Brea Grant is perfection incarnate. Period. A indie horror darling, Brea Grant skyrocketed into geek royalty as Daphne Melbrook on HEROES, as Mya Rockwell in Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN II, as Ryan Chambers on DEXTER, and my personal favorite, as Daenerys in the Funny or Die exclusive video WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS? To put it simply, Brea Grant does it all. She’s an actress, director, writer, comic book creator, and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to interact with. After directing, writing, and starring in the film BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, Brea Grant has jumped back into the role of taking over the world with her webseries THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF HORROR. This may just be her best creation, yet. One of the smartest parodies out there, Brea Grant combines her sharp wit and pop culture knowledge to extreme heights and completely knocks it out of the park. Icons of Fright was lucky enough to grab a chat with Brea Grant and get some insight into the mind of a genre goddess.
ICONS: I’m just going to come right out and say it; you’re the female “genre film” version of James Franco. You seriously do it all. What is it that motivated you to write/direct/act/rule the world?
BREA GRANT: Wow. That’s a huge compliment that I don’t feel deserving of at all. I am mostly just a person who needs to fill up every hour of every day so I sort of have to start creating things. Otherwise I would just constantly redecorate my house and make thousands of vision boards.
ICONS: Thank god for Pinterest. What territory (art/directing/writing) was the most intimidating to explore?
BG: Directing for sure. I’ve only directed one thing (BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, an apocalyptic road trip feature now available on iTunes…you know, check it out if you want to…) and I had never done much behind the camera. And while I’m a creative person who likes collaborating, being a director is so much more than that. You also have to worry about people’s feelings and always be available. And for the most part, I’m a little bit of a loner. But it was good for me to learn about that. It definitely made me a better actor and generally just understand the act of filmmaking much more.
ICONS: You’ve done plenty of independently released productions, but also had a stint on DEXTER and HEROES. How do the two worlds differ and what have you learned from working in both areas?
BG: I hate to be obvious but the difference is really money. Although every production – even very well funded ones – complains about money all the time. No one ever thinks they have enough. I think there are plus and minuses to both. While it’s great to be on a big production where you have so much more time and can afford better everything, sometimes people are just on that because it’s a job that pays money. When you’re on a smaller production, people have to actually want to be there because for the most part, they could probably make more money on unemployment or waiting tables. So even though you’re rushed and the hours are usually longer, there is more heart in it.
ICONS: Of all of the reality shows available for horror makeovers, what made you choose “The Real Housewives of Horror?”
BG: It is very embarrassing to admit but it’s my go-to for background noise television – at the gym or while I’m cleaning, I’ll just leave it on and half-listen. It’s kind of an amazing show because even though they are real people, the characters are very simple and easy to understand even if you’re never seen it. The story lines are also simple and silly enough to be able to follow (plus there’s always flashbacks for things you don’t know). If I was being perfectly honest, I’m totally fascinated with the women who agree to do it. I wonder how much of it is true (I assume none), whether or not it actually ruins their lives (I would think it has to), and what would make you want to be involved in something like that. We live in a culture where fame for the sake of fame is both celebrated and abhorred and I think these shows are in the middle of it.
ICONS: What’s it like starring in something you’ve also written?
BG: It’s a little weird but it’s also easier to learn my lines. 🙂 It’s nice to have someone else direct so it feels like more of a collaboration. With BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, I wrote and starred and directed it so it was like all Brea all the time. This was nice because Sandeep Parikh, our director for Real Housewives of Horror, was awesome and brought his own vision to the whole thing.
ICONS: Did you write characters with certain actresses in mind?
BG: I didn’t actually which is rare for me. I actually wasn’t even sure if I was going to be in it or who I would play. I wrote them more with the Real Housewives shows in mind – the housewife, the weird one, the single one. I tried to play on those stereotypes. Then we just got incredibly lucky with our amazing case who just brought all of them to life.
ICONS: I’ll admit, it’s a pretty addicting show…but do you watch any of the Real Housewives shows?
BG: No…just Orange County and Atlanta and sometimes Miami but it’s not so great. And the NeNe spin off…wait is that a lot?
ICONS: How does writing content meant to be viewed online differ from writing film or comics?
BG: Time. We were actually really worried about whether or not people would watch the Real Housewives at all because it was eight minutes. People who clicked on it had to be ready to watch something more than a cat jumping out of a basket or a man getting hit in the balls. So I was definitely worried about the Internet’s attention span. But we knew that this project had the potential to do more than be a one-off video so we stuck with the length and I’m so happy we did.
ICONS: What can we expect to come next from these scary socialites?
BG: There’s a lot in store for The Real Housewives of Horror. Right now, we just shot the pilot but it looks like we will be shooting many more very soon. But it’s nice because I feel like we got an equal amount of love for each character and there’s so much to get to play with with these ladies. There’s a lot in store. Mostly blood. But also other stuff.