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Patty Fantasia

Scream Queen Rachel Grubb

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Patty Fantasia

By Patty Fantasia

Scream Queen Rachel Grubb Will Never Ask “Why Am I in a Box?”

Scream Queen Rachel Grubb, who has starred in such films as “Terror Overboard” and “13 Hours in a Warehouse”, appeared in the flesh last Friday evening, March 26th at the Underground Screening Room at the Sci Fi Center to celebrate the screening of her new film, “Why Am I in A Box?” The pin-up model, who has been compared to Bettie Paige wrote, directed and stars in movie, which is the first feature being launched from her film company Silent-But-Deadly Productions.. She attended the Las Vegas premiere, accompanied by actress and model Lisa Pechmiller and stayed afterwards to participate in a Q & A session and to sign autographs. Described as an edgy, arthouse comedy, “Why Am I in A Box?” tells the story of Ellen Farnsby (Rachel), a modern-day Scheherazade, who must tell the story of a lifetime or wind up writing her own obituary.

photo by Chad Clinton Freeman courtesy of
Rachel Grubb at the Las Vegas Premiere of "Why Am I in a Box?"

The film’s title holds special appeal for Rachel, who wrote another screenplay with the same name back in 2000. The earlier story, a character driven drama, was different from this one and she mused, “The title fit much better with this one” The Minnesota native first began writing her latest effort as a book, but then decided it was better as a film. “I guess I thought it was too self reflective as a novel,” she explained before adding that the material’s humor has been compared to “Misery” and that “people want to know what Stephen King thinks about writing, not an unknown writer.”

Although recognized for her roles in the horror genre, Rachel is branching out into dark comedy with “Why Am I in a Box?” and she seemed to enjoy pondering her heroine’s plight at being forced into creativity as well as the behavior of the other characters, Grubb said, “I didn’t know why she was being forced. The other woman who kidnapped her was bitter and angry.”

photo by Chad Clinton Freeman courtesy of
Rachel signing autographs at the Premiere

photo by Chad Clinton Freeman courtesy of
Johnny Fuerst, Rachel Grubb and Lisa Pechmiller

After earning her English degree from The College of Saint Catherine, one of Rachel’s screenplays won the Best Breakthrough Screenplay Award at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. From there, she started acting and then followed that up with a successful turn on the catwalk as a model in the Twin Cities area. Now as one of the three female founders of Silent-But-Deadly Productions, Rachel is enjoying developing her own projects. The non-profit company was started in 2006 with friends Heather Amos and Brooke Lemke and it is their goal to strengthen the position of women in film and to create opportunities for them. The trio worked together on a horror film “Tales of the Dead” that Rachel starred in and then decided to start a company of their own. Ironically, it is Brooke, who plays the part of Paige, the deranged kidnapper in “Why Am I in a Box?” One reason they started with this project was because Grubb had already begun working on the script. Since then they have produced three short films directed by Brooke and a webseries which they both starred in and co-directed. Following the Las Vegas screening “Why Am I in a Box?” does have a Direct to DVD distribution deal with Brain Damaged Films, although a release date has yet to be announced.

photo by Chad Clinton Freeman courtesy of
Rachel at the "Why Am I in a Box?" Las Vegas Premiere 

Since she’s had the chance to try on many different hats as an actress and as an independent filmmaker, Rachel has definite thoughts about what she enjoys doing most. “Acting is really run, not so stressful,” she said then added, “The writing part was hard, but I liked it.” However, she does prefer directing to writing and her favorite role of all is still being an actress, so it’s doubtful that Grubb will disappear from in front of the camera anytime soon or allow herself to be put into a box of any kind.


Joel Edgerton and Claire Van Der Boom are Anything but Square

By Patty Fantasia

On March 10th, guests at ShoWest were treated to An Evening of Independent Film featuring “The Square”, “The Kids Are All Right”, “Twelve”, The Joneses”, “Get Low” and “Racing Dreams”. Adding to the festivities was a cocktail party held earlier in the day at the Apparition Hospitality Suite in the Bellagio Hotel’s Spa Tower. Here, we had the chance to speak with Joel Edgerton and Claire Van der Boom, the stars of “The Square”, a stylish film noir movie that starts with an illicit affair and ends with a twist.

It turns out that Joel not only appears in the film, but he’s also the co-writer and his older brother Nash directed. In fact, the Australian siblings began collaborating during their childhood and have worn many different hats while making films. In the first movie they worked on together Nash was a stuntman and Joel acted. Sometimes Nash has even doubled for his brother. Both feel they have a good working relationship and find it easy to give each other honest feedback when working on a project.

The twosome started out making shorts and Joel explained that his first love really is still acting. “My writing career is really a hobby because I’m an actor,” he said. Still that hasn’t stopped “The Square” from receiving several accolades for both him and co-writer Matthew Dabner including winning the 2009 Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Original Screenplay. ““It started really as an idea in my head many, many years ago,” Joel told me. That was around the year 2000 and back then the script was supposed to be written for someone else. It wound up on the back burner for a while, however instead. “Over the years it kind of sat in my drawer really and it wasn’t until I showed it to Nash in 2003 or 2004 it started to really take shape.”

Part of that development process involved bringing Dabner, who is also Executive Producer on board. A graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Matthew began his career with Mel Gibson at Icon Productions before becoming Head of Development at Mystery Clock Cinema in Sydney where he developed I Robot for Will Smith and director Alex Proyas. Joel admits that he’s learned a lot about writing from Dabner as the two wrote the final drafts of the screenplay together. The script was just one part of the process, however. It also took a long time to raise the financing and then weeks of pre-production and shooting. ““The doubting part of me is still amazed that we got this movie out” Edgerton said with a smile.

In Australia Joel is more well known for his acting talents and his credits include starring in A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Cate Blanchette in 2009 and winning an AFI Australian Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a television drama in 2002 for his work in the TV series The Secret Life of Us. He currently has over 40 screen credits including roles in “Kinky Boots”, “Smokin Aces” and “Ned Kelly”. Next up Joel’s just signed on to appear in Universal’s prequel to the horror classic “The Thing”.

At the moment Edgerton’s quite content to enjoy the ride and both he and his brother are enjoying working with Apparition, whom he said has an amazing reputation with everyone he’s spoken with in Los Angeles. As for his co-star in “The Square” Claire Van der Boom is having a great year. Cast as the female lead Carla, the actress originally auditioned for the part of a younger female in the film, but they thought she was too old for the role. She was excited to be offered the part of Carla especially since this movie is her first feature film. A graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Claire was nominated for a Silver Logie for most outstanding actress in a TV series in 2009 for playing Grace in the 1st season of Rush and will also be appearing this year in the Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg series The Pacific.

Looking at the happy faces of these two rising stars, it’s obvious that we’re going to be hearing more about them and their projects in the future, but for the time being they seem to be enjoying their time in “The Square”.

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