TIFFANY SHEPIS: HA! I would love to know who these people are so I can ask them for a job!! Seriously, I think I try to bring a bit of fun to the sets I’m on, so if people are saying they want to work with me, I’ve done my job. I love our genre, I love making movies, the fact that people want to work with me, damn, that’s like getting a bonus!
EYESTRANE: Your filmography is huge but you started off in the horror genre as a “Tromette.” How did you come to be working for Troma and what was your experience like?
TIFFANY: Troma is the ONLY reason I’m doing this interview with you right now. I never had any dreams of being a actress. If it wasn’t for TROMA taking a chance on a underage kid who just wanted to have fight scenes in a cult movie (me) I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. I would not trade my TROMA experience for anything in the world. I started working for Troma on Tromeo and Juliet. I was cast as Peter the bodyguard. I truly did learn everything I know about filmmaking from the creator of the Toxic Avenger. Distribution, promotion, hosting, sales ….you learn it all with Troma.
EYESTRANE: Your first film, Tromeo and Juliet was written by James Gunn who went on to have some success in film and television. At the time he was filing papers and wrote the screenplay for $150. What did you think of the film?
TIFFANY: I’m in love with Tromeo and Juliet. I’m so proud that I was involved in such a cool cult classic. James and Lloyd did an amazing job with that movie, My hands down Troma favorite since The Class of Nuke ‘Em High!
TIFFANY: I’m really proud of my performance in The Frankenstein Syndrome. I worked hard at trying to sound like I understood one word of what I was saying. I also thought The Hazing was a fun performance. The Violent Kind, although some of my demonic stuff was cut, I’m pretty proud of it. It’s creepy and sexy at the same time. That’s cool.
EYESTRANE: Would you consider working in more mainstream film or television projects?
TIFFANY: NO! I would never work on a movie that may be successful. Why would I? I love to struggle for art. (Laughs) I would work on whatever was thrown my way. Family films, lesbian romantic comedies, Christian rock movies …whatever. Dude, I’d kill to be the San Tan Hyundai oil change commercial chick. I’m an actor. Just cause I love horror movies and prefer to work on them DOES NOT mean I’m a total fucking dumbass. I LIKE MONEY MORE THAN I LIKE HORROR.
EYESTRANE: What is your criteria when choosing a role?
TIFFANY: It use to be, just offer me a part and I’m in. Lately, I’ve been trying to do something different. Like in the movie Cyrus I play Cyrus’ mom and went way far out with that character. I want to try and do something different each time. I always said when horror films stop being fun, I’ll stop doing them. The way I can avoid that is by trying something new each time. So hint hint screenwriters, send me something cool to do!
EYESTRANE: What do you think of modern, big-budget horror films these days? What about the success of the horror genre in television with shows like The Walking Dead or American Horror?
EYESTRANE: You’ve written articles for websites. Would you ever consider writing and producing your own films?
TIFFANY: I’m currently writing a short film, however you’re aware of how long it takes me to do interviews, so it may be a four-year writing process for a ten minute film (laughs). As for features, I doubt I would ever write a feature, that’s what I have my husband (writer/director Sean Tretta) for. Producing is something I’m interested in and as long as Sean continues to write, you’ll see more of that from me in the future.
EYESTRANE: When you were growing up you would watch films with your brother. Which ones stuck in your head or influenced you the most?
TIFFANY: I did! Pete and I were really big fans of Lair of the White Worm, Motel Hell, and all things Troma. We also watched at least once a month this weird movie shot in our home town called Scream for Help. We would laugh and laugh and laugh every time the mom got pushed down the basement stares. Not cause it was just funny, but cause the dummy they threw was so fake, it was fantastic.
EYESTRANE: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with in the future?
EYESTRANE: There is the public Tiffany and the private Tiffany. What is the private one like and can you describe her to us?
TIFFANY: Exactly the same without the cursing and drinking and slutty outfits (gives a wink). We have a lot of fun in our home, but it’s very much “home” life. I do very normal things like lame crafts at our seven-year-old’s school, watch massive amounts of Netflix before bed, and throw around movie ideas with Sean. Typical day; up at 6:15am. COFFEE. Wake up, feed and get the midget, ready for school. Think of something stupid to say to Debbie Rochon and the other “American Assholes” on Facebook. Usually read a script, make some calls, pick up the kid. Make dinner. Play. Netflix. Bed. Start over. Oh yea, and in between that I do all my very important humanitarian work (says with a wink).
EYESTRANE: Any interesting projects coming up you can tell us about?
TIFFANY: Dirty Little Trick just came out. You should watch it. Michael Madsen is in it and I play Dean Cain’s super adorable little sister. The Frankenstein Syndrome is still playing TMC like every day, so watch that one. The Violent Kind is all over Netflix and is super fun bloody biker craziness. Next year, I have Hallows Eve coming out. It stars Danielle Harris and Courtney Baxter. I play a small, but super fun part. Then we have Ivan Zuccon’s Wrath of the Crows. It’s a very dark, mystical, beautiful film. A MUST WATCH!
EYESTRANE: You are revered by your fans. How important is it to you to connect with them and do you use social media?
EYESTRANE: What kind of fan mail do you get?
TIFFANY: I get COOL fan mail. I’ve gotten AMAZING art! Cool little treasures from that person’s hometown, awesome old pix of me and that fan from a con 100 years ago. The letters themselves have always been very nice, respectful, and thankfully not full of anthrax. On a rare occasion I get a fucking weirdo, so that’s why I have everything go to my in-laws address (laughs).
EYESTRANE: Where can we find more information about you?
TIFFANY: My Facebook is the best place to get up-to-date info. I also have a Twitter where I bullshit with the AA’s and occasionally post something about movies.
About the author
The now-defunct website Eyestrane.com featured many interviews with some very notable ladies. Since said interviews were too good to go unseen after the site was shut down in August of 2014, former Eyestrane editor-in-chief Tom Heckbert has graciously agreed to occasionally resurrect some from his archived files for republication here at Idol Features. Tom and his former staff at Eyestrane always maintained a deep respect for the talent and creativity of the people they interviewed for the site.
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