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Interview with actress and model Sybelle Silverphoenix

Today we present an exclusive and very interesting interview with actress and model Sybelle Silverphoenix. Sybelle starred in movies as Monsters of Mulberry Street, The Fappening, The Nothing Man, Mandingo Sex Addict, Scumbag Hustler and Vault of Terror II. 

Hi, Sybelle, Welcome on BmovieFilms. Do you mind introducing yourself to our readers and users?

I’m Sybelle Silverphoenix, and I’m mostly known as an actress, but I’ve dabbled in other things, like modeling and music. If it’s an art, I probably have done it or would enjoy trying it out.

You already have a twenty-year career as an actress. You started with small roles and then specialized in horror movies and thriller. Recently, I saw that you were in a series, Brooklyn Ties. What can you tell us about it?

It’s a drama along the lines of Sopranos. Mafia type stuff of this ilk was it’s own subgenre at one point, with its own magazines and gatherings (or conventions, if you will), books, etc. I actually had no idea the topic had been that big and was quite stunned to discover all that. I would never have learned this if I hadn’t worked on Brooklyn Ties. I play Valentina, the girlfriend of one of the lead characters. It was definitely an awesome experience, and I consider myself lucky to have worked with the director, Sean King. He’s probably one of the most (if not THE most) talented directors I’ve ever worked with. He has a vision in his mind of what he wants and is great at communicating that to the cast. I love that he’s willing to give direction where needed and knows how to do it in a way that brings out the best performance, not to mention he’s basically a one man army, and he knows how to use what he knows to tell the story and simultaneously enhance our performances. He doesn’t NEED to be a one man army at all, and doesn’t always do that, but sometimes he WANTS to. And he’s amazing either way, crew or no. He’s a multi award winning filmmaker, too, but he’s super modest about it and mostly never brings that up.

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Can you tell us how you started your career?

That story is complex, haha, but the gist is I’ve always loved art, especially performance art. I would dance a lot as a teen and was described as very theatrical. I was told at one point that I had “great character range” and should go into acting. I had no idea what that really meant at the time, but I definitely had a history of always being the square that was forced into the round hole. I’ve never fit neatly into a box ever. I started to feel like every environment wanted a performance, which is work and effort and concentration. So when the idea of acting was repeatedly brought up to me, I rationalized that I was usually forced to act anyway and I might as well get paid to do it, hahaha! 

You starred in three movies directed by Sean Weathers, a director of low-budget films such as The Fappening, Mandingo Sex Addict and The New York Butcher. What was it like working with him? Will you work for Sean again in the future?

Working with Sean is pretty low key and chill. He usually has everything planned out, but is super super flexible if something doesn’t work out. Murphy’s law has tried to mess with many a filmmaker, but for Sean, idk, that kind of thing just never phases him. He’s a very focused kind of person and very dedicated to his art, and he will absolutely find a way to make the project happen, guaranteed. Guerrilla filmmaking for the win! Most people also don’t realize how challenging it is to be a cast member AND a director in the same project, btw, which he practically does all the time. I sure couldn’t do that, I don’t think I could do that even with a great budget! Maybe I am my harshest critic, though, who knows. I definitely would work with Sean again, absolutely. We mesh pretty well.

Is an acting career difficult in the world of low budget productions? How does it work compared to mainstream productions?

Omg. It can be INSANELY difficult. Let me count the ways, hahaha! Often you are responsible for your own stunts, your own makeup, your own wardrobe, sometimes even your own transportation. There’s rarely stunt doubles, dedicated makeup artists, stylists, choreographers, script supervisors, tech people, etc, so a LOT is riding on the filmmaker and cast to wear many hats. Often the filmmaker is wearing the most variety of those hats, and has to be keeping track of all of those things, especially when it comes to continuity. It definitely helps if the team is willing to help on different tasks that wouldn’t ordinarily be asked of them if necessary. Like there were a few times where I was manning the camera for Sean, for example. Also, locations are often incredibly hard to come by, at least in major entertainment hubs like NYC. Outside of the city, people are a lot more flexible and maybe even interested in your project and will give u leeway and access without getting a monetary payment. They may even be open to bartering. But here in NYC, where even one square foot of space is considered such a luxury, people often really want (and even NEED, given the cost of upkeep, etc here) a generous location fee. In steps guerilla filmmaking to the rescue, where it becomes a situation of “Oh crap, we’re not supposed to be here, we have 2 seconds to get the shot, so try to make it count because getting a second chance will likely be incredibly difficult if not impossible.” It definitely keeps you on your toes. This is basically the opposite of mainstream projects, which have a large staff dedicated to each aspect of the filmmaking process, and the funding to solve virtually any problem. Like anything, though, there’s pros and cons. It might seem a lot more comfortable on a larger set, but one contrast I saw where the low budget peeps have it better was how seasons or weather are incorporated into the story. Mainstream productions have this tendency to shoot out of season because the project they’re shooting, they want for it to be released by the time the same season hits in real life. An obvious example of this would be movies centered around Christmas time, where there’s lots of references to the holiday, the season, the month, what characters are wearing, etc. So what happens is there will be a LOT of shooting for this in the SUMMER, but you have to dress like it’s winter and act like you’re not incredibly uncomfortable in all that getup in 90 degree weather. My very first film set ever was for Finding Forrester which filmed at my high school. The season in the story was fall, and we had to dress for that, but we were filming in JUNE! So it’s 90 degrees, we’re dressed in layers like outfits with thick sweaters, and to top it all off, air conditioning usually can’t be running while filming because it will throw off the sound, but my high school at the time also didn’t HAVE air conditioning in general. So even when there had been breaks, it was still fairly hot. Especially with all those professional lights everywhere. Low budget productions often don’t shoot out of season like this, at least not this extreme. 

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Do you think the horror genre has more opportunities for an actress, or an actor?

That’s probably dependent on what you are bringing to the table. I think in prior ages, there were tropes that focused a lot more on scream queens, but I think horror has branched away from that a bit now to be become more varied. However, with a genre like horror, being willing to get dirty and go thru unusual environments will get u farther. Major plus if you can tolerate special effects makeup (which for some productions is an entire suit and prosthetics covering literally your whole body).

What has been your favorite project, until now, and why?

Wow, this is a hard question. So simple and yet, stumped me none the less, haha! I guess I’ll make it easier for me by narrowing it down to really loving genres that show unusual things that we don’t normally see in our everyday lives. Anything that incorporates special effects for example, will win me over pretty fast. I like unnatural. I also think I’m far better at portraying characters that are strange or deviate from the norm in some way, the more strange, the better. Also, unlike most other actors, I actually LOVE filming death scenes. Lots of actors are disappointed if their characters are killed off because it means the end of screen time, but to me, it’s an opportunity to be involved in special effects, even if the project is not sci fi/horror/fantasy. I suppose one of the roles I like that I have reprised pretty often was that of a vampire. I’m already dead AND have powers?? That’s awesome, haha. Projects where I’m vamped out can be seen here:

Alex Fernandez’ Dawn:
Can you tell us some funny anecdotes about your acting career?
There was one project director John Gloster (Punch Money) who had wanted to shoot with me and we’re talking about it on the phone and he was saying how he was thinking to shoot in my living room. I immediately started laughing and told him I don’t have a living room! I keep forgetting how often people from outside of NYC actually have relatively normal living spaces (you know, that include living rooms, haha). And I guess that’s vice versa, too, considering how many times I’ve had a similar conversation with others. A LOT of NYC apartments are basically expensive closets, hahaha!
Filming Scumbag Hustler with Sean Weathers was also funny. Everything was just so exaggerated, and there was a lot that was on the fly improvised too, so sometimes we didn’t know how the story was going to play out entirely, we just knew it was going to be ridiculous, haha! No spoilers here, I don’t think me explaining anything will do it justice, its worth watching for the antics for sure, if not for the gratuitous Sean Weathers trademarks, haha!
A curiosity. I saw that you were a finalist for the Mars One project. Do you have a passion for interstellar travel?
I do, it was something I’d wanted to do since childhood, I’d even gone to Space Camp in my teen years. A friend had told me about Mars One and I couldn’t believe it. I jumped at the opportunity! Am I crazy enough to go on what people were calling a suicide mission to Mars going one way? Yes. Yes absolutely! That project never really took off, but I still support the goal. To me, that matters more, even if I’m not involved at all. The views Elon Musk has on this topic are basically also my own. I’ve since realized I’m not good for such a mission, so I won’t be applying for anything remotely similar, but I would support it 100%. Some people say Mars One failed. To me, though, it didn’t totally fail. It got people talking and thinking about the possibilities. Doesn’t matter if some thought Mars One itself was ridiculous. What’s important is the conversation on space travel, etc, was brought back to the forefront when for awhile it hadn’t been. I’m hoping I’ll get to watch people accomplish travel to another planet in my lifetime. I didn’t think that would happen, but I’m a lot more hopeful now. Technology is advancing so fast, and now there is artificial intelligence, too! That was NOT something I expected to see in my lifetime either, so seeing others travel to planets may not actually be too far off. Sci fi often becomes sci fact is the pattern ive noticed.
Next movie projects?
For the moment I’m on a hiatus due to medical reasons but following my social media would probably be the best way to be on the lookout. In the meantime, I started working with Curst Kosmetics via social media recently so there will definitely be more makeup related stuff on my pages. I highly recommend them for other performers and projects, they make some really interesting stuff that I haven’t really ever seen anywhere else (which of course is what got me interested in the first place, haha). They’ve also done lots of promo collaborations with cool bands, I found that interesting, too. I feel like their whole approach to this stuff is different. I’m so used to seeing what “normal” cosmetic companies do, and their whole way of doing things is the opposite: refreshing, new, and not at all cookie cutter in any way. Anyone interested can find their stuff here:

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