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DEBBIE ROCHON: A Quietly Rising Star PDF Print E-mail
Written by By Ron Bonk   
Dec 01, 2004 at 02:00 AM
Debbie Rochon began her acting career at what would be to most the tender young age of just twelve years old. The film was LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS, and it starred the likes of Diane Lane, Laura Dern, and THE CLASH (you read right folks -- Laura Dern and Diane Lane in the same motion picture!). A movie that she describes as "really cool, but very hard to find," the positive feelings of both the production experience as well as her work within it gave her a focus for the first time in her life, providing her with the spark to pursue acting as a full-time career. After years of study in New York City, she landed small roles and extra work in such obscure movies as CLEO AND LEO, LONELY IN AMERICA and PARTY INCORPORATED, as well as several other films, some of which were never released.
Though none of these films were the big break she sought, they did two very important things for her: first, it helped her to polish her writing skills, as Debbie began keeping journals on the sets of all the happenings; second, these films lead to a steady stream of appearances in the B-movie convention circuit, where she quietly became a popular celebrity. Ultimately, this lead to numerous movie and writing prospects, culminating in the publishing of one of those very production diaries in the prestigious FEMME FATALES magazine.
This article got such positive feedback that she was offered a more permanent editorial and writing position on the magazine. The fruits of several years hard labor provided her with more roles in bigger movies -- pictures like DEPRAVED, and REGENERATED MAN. Then came her biggest break to date -- the wildly successful ABDUCTED II. Not only did this movie literally fly off video shelves (due in large part to Debbie's own heavy promotion at many of the B-movie convention shows, as well as numerous magazine articles she wrote about it), it also received extended play on the USA network. She has gone on to write hundreds of articles for magazines across the world, including an interview with Conan O'Brien for our own upcoming TV SCENE magazine, as well as her very own column in the (now defunct) JOE BOB BRIGGS REPORT.
She also has her largest slate of movies yet ready to be released: The eagerly awaited Troma picture AND JUILET, the soft-core BROADCAST BOMBSHELLS, and the expected video-hit CYBER VENGENCE.
Ever since she was a little girl, Debbie has enjoyed watching movies and t.v. Living in a dysfunctional family, she longed for the same happy lives those fictional characters on screen enjoyed. Eventually she escaped her abusive foster parents, running away from home and showing up barefooted at the auditions for THE FABULOUS STAINS. The casting director took one look at her, asked her if she would dye her hair for the part, to which Debbie promptly replied "Yes," and signed her up as one of the lead extras. The movie, sort of a punk band version of TAP, couldn't have been a bigger inspiration for her. As one of the fictional groupies, she lived on set for three months, earning a whopping $300 a week. More importantly, it put her right in the middle of a lot of excitement. Being able to express herself in such a way inspired her on to more. But instead of hitchhiking to California like most hopeful, young actors would do, she understood the importance of training. Going first to Vancouver, then on to New York City, she wisely studied several different techniques of acting as she sought out her next big break.
Along the way up, Debbie has found herself drawn more towards the roles she describes as "emotionally challenging." She likes playing the characters who go through hell, both emotionally and physically. She'll never be drawn to the mild, simple, straight-forward roles with too few conflicts to deal with. Give her the raw, really gritty types any day -- dressed down and ugly! And anyone who has seen ABDUCTED II can attest to this. Her character in that film is abused, beaten, dragged around, and basically messed up throughout. Debbie readily admits that "sure, the character is abused throughout. But what I liked about the role was that she gets some revenge at the end. She has to kind of hit bottom first, and pull herself together."
Debbie says she has no obligation to looking a certain way for a film, nor does she always have to look pretty for the camera. But she feels some bitterness, and deservedly so, towards a few of the other girls in the B-movie industry &endash; ones who are constantly concerned with their looks and continue to do really, really well. "They're getting decent roles, even though they can't act!" She exclaims. She's not bitter towards them, and is actually happy for their success. She just finds that as she has taken on the off-beat roles, the non-glamorous ones, even though many people seem to like it, it's never been as popular a thing as the pretty, cutesy, bimbo ones. Maybe she should blame the fans!
Though, for the most part, happy with her movie career, Debbie readily admits that she has taken on some bad roles. In one movie, in what she describes as her worst acting experience, she found herself intimidated by the producer, the director, and even the director's girlfriend in to shooting a scene different from what was originally discussed. She won't say what the name of the film was, but it seems that she was called in for one day of work on an especially time-crunching shoot. The scene called for her shirt to be pulled at, but when she agreed to it, the understanding was that she would have a bra on. Suddenly, in the middle of the night on this last day of shooting, in front of the weary cast and crew, she was intimated into losing the bra. It was a very rough experience on her. See, shedding the bra was not the problem &endash; the games, intimidation, and misrepresentation were. She just asks when a movie-maker deals with her, that they do so in a straight-forward, up front manner. To top it off, the talent left her behind in the cold and dark, miles away from the nearest city, forcing her to wait until the crew had packed up all the equipment before being able to hitch a ride back with them.
Another film that didn't quite turn out how she hoped was BOMBSHELLS. She understood the movie for what it was from the beginning -- a soft-core, sexy comedy. But she saw something more in the character, a woman she describes as a conniving bitch who takes over the t.v. station where she works. But she's not thrilled with how it came out, and looking back on it, she describes it as not one of her better choices. "But it is what it is," she explains. "It's not something I'm proud of. It's not something I would do again."
Through her experience, Debbie feels she can now sit back and decide what she wants to do next. She wants to be excited when her next movie is set for release, not cringing and hoping nobody sees it. And she feels a strong positive reaction towards her current upcoming releases.
Among her favorite roles so far are the fore-mentioned II and the upcoming TROMEO AND JUILET. She sees a lot of herself in both of these roles, and feels they were the most challenging and most involved of any of the others.
Overall, Debbie believes that good roles are hard to come by, especially in the B-movie industry. Almost every script that comes her way has the character being victimized, and "certainly becoming more and more nekkid!," she laughs ironically. The majority of them lack independence, not able to handle their own situations. "Women's roles in Hollywood are fewer, but they're of a higher quality, with writer's who flesh out the roles better. There's more work in the B-industry, but you sacrifice 3-D character work. Yet there's a greater chance for success." Debbie points out that there's actually more B-movie influence in Hollywood today. There's more hiring of that "sensational instinct approach." And a lot of it has to do with story lines. She explains that B-movie are the testing grounds -- and the studios note their success as well as their failures. "How else would we get Jack Nicholson as the wolfman?" she exclaims!
"I do believe however," she notes, "that the more women get involved in the filmmaking process, the better the woman's roles are on the screen." She points to Sharon Stone as an example - producing the QUICK AND DEAD, as well as acting in what Debbie describes as "a lovely woman's role!" She believes that with woman getting their hands more and more into writing, directing, and producing motion pictures, the result will be less male-generated woman's roles, and stronger character's for women in general.
Debbie's most exciting film project sounds like the one that hasn't happened yet -- a low-budget flick called DRUG ME, SHOOT ME. She describes it as "a female version of PULP FICTION-- a very, very cool, Quentin Tarantino-esque flick. The story is great, and the twists and turns, it just goes forward and backward. And it's a very strong role for a woman -- LAST SEDUCTION strong." She is currently putting all her efforts towards helping to raise funds for it, but it still remains in hiatus despite nearly a year's time doing so.
Expect more exciting work from Debbie Rochon in the future. She's definitely talent to watch!

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