-Interview by Nic Brown-
Elissa Dowling has a whole lot of different talents wrapped
up in her 5’3 frame. She studied sculpture at University of
the Arts in Philadelphia and almost became a forensic
sculptor. Instead, she decided to follow her true artistic
calling and act. In the past two years she's been in over
twenty films (IMDB can't even keep up with her). This is not
surprising when you consider how much determination and love
for the movie business Elissa has. She was raised on Lugosi
and Fulci films, so it is natural that she would find her
niche in the horror genre. While working on three film
projects at once might be enough to scare some actors,
Elissa still finds the time to talk with us about some of
her roles, what it’s like to work with some of the legends
of the industry, and why you might catch her using an
Nic- Elissa can you tell us about your upcoming film
Psychosomatika and your role in it?
Elissa- My character, Persephone provides some additional
color and comic relief. She's a wisecracking New Yorker with
a bit of a chip on her shoulder probably due to her very
inconvenient job as a dominatrix. There is however, much
more to her than meets the eye. Let's just say, she's
Nic- What was it like working with scream queens Debbie
Rochon and Brinke Stevens?
Elissa- This is hard to admit but I started off a bit star
struck working with legendary scream queens Debbie Rochon
and Brinke Stevens. Fortunately for me they turned out to be
two very sincere and approachable actors. I enjoyed getting
to know them better when we traveled to Austin for Fangoria.
I got to know them not only as actors but as people. I did
not work with Brinke directly (we shot on separate days) but
she has a very soothing, and peaceful presence about her.
Debbie is so hysterically funny, sometimes it's hard to
Nic- It sounds like you had a great experience working with
Brinke and Debbie! I understand that one of your newest
projects has you working with another legend in the horror
industry, David Carradine. Can you tell us about that
project and what it's like working with him?
Elissa- I worked with David Carradine on a drama called
He's one of those people those wonderful actors that make it
all look effortless and his face can tell a thousand stories
all at the same time. An interesting bit of info that you
may not know about him is that he can walk into a room and
pick up any instrument, I'm talking flute, piano, and guitar
you name it, and play it perfectly. He truly is an artist
and after meeting him I have no doubt why he's considered a
Nic- How did you get your start in the film industry?
Elissa- I have been acting most of my life starting in
theatre as a kid, then commercially. In college I dreamed of
how cool it would be to star in a Lionsgate movie and in six
months I had. It was weird, the way it all happened, it just
kind of fell in to place. I had thought about it but it
wasn't really a plan. Anyway, that's how it started and now
it's been twenty-something films over the past two years so
I'm feeling fairly accomplished. Basically I'm a girl of
little extravagance. My priorities are to be working
creatively and doing what I love most, acting.
Nic- It's easy to tell that you love acting and working in
film. Do you have any desire to try something different in
your filmmaking such as directing a feature?
Elissa- HELL NO! Just kidding, I mean realistically who
knows what the future will bring. Actually, this past
Thursday I assistant directed on a horror feature I was
recently cast in. Guess people just can't get enough of me
(laughing). For now though directing is not a priority.
Considering that I have a background in sculpture there's a
good chance that there will be some FX in my future.
Nic- So when you're not acting, what does Elissa Dowling do
Elissa- I go out fairly often, I'm no Lindsay Lohan but I'm
a pretty festive lady. Mostly though when I'm not acting I'm
either prepping for my next role, making art, music or
helping out a friend.
Nic- You mentioned that you have a background in sculpture.
When you say you like to make art, is that what you're
Elissa- At the University of the Arts in Philadelphia I
studied, among other things, sculpture. For a while I even
considered forensic sculpturor as a career. I'm schooled in
everything from printmaking to metalwork. It's funny, maybe
because I'm only 5' 3" but my friends back home thought that
the vision of me in huge goggles carrying an oxyacetylene
torch was hilarious and very Homer Simpsonish (laughing).
Overall I've been lucky; I've always been able to follow my
instincts when it comes to creativity. Pretty much whatever
I feel inspired to do I do. I even tried my hand at wearable
art and made entire dresses out of found objects like band
aids and old converse shoes.
Nic- You also say you like to make music? Do you play an
instrument, sing or both?
Elissa- I mostly sing and occasionally write. I studied
voice for a while and I'm thinking about doing more with it.
I'm also okay on guitar. I took some lessons as a kid but
it's not really my thing. Actually I wish I could play
better, so I might take that on too.
Nic- Most all of your work has been in the horror/thriller
genre. Do you plan to continue focusing your energy there or
do you plan to try something new?
Elissa- I will always love horror films, I was raised on
Logusi. His movies were always on at our house. Probably
because of my father's vanity, he looks a lot like him. But
yes I've got a couple projects in the works that are not
strictly horror. I'm attracted to dark comedy so I'd like to
branch out into that, maybe even some musical features,
dramas and porn, that was a joke by the way so
please don't fragment quote me. I do think that being a
character actor lends itself to diversifying role choices.
Look at actors like Gary Oldman for example. I guess I'm
interested in anything that lends itself to my method of
characterization. I'm sort of all over the place but I don't
think you need to stick to just one thing. I also believe
that to survive as an artist you need to be that way.
Nic- So what would be your favorite movie to watch for fun?
Elissa- I like to switch it up, I've got
in right now but yesterday it was
Nic- You've been to a few horror conventions. As an actress
in the genre, what is you overall opinion of them?
Elissa- Truth is whenever you put a bunch of obsessed horror
nerds in one room, myself included, the result is usually
sheer madness. Actually the ones I've done have been really
fun, corporate, but fun. And the after parties are a blast.
I will be supporting a new Seattle based horror magazine
at this year’s LA Fango so stop by our table and show some