Creature with Stan Lee on SCIFI’s Who Wants To Be A Superhero?) check out Video Game Reunion http://videogramereunion.com <http://videogramereunion.com/>. On tv I just hosted Travel Channel’s Street Cred with Penn Jillette and performed burlesque on Lifetime’s Little Women LA. Do follow A Better Place Film, Bastard and Nightmare Code on FB for updates on post-production and release dates. Of course, I am always performing live, so absolutely check out my itinerary – I travel a lot. I’m omnipotent: http://tonyakay.com/appearances/ <http://tonyakay.com/appearances/>.
We’d like to thank Tonya for taking the time out of her crazy busy schedule to talk with us, and wish her the best of luck with her projects! We’ll be watching!
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