When I interviewed director Albert Pyun a few weeks ago he mentioned Joei Fulco's name to me and suggested her for a possible article. To be honest I hadn't heard of her before but within a few minutes of investigation I understood why Albert thought so highly of her. In making contact with Joei I was confronted by a girl who's maturity was years beyond her age. Chatting with her is to chat with a smart, determined and intelligent young lady.Hot Rod DeVille
She comes from a family of performers and has been born & bred to entertain. It didn't take long for me to become swept up by Joei. Her starring role in Albert's upcoming Cyborg Nemesis is no doubt the beginning of a long and successful career. In fact I suspect that in a few years from now I will be bragging that I interviewed her. Not only does Joei Fulco sing and act, she also writes and plays her own music. At only 16 years of age she is a star whose path to SUPERstardom is well and truly set... even now as this article is being published, Joei has just left for another European tour. I feel a little bit privileged (and chuffed) to introduce her to you.
You're only 16 and already being cast in feature films. How long have you been acting for?
I have been working on acting for the past two years but this is actually my first professional acting job. I also consider performing a form of acting so I guess you could say I've been acting since the ripe old age of 2!
You also sing and perform on stage and by the looks of it, your family is right beside you all the way. Are you a showbiz family?
Saying that we are a showbiz family is an enormous understatement! Our lives are completely dedicated to performing. My dad has been in the industry since he was a kid and has spent his life pursuing what he loves to do. My siblings and I were all born with a love for performance. My entire family is involved in music and none of us could picture our lives without it. We love anything that has to do with performing and sharing our love of the arts. Showbiz is our life!!!
Who or what have been some of your biggest influences?
My dad is definitely one of my biggest influences because he is such a talented man who has done so many amazing things and he has the most incredible work ethic and view on life. I think that he is a truly inspiring person. Another one of my biggest influences is Barbra Streisand because she is so talented and has accomplished so many amazing things in her lifetime. She has accomplished things that no other woman has done and I find it to be truly admirable.
Joie Fulco as Pearl Prophet in Cyborg Nemesis.
What was your favourite film as a little kid?
This is such a difficult question for me to answer because there are so many movies that I loved as a kid. I was always a huge fan of the Disney movies like Lady and the Tramp, Oliver and Company, Thumbelina, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Mighty Joe Young, etc... I also loved movies like Grease, Twister, The Mask, etc...
What about now? Do you have a favourite?
Picking my favorite movie is still a very difficult task for me. I love movies like Stand By Me, The Notebook, Les Miserables, The Shining, and anything scary or with a deep storyline. I do still absolutely love the movies I watched when I was a kid though!
Director Albert Pyun speaks highly of you. How did you cross his radar?
My family and I are always promoting our work online and Albert came across some of it and contacted me about possibly working on the movie and I was more than happy to! Albert is such a wonderful person and I am absolutely honored to be working with him! His faith in me is humbling and I feel so blessed that our paths crossed.
He cast you as a cyborg in his upcoming sci-fi thriller, Cyborg Nemesis. Were you familiar with Albert and his work prior to this?
I, personally, was not familiar with his work prior to him contacting me, but my parents were.
Training with Kim Couture.
Performers have various methods and approaches to acting. How do you prepare for a role?
When I prepare for a role, I like to read through the script and become familiar with my role and their past/story. Then I find a way to put myself into that character. I focus on the character work at first. With this role I researched some characters from other movies that Albert recommended and tried to find a balance that would suit Pearl. After becoming the character I worked on physically fitting the role and trained constantly!
You have obviously struck a chord with Albert and he has cast you in a new film. What can you tell us about it?
I'm so thrilled that Albert cast me in his new film and I cannot wait to learn more about the Kickboxer project. I still don't know all the details but knowing Albert and Cynthia, I'm sure it will be very exciting!
Your website has several songs on it. Are these all your own songs?
My dad, my brother Jesse, and I all compose our own music. We love writing songs and we are constantly writing and experimenting in different genres of music. All the songs on our website are originals.
Which passion comes first? Music or Acting?
I don't think that it's possible for me to put either first being that they are both so close to my heart. If I had a music and acting opportunity, I would find a way to do both!
Is schooling a factor for you or have you committed your attentions to performing?
My education is very important to me and I had to find a balance between my career and my schooling. Because my life is dedicated to my career and performing I am homeschooled which enables me to be flexible.
Do you have a career goal? Where would you hope to be in 5 years time?
I hope to still be in the business and working. Fame has never been a goal for me. I am interested in always being able to do what I love because, to me, that is the ultimate success. Staying in the game is what it's all about!
I am based in Australia. I often ask my guests if they have any favourite Australian films or actors? Do you?
I am not too familiar with Australian movies, however, I am a huge fan of Hugh Jackman. His performance in Les Miserables left me in tears! (The good kind!)
What's been a career highlight for you so far?
Being in Cyborg Nemesis is definitely one of the most amazing highlights in my career so far! Also getting to travel the world in Europe and Asia while touring was another highlight because it opened up my understanding of other countries and it gave me so much experience with performing.
Who are some people you would love to work with?
I would love to work with people like Barbra Streisand, Taylor Lautner, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Taylor Lautner, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Taylor Lautner, Anthony Hopkins, Drake Bell, Morgan Freeman, did I mention Taylor Lautner? LOL! etc... I would love to work with seasoned people so that I could learn from their work and experiences.
Do you have any other work on the horizon that we should know about?
At the end of June I will be leaving with my family to go on tour in Switzerland and Monte Carlo and I can't wait! I am also going to be working on the Kickboxer and possibly Blood Sucking Devil which is beyond exciting!
What music is on your iPod right now?
This question has so many answers! I don't stick to one kind of music, I listen to a variety of genres! My favorite is country music so there is a lot of country on my iPod! I also listen to Billy Joel, Queen, Drake Bell, Bruno Mars, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Garth Brooks, David Cassidy, Josh Turner, P!nk, Glee, Al Jolson, Frankie Lymon, and sooooo much more! The list is practically endless!!!
Joei, thank you so much for taking the time. I'll be keeping tabs on your career and I would love to visit with you again some time to dig a bit deeper into your work.
Thank you, Glenn, for the opportunity. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future!
Seemingly, Barbie Wilde has done it all. Most notably appearing in Clive Barker's Hellbound: Hellraiser II, she has enjoyed a multifaceted career from her early beginnings in mime, to a successful stint as the host of a TV music program as well as becoming an accomplished author. She has toured the world as part of the renowned music/dance troupe SHOCK and performed alongside the likes of Adam and the Ants, Depeche Mode and Gary Numan. Her talent is unquestionable and last year saw the release of her erotic-horror novel The Venus Complex, which has been praised all over the world. Of course if you're a fan then you already know all of this, however, if you're new to Barbie's work then I am thrilled to present her to you. Like most of my previous guests she has been both gracious & generous with her time and this opportunity to interview her has been an absolute privilege.
What was your favourite movie as a child?
The first one that just popped into my mind was the black and white, sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), starring Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. It was a scary premise, but Michael Rennie made such a sexy, logical alien, I was hooked. Sci-fi featured heavily when I was young, because my dad was such a big fan.
When I was a kid, I was much more into TV than movies. My favourite TV shows were: The Addams Family, The Avengers, The Man from UNCLE, Honey West and The Prisoner.
At what age did you decide to pursue a showbiz career?
I fell in love with acting when I got a part in my first school play when I was 12. (The play was called The Mighty Germ and I portrayed a sneeze-ridden teacher.) I was involved in drama classes in high school and then I went on to Syracuse University to study as a Drama Major, with a minor in Anthropology.
Who have been some of your early influences?
As an actress: Diana Rigg (Emma Peel), Carolyn Jones (Morticia Addams) and Ava Gardner. Directors that had a big influence on me when I was young were: Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Wise, John Huston.
Early influences as a writer: Arthur Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Patricia Highsmith, Rod Serling, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein.
Drawing Space: Barbie Wilde & Tim Dry
How did you get your start?
I came over to the UK to study acting and got involved with a mime company called SILENTS, at that time the largest mime company in England. We did a few Fringe Theatre gigs and a week-long residency at the Arts Theatre Club, where Marcel Marceau came to see us. (A thrill to any mime artist!) My partner, Tim Dry, and I broke away from the group to form a duo called Drawing in Space, which led to us to meet up with Robert Pereno and LA Richards, who invited us to join their group SHOCK.
And then came the performance troupe SHOCK in the 80s. Can you explain SHOCK to my readers?
SHOCK was a mime-dance-theatre-musical group. The final and most successful version of Shock consisted of myself, Tim Dry and Sean Crawford (mime artists - Tim and I were also actor-singers), Carole Caplin (singer-dancer) and Robert Pereno and LA Richards (dancers, actors, singers). We came together in 1979 and performed a lot in the cabaret circuit, then we got a break supporting a band called Famous Names on their tour around the UK, which brought us to the attention of the pop world. We did a cover of a song called “Angel Face” for our first single for RCA Records (produced by Richard James Burgess and Rusty Egan) and many of the bands at the time came to see us perform our rather unusual and bizarrely sexy show. They even gave us permission to use their songs as backing tracks for our dance-mime numbers.
We eventually started writing our own songs, and released another single called “Dynamo Beat” (Dry, Burgess). Although we supported such bands as Adam and the Ants, Depeche Mode, Naked Lunch, Ultravox and Gary Numan, and toured the UK, Europe and did a residency at the Ritz Club in New York, unfortunately we never had that break-though into the record charts.
You have hosted a number of interview programs. Has any celebrity made you nervous?Grizzly 2
Nervous? No… You have to concentrate on being as professional as possible, so you can’t allow yourself to get star-struck or nervous in front of someone like Cliff Richard, Iggy Pop or Johnny Rotten. After all, most of the time, performers and actors are just really nice people out there promoting their stuff, so most of my interviews went very smoothly.
You also had a role alongside George Clooney and Charlie Sheen in the infamous Grizzly 2. The film was never released. What’s the deal there?
Grizzly 2 was a bit of a disaster. Rumour had it that the director (or was it the 2nd director?) had a nervous breakdown. Then giant mechanical bear kept breaking down and finally the production ran out of money, so the Hungarian government stepped in and seized all the props, including the fake bear!
You can actually see extracts from the movie on Youtube and someone has even done a rough cut of the whole thing, putting in scenes of the bear from the first Grizzly film to flesh it out a bit, as all the bear bits are just a black screen.
Sadly, I never got to meet George Clooney, Laura Dern or Charlie Sheen because they all played “Red Shirts” who got killed off by the bear pretty quickly at the beginning of the film.
Your catalogue of work is extensive and diverse yet you are, perhaps, most widely recognised for your role as The Female Cenobite in Hellraiser 2. Do you enjoy the fandom this attracts?
I’m very grateful that I managed to be in at least one film that people remember me for. The acting biz is a hard taskmaster and it’s fabulous that people remember my part in an intriguing and mythic horror movie like Hellbound: Hellraiser II.
The first 2 Hellraiser films were ahead of their time in terms of subject and aesthetic. How would you attribute their longevity?
I attribute the lastly impact of the films to Clive Barker, his unique imagination and his creation of mythic creatures like the cenobites, extreme human characters like Frank and Julia, and a heart-rending heroine like Kirsty.
You have written numerous short stories, some taking place within the Hellraiser universe. Has Clive Barker shared his thoughts about your vision?
I’m not sure that Clive has read my story, “Sister Cilice” (from the Hellbound Hearts anthology), because he’s pretty busy with his new projects and his painting.
In 2012 your first novel, The Venus Complex, was published. Does writing challenge you as much as performing?
Writing and performing are very different disciplines and they are both challenging, but in different ways. I love doing both!
What is The Venus Complex about and does it have a particular demographic?
I’ll let my editor on Hellbound Hearts, Paul Kane (the award-winning horror and fantasy author) tell you what the book is about:
After purposefully killing his wife in a car accident, art professor Michael Friday finds his perspective on things has become a little…warped. Via his personal journal, we’re allowed into his mind to slowly watch the disintegration of it, bearing witness to his unnerving sexual cravings and ideas about killing: intertwined with the paintings he loves so much. As Michael writes, he’s “turning into something dead”; but at the same time he wants to be somebody, not a nobody.
Using his diary to rant against the world in general – including everything from banks to popular culture, from national holidays like Christmas to politics – he reveals more about the big, gaping hole in his own life. But as the novel goes on the first person narrative tensely builds up, displaying his dark dreams and innermost thoughts; his way of filling that void and presenting his grisly “works of art” to the world. As intelligent and cultured as Hannibal, easily as disturbing as American Psycho and infinitely less ‘reassuring’ than Dexter, this is a sexually-charged real life horror story that will definitely stay with you.
Regarding the demographic: anyone who is interested in exploring the sexual mindscape of serial killers and who wants to find out what makes them tick.
What were some of your biggest challenges with writing a novel?
This is no joke: finishing it! Also, I suppose that writing from a male point of view could be considered a challenge, but in the end, you’re just creating another character, so I never looked on it as such.
Do you foresee a return to the screen in the future?
It would be very unlikely, unless the perfect role came along.
This new website celebrates all genres of film, not exclusively horror… do you have a favourite genre?
I love all kinds of movies, but I suppose that Sci-fi is right up there. Anything with an original vision and a lot of imagination gets my attention.
What’s your favourite film?
I couldn’t possibly pick only one film! Blade Runner, Casablanca, The Big Sleep (1946), Psycho (1961), Casino Royale (2006), The Seven Year Itch, Laura, The Haunting (1963).
I am based in Melbourne and ask most of my guests if they have a favourite Aussie film. Do you?
Again, I can’t say just one film: Mad Max II, Gallipoli, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Last Wave, The Year of Living Dangerously, Moulin Rouge!, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
What has been a career highlight for you?
Supporting Gary Numan at Wembley, being in Hellraiser and writing The Venus Complex and getting it published.
What’s next for you?
I’ve just finished a short story called “Zulu Zombies” (and I’m not particularly fond of zombies, so it’s a story with a difference!) for the Bestiarum Vocabulum anthology edited by Dean Drinkel, which should be out in August 2013. I’m co-writing a musical drama for stage and screen and I’m thinking about a sequel to The Venus Complex.
I’ve also been working with Eric Gross of The Followers of the Pandorics, co-designing a box dedicated to my cenobite character, Sister Cilice. I’ve written a “further adventures” story to accompany the Cilicium Pandoric, which you can read here:
You have done a lot of interviews and I imagine you’ve answered the same questions hundreds of times. What’s a question you’ve never been asked?
What’s my favorite food and your favorite cocktail?
Would you care to answer it now?
Corn chips and Margaritas!
(You read it here first, folks... lol)
Barbie, thanks you sharing your time. We’ve only scratched the surface and I would love visit with you again for a follow-up.
Thanks for your questions! If your readers would like to know more, then they can go to BarbieWilde.com for news, reviews and interviews!