Actress and model Lacey Hernandez is another beautiful and talented lady who was brought to my attention by my friend and master of indie film promotion, Carlo Rodriguez. Carlo also seems to have the same keen eye for beauty and talent as I do. (Well ….the proof’s right here.)
A native Texan, Lacey’s background in front of the camera has mainly been in modeling, thus far. (“I’ve done some great gigs!” she proudly told me.) She focused on her college education before transitioning over to acting. Now, with degrees in psychology and nuclear medicine under her belt, even though she hasn’t been in the acting biz long, she’s managed to get some great parts in a short time. Namely, Terissa Kelton’s Dear Boss Ripper and Bug Davidson’s The Beauty Memory Project, both soon to be released. One of the films she’s currently working on is the Doggett Brothers’ Horror, a project she’s grown particularly fond of. She’s also picking up some good experience working behind the camera, as well. Most recently on Twitchy Dolphin’s Daughter of Werebitch Meets Skankenstein (my favorite B-horror title since the classic Frankenhooker). Lacey’s eagerness to do this interview with me was very flattering and I’m happy to present one of the first of what will surely be many interviews in her career.
CHRIS CHARLES: Great to have you here for an interview, Lacey. Is this you first or one of your first interviews?
LACEY HERNANDEZ: Hi Chris! This is one of my firsts. I’ve been waiting in anticipation for your questions all day!
CHRIS: As of yet, you don’t have a website or an IMDb listing. Can you please give me a little background on yourself?
LACEY: No website as of yet. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Went to college there, as well. I moved to California for a while after college but missed Texas. I currently live in Austin. I LOVE being outdoors, and Austin is a great city for that. I spend a lot of time hiking and being in the water. The beach is my escape. If someone would let me grow roots in the sand and stay put, I’d be in heaven.
CHRIS: I’m guessing there’s Native American in your ethnic mix. Am I correct?
LACEY: You sure are! Native American from both grandmothers. And Middle Eastern is in the mix, as well.
CHRIS: As you know, our mutual friend Carlo Rodriguez brought you to my attention. As you also probably know, he is a master of promoting independent film actresses.
LACEY: Chris, there are not enough hours in the day for me to express my gratitude and love for Carlo! He is appreciated beyond words. I know a lot of other actors and actresses who would say “amen” to that! He has been such a source of knowledge and encouragement.
CHRIS: You started out modeling and have just recently made the move to acting. What were some of your most memorable modeling gigs?
LACEY: Oh man, I’ve been involved with some great ones. But I would have to put my shoot for the United States Air Force at the top of the list. The men in the shoot with me were not models. They were airmen from the base who volunteered. It was such an honor to spend time with them. Some pilots flew back and forth over the area where we were shooting. That way, the photographer wouldn’t have to Photoshop in anything. A close second would have to be my gig for the Indy 500. We shot on the track. There’s nothing like the sound of engines revving while you’re working!
CHRIS: I’m sure there was no trouble at all getting those airmen to volunteer to be in the shoot with you. So, you said you finished college before taking the plunge into acting. What was your major?
LACEY: I have degrees in psychology and nuclear medicine.
CHRIS: Did you study those and get your degrees so you’d have something to sort of fall back on, in case you decided show biz wasn’t for you?
LACEY: It wasn’t so much as something to fall back on. I would like them to always be a part of my life. The medical field is incredibly rewarding, and when opportunities arise, I hope to use this knowledge to take care of people.
CHRIS: That’s great to hear. To date, how many acting credits do you have?
LACEY: Three films are completed. The Beach, with director Montique; Dear Boss Ripper, with director Terissa Kelton; and The Beauty Memory Project, with director Bug Davidson. Two feature films are in the works; Horror, with writers/directors Daniel and Stewart Doggett and 3 References, with writer/director James Christopher. This summer, I’m signed on for a couple lead roles. I’ll be working with director Rich Bo on A Shadow and also working with writer/director Johnny Lightfoot on a film yet to be titled. I’ve also recently signed on with writer/director Edward St. Joseph for a few projects; Incondite Incident, Littig Rd. and in talks for Red Rover. I’ll be working with James Christopher again in early 2013 on his next feature, Quad X.
CHRIS: Wow, sounds like you’ll be pretty busy in the near future and getting some great exposure, as well. Have you already started your lists of favorite people to work with and those to avoid working with in the future?
LACEY: James Christopher and his production company Twitchy Dolphin will always be on my list (as favorites)! And the Doggett Brothers, who gave me the role in Horror, will have to shew me away eventually. Haha …I am their fan for life!
CHRIS: You play a wife and mom in Horror. What was it like making that one?
LACEY: Working on Horror has been like nothing I have ever experienced. Seeing first hand how a horror movie is pieced together is fascinating. Most of the movie takes place at night, so we have been filming from sun down to sun up. Sometimes, around 4 a.m. or so, we would begin to get a little loopy. But that only makes for side-splitting laughter and a long list of inside jokes. Having the child actors on set kept us all giggling, and I have a huge place in my heart for the other actors in the film.
CHRIS: Tell me about your character in Twitchy Dolphin’s Dear Boss Ripper.
LACEY: My character meets a very solemn demise in this film, but it was loads of fun to portray. I don’t want to say too much, but there is quite a bit of blood involved!
CHRIS: What’s it been like for you making that film, so far?
LACEY: We actually attracted the attention of some police during one scene! We were filming outside at night. There I am all bloody. The other actor in the scene is holding a knife. And some officers approached us and asked questions (laughs). The officers were in the area for someone else, but it still made us straighten up for a second! I have come to find that there will always be fun on the set with the Twitchy Dolphin gang!
CHRIS: You’re also involved in Twitchy Dolphin’s Daughter of Werebitch Meets Skankenstein. However, in that one, you were part of the crew rather than the cast. With a title like that, if I didn’t know better, I’d guess it was a Japanese production. What were your duties on that project?
LACEY: Yes, that title grabs your attention! There is a big comedy aspect to the film. I worked mainly with the sound and special effects makeup crew but I tried to soak in as much other info as I could. I watched the set up and break down of lighting and paid attention to all the little details that the director and crew took into consideration before a shot.
CHRIS: Is horror your favorite genre?
LACEY: It is pretty high on the list. There’s something about being frightened or enthralled by a good thriller that gives you that tingly butterfly feeling in your stomach. I also love science fiction and conspiracy films.
CHRIS: Are you interested in getting into more work behind the camera, as well as in front?
LACEY: Oh for sure! James Christopher has been a sweetheart and given me a little taste of behind the scenes action. I think all components of the movie-making process are interesting, and I feel it’s worth gaining knowledge and experience in the production side of films as well.
CHRIS: I know you love the beach and the water. Have you done many beach photo shoots?
LACEY: Oh you’ve hit my soft spot. If someone plopped me down in a hut on an island and told me I had to live out my days fishing and bathing in the ocean, I would grin from ear to ear. I’ve actually only had one beach shoot. Hmmm, I need to change that number!
CHRIS: I assume you could you see yourself in a role where you spend a significant amount of screen time in and around the water?
LACEY: Most definitely! I just hope I could concentrate! (Laughs)
CHRIS: So, how good a Jet Skier are you?
LACEY: (Laughs) I can hold my own. Race ya if you’re willing!
CHRIS: Well, I’m glad to be one of the first to interview you Lacey. I wish you the best of luck with your future projects and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more from you in what looks like the beginning of a very successful career. In closing, any shout-outs to anyone? LACEY: Chris, this has been such a pleasure! And I would love to shout-out to my husband, my mother, my family in Texas and in California, the Wootans, Carol and Charlie, my girlfriends who know me inside and out, James Christopher and the Twitchy Dolphin gang, Carlo Rodriguez, the Doggett Brothers and the cast and crew of Horror.
Cleveland National Park overlooking Lake Elsinore in California.
Caitlin Sweeney applying FX makeup to Lacey on the set of Dear Boss Ripper
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business 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, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the quarterly magazine, Effective.