(Editor’s Note: This interview with Scream Queen Kitsie Duncan, was conducted back in December 2011 by Tom Heckbert for the now-defunct website Eyestrane.com. It’s been republished at Idol Features courtesy of Tom.)
Kitsie Duncan Was born in the Chicagoland area, and lived in several cities growing up. Kitsie now calls Bloomington, Indiana home where she lives with her husband Chris Jay and is raising her amazing children.
From a young age, Kitsie always loved the spotlight, and was always involved in choir and drama. She took a hiatus to raise her children, and now that they are older, is pursuing her lifelong dream of being in movies. She is currently producing and acting in independent films such as Lethal Obsession, Reverie, Good Night, Cthulhu Key: Legacy, A Christmas Scream, Slasher, Meateater, What They Say, Found, the comic book Crocaloctopus, the web series Legacy of the Masque, and the upcoming Mother’s Blood as Vivian.
Kitsie is so proud to be considered a “Scream Queen” and loves the independent film family that she is involved in. She was recently crowned one of the elite Famous Monsters of Filmland Scream Queens and recently had a pictorial in their October 2010 issue.
EYESTRANE: Kitisie, it is an honor to meet you. I have a lot of admiration for what you are your husband are doing in independent horror. When did you decide to jump headfirst into acting?
KITSIE DUNCAN: Thanks so much for contacting me, the pleasure is all mine! I decided to jump into acting in 2008. It is honestly something I’ve always wanted to do. I just didn’t know how to go about it. When my husband (Chris Jay) and I decided we wanted to become filmmakers, I thought “Hey, I can do this” and asked hubby to write a part for me in the movie.
EYESTRANE: Many famous actors, actresses, producers, and directors have gotten their start in B-movies. I have no doubt of your success, but what do you think it is about your acting that audiences will find intriguing?
KITSIE: Hmmmm, that’s a tough one. When I go after a role, it’s because in some way, shape, or form, I can get into the head of that character. I spend many, many hours wrapping my head around theirs. When I go into a scene, I know what that character has been up to for the hours, weeks, months, or even years before. I know it sounds a little crazy, but backstory is key to me. Director Jason Hignite taught me that on my first film, Lethal Obsession, and it has stuck with me ever since. Then, when the camera is rolling, I am that character. I even use this in auditions, and in improv classes I have taken in the past. I may have 20 seconds to get the backstory set, or months to get into the character, and I truly hope this comes across to the end viewer.
EYESTRANE: You have also produced for your company, Darkrider Studios. Do you enjoy producing?
KITSIE: I really do enjoy the busy work of production. I am a little OCD sometimes, and I get to let that go in producing, but once I’m on that train, look out, nothing stand in my way. I have been contacted by other companies to produce, but at this time, I am only producing for Darkrider Studios. I do love to act in others productions though.
EYESTRANE: Tell us about your projects, Lethal Obsession, The Meat Eater Project and Mothers Blood.
KITSIE: Lethal Obsession was our teething ring, so to speak. It’s how we got our start into both producing and my acting. We did make it through the teething stage fairly unscathed, and really have a firm bite on this thing. Darkrider then went on to do some shorts, Meateater being one of them. We were approached by Jabb Pictures to be a part of the collective. It was 10 different filmmakers each doing their own 10-minute short based on one synopsis. The story was provided by the very talented J. Travis Grundon, I then turned it into a screen play, we asked our friends to fill the cast, and it is still to this day one of my favorite shorts we’ve produced. It’s kind of a dark comedy. I call it The Office, meets Blair Witch, meets My Name is Earl. Mother’s Blood has been a very long road, but it will be worth it in the end. We are currently in post production and are hoping to have it out in early 2012. It is a great story, with an amazing cast, and and even more amazing crew. It’s directed by Chris Jay, and it is probably his most amazing work yet. It’s been described as a dark fairy tale and that description is pretty dead on. We’ve got a gypsy, played by the amazing Rodney Horn, we’ve got the evil mother, played by yours truly, and the sweet over protected daughter, played by the super talented Heather Dorff. You can find out more about it by checking out the website (www.mothersblood.com) and see some fun BTS photos and still captures from the film on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mothersblood).
EYESTRANE: Lethal Obsession‘s storyline is brilliant and very, very current. Meaning it is something that could be possible in this day and age. How did you come up with the idea?
KITSIE: Honestly, I have one of those minds that’s always wondering “What if?” One day I was thinking about these adult webcam girls and they always seem to be doing it from their bedroom or somewhere in their home, and they seem to be doing it alone, so wandering mind that I have started thinking if someone were to kill these girls, and the viewers would have to watch, how would they report it. They have no idea where these girls are recording from. It’s not like you can call the local police and they’ll even know without some major research. I had once thought about writing a book about it, then it just went into the back of my mind buried with algebra, and all the other things I don’t use, Until we formed Darkrider several years later and we wanted a horror story. Hubby brought it up and said he wanted to write a screenplay about it, and I was all for it.
EYESTRANE: When you were young, did you love watching horror films and what were some of your favorites?
KITSIE: I actually didn’t watch horror movies as a kid. My mom put the kibosh on that when I would keep her up at night after seeing them, Good call mom, I did the same with my kids. I actually started watching horror movies on a regular basis, about a year before we formed Darkrider and it’s been a heck of a game playing catch up since 2008. I still won’t watch The Exorcist, The Omen, or Children of the Corn. I’m still afraid those three will keep me up at night
EYESTRANE: How do you feel about working in makeup, prosthetics, or doing your own stunt work?
KITSIE: I loves special effects makeup. I really feel it’s an art form in it’s own right. Whenever I get a chance, I love to watch others do their magic and make someone look so completely different! I do love to dabble in it myself, but I’m nowhere near as good as the pros. Stunt work is so much fun!! I honestly wish I could do more of it. I did get a pretty bad injury during the filming of a Christmas Scream, when Jared Degado flipped me over, but that was totally my fault for not stretching properly first, as I learned from the great David Gilkey!
EYESTRANE: How important do you think is the relationship between sex and horror?
KITSIE: I personally don’t think it’s important at all. I love a good story, good acting, and some great SFX! I know a lot of people don’t agree with me on this. but to me it’s all about the story really!
EYESTRANE: Are there any actors you would like to work or collaborate with?
KITSIE: Oh my god, so many actually! In the indie world, I would love love love to work with Tiffany Shepis. I adore her and honestly, any excuse to get to spend more time with her is a good excuse. She’s my girl! Seriously though, I want to work with as many people as I can. I’ve learned so much from the people I’ve already had the joy to work with. and I’ve made some great friends along the way.
EYESTRANE: What do your kids think about your career?
KITSIE: They think we’re crazy (laughs). They tolerate us for sure. I always try and get them in on it somehow, weather behind the scenes or in front of the camera. I mean, they will inherit this business someday. Even though two of them don’t even like horror films.
EYESTRANE: Being named the 2010 Famous Monsters Scream Queen is a big honor. How did you feel when you found out you had won?
KITSIE: I was totally shocked! here I was a *cough cough* year-old woman up against all these 20-something girls. I honestly just did it to meet Bridget Marquardt, and I was lucky enough to be one of the winners. It was pretty freakin’ awesome!!
EYESTRANE: You have also done some impressive modeling work. Is it something you enjoy and want to continue doing?
KITSIE: I do love modeling. It’s a lot of fun. Right now though, I am focusing on my acting. I really want to bring it to the next level. *Ahem* So, if you’re looking for a redhead for your film, contact me at www.kitsieduncan.com.
EYESTRANE: How would you describe the private, off-camera Kitsie?
KITSIE: I am sooo boring (laughs). I adore spending time with my family the most. I love to watch movies of all kinds, especially action and comedy aside from horror. I still love the experience of going to the theater, getting the overpriced popcorn and soda. It’s really a blast to me still. Hubby and I love to go out on the town from time to time. We love to go to retro night at the clubs and sing our hearts out to 80′s tunes with all the other peeps that are doing it too, but most night’s you’ll find me at home doing something crafty or watching movies with hubby. It’s honestly what I love most to do in the world.
EYESTRANE: How important to you is social media and interacting with your fans?
KITSIE: I think it’s such an awesome tool, but sometimes a little too addicting. I’m actually trying to cut back my time on the social network sites a bit. Nothing really is more rewarding then meeting them in person, though. I love going to all the horror conventions and meeting them face-to-face ….well, aside from the creepers. So if you see me, make sure you come say hi!!
Kitsie’s demo reel