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Clarke Wolfe Interview (Actress, A Shining Example)


The Horror Revolution: Hello, and thanks so much for agreeing to chat with me! I’m a huge fan of your short, one of the best I’ve seen in quite a while, and I look forward to reading your answers.

First off, what’s your favorite horror movie? What movie scared you the most?


Clarke Wolfe: This is such a hard question! I usually cycle through a list of titles as my "favorites" which include The Exorcist, Scream (1996), Drag Me To Hell, The Hills Have Eyes (2006), The Descent, The Conjuring, and The Fly (1986) just to name a few. 


When it comes to what movie scared me the most, I saw The Exorcist at a sleepover when I was 12 years old and I didn't sleep for a year (not an exaggeration). Now it's one of my favorite movies of all time, horror or otherwise! I also think The Conjuring is James Wan's masterpiece. It's so well crafted and I'm so inspired by his choices as a director. It really scared me when I saw it in the theater for the first time and there are certain sequences that give me chills no matter how many times I watch it!  


THR: I adored A Shining Example! Your performance was fantastic and it was a gorgeously shot film. What inspired you to make the short?


CW: Thank you so much! It really means so much to me to hear that people are enjoying the short. I have spent a lot of my career over the last ten years as a host and horror analysis is one of the things I'm most known for. I was hosting a show on a Twitch channel called "Wolfe's Call" where we did a deep dive into a horror movie each week. Over the years I started to notice this subgenre of movies centered around creatively frustrated dads and how they take that frustration out on their families (The Shining, Sinister, etc) and I thought to myself that I had never really seen that with a mom... So that's where the initial idea came from. 


Beyond that though, I'm a huge fan of Stephen King's novel The Shining but never really loved Stanley Kubrick's film. That said, over the years I've come to appreciate what Kubrick was doing within his version of the material but I also have some things to say about it as both a horror fan and as a storyteller. When it comes to film criticm, we're told over and over again, "These are the most important moments in American cinema" but when you start to look at who is making those determinations, you start to realize there haven't been a ton of diverse voices included in that conversation. A Shining Example is my answer to some of that. 


THR: I watch a ton of horror shorts and it’s rare that I come across one that seems to expertly made. You co-wrote, directed, starred, and produced the short as well. Which of these roles was your favorite?  


CW: This is tough... I was bitten by the director bug during the making of A Shining Example. I truly had the best crew and hope to work with all of them again on whatever I do next. And I loved playing Aiden because as an actor, she felt like the type of complicated and nuanced role for a woman in her 30s that I don't see a ton of. But I also love writing and getting to work with my dear friend Dylan Guerra on this script is something I also hope to do more of... And bringing it all to life through my production company Conjurer Productions was a small taste of what I hope my the company can be. Can I choose all of the above??


THR: I also really enjoyed your role in Malum as well, one of my favorite films of the year so far. What was it like working on a remake film that was done so soon after the original?


CW: Since Malum was a SAG movie made under the theatrical agreement that is currently struck, unfortunately I can't comment too much right now. Please ask me again when the strike is over! Maybe when the Blu-ray comes out? :) I can say that as a director, I learned so much from Anthony DiBlasi. The way he directed the action on on set with a steady hand but also with a sense of playfulness is something I hope to embody as a director myself.


THR: As a performer, do you gravitate towards horror as a genre? Are there any other genres that you enjoy working within, and do you have a favorite?


CW: I love horror and I love working in this space. I also love comedy and would love to do more of that in my career! In my opinion, horror and comedy are two sides of the same coin and at the end of the day, I really enjoy entertaining people. I'd also love to do a movie musical! 


THR: A Shining Example is darkly humorous and strikes a perfect balance between dread and the feeling your husband is going to deserve what he gets. Why do you think that horror and humor work so well together? 


CW: I love this question. To me, successful horror and comedy are all about anticipation, the element of surprise and a big release. A scare and a joke are very similar mechanics -- in horror we even call scares with special effects "gags." And, at the end of the day, what makes you laugh and what scares you are two of the most personal and fundimentally human emotions we experience; they both require tremendous vulnerability on the part of the audience but I think that's what makes them so much fun to experience in a group setting at the movie theater.


THR: If you could work with anyone in the industry, alive or dead, who would it be and why?


CW: Guillermo del Toro is my favorite living director, it is a dream of mine to work with him. I'd also love to work with Sam Raimi. As for living or dead, I would have loved to work with Charlie Chaplin and Wes Craven.


THR: As a fellow Georgian, how do you feel about the incredible film industry in your home state that is growing to rival the one on the other side of the country?


CW: I love it! The southeast and our homestate of Georgia specifically have so much to offer from the geography to the people. It's also been amazing to see the industry spread across the country because it allows for more voices to be a part of the creative conversation.   


THR: What’s coming next for you? Are there any new projects you’re excited to talk about?

CW: I do have a feature film in post-production that I'm so excited about as it is the first time I've felt like I've really been able to play in the horror comedy sandbox (albiet very dark comedy...) I also sat for a documentary about a woman in film history who is one of my biggest heroes. I'm very excited for that to come out.


THR: Finally, if animals could talk, which do you think would be the rudest?


CW: This question actually made me laugh out loud! Raccoons. I just had a personal experience with a family of enormous, very aggressive raccoons. One word for them: rude.

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