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Graham, Sasha on The Alien Agenda PDF Print E-mail
Written by By Kevin Lindenmuth   
Apr 05, 2004 at 02:00 AM
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Graham, Sasha on The Alien Agenda
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Within the past year, Sasha Graham has become a recognizable face in the world of low-budget filmmaking, primarily from the success of her role in ADDICTED TO MURDER, which has made her visible on the shelves in Blockbuster Video here in the U.S., thousands of video stores in England and Germany, and a presence in nearly every major horror magazine in the world.  It\'s no surprise that her career is swinging into gear and she has appearances in several more indie productions before the year is out. Recently, we caught up with her on the set of one of her newest films...
Q: This past Summer you\'ve worked on not one but two alien themed movies, J.R. Bookwalter\'s POLYMORPH and Kevin Lindenmuth\'s THE ALIEN AGENDA: OUT OF THE DARKNESS. How was it working with the two different productions?
A: I had the greatest time working on these two movies. I was actually working on them both at the same time which meant a very hectic schedule. They shot THE ALIEN AGENDA here in New York City, where I live, and POLYMORPH out in Ohio. In both films I go from human to alien. POLYMORPH has lots of action and gun fights. My character, Tarper, is a crazed, coke addicted chick with Mafia connections. She is a strong character and I had so much fun with the action sequences, where as THE ALIEN AGENDA is much more serious and disturbing. The ALIEN AGENDA is more about the metamorphosis of the character as she is slowly turned alien. I don\'t want to give away the story, though. You\'ll have to see the movies and find out for yourself.
Q: So you\'re a big fan of alien movies?
A: Alien movies are my favorite movie genre. ET, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, and of course, the STAR WARS trilogy, were movies I saw as a child and they had such a tremendous impact on me. With the last ten years of slasher flicks, serial killer movies, and recently the emergence of Quentin Tarentino, a good alien film is so welcome. It\'s not mistake that INDEPENDENCE DAY is the top grossing movie of the summer. I think this is because today\'s horror films tend to deal with real life events that actually do surround us. We\'ve gone from the imaginary monsters of Bela Lugosi\'s DRACULA and Boris Karloff\'s FRANKENSTEIN to HENRY PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER. Our films of today thrill us with the action, violence, and suspense of something that may actually happen to us, say on a trip to the convenience store where Micky and Malorie (NATURAL BORN KILLERS) happen to stop by. You may enjoy the film but you\'re still left with the discomforting feeling that you may fall prey to a copycat killer lurking in your hallway when you get home. This of course scares us and everyone loves to be scared but it\'s so depressing to think it may actually happen. When watching an alien flick, on the other hand, you can pretty much assure yourself that what happens in the movie won t ever happen to you (although there are lots of people in America who might not agree with me) . And if you ever were abducted by an alien, how cool would that be? I\'d rather find myself on an alien vessel than be trapped by Jeffrey Dahmer\'s basement.
Q: You\'ve gotten your start in movies through low budget productions, most notably ADDICTED TO MURDER which received a widespread national release through BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO. Do you see yourself working in them for a few more years?
A: Absolutely! First off, I like to keep busy. I\'m always trying to stay busy working on one project or another. Plays or films. Low budget movies are great, in the fact that everyone is involved for the love of the film. Trust me, you can\'t get a crew member or actor to give up their weekend and spend ten hours on a set for little or no pay if they don\'t absolutely love the fact that they are making a great movie. America is finally more ready and willing to accept a low budget film. Look at CLERKS, BROTHERS McMULLEN, or WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE. Thank god, independent film making is finally breaking into the mainstream. Look at how many film festivals have popped up since the success of The Sundance Film Festival. I think I\'ll always be happy to work on any low budget production providing it\'s a good script. I\'m dying to make big films, too. I\'d love to reach a wider audience, shoot in exotic locations, and of course get the BIG paycheck (Yes folks, I\'ve got my Oscar speech planned and written. I\'d like to thank all the people who believed in me...). I think the pressures are a lot different in a low budget film compared to a regular Hollywood movie. Usually it\'s the director\'s money (saved or borrowed from friends or family) at stake, not someone else\'s. Artistically the only person the director must answer to is himself. I think there is much more room to take chances, break the rules, and create a really fabulous film when you\'re doing an independent.
Q: You\'re a woman and you\'ve been in some low-budget horror films. How often does the word \"Scream Queen\" come up?
A: Well, I don\'t see myself as a \"Scream Queen\". Yes, I\'ve done some horror genre films. I\'ve also been in over fifteen plays produced in New York City, worked on soaps, on Comedy Central, done interactive dinner theater, and was the spokes-girl for an anti- smoking educational CD-ROM. I\'m an actress. I don\'t want to be labeled as anything except as someone who does good work. The title of \"Scream Queen\" bring to mind (at least for me) the image of a busty babe running away from some psycho on a tight wet little T-shirt and mini skirt. That\'s definitely not like anything I have done. I have sat at conventions and signed autographs as a Scream Queen of sorts. I told myself I was promoting my film, while making a little pocket change. Truth is, I felt more like a prostitute. The attitude from the men I was selling photos to seemed so sleazy. They didn\'t want to talk about the movie. They just wanted a photo and to pinch or tickle me. The less clothes you wear the more photos you\'ll sell. That isn\'t me. I think it would be great to do a convention if I was involved in something people really were crazy about. Like an X-FILES or TWIN PEAKS convention. To sit and talk on a panel, about a character you played on a show or film they really enjoyed would be fantastic.
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
A: Right now I\'m involved in a film called THE SANTA EFFECT, directed by Nick Kellman and produced by Carlos Cashman. I play the mother of two girls who kidnap Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. We are shooting it out in the Hamptons this month and I can\'t wait. I love going away on location. The script is wild and funny. It\'s going to make an amazing movie. The girls who play my daughters are so charming and talented. I\'m also going to do a one liner in Pete Jacelone\'s new film, PSYCHO SISTERS: THE REVENGE. Pete and I met at the Chiller and Fango conventions while he was promoting the first PSYCHO SISTERS. He was also in Polymorph, playing a scientist who I happily blow away and then drag into a swamp. That experience, plus the sixteen hour car trip back and forth from Ohio to New York, brought us close together. I\'m looking forward to it. A film I did last year, a beautiful love story involving Aids, called ONE TAKE is near completion. It was directed by Dan Waxpress and it should be done by Fall. Hopefully it will do well in the film festival circuit. It is such agony to work on a movie and then have to wait for months to see the finished results. As for this Fall and next year I hope I keep getting the opportunity to work on more projects. Acting is so tough because you are always out of work. The acting part is easy. It\'s getting the roles and the money that is the hard part. I really want to get involved in George Lucas\' STAR WARS prequel. Maybe it sounds corny but if I could be a part of those films then my wildest dreams would have come true and I could die a happy woman. George, if you are out there reading this, cast me!!!!

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