Horror’s Scream Queens and Rising Talent: Six Questions for Nicole Jones Kruex
“Nicole was born in Loretto, Minnesota, a small town 30 minutes west of Minneapolis and grew up in the North Hennepin County suburb of Brooklyn Park. The oldest of two and a victim of divorce she spent most of her childhood with her loving mother and younger sister. Regardless of her family status all of her given talents were nurtured; she attended school in dance, art, music and performance.
In her teens she became obsessed with Hollywood, but especially horror. She idolized slasher classics like ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, and ‘Hellraiser’ but still held a deep passion for the true classics of film history with stars like Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn, and Shirley Temple.
Nicole received her first distributed speaking role in the grind-house slasher Terror Overload(2009). In the following years earning the opportunity to work on sets with Jeremy Sisto, the Coen Brothers, and Lynn Lowery. In 2010 Nicole’s role as Theresa in the film ‘FAUX’ followed with her first positive in print review. And in 2012 her debuting lead role in ‘After the Dawn’ followed with multiple glowing reviews from critics.”*
1. How did you get into the industry?
Well, first and most important, I am a massive horror fan. My mother and I used to watch Stephen King movies when I was little so I grew up on The Shining, Children of the Corn, and Pet Semetary. Great nightmare material for a 9 year old. But once I got past what might be lurking under my bed? I realize Horror films were a passion. Horror was almost all I would buy growing up. Plus, I love Halloween and was kind of a goth kid in my teens.
I always had an interest in stories, either creating them or acting in them. I would put on plays for my family to watch, write and draw comic books with friends, even learned how to edit VHS tape in Junior High. The illustrator in me wanted to tell the stories in my head, and it was only a matter of time until I found the perfect medium.
I started modeling in the mid 2000s and found it empty and soul sucking, so, thanks to craigslist I tried auditioning for a film… and I landed the lead in the very first project I tried out for.
2. What Scream Queen/Woman in Horror inspired you most?
As cliche as this answer is going to be, it’s Jamie Lee Curtis. There are a million reasons to love them all, but she is absolutely the most inspirational one. She took her horror role into a stronger more varied carrier in every faucet of film, she’s real… amazingly talented, and didn’t rise to the top running through the woods in her underwear.
I think the term “Scream Queen” gets tossed around and diluted so much these days that you just have to take photos with blood to be titled one. I feel it takes more work then that. Women like Debbie Rochon, Tiffany Shepis, and Monique Dupree who’ve starred in dozens of mid to high end productions and have really given their lives to horror films? They DESERVE the title. Me? I love this genre, and I would be just as comfortable being known as an actress who does horror until I am worth that title, too.
3. What horror film hooked you on the genre and why?
The Shining. To me, The Shining is the single most effective film of the genre in the use of every element needed to make a truly undeniable classic. From something as subtle as sound design (I shiver at the on/off grind of Danny’s Big Wheel on the hotel floor) to the way Kubrick made the simplest action creepy as hell. He is a master, and that film is his masterpiece.
4. When you are presented with a script or movie concept, what are the things that draw you to certain projects and away from others?
Unique ideas. There are so many of the same story out there that it’s really up to the writer to find unique reasons for me to stay involved. An example is how Jeffrey Reddick took the “5 kids get killed” idea to a whole new level with Final Destination. Or I look for unique characters, like Freddy Kruger. The third is a story that uses everything you’d never expect to creep you out, like Good Night Mommy. I just have to feel something and get excited to know what’s next.
5. The evolution of women in the genre continues to change almost daily, so what are your thoughts on how things have changed and what do you see coming for the current and future women of horror?
Women are really taking charge!! I hope, the industry opens up more to what we bring to the table… some of us are truly but delightfully demented and we deserve a chance to bring that to film. I know quite a few women won’t take “No” for an answer.. and I hope as I grow I can be one of those too. We are coming, and taking no prisoners!! Lol!
6. What are the next couple projects you are working on?
My team has two features, a concept project and a web series in the works. All focused on fear. I wish I could say more. But I’m sworn to secrecy… for now. What I will say is that we hope to have one feature and the web series out this year. The second feature has a lot of moving parts, but could potentially hit by Halloween. We shall see!
Nicole Jones Kruex’s Links
*Bio Courtesy of Nicole’s IMDB page