01 Jan The Booze Talkin’: My Exclusive Interview With KATRENA ROCHELL
From the juiced-box and one of Katrena’s favorite bands: The Kings Of Leon – Sex On Fire
Remember how just a couple days ago i Booze Revoozed Kick-Ass? i was all witty and stuff, talking about how Kick-Ass did, right? Well, one of the kick-assest things about the flick was most definitely Katrena Rochell, this drop-dead gorgeous brunette who plays the role of “Rita The Junkie” with gusto.
As y’all know, women this attractive and talented usually avoid me like something you gotta go to a clinic to get taken care of but, like vodka after the lights go out, i took a shot in the dark and got a hold of Katrena. Hold on to your bar stools, ’cause Kat showed just how heavy her mettle is by going where precious few have gone before: into the maw of the Bar None for an interview. Jesus, i don’t think i’ve been this nervous since i tried to buy a bottle of Boone’s Farm with a bad fake ID for my junior prom.
So, i’m trashed in this Mexican Bodega, confusing German and Spanish, trying to order a mojito but these guys don’t know Cuban so i keep getting sangrias with what look like flies disguised as raisins floating inside. Then these ripped locals in muscle shirts who are torn up on mescaline and Caballeros Mezcal strut over to me, flexing their gang tats and giving me shit for being as out of place as ice cubes in Corona. Fortunately for me, this statuesque, totally fit babe strolls in, susses up the situation, breaks a bottle of vino on the bar, cuts the biggest dude and asks who’s ready to party with her in hell. The esés back down with their tails between their legs like spooked chihuahuas and i latch on to my savior for all i’m worth. She leads me back to the only booth in the dump and sits me down. i buy her one of everything and it strikes me that this totally stellar young lady is none other than THE Katrena Rochell! i got nothing left to lose so i ask her if she’d do an interview with me and once again she shows me just how big her balls truly are by agreeing.
Al K Hall: Babe, you just appeared out of nowhere! Which reminds me, i tried my damnedest to find some background info on you, but you’re this total mystery woman. Did you just descend from heaven like an Angel, or what?
Katrena Rochell: Yeah, actually. I’ve been in the game for around 10 years. It hasn’t been until the last couple that I’ve really started working and getting noticed.
[AlKHallism: Speaking of Angels, here’s a song by another group Katrena likes: Radiohead – Creep]
Al K Hall: There are conflicting reports of your being born in the States and London. Care to enlighten us?
Katrena: I’m originally from Nashville, actually. I live now between Los Angeles and London. I consider London my home. It just feels right… At the moment, I’m constantly between Los Angeles, London and Nashville.
Al K Hall: Now if i could only get you to come to Yeman!
Katrena: For the time being, I’m living out of a suitcase. I’m doing a film in Nashville, my film partner and writer is in London, our producer and director is in Los Angeles, and we’re shooting in Tennessee. As soon as I’m finished with this project, hopefully I will ascend back into the heavens where no phones or emails exist and I shall drink wine and be merry all with my lonesome self….and perhaps my dogs.
Al K Hall: Yeah, i know all about getting merry with myself, don’t get me started. And i’m not going to buy for a moment that you ever hafta be merry all on your own. You seem like the kind of person everyone wants to be around. With all of your obvious attributes, what’s something really cool about you that isn’t obvious right away?
Katrena: I honestly don’t think I’m very cool at all…unless I’m pissed! [AlKHallism: British ‘pissed’ here, babes, meaning ‘drunk’.] Then I think I’m cool, but I’m sure no one else does!
Al K Hall: Been there, done that, threw up on the t-shirt. Seriously, though, you seem like the kind of lady who’s cool no matter what she does. Super cool, even.
Katrena: Actually, I’m really shy. I use to ride dirt bikes, though…that’s cool, right?
Al K Hall: To tell you the truth, i think the fact you’re shy is cooler. i’m kinda weird that way. But what about you? Are you more a night owl or an early bird?
Katrena: It depends on where I’m at and if I’m working or not. In LA I’m more of an early bird. I think overall I’m an early bird. Unless I’m drinking…then who knows!?
Al K Hall: Not me, but i’d love to find out! What about your other vices? A woman as angelic as you has gotta have some secret vices.
Katrena: Vices, huh? Red wine, good friends, and a fag!
[AlKHallism: Speaking of drinking, i have this in the juiced-box by another act Kat likes: Paul Weller – Moonshine.]
Al K Hall: Yeah, well, other than Michelle Rodriguez i’ve never really been interested in men. Oh wait! You mean ‘fag’ like the cigarette! Right! Me, too. Do you have any nicknames?
Katrena: My Mother calls me KatRat.
Al K Hall: Any scars?
Katrena: I have a massive scar under my right eye!
Katrena: Funny enough, people have always had an opinion about my scar. Either they say, “Wow, cool scar! It makes you look tough,” or, “You know, you could have that removed.” I’ve grown accustomed to it now and I finally, after many years, have decided that it is OK not to be perfect… That actually, imperfection was perfection! Does that make sense?
Al K Hall: Totally! In the same way that i like your scar ’cause, while it’s tough looking, it makes you look fragile. How did you get it?
Katrena: I would love to give you some grand story about how my scar came about…but the truth is, I was riding my bicycle in the country and I ran off a cliff and the limb of a tree caught me right under my eye. They thought I had lost my eye which would have been dreadful!
Al K Hall: Nah, you’ve got two of ’em, right? And they’re both gorgeous. Which makes me wonder, how do you deal with being so much more beautiful than the rest of the population? What are some of the worst pickup lines you’ve heard?
Katrena: You are very kind! I swear I very rarely ever get hit on and the last time was at The Little Door restaurant. I was there with one of my very good friends, Meggan, who recently moved out of LA and had babies. This very drunk man who barely spoke English practically crawled up to the bar and whilst “barking” at us, soaked us with his spit and said something to the effect of, “Hey, you two lesbians”? I’m not sure if he was asking or telling. Anyways, Meggan being Meggan carried on a full conversation with this man for ages. I just sat there!
Al K Hall: Wasn’t me, and i know at least three people who’ll swear to it if you get the cops involved. Let’s move on to Kick-Ass, shall we? You play “Rita – The Junkie” and you do a killer job as the beautiful moll in a red dress during the scene at Rasul’s place where Hit-Girl and Big Daddy are introduced. Interestingly enough, the role of Rita isn’t in the original script. Any idea on how that part developed?
Katrena: Actually, the role is in the comic book. Once I was brought in, they showed it to me. So, as far as I know, she was always there. We did, however, develop her character and add some more dialog. All that was very good but, unfortunately, did not further the story in any way.
Al K Hall: Yeah, but the movie was so much better with you in it. “Rita – The Junkie”…not a case of typecasting i suspect. How did you prepare for the part?
Katrena: Well, I’ve had my share of madness! With a character like that, you just have to be bold and go for it. It’s just a case of commitment to what you’re doing and getting out of your head!
Al K Hall: Speaking of getting out of your head, do you think it’s necessary to be drunk to act drunk?
Katrena: I don’t think you have to be drunk to play drunk. All being drunk does is let down your walls. It makes you less self-conscious. I was reading an interview in Rolling Stone with Robert Downey Jr… He is really out there! He sounds drunk but he’s not…he’s just free. Perhaps a better word is uninhibited!
Al K Hall: Babe! i’m all about the Downey, but this is about you. Tell me about the Kick-Ass shoot. Free booze at lunch?
Katrena: You know, that’s what I love about the English, drinking during lunch! Unfortunately, on Kick-Ass we had no booze on set. I was there for 2 weeks and I was working with the stunt teams… For obvious reasons, they have to be spot on. So no booze for us. It was an extremely professional shoot. No fooling around. Those stunt guys were unbelievable to watch.
Al K Hall: What was the ambiance on the set like?
Katrena: I thought Matthew [AlKHallism: Matthew Vaughn directed Kick-Ass] was brilliant! He was open to collaboration yet you were fully aware that he held control. It was a creative space. Loads of people on set from many, many countries which was very cool!
Al K Hall: You share the scene with Chloë Grace Moretz. Chloë was only 12 during the filming and used some pretty bad swear words in her scenes. Didn’t you want to put her over your knee and spank her for being so rude?
Katrena: Absolutely not. She was brilliant and professional! It’s as if she’s a woman, she’s so mature. I think she’s awesome and on her way to superstardom!
Al K Hall: Following in your footsteps then! Tell me the truth, did she and Aaron Johnson get super drunk at the wrap party?
Katrena: [She laughs a laugh so beautiful it sounds like tipsy Angels giggling on a champagne buzz.]
[AlKHallism: From the juiced-box and dedicated to Kat, from another of her faves: Nora Jones – Turn Me On]
Al K Hall: When was the first time you saw Kick-Ass?
Katrena: I want to see it with Andrew, a mate of mine, in Putney, London. It was great fun. I was sooo nervous… but he know hows to deal with me.
Al K Hall: Score one for Andrew! Your next big movie to come out will be Vivid, although IMDB lists the title as Psychosis. Why the change?
Katrena: Well, we (‘we’ being Kingsway Films) liked Vivid and the distributor liked Psychosis! Enough said!
Al K Hall: What’s the pitch of the movie?
Katrena: An American woman goes to the Dark English Countryside and her world falls apart…or does it?
Al K Hall: Oooh, you can almost smell the intrigue. What about your role?
Katrena: I play the bad girl! The mistress. It was very, very fun…
Al K Hall: i so cannot wait to see you play another bad girl! When can we expect it to be released in the States and Europe?
Katrena: We premiere in London in July. So, soon after they’ll see it here in the States, I would think.
Al K Hall: You’re credited as Executive Producer for the movie. What does that involve? Does it mean you just have to keep shoveling money all over the place or are there other responsibilities that go along with that?
Katrena: Well, on that film I raised money from various people… so yes, you feel a huge responsibility to make sure things go according to plan and do everything possible to get their monies back, plus any earnings as soon as possible. I have been on both sides of that coin and it’s not nice when things go wrong!
Al K Hall: You also own your own film company, Kingsway Films. What’s that like? Do you have a secretary to make you drinks whenever you snap your fingers?
Katrena: I wish! Unfortunately, I’m the one making the drinks! It’s great working with Reg Traviss. I consider him my mentor…
Al K Hall: Another project of yours we have to look forward to is Casting Nina. What’s that about?
Katrena: Its really funny. It’s a mockumentary about the absurdities of castings and reality TV in London’s West End. It’s 12 women going for the same role, living in the same quarters during the competition, and the ridiculous things actors do!
Al K Hall: Sounds awesome! In all my seconds of exhaustive research, did i gloss over anything?
Katrena: You are funny!!!
Al K Hall: Looks aren’t everything, babe. Any side projects in the works or something else you want to mention?
Katrena: I am currently in the early stages of a new film dealing with crystal meth. We’re looking to film in the south at the end of the summer! So watch out for me early next year…
Al K Hall: i’m watching out for you all the time already!
Katrena: I’ve also been offered a film that will begin shooting next year. It’s a rather serious role. I actually love the part! The writer and her solicitor contacted my agent and they said they had me in mind, so…everything just needs to get worked out! So that’s very exciting.
Al K Hall: Any words for your many fans?
Katrena: Thanks for the support and please watch all my films! When you see me, buy me a drink!!!
Al K Hall: Done! [i order another round of one of everything.] And you’re gonna need it, ’cause now comes the traditional Bar None Questionnaire. Like i always say, if it gets too hard, ignore it ’til it goes away. What’s your favorite alcoholic drink?
Katrena: Bordeaux or tequila.
Al K Hall: When was the last time you had a hangover?
Katrena: Last week.
Al K Hall: Cool! Do you smoke?
Katrena: I used to smoke all the time and I found out I’m allergic to the smoke! After a few drinks, I will have a fag… I love the American Spirits because they seem light!
Al K Hall: What’s your favorite swear word?
Al K Hall: Do you swear? A lot?
Katrena: Yes and yes.
Al K Hall: Finally, what’s your favorite thing about me, Al K Hall?
Katrena: You are mad!!! Really, from what I have seen on the website…
Al K Hall: Hey, you’re welcome back anytime. Now what do you say we end this baby and get down to some serious drinking!
[AlKHallism: Outro for Kat—again, a group she likes: Oasis – Let There Be Love]
Just like my sex life, you know what’s comin’ but i gotta do it anyway. Of course Katrena and i never met in a Mexican Bodega to talk about her career. As much as it pains me, we have never met anywhere, anytime. This entire interview was done by e-mail and, while i added transitions and crap to make it seem as though we’d met face-to-face, i left her bits well enough alone. Why tamper with perfection, am i right?
i’d like to thank Kat for making the effort to humor me with this interview. She was super busy travelling all over the world doing auditions like the jet-setting international star that she is and, despite this, she still took the time to open up a little of her world to me. Thanks so much, Katrena, this interview wouldn’t have been the same without you.
If y’all wanna read some other exclusive Booze Talkin’ interviews, i keep them right here.