Monique Dupree

"Tha Original Gata" from a once gone, but not forgotten, 2011 interview

(Editor’s Note: This interview with “Tha Original Gata” Monique Dupree was conducted back in December 2011 by Tom Heckbert for the now-defunct website It’s been republished at Idol Features courtesy of Tom.)

Monique Dupree

Tha Musician
Tha Original Gata™ is the lead vocalist for a balls to the wall band called Negro Childe. Negro Childe is a fusion band often compared to a cross between Eminem & Juliette and the Licks. Each song can vary from genre to genre, going from rock to R&B to hip hop to mental. When GATA gets on stage, her grungy manga-anime cat-like persona and unique voice stylings will make it clear to you that she’s not your average front grrl.

Tha Actress
Actress Monique Dupree; often referred to affectionately as Tha Original Gata™, has become an underground cultural icon. She tows the line between independent/genre film leading lady and the fringe of the mainstream. Loved ,hated, often challenged she continues to infect the very bloodstream of the horror/sci-fi universe on every media level with her dominating presence and tireless work effort. You can find Monique Dupree’s films online or in stores such as Walmart, Target, FYE, Food Lion, and many other locations.

Monique Dupree
During the filming of Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned in 2008
EYESTRANE: Monique Dupree, Tha Original Gata, thank you so much for granting us this interview. I want to first ask you about your upcoming role in Plan 9, the remake of Plan 9 from Outer Space. What role do you play and how similar to the original film do you think it will be?
MONIQUE DUPREE: I play the character Becky. I think the director, John Johnson made sure to keep the spirit of Ed Wood while adding his own style to it.
EYESTRANE: You are known as the first Black Scream Queen and have appeared in an impressive number of horror movie roles. What is it about the genre that you like?
MONIQUE: I’ve always had a love for horror even as a child. I never actually planned to be in horror films, it just happened that way. I love playing the bad guy though, the killer. If I HAD to be typecast, I’d be okay with that.
EYESTRANE: You are also known for being a cult symbol and a sex symbol. How do you feel about the image you portray?
MONIQUE: I know that no matter what I do, people are going to portray me the way THEY see me. I don’t set out to be a sex symbol or a cult symbol. I simply like being myself. I love changing up all the time. That’s why I’m also known for my anime/manga style, Japanese fashion and cat-like persona. I have so many different looks that people hold on to the one they like and they run with it.
EYESTRANE: Was acting something you always wanted to do?
Playzom 4-2010
Gracing the cover of the April 2010 issue of Playzom
MONIQUE: Acting/entertaining has always been there. This is what I’ve always wanted to do with my life; to entertain others. I don’t care if its on stage singing with my band, Negro Childe, being on set, or modeling. This was been a desire and need of mine. I’m so honored and happy that I get to do what I love everyday.
EYESTRANE: Out of the numerous characters you have played, do you have a favorite?
MONIQUE: I really enjoyed Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned. I loved sitting through 10 hours of makeup for the transformation. I love makeup effects and I especially love when I have to sit through it for some kind of crazy transformation.
EYESTRANE: You’re a model, an actress, the lead singer for the band Negro Childe (, and the busy mother of nine children. You also juggle any number of projects at a time. How hard do you find it to find time for yourself and how do you manage it all?!
MONIQUE: Its really hard to find time for myself. Especially since I also manage my daughters’ careers, one who is training to be a wrestler and the other who also have a passion for acting. I have to take things one moment at a time. If I can get five minutes in my steamroom, it’s a good day.
Monique Dupree
Courtesy of Huntli Images
EYESTRANE: Another area you have modeled for are comics and the character “Edie Van Horne” in the comic titled “Ginger-Stein: Rise of the Undead” is the one that first comes to mind. Have you done other work for comics?
MONIQUE: Yes I have, but nothing as big as this. modeling for Ginger-Stein has been a dream come true! It takes a lot fo acting to do the photo shoot and act out the script with still photography and I get to work with my son Chance Dupree-Thomas, who does all of my photography currently for my character Edie Van Horne. Dennis Willman is BRILLIANT and I’ll continue to work with him for as long as he’ll have me. Such a great cast of people in this project and it just keeps getting better and better.
EYESTRANE: Do you also attend conventions to connect with your fans?
MONIQUE: I attend conventions all the time. I feel its important to make that personal connection with my fanbase. They are the ones who put me on the map, its only right that I meet them up close and personal. I have some VERY cool fans, by the way.
EYESTRANE: What are some of your favorite movies, horror or otherwise, and are there any actors or actresses you hope to work with someday?
As the comic book character “Edie Van Horne” in the comic titled “Gingerstein: Rise of the Undead”
MONIQUE: I have lots of favorites including, but not limited to: Audition, Ichi the Killer, Night on Elm Street, Christine, The Fog, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, From Dusk til Dawn, and so many others. I’d love to work with the incredible Jessica Cameron as well as the woman I get compared to ALL the time …Pam Grier. I’d also love to work with my big brother Tony Todd again, as our first movie together was in Lean on Me.
EYESTRANE: Is there a film or scene in a movie that has ever scared you?
MONIQUE: There’s been plenty, but I think that having a man that invades your dreams who can kill you, REALLY messed my head up for a bit (referring to Nightmare on Elm Street).
EYESTRANE: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
MONIQUE: As always, I thank my fans for always supporting me and coming to conventions to say hello. I’m also very thankful for all of the artistic creations patterned after me and the gifts. You guys ROCK. Be looking out for my Tumblr site and my official website (see below for links to both), both of which will have my merch for sale. The re-launch happens January 15, 2012.
EYESTRANE: Where can we find out more information about you and your work?
MONIQUE: I have a TON of websites, but here’s a few of my favs:
Official Website
IMDb Page
Youtube Channel
Facebook Fan Page

Monique Dupree

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About the author

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The now-defunct website 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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