Breaking Twilight: a Sit Down with Rick Mora and Judith Shekoni
What’s shakin’ Freaky Darlings!? Have I got a treat for you., especially you out there that like Twilight. Hell, even if you don’t you should love this? Why? Well other than it is on Encyclopedia Psychotika…the BEST place for madness anywhere… Rick Mora and Judi Shekoni are two awesome people, who gave me one epic interview. It was so fun getting to sit down with them and just talk. I could have went on and on with these two…but…I had to pull back a bit. In case you don’t know, Rick played the Quileute in the flash back sequence with the Cullens in the first movie. Judith played the Amazon Vampire, Zafrina. Seriously, this was one of the funnest interviews I’ve done. Like I said, like the films or not…you should still love these two people. Stand up act. But hey…don’t take my word for it…READ THE INTERVIEW!!!
Breaking Twilight: a Sit Down with Rick Mora and Judith Shekoni
Malice Paychotik: General question for the both of you. What are your feelings on the phenomena that is Twilight?
Judith Shekoni: My feelings are warm and fuzzy haha! No my feelings are that I am just very happy to be a part of it. It’s great to be a part of something so successful. And to be invited to be part of the Twilight family. I think it shows that a powerful love story can ignite the populations and that it’s wonderful there’s a movie that mothers and daughters and even fathers and everyone and sons can all go to together.
Rick Mora: For me, I’m overwhelmed. I never anticipated that my investment in my craft would have resulted in such a phenomenon. I am very honored to be a part of the franchise and to be able to represent my native culture. You know a huge part of this movie is based around the Quileute Tribe that pretty much goes under the radar. Quileute tribes didn’t wear daisy duke shorts so we understand how that works. But like I said it’s a very awesome opportunity to represent myself and my culture and to be part of a franchise that is so amazing. So beautifully amazing.
MP: As far as the daisy duke shorts go, I think it was said best in the parody of Twilight, Vampires Suck, the guy that’s suppose to be Jacob. He walks in and she goes “Didn’t you just have on a shirt?” And he says, “It’s in my contract to remove my shirt for every 10 minutes of screen time.”
RM: Ha you got it!
MP: This is for both of you. How do you think vampires and werewolves in Twilight stand up to the traditional archetype of what a vampire or werewolf is? Do you think they’re better? Do you think it expounds upon it?
JS: I’m not sure there is a traditional vampire/werewolf type of character. The rules are just made up out of someones imagination and so I think they are allowed to change. I like the rules that have been chosen in the Twilight world, because I think it’s not too dark. Sometimes vampires are always so dark and so sexual that they can’t be enjoyed by all the population and kids too.
MP: As you played a vampire, you not having to burst into flames when your outside, so that’s good.
JS: Yeah, I got to go out looking glam and stuff like that and I got to still talk to people not just bite people.
MP: A very good feature of the Twilight vampire versus your Ann Rice or Bram Stoker.
JS: And I think that by allowing the vampires to be out during daylight, it allows them to have a relationship. In movies and tv a relationship is the most important thing. You have vampires so restricted in the rules that they follow, that they can’t be involved with other people in the general public. It limits what can go on in the storyline. I think it works better.
RM: For me I think we have come far from Bela Lugosi. We’re talking about the black and white established ideal of what vampirism is all about. And we’ve taken this idea to another level and I love the idea that as time changes and social climate changes so does the climate of the vampire. And as we evolve, the vampire has evolved. And we have come far from Bela Lugosi to Ann Rice to Bram Stoker. It’s a beautiful evolution of a vampire idea. I am overwhelmed with how they have managed to pull it off into a family film.
MP: One thing I liked about the whole werewolf transformation was, that it didn’t rely on a brutal transformation sequence. In Twilight you just see the werewolves like…poof! I do enjoy brutal transformations, but I think in this case it would have taken away from the story.
RM: That’s CGI for you. That’s the development of our social climate. We have great technology now.
MP: What sort of experience did the Twilight films offer? What did it do for you as an actor?
RM: For me as an actor, it literally flipped my whole world upside down. Put it like this, you audition so much that you are stoked to get put by a tree. But to actually get to be a part of a film that becomes a cult phenomena, it’s priceless. Like one of those credit card commercials. Time with your kids? Priceless. Being part of a franchise? I can’t even tell you how my life has been flipped upside down from this movie.
JS: It’s just been a wonderful experience. Because I got to be part of something so successful and I got to act which I love doing in life. And I was already a fan and had already read the books previously. So I got to have the experience of reading books I really loved. Reading about characters I really loved and then getting to actually personify one of those characters.I don’t think a lot of people get to have that experience. So I think it’s definitely something I will take with me for the rest of my life.
MP: Judi, you have done a lot of tv series work. How did that differ from being on the set of Twilight: Breaking Dawn?
JS: There was definitely a much longer leave time from when you get the job to actually work. I had the opportunity to really indulge myself in doing research and really making some decisions about the character. Also there was a long shooting time that there was a lot of time to immerse myself into the world and to really develop relationships with the other cast. And there was a very long time before it actually came out so it got to be an experience that we all shared for so long, that became ours. Before it was actually visible to the general public so I found it to be a very different experience and I love doing both. But I definitely would say at the moment that it is the best job I have ever done.
MP: You said you had read the books, did you get your first pick of character?
JS: Um no. What actually happened when I auditioned, I auditioned for Zafrina and Senna at the same time. And then from the auditions they chose me to be Zafrina. Then you just take it and say thank you very much. But of the characters that’s the only really one I would have liked to play. When you read the book because it is in person by Bella. I feel that I have lived Bella’s life already. So if ever they were going to redo them and want a 6 foot black girl from Manchester as Bella, I would be more than happy to take the role.
MP: I think you would be perfect for the role. So any interesting things happen on set? Anything that was particularly trying?
JS: It was definitely difficult! There was a shot in the film where I’m using my special power on Edward and the camera zooms in to me and we had a problem focusing the camera when it zoomed in because it was coming so close. So we ended up taking a shot where I was attached to like a stand and holding my breath at like 11:00 at night in Canada in January wearing a loin cloth. So that was probably one of the most challenging things I did. But also when I see it in the movie, it’s one of the shots I like the most. So it worked out for the best.
MP: I have to say, as somebody who has only read the first book because after seeing the movie didn’t want to ruin it. I was caught with unfortunate non-knowledge of the battle that never happened. I have to say, me and my Seras were watching it like, “This movie can’t….it better not end like this!”
JS: It was amazing! I think the twist they created was one of the best twists I have ever seen in a movie. Definitely taking a book to a movie. When they sat down and came up with that idea like that was wonderful. What’s interesting is when you read it in the script, it seemed like “Oh, that’s interesting.” But you didn’t really get it and realize what a huge twist it was until you actually saw it visually because it was a very visual twist. It was a wonderful experience to be in a room a few times over at the films premiers when the audience gets the twist and to even be there with the director when he witnessed one of the first times that the audience got the twist. You know it worked.
MP: Rick, I noticed that you were in Big Money Rustlas.
RM: Oh wow! You’re looking deep into my catalog of repertoire. Yes I am in Big Money Rustlas.
MP: That’s a real slapstick, funny, good time type of movie.
RM: When I finished shooting I got to go home and call my mom. And say, “Yo, Mom I just did a movie with Ron Jeremy!” Her jaw dropped! She was scared to ask me what kind of film did I do. “Mom,I just did a film with Ron Jeremy and he was being an actor.” Besides that the most hilarious part isn’t just that it’s Ron Jeremy but it’s Bridgette Nielson, it’s JJ from “What’s Happening?”, it’s Vanilla Ice…were talking an all-star cast of the most interesting personalities you could ever put together in a film.
MP: Did anything happen on set? Being around ICP (Insane Clown Posse) and Twizted there have to be good set memories.
RM: Well put it this way, my trailer was next to Bridgette the Midget. I don’t know if your followers know who Bridgette the Midget is…
MP: Being in since I have a deep fondness for little people and furries…I think they know who someone like Bridgette the Midget is…Haha!
RM: But Bridgette is a “special” performer if you know what I mean.
MP: Oh yeah I know haha…
Editors Note: If you could have seen the looks we both had on our faces…priceless…
RM: Okay, so my trailer was next to her trailer. Needless to say, my trailer began to smell very good in the middle of the day. And I’m not talking about incense… So it’s very, very interesting to work on a set where it’s all about a good time from the minute you get there. So, I can definately say that A) working with Ron Jeremy and B) working with Bridgette the Midget, we’re talking like Big Money Rustlas.
MP: Again digging deep, I read that you were in an episode of “Deadliest Warrior” where they used you as a Lakota Warrior.
RM: You know, I rode along side Crazy Horse. So it was me and Crazy Horse fighting Poncho Villa and you know obviously History Channel doesn’t get their history straight, because if they really did, they would have known that we would have cut Poncho Villa’s throat in the middle of the night. But they made us fight him during the day, in bright sunlight in the middle of the day. And you know the result of guns during the day! Obviously we lost. You know, I love the History Channel’s re-enactments. I’ve done a ton of them and it’s interesting to see how they portray history. I have played many different types of warriors for the History Channel but I like the fact that they still try to do these recreations and they still incorporate native talent. That’s very important having a place that we are able to show our face and make it as authentic as we possibly can. Because there used to be a time that still exists, but we’re working hard to change it, where they paint people brown and put wigs on them and call them Natives. And you can’t do that with any other culture. Somehow because we don’t raise a stink as much as everybody else, they still try to do it. But I am glad they were able to come to their senses and hire real natives to portray these roles.
MP: You know you can always tell a real, authentic native film from when they use non natives for the film….
RM: It’s the difference between a long shot and close up haha
MP: Did you have to learn anything? Like did they have to teach you some of the fighting styles or how to use some of the weapons?
RM: You know the beautiful part about my place in Hollywood is that I am one of Hollywood’s natives. We already come to the table with our skills and our trade. Fighting, horse back riding, it’s all a part of our deal. I think a lot of times that’s also the interesting part because they’ll want to hire us and they want us to do everything. Yet normally they would have to hire stunt people to do the stunts, riders to do the riding, and specialists to do the fight scenes but for us we get to come to the table and do it all ourselves and it’s a blessing and a curse. Obviously we don’t get paid the way we should but we get to be us and we get to represent our people proudly.
MP: Do you have anything going on? Any films we should look out for in the future?
RM: Oh films yes! But I’m hoping to meet a beautiful woman at some point haha. One that I can keep. I have a film coming out around November or December called Little Boy with Kevin James, Sean Astin, Emily Watson, Michael Rapaport , Ben Chaplin and about 10 more A listers. What a beautiful film. It’s a family drama. The Pope has already watched it and blessed it. So it’s got a good chance to really make an impact. I have a horror film coming out called Savaged by director Michael Ojeda and it looks like it’s going to get a release. It’s going to get a limited theatrical release hopefully. And as far as film that’s my two movies coming out other than my charity work and the convention circuit.
Editor Note: Rick is a catch ladies…show him some love! His social network stuff is below…tell him Malice sent you…trolololo
MP: Judi, do you have anything coming out film wise?
JS: I have a couple of films that are in pre-production that I am going to start doing. Which I am excited about. One of them is playing a prostitute in South America and the other one is playing a gambler who is addicted to gambling. And then coming out, I was working on a tv show called “Mike and Molly” which already aired. And I went to India earlier this year and did a Bollywood movie. That’s scheduled to release sometime in the summer.
MP: Alright thank you guys for the interview. It was a pleasure sitting down with both of you.
JS: Also what would be wonderful is if any of the fans of your site would like to follow us you can find me on Twitter @JudiShekoni which is just my name or my Facebook page which is just Judi Shekoni Page.
Like I said, this was fun times all around. Next time you are at a show and they are there…stop by and say “Hello!” Either one of them are very approachable and love to chat. Stay tuned my Darlings…we have a lot more to come from our interviews from Fatality Fest! Once these interviews are done…you won’t want to miss what we have next…
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,