Minnesota native Nicole Kruex began performing on stage in elementary school, after she was able to break away from Nintendo long enough to discover her love for acting. Since she already had a love for horror as well, it was natural that she’d gravitate toward that genre.
Over the last few years, Nicole (who has also gone by the professional name; “Nikki Homicide”) has made quite a mark for herself in the independent film industry. One of her most recent movies is Discursion, which she co-wrote, co-produced, and stars in. Yes, besides working in front of the camera, Nicole also wears many hats behind it, including writer, director, and producer. She has her own production company called Triwar Pictures, that currently works in film and television, but there are plans to expand into commercial and industrial video productions.
Nicole recently took some time out from her busy schedule to chat with me, where we covered topics such as her ethnic background, the charities she supports, her stunt work, and being chased through a junkyard while wearing three-inch heels and a gas mask.
CHRIS CHARLES: I’m very pleased to be interviewing you, Nicole. Thanks to ladies like you, my site is becoming more popular every week.
NICOLE KRUEX: It’s my pleasure! Thanks for being patient, life lately has been a whirlwind of crazy!
CHRIS: No problem, at all. The first thing I’m curious about is; you have beautiful fair skin with dark hair and eyes so I assume many people ask about or try to guess your ethnic background?
NICOLE: All the time! I’m actually American Indian and a mix of German, French, Norwegian, Polish, African, and Spanish. I often get labeled, Dominican, East Indian, and Latino. It’s sort of fun to be ambiguous.
CHRIS: So far, you’ve chalked up nearly 30 acting credits since 2008, that include film, TV and commercials. If you could submit a clip of just one scene as a sample of your horror work, what would it be and why?
NICOLE: That would definitely be a clip from our upcoming film Discursion. Of all the films I’ve worked on, Discursion is the most complete highest quality horror project I’ve got on my resume. The cast and crew were exceptional and the film turned out to be something we didn’t expect. To make a long story short; I’m really proud of it for dozens of reasons but the most important is having finished something that was more difficult than I ever imagined it could be.
CHRIS: Many of the actresses and models I’ve interviewed, also work behind the camera as photographers and you do, as well. When did being in front of the camera get you interested in being behind it?
NICOLE: I’ve always loved being on both sides of the camera. I studied photography in college, not the digital kind but true 35mm processing-room-developing-film kind of photography, I think that’s really where I got my first taste of creating visual art though image capture. I’m also an artist by nature, I’ve been drawing since I was five and love to create stories. It’s only natural that making movies could be a career I would enjoy!
CHRIS: You’ve also done quite a lot of behind-the-scenes work on films. Everything from writing to transportation. You even have a credit for stunts. What film was that and what did you do?
NICOLE: I’ve done stunts in several films, working low budget doesn’t often support extra hands for the dangerous stuff so we often have to fight, fall, jump, drive, and what not all on our own. It’s risky but if it makes the film that much better, I’m all for it!
CHRIS: Ever had any mishaps on a set?
NICOLE: Oh gosh yes. During Discursion there is a chase scene that takes place in a junkyard. Lots of potholes and tire tracks. I was wearing a gas mask and boots with 3 inch heals. Suffice it to say? Limited vision and unstable ground is not a good combination. About 20 minutes into shooting I took a spill and twisted my ankle, BUT I finished out the day and even did a run slide around an old piece of construction equipment that rocked the scene! Of course, for a week after the shoot I could barely walk …but it was all worth it!
CHRIS: Have you ever turned down any parts or regretted taking any?
NICOLE: Yes, several times and on several occasions. At a some point in my recent career I made the decision to take a certain path in my career. There are some things I’m not meant to be a part of. I’m not a vixen or a sex symbol, at least that’s not how I see myself, and with that changes the kind of roles I want to be known for. If I would compare my choice of careers to follow it would be Helena Bonham Carter or Eliza Dushku. Horror with options is what I would label it. There are certain things you can’t do if your career is defined by just b-horror (or even f-horror) and if it’s possible for me to do something more, I want to chose wisely now to leave that option open.
CHRIS: I read where you said in an interview a couple of years ago, that the role of the sadistic dominatrix, “Aja” in Terror Overload was your crowning achievement. Is that still the case?
NICOLE: No, not even kind of. There was an air of naivety in that comment. It was the first full feature I’d been a part of. Though I appreciate the opportunity I was given to really be a part of a project like that, I’d never agree to it again.
CHRIS: I see. So, what did you do to study that type of character before playing her?
NICOLE: Not so much, Aja was definitely the combination of sensuality and the sly evil all women possess if they only access that side of their personality. We all have an air of Aja in us.
CHRIS: Haha, yes, some more than others. So, what other roles are you particularly proud of and did you do any special research in preparation to play them?
NICOLE: My role as Evelyn in Next Door was a lot of fun! It was the first film I went out of state for and I had to study the sassy nature of Pauley Perrette for the role. My other most adored role is Cassie Becker in Discursion, I spent sometime studying a realistic British accent for that!! I’ve had several people ask if I was British because of it. It makes me laugh!
CHRIS:(Trying to put the movie Scream out of mind because the first teenage girl killed in that film had a name similar to Cassie Becker) I’ve just seen the trailer so far, but from what I heard, you do have the accent down pat. As of this interview, your latest film Longwood is in pre-production. Can you tell me a little about you character; Rachel Jenson?
NICOLE: Well, I know I play the daughter of the owner of the restaurant. At one point they had her cast, but I believe it’s changed. I can’t say much more then that.
CHRIS: I know you’re into reading (Edgar Allan) Poe and Shakespeare. What are some of your favorite works of theirs? (Wondering how much of The Raven she can quote, off hand)
NICOLE: Oh my. Well, as far as Poe goes? The Masque of the Red Death, Tell Tale Heart, the Cask of Amontillado and the Pit and the Pendulum are my favorites. I like The Raven, but there are so many better stories! As for Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night Dream.
CHRIS: You also like Japanese anime. Any favorite characters? (Hoping she’ll mention Kekko Kamen so I can ask her to check out my article on her)
NICOLE: I’m a massive fan of Ranma 1/2, Excel Saga, Ninja Scroll, Tenchi, Akira, Fushugi Yugi, Golden Boy, Kekko Kamen …and Principle Big Toe!! …Saber Marionette, this list could go on. I have over 600 VCR and DVD anime titles. As for characters? Grand Father Hopposai or Tatewake Kuno still top the charts!
CHRIS: I read in another interview with you that you’re obsessed with prison and are a big fan of the HBO series OZ. I assume that you’re also a fan of WIP (Women in Prison) films?
NICOLE: You know, I’ve never really watched a women in prison film. Television shows, yes (like Super Max) but no films. However, I’m not much interested in women in general so to watch a film specifically about women in jail seems kind of weird?
CHRIS: At the risk of turning off some of the ladies with tattoos I’ve interviewed and who are readers of this site; it’s very refreshing for me to see a girl without any tattoos. Well, at least, not any prominent ones. Please tell me you’re going to stay that way! (as I’ve had them and spent a fortune in laser treatments getting rid of them.)
NICOLE: Well, I hate to disappoint you somewhat, but I do have tattoos. I have one on my back and one on my stomach. Good news is, I refuse to get any that are prominent and what I have are very meaningful to me. It takes a long time for me to decide to get one because I know how permanent they are. They should be a well thought out decision that you can live with forever ….so you won’t find a tiger, flower, butterfly, or any other clichéd tat on me. They only reflect important moments in my life.
CHRIS: What is something you can tell me about yourself that I would not be able to find in print or on the net anywhere?
NICOLE: Well, I’m an experienced horseback rider, I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember, my first drawing was of Mickey Mouse, I went to school to be an animator and filmmaker, I’ve been acting since I was 12, I’m an avid gamer, both PC and console, I love Kung Fu movies, the History Channel, period films, and root beer! One big thing I don’t often share is my support of several foundations that my company works hand in hand with to create media we hope will one day change the lives of people around us, and with that I have to say to everyone, be informed about the realities and preventative measures of renal failure (ShadirelandFoundation.org)… pay attention to the lack of federal guidelines and regulations for students traveling abroad before sending your children overseas (ClearCauseFoundation.org), and if you have a little to give? Scares That Care is an incredible direct way to help children in need (ScaresthatCare.com).
CHRIS: It’s been great chatting with you Nicole. Anything you’d like to say to the ever-growing number of visitors to this site, including your fans? NICOLE: Check out Discursion at DiscursionMovie.com!! Keep coming back to Idol Features and support incredible journalists like Chris!! And whatever your dream; follow it with all your heart! Chances are, you just might make it a reality!!
From a shoot for a project entitled “Bite Me”
Promo for Lust
Probably the most skilled mobile-phone-self-shot-taker I’ve seen, Nicole snapped this one
before leaving for a charity event for one of the several causes she actively supports.
An example of Nicole’s anime-inspired photo artwork
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music biz there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, you can catch his writings at Idol Features, Behind the Velvet Curtain, and add him on Facebook and Google+