Interview: Mega Piranha’s Tiffany!

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Also talking about her in Necrosis

The piranha rampage that will ensue in Syfy’s Mega Piranha this Saturday night can be blamed on Tiffany. The teen music star, all grown up now, plays a scientist who creates the enlarged fish for the greater good only to discover that they would prefer to devour everything in their path. She then must find a way to destroy them. The singer-turned-actress also stars in another new horror movie, Necrosis, and happens to be a huge fan of the genre. She spoke with Shock Till You Drop about her upcoming releases, making horror movies, throwing a successful viewing party and more.

Shock Till You Drop: What initially drew you to acting?

Tiffany: Being a kid of L.A. I wanted to get in the industry. My parents didn’t really know what to do so they just started asking people. One person told them that I needed to be in acting, modeling, and dancing. I really loved taking acting class and did some work as an extra, which was a whole new world and very exciting. As soon as I started doing the head shots and going out on calls, that’s when I was sort of discovered as a vocalist and given a major record deal.

There never seemed to be the time to do both. Looking at a lot of young artists now, like Miley Cyrus, it’s awesome that they’re encouraging both things. Plus they even have clothing lines which no one did in the early ‘80s. Back then it was go out and do the music and then go on the road, which I loved to do. Looking back though the world is at your fingertips and really I wish I had been able to do all of it.

That said, at 38 now with a 17 year-old son who’s about to go off to college, I don’t have to be working during the summers and home the rest of the year. I have this new freedom, which is awesome though kind of sad. But as an entertainer I get to go back and do things that have always interested me, acting being one of them. I’ve looked at scripts throughout the year and I’ve made some TV appearances, but it’s always been “play Tiffany.” Even though I’m thankful for that it wasn’t much of a challenge. I really wanted to do stuff that was a bit of a stretch. I’m very grateful to people who take a chance on me. I can’t say that I’ve studied for years or that I’m right for everything, but it’s something that has always been near and dear to my heart. I’m learning and having a blast with it.

Shock: Did your music career prepare you for acting, or is it an entirely different animal?

Tiffany: As a musician, when you do videos and things like that, you’re definitely comfortable with the camera. You live out your emotions through the music. That definitely helped. When you’re dealing with something like horror or sci-fi, there’s imagination there. As a songwriter and somebody who is kind of a big kid, I love that part of it. It gets your brain going. You get to put yourself in “what if” situations.

Shock: When I talked to Paul Logan (about Mega Piranha) he spoke about the difficulties of acting when a lot of CGI is involved. Did you also find that to be a challenge?

Tiffany: Paul’s role is totally different (from mine). He’s got to interact with a lot of stuff. I’m not the action hero. While watching him I was amazed at what he was pulling off because it is all imagination. I thought he did an amazing job. He’s very professional. Being on set with him and hearing the questions that he asked, as well as what he knows from working on movie after movie, he brings something. He doesn’t step on any toes but he is very knowledgeable. I’d love to be somebody like that and also know my limitations. When you can have that open mind or state how it worked on the last movie you did, that’s better for everybody around.

I didn’t find it difficult though. I actually found a lot of the dialogue for my character to be difficult. She’s extremely zealous and a scientist who throws out a lot of jargon. She’s very in-your-face. I kept saying to Eric Forsberg, the writer and director, Paul is supposed to fall in love with her at the end. She’s so in his face all the time. It’s not sexy.

Shock: Is your relationship combative for most of the movie?

Tiffany: In the beginning I am pleading with him to take this seriously. He’s there to get in and get out; to get to the bottom of it and report back. I’m trying to tell him that there’s a much bigger thing going on here, and I also created these things. It was meant to do good but totally got out of control. We need to do something because it’s never-ending. It won’t stop unless we do something.

At first he disses me a little bit, but I finally get him to take me seriously. It’s really finding the piranha and seeing them that makes him realize he needs my help. After everything we go through I get to show him that I’m a little vulnerable. Even though it is Syfy and there is a lot of action, that was still important to pull off. The end is a little smoochy-smooch and who knows what happens (laughs).

Shock: Do you get to kill any piranhas by the end?

Tiffany: I don’t really get to kill any piranhas. We go out on a helicopter and see them, but it’s really the Navy and Army that are out there (killing them). There’s a lot of explosions and they are blowing them up. At first they kind of go a little crazy but by the end they just go and blow everything up. That doesn’t do any good and eventually does more harm because it releases a dam. It raises the stakes a little bit. I am, however, instructive on how to kill them. But it’s Paul and my assistant who are actually down there fighting the piranha.

Shock: You are also in Necrosis, another new horror movie. Who do you play and what is it all about?

Tiffany: I play Karen and she is the girlfriend of a guy who rents a cabin. We all go out there on the Donner Path for a fun-filled weekend with a bunch of couples. Karen’s boyfriend is thinking about buying this beautiful cabin and she is all about a great weekend with her friends. One after another, people start to go a little crazy because they are being haunted by the ghosts of the Donner Party. Unfortunately it ends tragically (laughs).

Shock: Is it just coincidence that you’re in two horror movies coming out around the same time or is that something you sought out?

Tiffany: I am a big fan of horror and sci-fi. I am totally in my element. It’s a coincidence that they’re coming out at the same time. I did Necrosis almost two years ago. For me it’s like being a kid in a candy store. To be offered these roles and for it all to work out and to have a great time, I was really thrilled. These were perfect movies for me and I’m glad it all worked out. I’m happy both directors saw something in me and took a chance on me. I think they were somewhat pleasantly surprised. I would love to stay in this genre and hopefully this will spawn a lot of work in that area.

It’s also kind of cool because Saturday when Mega Piranha is on it will be a film my son will actually sit down and watch. He’s a big sci-fi buff as well and got the horror bug too. Plus all of my friends like this kind of stuff, so we’re going to have a big party here. I’m very excited to show off a little bit.

Shock: Speaking of viewing parties, Syfy describes Mega Piranha as a “pizza and beer” movie. It sounds like you’re planning on having pizza and a cold beverage while you watch it.

Tiffany: It’s funny that you say that because originally I said pizza. It’s been kind of nice here (in Nashville) and we had such a long winter, so I’m thinking grilling at this point. It’s just nice to be able to open the doors and step outside. So we were going to do pizza but there will be beer. I’m in the South.

Shock: Have you caught the acting bug? What’s your plan for the future?

Tiffany: Oh definitely. It has to be right and I have to be excited about the script, but I’m really optimistic that this will bring more movies my way. I’m keeping an open mind about it and definitely I would like to do more. I had a blast with Mega Piranha and hope to do more for Syfy. Necrosis was also a good experience and I made a lot of friends, but it’s a totally different beast. I can’t wait to see how they pulled off Mega Piranha. I’m still amazed at how it all comes together.

Mega Piranha airs on the Syfy Channel at 9 PM EST this Saturday night. It will be available on DVD April 27. Necrosis is currently available VOD and hits DVD on April 20.

Source: Paul Doro