With titles like I Spill Your Guts, Blood Slaughter Massacre, Witches Blood, and Bite School on her list of over 80 film credits, it goes without saying that Genoveva Rossi is passionate about horror and she’s earned the title of Scream Queen. Of course, the list keeps on growing. As this goes to press, she’s shooting scenes in Brooklyn, on the set of Rocco George’s Neptune’s Song of Horror, in which she plays a character whom she says is her “craziest role to date,” and that’s really saying something. Other upcoming films Genoveva will be appearing in are Death at a Barbecue, and Death House, which are expected to be released next year, and Scream Queen Campfire, slated for 2018.
Genoveva is also a tarot card reader, which has brought authenticity to the fortune tellers she’s played in several of her films. As she’s one of the highest profile ladies in indie horror today, Genoveva has been on my radar for some time, so I’m especially proud to finally be adding her to Idol Features’ list of interviewees. Above photo by Andrew Zappone.
GENOVEVA ROSSI: I guess I am always slightly happy (laughs). Or maybe I am trying to prevent the evil monster that lives inside of me from crawling out. One of those.
CHRIS: You recently did a beach photo shoot with Zappone Photography, that included a mermaid costume. Was that a first for you?
GENOVEVA: I was at the beach and was asked by the photographer if I wanted to do some mermaid modeling. This was my first experience “mermaiding,” although the photographer loves turning models into mermaids. I felt like the Little Mermaid. It was fun and I also did a variety of beach photos with Zappone Photography that day and on other days. He certainly has a fun, unique style.
CHRIS: What would you say has been your most memorable photo shoot, either good or bad?
GENOVEVA: I recently had a fun shoot with Swav Jusis, which involved my apartment, red PVC, and yummy fake blood. It was a really relaxed and enjoyable shoot. Also, I shoot a lot with Stas Pix and we recently shot at Walker Stalker Con, and the Walking Dead convention in New Jersey. We got a lot of fun pictures and we got to meet and photograph Elvira, which was a real scream for both Stas Pix and I.
CHRIS: I can imagine. So, who have been some of your favorite photographers to work with?
GENOVEVA: Stas Pix, Swav Jusis Photography, Image Evolution, Zappone Photography, and more! All of them have such creative and unique artistic visions.
GENOVEVA: I always loved acting and the theater, but the horror genre has always held a special place in my heart. I was asked to be in Jack ‘O’ Slasher and then decided to see how far I could go in horror and here I am at 83 film credits since 2012.
CHRIS: You’ve worked with many icons in the horror industry, on both sides of the camera. Who are some of the ones you’ve been most impressed with?
GENOVEVA: It was a joy working with Michael Berryman (Apocalyse Kiss), Tom Atkins (Apocalyse Kiss), Kane Hodder (Death House), Tyler Mane (Take 2 The Audition), Linnea Quigley (Hunters and The Sadist), and more. It is truly an honor to work with the very people I grew up admiring. They are part of what inspired me to become a horror actress.
CHRIS: Is there anyone you haven’t worked with yet, whom you really want to work with?
GENOVEVA: I would love to work with Dario Argento and Rob Zombie. Their films move and inspire me a great deal.
CHRIS: You’re often covered in blood in your films. What’s would you say has been the bloodiest scene you’ve done?
GENOVEVA: I think the bloodiest and goriest film was Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania. David Trainer, who does special effects for the television show Fargo, did an amazing job. He even made me a little nauseous.
CHRIS: What are some skills you’ve had to learn just for a particular role?
GENOVEVA: While in West Virginia for Dead Men Tell No Tales, I learned basic chainsaw use. Talk about on the job training, ghouls! I have also learned a lot about cutting people’s throats, stabbing with knives, and breaking bottles over people’s heads. I am always learning fight choreography and how to mediate through intense special effects scenes. Also, I have had to learn a few accents for roles.
CHRIS: I’ll mention a few of your films. Tell me the first thing that pops into your mind about them: Blood Slaughter Massacre.
GENOVEVA: My first time as a reporter. An artsy slasher film.
CHRIS: The Attack of the Brain People.
GENOVEVA: My mom found me this amazing blonde wig from the 1950s which perfectly fit the style of the film and my role. It was like time traveling to the past and doing a low budget sci-fi film. Lots of fun.
CHRIS: Witches Blood.
GENOVEVA: I played a witch in this fun film. Fellow witch Cheryl Downey is no longer with us and I often think of her and her radiant energy when I think of the film.
CHRIS: Bite School.
GENOVEVA: I plan Suckarella, a redheaded vamp with a cable show. It was fun dressing up and having a silly scene in the movie. Also was great to be mentioned in the article on the film in Horror Hound magazine.
CHRIS: Killer Waves.
GENOVEVA: I play a surfer! Was a fun time on set and a great excuse to wear a bikini.
GENOVEVA: It was an honor to interview Sig Haig and Robert Mukes; both of these big names in the horror genre. I also recently interviews Elvira for UK Horror Scene. While in Rome, I met up with and interviewed Sergio Stivaletti, the top special effects wizard of Europe. He worked with Dario Argento and also directs his own films. I’ve also interviewed Michael Berryman, Bill Oberst Jr, and more!
CHRIS: You appear at a lot of horror conventions and events. Have you ever met any fans who were really “out there”? I mean, more “out there” than the usual “out there” fan?
GENOVEVA: The fans are great and perhaps they can be eccentric at times, but they are the life-blood of the horror scene and I appreciate their support.
CHRIS: I’ve heard you say that Chiller Theater Expo is your favorite horror convention. Why is that?
GENOVEVA: I have been attending since I was a child and it was my first convention I ever went to. I have also been a guest. Just feels like home.
CHRIS: Shifting gears now; you do tarot card readings and say that tarot is one of your true callings. When did you first feel that way?
GENOVEVA: When I was a child I had premonitions and I was drawn to the tarot and also palm reading. Lately I have also been attracted to runes and bone reading. Yes, it is a calling. It whispers in your ear and you have to respond to that by bringing it into your life. I also have played a gypsy, fortune teller, tarot reader, and even witch in many films. I give a very authentic performance and I love these sorts of intriguing characters.
CHRIS: You concurred with what was written in an article by Emilia Ciatti about five years ago, entitled “Tips on Dating an Italian Woman.” Are there any tips of your own you could add to what Emilia covered?
GENOVEVA: Good question. I would say with an Italian woman if you are honest, passionate, and loving you will never go wrong with her or me, for that matter.
CHRIS: You vacationed in Portugal and Italy this summer, I see?
GENOVEVA: It was wonderful to get away for a few weeks. Very relaxing and mentally stimulating. The beaches, castles, ancient ruins, food, and wine.
CHRIS: Do you speak Italian?
GENOVEVA: Only a bit. My father was born in Italy and I was born here. I came from a family that wanted me to be very Americanized.
CHRIS: I see. Were the photos of you topless on the beach in Portugal, at a beach where that was permissible or were you just being a little daring?
GENOVEVA: In most of Europe, the beaches are topless.
CHRIS: I notice you’re tattoo-free except for one small symbol near your right hip.
GENOVEVA: Yes, it’s my zodiac sign; Leo.
CHRIS: From recent photos I saw of you visiting Lou Costello’s home town of Paterson, I take it you’re a big Abbott and Costello fan?
GENOVEVA: My dear father introduced me to their films and I will always love them.
CHRIS: You have a long list of upcoming films. What are you currently working on?
GENOVEVA: I recently worked on Death House, 100 Acres of Hell, The Litch and more! I was just cast in Twincarnation with Lynn Lowry, and Bill Oberst Jr. I have a bunch of scripts I am reviewing now, but I am forbidden to discuss them yet so stay tuned ghouls!
CHRIS: I assume that the Halloween season is your busiest time? Are there any special events you’ll be appearing at during this time?
GENOVEVA: It is looking like I will be reading tarot at a few private events, attending Scare-A-Con as a horror guest, doing an Edgar Allan Poe reading at the Nyack Village Theatre, shooting a film or two, and wearing my costume to a few parties! Thanks for asking. I so love the Halloween season.
CHRIS: Do you have any hobbies or interests that most people don’t know about?
GENOVEVA: I am very into fitness, painting, literature, writing, and visiting haunted and spiritual places.
CHRIS: With that, I’ll thank you again for taking the time from your Scream Queen endeavors to answer my questions, Genoveva. In closing, do you have any shout-outs to anyone?
GENOVEVA: Thank you all for the love and support ghouls! To my parents, who will always have my eternal love. To God, for never leaving me.
Yours in screams,
Genoveva’s short demo reel