26th Feb2018

‘Death House Interview: ‘Dee Wallace’

by Philip Rogers

With the highly-anticipated horror Death House being released in cinemas on 2nd March 2018, I got a chance to speak with actress Dee Wallace about what her character Eileen Fletcher, her on screen chemistry with Barbara Crampton and the Christmas horror Red Christmas.


What can we expect from Death House?

A really good ride! There’s a lot of big horror icons in this movie and we come together to give you a ride, through a very bizarre script. It’s very different from a lot of other horror films, it’s very witty, intelligent, has a lot of commentary, and it’s gruesome and gross. Everything you want in a good horror film.

In the film you play Dr Eileen Fletcher, can you tell me a little bit about your character?

She is the head of this facility where our whole goal is to eliminate evil in the world. Unfortunately, by trying to eliminate evil, we sometimes create more evil than we started with. She’s one of the main doctors that is heading up this experiment.

What sort of preparation did you do for the role?

I dyed my hair, slicked it back and then I became her. I have too preface everything else I am going to say by telling you I have a very specific acting technique that I use, that was taught to me by a gentleman named Charles Conrad whose my mentor. It’s all based on getting your energy very high, surpassing your mind and becoming the character. It’s a trainable technique, but it’s not a technique where you break a lot of things down. Where am I coming from? Where am I going to? You channel the character and become who you are playing.

You have a lot of horror icons involved in the film, what was it like on the set of Death House?

It was absolutely horrible (laughs). We shot in this abandoned prison that was cold, damp and dripping with this god-awful energy. I guess a lot of murders and killing happened there, it was not a pleasant shoot at all. But if you have seen the film, you know how well the prison lends itself to the mood and the feeling.

It does, you can really sense it as well.

All I have to do is think about it and I shiver. I didn’t have a fun time in that prison. I had a fun time doing the role, but not in the prison.

What was your favourite scene to film in Death House?

I think it would probably be the big one that we have in the ward, where we have this big panoramic shot where you see all the people in the ward. Barbara Crampton and I are taking the two new kids that have just arrived through it. I really loved working with Barbara.

You had a certain chemistry I noticed, which is sort of suggestive between you and Barbara…

You know, that’s kind of where my energy took me where I read the part. It never said it in the film, never said it in the script, but Barbara and I both picked up on that energy underlined. I am glad you picked up on the fact we were playing it, because it was very, very subtle, so thank you for that. I had a great chemistry with Barbara and I like her as a person also.

What do you think makes Death House stand out at something different in the horror genre?

I just think it’s really an idea which hasn’t been explored much, if at all. I think his [Harrison Smith] commentary on evil and the purpose of evil in this world and we have dominion over the evil in some way, but not in the way that these two women have expressed that. I just think for want of a better word an intellectual horror film. I know that’s kind of an oxymoron.

It does make you think and takes you in another direction that you may expect it to?

We hope its gonna make people think, but at the same time just go along for the ride.

You have had continued successful over the years playing various roles, but are there any specific types of roles that you would like to take on in the future?

I have always wanted to play a nun. Don’t ask me why it must be a past-life thing, I don’t know. But I’ve always wanted to play a challenged nun, somebody’s that’s really questioning her faith, why she’s faithful, why she believes and really take an audience on that journey. Because I think a lot of us in today’s world are really on that introspective, questioning what do I believe, why do I believe in it, and are they my beliefs or somebody elses beliefs given to me? That’s one part I’d really like play.

Going on from that, you do healing yourself?

I do, I have been a channel for over 30 years, I have my own radio show about it and do private sessions all across the world. If your readers would like to check that out just have them go to my website Iamdeewallace.com there are a lot of great free things to listen to and watch. I’d love people to check that side of me, a lot of people don’t know that side of me even though I have taught all over the world. I have taught in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China. But a lot of people still go all my god you do that?

I guess its unexpected considering you are mainly known for your horror, it’s turned on its head to what they perceive you as in some ways.

You know a lot of times when people interview me they go, how can you do horror films and be a healer at the same time. Well you know in the exploration of horror films you deal with a lot of the elements of fear and horror and I can tell you the biggest monster we are running away from is ourselves and our fears. So, they really actually complement each other more than you can imagine.

I would like to bring up another one of your films which you done recently as it is often overlooked which is Red Christmas.

Awesome horror film, its on Netflix right now. Anybody that loves horror or Christmas horror especially. We don’t do much of it any more, you definitely want to check out Red Christmas for sure.

How did you get involved in the film?

I was going over to teach my healing work and do some seminars in Australia and Craig Anderson the producer, writer, director happened to know my friend and he said, “I am doing this movie, do you think she would consider playing the mother in it?” It all just kind of came together through different people that I knew, he got to me I loved the part and I fell in love with Craig. So, it was one big trip of shooting a movie, then I travelled to three cities in Australia, doing workshops and taught my healing work. It was both sides of everything I really love to do.

Do you have any other projects which you are working on at the moment?

I am leaving to do a beautiful Christmas movie, not a horror movie, called another weekend and I am gonna be shooting that in Nashville. I am in negotiations for another film, but I can’t talk about it, I have a gag order on me. Everyone can still see my series for Amazon Prime called Just Add Magic. It’s a great family show, so if you want something to watch with your kids it’s a perfect show, beautifully produced and it’s on Amazon Prime so you can binge watch it.

If someone wants to get into acting, what advice would you give them?

Well first of all you have to decide you are an actor, because if you keep waiting for everyone else to tell you that or you are waiting for a job you’re never going to be the actor you want to be. The second piece of advice I would give to everybody is be yourself. I taught acting for sixteen years out here and the one false belief that everyone walked in with was I can’t be who I am, they want me to be somebody else and that’s just simply not true. They are looking for you and looking for your uniqueness. Then of course you have to know you have that uniqueness and trust that uniqueness to offer. So many people said you have to have your boobs done and lose your Kansas accent, you know that’s not me, that’s not what I am gonna sell and I think I have done pretty damn well in this business by being me.


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