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  • Rev Horror

Scarlet Moreno Interview (Actress/Director, Velma)

The Horror Revolution: Thanks so much for sitting down with us, I loved Velma! First off, what's your favorite horror movie? What movie scared you the most?

Scarlet Moreno: That's such a tough question because I've seen and loved so many! I would say the first horror movie to ever make a big impression on me was the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. My older brother had the poster of it in his room and I was always so curious about what it was, so I think when I was about 12 I finally watched it. It is absolutely still one of my top 5 favorites and probably among my most terrifying movie experiences.

THR: I really enjoyed Velma and thought it did a great job of telling a story in such a short runtime. What inspired you to make the short?

SM: I joke that Velma is inspired by feminine internalized shame, and I do actually think that distills it down pretty well. For literal centuries, women have been shamed or chastised for either being too sexual or not sexual enough, and in many ways, this shame becomes unfortunately intrinsic and internalized. I think a lot of women and feminine identifying people can relate to these themes and this feeling that our sexual expression is always put under a magnifying glass for society to pick apart and deem acceptable or not. Playing with a character who has an extreme reaction to these ideas and themes was such fun for me and admittedly more than a little bit cathartic.

THR: You wrote, starred, and directed in Velma, and I was impressed by all three areas of the process. Is there a role that you enjoyed more than the others?

SM: I absolutely love writing and directing, but acting has always been a dream of mine and one of my first loves. When it came to Velma, embodying the character and the performance of it was definitely the most fun, but it differs project to project. I think the line that runs through all three artforms is that of the storyteller, and I've come to find that that may be my calling: telling stories that matter to me, that I need the world to hear and see, in whatever capacity.

THR: I'm a huge fan of short films in horror because they're so bite-sized and can make such a huge impact in a short amount of time. They're also really hard to pull off, perhaps even more so than in a feature where you have time to fully explore a concept. What are the challenges to making a short film that don't really apply to a longer movie?

SM: I think you hit the nail on the head there in that the challenge is the timeframe. Telling a story succinctly is the point of the short form, and if can sometimes be tough to distill everything you want to say within 15 minutes. But I guess I've found the magic in saying only what's necessary, and allowing the audience to walk away and put together the rest.

THR: Is there something about horror specifically that drew you to making a horror short? Are you a fan of the genre in general?

SM: I'm a huge fan of the horror genre. I also think that women's voices in horror are especially important, because our perspectives are different, and often horrifying for different reasons, than those of our male peers. I also love camp and high stylization, and the horror genre lends itself to both, so making a horror felt natural for those reasons too.

THR: There's a real Old Hollywood vibe to Velma, from the wardrobe, to the set design, and even the mannerisms that you convey in your portrayal of the character herself. What is it about Old Hollywood and that aesthetic that makes it translate so well to your short?

SM: Thank you! I think Old Hollywood was a place and a time of absolute glamour, whether the glamour reflected reality or not. People were given stories and worlds to look at on screen that were an absolute fantasy, and worlds away from their day to day lives. I think there is a magic and a simultaneous tragedy in that. I wanted to bring that feeling to Velma. I wanted her outer world to be so absolutely beautiful and glamorous that it created a palpably disturbing juxtaposition with that of her inner world. I think that's part of why the aesthetic worked so well.

THR: You're in an upcoming sci-fi movie that looks really interesting. What can you tell us about it?

SM: Yeah! I have a very small part in a film called Abduction: The Harvesting. I think it's going to be such a fun watch! One of my goals this year was to act more, so I auditioned for this and was so glad I did. I was only on set for a day but the entire cast and crew was lovely and I'm really excited to see the finished product! I'm not sure I can say anything about the release date but look out for it this year!

THR: What's next for you? Are there any upcoming projects you're excited to talk about?

SM: Yes! My next short, called Little Lucha & The Big Deal will hopefully be making its festival rounds very soon. I co-directed and co-wrote that with my good friend Josh Stifter, who I met on the series Rebel Without a Crew, where we both made our first features. In our short, we play two pro wrestling wannabes in the early 80's and it is honestly one of the most heartfelt projects of my career so far. I'm so excited for people to see that. Stay tuned for a trailer hopefully within the next few months!

THR: Finally, do you believe in Bigfoot? And if so, what do you think her favorite food is?

SM: Oh I absolutely believe in Bigfoot. The Earth is too big and the Universe too expansive for us to know everything there is on it and in it. I think there are mysteries that Mother Nature keeps close to her chest, and Bigfoot is definitely one of them. Her favorite food is sushi.

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