Interviews: Katie Keene - Star of Clowntown

Clowns are horrific. Clowns aren't fun. Clowns are invading our entertainment and scaring us on a regular basis. Katie Keene doesn't like clowns but she was brave enough to star in this week's release of the horror flick, Clowntown. Find out what she thinks of the genre and why clowns are so damned scary!

TMS: So, we keep hearing all these stories lately about scary clowns roaming the streets. Should we be scared?

KK: (laughter) Yeah, we should be scared. Absolutely! I wouldn't put it past any crazy person to do something like that. All these clowns in the news, hiding in the woods to scare people. Ah! Crazy! 

TMS: Why do you think clowns freak people out? 

KK: That's a great question. Clowns have been my biggest fear since I was a child. It's something I struggle with. I have terrible night terrors. I always have. I dream of clowns and when I first learned that I was going to be in this killer clown movie it took me aback. I had to search within myself to see if I could really do that...... and bottom line, I just said 'it's going to be my greatest acting experience yet. I'm not going to be acting. I'm going to be really scared'. 

TMS: What do you think it is that clowns scare people though?

KK: I don't know what it is. I don't know if it's the paint that's hiding the secrets on their face. It's so horrifying.....the white and the's just so terrifying to me. It's the same like the Joker in Batman.....using makeup to hide who you are. It's just so frightening. 

TMS: Did this movie make it worse for you or make it better since you were confronting your fears?

KK: It absolutely made it better. I say to this day that Clowntown cured me of my fear of clowns. It was really rough on me for a couple days. I was really really scared and it was difficult for me. But you know the actors and they're really good people so I will say it helped me with my fear. It was like confronting it in real life. It worked!

TMS: What do you want to tell people about Clowntown?

KK: It's such a fun ride! It definitely and experience. Can they escape it? Can you escape Clowntown? Your fears live here, man!

TMS: What draws you to working on horror? What makes that something you enjoy doing?

KK:  Horror films are so demanding.  And it's a challenge to me. To me when I hit those really high emotional scenes, it's such a hard thing to do. Anybody can scream. But can you scream and make other people believe it? Can you make people believe these murderers are chasing you? It's hard to convince people that you're really scared. To me that's such a challenge. That draws me in personally. Can I emotionally make that believable and real? Can I make people believe I'm really in fear for my life? Can I make that real? That's why I love it. If you can make people believe it, it's a huge compliment. It's very demanding. 

In the independent film world, a lot of these movies are horror films. People make their money back easier for horror films. It just so happens that every little booking of a film I do happens to be a horror film. I enjoy it. It wears me out because it's an emotional roller coaster, but like I said it's a challenge for me. 

TMS: If you had to pick a favorite horror feature, what would it be? 

KK:  Night of the Living Dead. The Shining. Those I think are great. I still say the Halloween movies are by far my favorites. So classic. So scary. To this very day I can put those on and they still scare me to death. I listen to that music and I don't want to be alone. Horror movies these days don't do that for me. I always go back to those Halloween movies. 

TMS: If you could star in a horror remake, what would it be?

KK:  Oh god! Remakes! From an acting standpoint or a lead female role, I would love to do Carrie. 
I know they remade it not too long ago and I didn't care for it much. As a female role it would be phenomenal. 

TMS: What scream queens do you look up to the most?

KK: Since we were just talking about Halloween, I have to pay homage to Jamie Lee Curtis. I recently just worked with Danielle Harris a couple films ago.  She's the kind of scream queen now that I absolutely look up to. She was just so inspiring for me and such a mentor. I'm a fan of Oscar winning performances. Other ladies I look up to are Kate Winslet, and actresses like that. Horror films can be so hard because the girls are always so dumb. They're always the damsel in distress. I love a strong leading lady in horror, not a bimbo that has to always fall down and ruin everything. 

TMS: What other movies do you have coming out soon?

KK: I have Inoperable. That's the movie I did with Danielle. It's another horror film. I just filmed a movie with Rumer Willis actually just a couple weeks ago. That's not necessarily horror but very suspenseful drama there. So, I've got a couple movie on the way out. I'm working hard at it. 

TMS: When and where can people get freaked out by the movie?

KK: In the U.S., Clowntown will be on DVD on October 4th. It's doing a week run in select theaters in Los Angeles. There will be a week run in Cleveland and film festivals in New York. 

TMS: Last and but not least, did anything really freaky happen on the set of the movie?

KK: I'll tell you this funny story. Lauren Elise who plays my friend in Clowntown is now my friend in real life. After that movie ,we just hit it off and she's my best friend in the whole world. We roomed together here in Clowntown. We shared a hotel room.  I had to tell her. I have really bad night terrors that I can't shake myself out of. There's a lot of screaming in my sleep and sometimes crying. It's not funny. It's a very miserable thing. I had to tell her since we were rooming together. She was freaked out a little bit. The very first night that I was there I had a terrible night terror. I shot right up out of my bed and screamed 'Oh no no no no!!!'. It scared her so bad. She forgot that I told her about these night terrors I have. As soon as she got up to wake me up, I had fallen back asleep. She told me the next morning 'You had a night terror' and she asked me 'What did you dream about?'. I said clowns. I was dreaming about the clowns. We laugh about it now. 

TMS: What was it like working on set with this crew?

KK: That set was such a close knit group. Everyone was just on their toes. It was so much fun. We didn't have anything really freaky, so I'll leave you with my night terror story. I just freaked Lauren out. It's so funny. You know? This was my best acting to date because I was legitimately scared. 

I remember in one of my scenes, I was waiting for the clowns. I told them I didn't want to see the clowns until I have to. I wanted that to be on camera. I wanted my actual reaction to them. I was anxious. I was so scared. I was naturally crying as Katie. I had so much anticipation. I had so much anxiety to see how horrifying they'd look. It's a real fear I deal with. I hope it reads. 

We thank Katie for taking the time to talk to us. Check out Clowntown, now on VOD and DVD.