Actress and Filmmaker Paula Rhodes!
Melissa got to sit down and have a chat with actress and filmmaker known for her voice acting work in games like Resident Evil, Paula Rhodes!
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Melissa: [00:00:00] This is spoiler country and I’m Alyssa searcher. Today. I get to chat with actress and filmmaker known for voicing multiple characters in the resident, evil games, including Angie and Ali, Ms. Paula Rhodes. Welcome to the. Hi. Thank you. Thanks for being here. How are you doing
Paula Rhodes: good. It has been a heck of a couple of weeks,
Melissa: but you’ve got a lot, a lot going on lot that you’re promoting, right?
Paula Rhodes: Yeah. Yes, lots of hats to be wearing, but but most recently the debut of my directorial. Okay, premier, I guess of my directorial debut for feature films in dances with films. And then I got a distribution in the parks and we won the audience choice award, which is grazing. Congratulations. Thank you.
It’s just been, yeah, I still I’m sure I’ll wake up any second now, but it’s been fun slash a lot.
Melissa: So directorial debut, which is [00:01:00] amazing. And this was for delicates.
Paula Rhodes: It is. Yeah. Which is a very unique beast of a film.
Melissa: Yeah. I was definitely, you know, I saw the trailer and I was reading about it. And this is such an interesting concept.
I love for you to tell us more about it in your own words.
Paula Rhodes: Absolutely. So, it’s a docu fiction and it was shot over the course of my actual pregnancy with my husband and I as the leads and the entire two man production crew. And. Starting in 2015 with no idea. Well, eh, how long it would take us takes a long time with small children as it turns out.
But B how close it would come to becoming documentary because in our film, we are ourselves as characters, but much more naive version of us in a world where we have our heads in the sand about what’s going on outside of our little bubble until a civil war breaks out in the U S and we have to face, you know, having a child in the middle of this.
So foreign, you know, [00:02:00] a thought in America these days, but it’s something that women all over the world face.
Melissa: Wow. Yeah, that’s really interesting. I, I did not know that I didn’t pick that up in any of the stuff that I read that you had started filming it beforehand. So, interesting. I mean, it almost gives me, yeah.
Yeah. I mean, how did you feel about that when everything started kind of going haywire to put it nicely in the world where you just like, how the coincidence of it. All right. What did it just kind of like free for a loop?
Paula Rhodes: It was a, a mixture of feelings. So there is the, you know, existential dread of just being a human in the middle of that.
There’s the odd filmmaker side. That’s like, look, darn it. I could have saved money on VFX by just going and filming this tank drone and demonstrate. And then there’s the the, I guess, socially aware filmmaker in me that is really. It sees how important it is to have these conversations now and get people to pay attention so that we don’t let a rabid minority kind of take us over the cliff [00:03:00] into this actual possibility.
So yeah, it was wild to have. So many things that were, you know, we didn’t have a script, we kind of improv it around an outline, and that would shift as we got new changes in our pregnancy, as well as in the nation. And I just, I just had, it was such an eerie chill every time another thing would happen.
That was something that we’d already shot. Yeah.
Melissa: That’s, that’s very strange. I mean, things like that happen though, you know, that kind of like eerie sort of like synchronicity of it all
Paula Rhodes: like meets RTS. It was pretty wild and especially when we took advantage of it, I mean, because we needed to, to tell the story.
And to, you know, have these conversations, but we would, you know, kind of ambulance chase in a way, like when certain characters came into town and all the streets got closed or we’d go there and film these shots of close streets, or when there was a big protest or rally or convention, we’d go there and film the massive police presence and within reason.
[00:04:00] But we, yeah, we. Crazy footage. And there was plenty more we could have got, as it turns out if we hadn’t stopped shooting in in 2020. But yeah.
Melissa: Yeah. I feel like I have so many questions. There, this is awesome. So they’re getting, going back just a little bit like before obviously, you know, the pandemic hit and all these things started happening.
What made you originally decide on this type of world that you created? I mean, obviously the pregnancy was happening in real time and that was a set thing, but like to choose this fictitious as civil war, you know what inspired that.
Paula Rhodes: Well, I have a journalism degree, although it’s quite dusty now, not even using it much, but I was noticing in journalism in both social media and mainstream media that people even in 2015 kept kind of just tossing out this term civil war and they do it just so flippantly, like almost in this odd cheerleader sort of way, where you could see that they were like salivating over it, like hoping for it.
And some people literally being like, yep, it’s going to happen. [00:05:00] Threatening or daring it to happen. And I had to kind of sit back because I was realizing that. It was, it was a hundred percent men that were saying this. Right. And as if it was some video game and as a person who was pregnant at the time, in my most vulnerable physical state, I mean, there’s times when you’re pregnant, when you’re like, I would have to run from my life.
And I couldn’t because literally I just freaking cat run right now. And it’s a weird realization, but to see that and be like, oh, there’s no way. I would choose this would, would speak like this. I mean, there there’s a handful, I suppose, in the media that have picked up the talking points since, but in general, women bear a lot of the cost of war.
Wherever it happened is kind of the first victims a lot of times. And I. It just really struck me that we needed to be having deeper conversations about this and maybe kind of being the mothers of the race as it were the entire human race and shaking them a little bit, like pull it together, you teenage whatever.
I mean, they weren’t mostly [00:06:00] middle-aged men, but just the irresponsibility of leading the national dialogue down that path. Shocking. And yeah, I wanted to part of trying to open eyes a little bit and changing hearts to change minds.
Melissa: Yeah, no, that’s all very true. And, and, and I do remember hearing chatter about that as well, you know, early on right around the time that the former president, which will not be named was, was, you know, taking off as there were all those Yeah, yeah.
Civil war and, you know, and I’ve heard it within, you know, my own family people saying, I think this is going to happen. And, and then we did get kind of a little taste of that, I guess, with the Capitol, what happened to the Capitol that day and was an incredibly scary moment because you can see how quickly, you know, things can kind of flip from, from a democracy.
So, yeah, that’s really interesting that you were. It’s not intuitive enough to kind of pick up on that F and then to have to go and film it only to see that parts of it were coming true.
Paula Rhodes: Oh [00:07:00] man. It was, it was pretty wild. I bet. I mean, I think that’s sort of the job of storytellers, right. Is to magnify where we see conversations need to happen or where hearts need to change.
We’re never going to be able to reach everybody, but even just a few of us reaching a few more, it does have the power to exponentially grow, right? Like that’s the magic of why we do this thing. So. Yeah. Here’s hoping some of that magic sprints
Melissa: for sight. Yeah. Now why I’m just out of curiosity, you know, why did you choose to do it unscripted versus I mean, did you have like a game plan every day?
Like, okay, this is the general sort of, you know, mini plot that we’re going to cover. You know,
Paula Rhodes: In hindsight. I really wish I had had that. It was a much different adventure trying to wrestle a beast into the shape of a film when you don’t have a script. I I’m so proud that we were able to do it.
I could never have done it without my amazing editor who has my extra sounding board and covered all the, you know, the blank spots for my. My blind spots, [00:08:00] she was well-versed in. So she really was great at helping me craft that and being an on occasion, just, you know, tossing out stuff like, Hey, you know, it’d really make these transitions work as if we had a shot of something like this.
And that’s when we would add another post-it note to the whiteboard, see when we could make it happen. And if we were past that point in the pregnancy already, or, you know, we had a few pickup shots from our second pregnancy We would try to figure out a way to film it so that maybe I was holding the camera and you didn’t see it, or, you know, just trying to be creative in ways that weren’t traditional filmmaking.
So there was a lot of outside the box thinking there, the reason for not having a script. You probably caught me. I don’t know if it was a combination of lazy or daring myself to do it, or just the fact that I realized what a fluid state, both our nation and my pregnancy were in. I mean, I’d have had a sister who had a high risk pregnancy and to be on bed rest for four months.
Just in case something crazy happens. Let’s just not have it in stone. Let’s have kind of an outline and we’re going to improv [00:09:00] verse and it’ll seem more like a documentary that way. Anyhow. And then there were a handful of actors that came in for us as guest, starring roles and little and supporting stuff to build out the world.
And they mostly were such phenomenal and provers too, that they were game with just the situation. I think there was Glenn preferred having a. Good more showers, such a gifted actor, reason. Like every show ever, he, he preferred a script and I was like, okay, that’s fine. So I, I watched, oh gosh, I think it was like two shows on Fox news at night.
And I just kind of transcribed loosely. Somebody ranting about. At the time, I believe that Ferguson was pretty fresh in the minds of the world about that. And so he kind of went off that and used it as his jumping off point. And it was so eerie each time we’d edit it or come back to that scene and be like, oh my God, every year, this can be just be seven, a different name.
And it’s, you know, the same thing happening. But yeah, even watching it in the theater with everybody just a week or so ago, it was [00:10:00] crazy to be like, this is still so there’s still people that. This exact thing.
Melissa: Yeah. It’s really relevant.
Paula Rhodes: Yeah. So those are those, those hearts that we hope to maybe breach because the weird and crazy thing is having a family and friends, you know, all over the country in all different parts of the political spectrum.
At varying levels of paying attention to politics. We’re not as different as we seem to think. And a lot of these people and good people that just happened to prescribe to some really, really good, you know, particular little corners of fraud. And when you actually sit down with them and talk with them, you see where the overlap is and you can kind of be like, oh, well, we’re not.
We’re not on this end of the spectrum in this end, we’re kind of here in the middle ish. It’s just that we’re being told that we’re enemies. Yeah.
Melissa: Yeah. Well, I think also like the majority of the population from at least from my perspective, you know, over the last probably 10, 20 years I didn’t really pay any attention to politics.
Right. I mean, I knew nothing you know, five [00:11:00] years ago about, oh, what a
Paula Rhodes: privileged gift. Right? Like I loved being in that bubble. It was great attention to it, but it is a privilege, right? Like, because it wasn’t mostly, it wasn’t inflicted upon our lives. It wasn’t encroaching where it was on so many others.
And now it’s actually come to our doorsteps in many ways and we have to raise our voices. We have to stand up and. There are, there is an entire contingent, super happy to take those rights away and to, you know, kind of silence, a whole group of, yeah.
Melissa: And it’s, you know, you know, we just saw that happening in Texas you know, with, with the abortion the six week abortion ban that they’re, they’ve done and they’re just, you know, voting rights laws, changing it just like one thing after another.
And I mean, obviously we, we, you know, we see it, I think most of us. I mean, I’m not speaking for everyone, but for myself and the people, I know, you know, you think of yourself, you know, I’m a Democrat. I, I live, I live in California. So it’s not something I’ve ever really been that worried about for us on our, where we live.[00:12:00]
And I was just, you know, exactly what I’m bringing it back to is, you know, when I saw this, this free call, I thought, oh my God, you know, like, This could literally happen here if we make one wrong move, you know, and then a few people brought it up on television saying that Texas, the decision in taxes, might’ve actually influenced more voters in California to go out and ensure that Newsome, you know, stayed in office.
Paula Rhodes: Right. And that, that encourages me. Not that the laws there, but that enough people might be paying attention or that more people are paying attention. I mean, social media is just a, you know, a curse upon humanity in many ways and the craziness, it spreads, but it can be a blessing in some ways, if we use it to elevate the truth, you know, and to, to open people’s eyes.
So it’s really just, it is, it is more of a battle than I anticipated. It used to be, you know, much. A much different fight, I think for previous generations, but [00:13:00] now we gotta,
Melissa: yeah. I mean, I think the closest, it would come to, you know, be like the Vietnam war in the sixties and you know, that kind of activism that really spring out of that era.
And then, you know, the seventies, eighties, and the nineties, especially where like, just everyone was like chilling, you know, and doing. Yeah. And so this is kind of like a resurgence and as much as, as people try to like knock on, you know, the, the youth and the gen Z years, but they really are the ones that have kind of like spurred on.
I think more activism.
Paula Rhodes: Yeah. Ignore things as easily because we can’t deny things as easily when they’re happening in real time in front of our eyes and video. Yeah. It’s a matter of also, you know, mixing that. With the fact that boy does this country need a lot more media literacy, just, you know, being able to vet if something’s edited, being able to check and see what source it’s coming from and [00:14:00] what their motives might be.
And it’s exhausting to have to do that. But if we don’t, we’re really dropping the ball on just allowing other people to steer up.
Melissa: Yeah, well, and that, you know, I said that a lot. I think one of the things that a lot of people, and this is partially because of the education system, you know, is lacking, is a critical thinking and the ability to go out and instead of like searching for confirmation bias, but actually like looking for factual, you know, proofed.
To more towards science and actual reality. And I think that’s like you were saying, you know, when you go out and talk to people that think differently than you they’re, they’re not that much different than us. It’s just that they have different avenues and different voices coming at them and, and they’re hearing different messages
Paula Rhodes: and they’re.
Yeah, exactly. And then there’s just a very distinct narrative being fed to them that we a whole group of other, you know, fellow citizens. Enemies, like not [00:15:00] just, you know, that we have a difference of opinion here, here, but literally since the nineties is really when it did it, this big shift shortly after the fairness doctrine got buttoned rid of, and we were able to have cable news and radio pundits and whatnot, and it became this, this narrative of like us versus them.
Like they’re the bad guys. They’re evil. Not just that we have, we need to come to a compromise, but like ho how could we even do anything with them? Because they are the devil incarnate. It’s how do you, how do you go up against that? Right. Like a whole generation of people have grown up with thinking other citizens are just playing.
Melissa: well, and I think they, they think that we think we’re better than them as well, in a sense of, you know, because, you know, we have had quite a few democratic presidents that I feel like there’s a big population that believes that they have been sort of like left out of the conversation. You know, people that are like farmers and miners and things like that.
And they look at everyone over on the west or, you know, just in the democratic party. Celebrities and [00:16:00] money and all this stuff. And they think we’re just like looking down at them, but you know, a lot of, it’s just, I think that narrative has developed because we’re just so appalled at a lot of this stuff that’s been happening, you know, with the Republican
Paula Rhodes: party.
Yeah. And that those are people you can’t forget that we do need to be having those conversations. And there’s no people that we should forget. It should literally be conversations being had, even when they’re uncomfortable. Because there really isn’t much other words. To reach those exact hearts, you know?
Melissa: We’ve just got to hang out. Well, I mean,
Paula Rhodes: our story.
Melissa: Exactly. And you know, when you were, you know, when you were making this film, you know, you mentioned you’ve had, you did have some supporting actors come in to play various roles. And was, did you do some of that, you know, research you know, reaching out and talking to people on both sides of the aisle, in a sense to get any kind of like perspective.
Paula Rhodes: I feel like that’s. Been something I’ve really [00:17:00] been gifted with having grown up in the Midwest and having so much family in the Western south is that there’s never been a point in my life since at least, you know, high school that I haven’t had those conversations. And maybe it’s just the fact that I like a debate and I don’t mind a little conflict, but I’ve, I’ve never really shied away from them.
So I knew. The talking points and I knew the perspectives, and I also knew where some of their opinions probably overlapped mine if they actually listened to me, as opposed to just a pre pre-judge and assume that they knew me or assume they knew everything about me. So I, I like having those one-on-ones I’ve I’ve had enough of them with family and friends to know that.
That there is a way to not antagonize and to get those conversations going. And for this film, I knew it kind of had to be, even though Charlie and I and my husband are pretty Pretty plugged in to the [00:18:00] Dean and Freddie even knowledgeable. We had to be character versions of us that weren’t versions of us, of us that were happily head in the sand in order to kind of, have people relate to us on both sides and go along on this journey.
And that was one of the initially shocking things to me because some of the scenes we shot in 2015. Involving a president. We’re not the president that I thought would be happening next. So they took out an entirely different meaning depending on who was in office, you know, spending over three presidencies now during the course of this.
And, and I kind of love that in hindsight, after the initial shock of it to my own system, I was like, no, it has to be this way. You have to not be. Peg these people right away, you have to see where they’re operating in their privilege or their blind spots. So that the people that are, that are also running in that space can, can relate.
Yeah. That’s so
Melissa: interesting. Now was your husband, is he previously in the industry as well, or did you kind of. Take them along for the ride, [00:19:00]
Paula Rhodes: both, but you know, he’s, he’s an actor we met when he was flooding my murder on a horror film.
Melissa: Very nice
Paula Rhodes: romantic, but he’s a really gifted actor and. It works all the time.
And so I definitely was lucky enough to go in with that teammate. He does not like to do crew positions. So we both had quite the learning curve of like learning sound and DIT and all sorts of lighting and things. A lot of trial and error. And boy, am I going to appreciate a crew next time? But but now there’s no one else I’d rather work with it just because we can.
Argue, we’ll be entirely honest with each other at the end of the day, we’re going to make up. Which is great, but just coming in with all of his talent, elevate. Any project anyway. So I was really lucky there, but he’s the one that came up with the idea. Initially, I think after being really tired of hearing me complain and worry about what was going to happen to my career as my belly got bigger and oh my gosh, I have to announce soon.
I can’t hide it much longer. [00:20:00] He flippantly was just like, oh my God, just make a movie. Yeah to regret it. I
Melissa: guess I have, you know, I’ve, I’ve heard, I’ve read and I have spoken to a couple people, a couple of women in the industry who, you know, have, have done that themselves. You know, what, they weren’t finding the roles they wanted.
And so they just. Basically put together their own production company and ended it them themselves, you know, because it is, it’s a tough industry anyways. And then to be a woman on top of it, you know, especially a woman of color, obviously as well.
Paula Rhodes: Yeah. As you get older as well, like it’s, I was lucky enough to kind of cut my teeth in the web series world, doing that and DV like short films and things.
But I really liked. Early on. I think when I was 25 and first had to start lying about my age things to that casting director. Yeah. That was the first time I was like, well, darn it. I’ll just make my own stuff. And then I realized there was this whole ecosystem of women doing the same thing [00:21:00] and that it come immediately before me.
That was great to learn from and whole communities of, you know, men and women. That we’re doing this and the, the big disparity that I noticed when I would go in. And when I actually got lucky enough to go into like rooms, pitching things with male colleagues is if they were the writer director, they’d pitch it in, you know, more than often be like, oh yeah.
And I’ll probably just play this other role that I wrote for myself. And no one batted an eye. It was always all Culebra. When I would go in with women or with myself pitching stuff and I would bring up and, you know, I, I wrote this role for myself or I created this character based on me. It was always like a little bit of a glitch in the record.
And. You know, like, well, let’s see how things go and let’s not take on too much. And it was so infuriating because every woman I know is a natural multi-tasker just by necessity. So, yeah. I, I am happy to, you know, aggressively fight back against that stereotype.
Melissa: Yeah, [00:22:00] definitely. I mean, the age of. Yeah, it’s hard.
Me and my sister is, is an actress and she either, she tells me all kinds of funny stories and things like that. But even just like the way that like additions, like the description, right for the character is written, it’s very like, you know, hot blonde with big boobs or, you know, it’s it’s so just like look spaced all the time, which obviously acting as look space.
But but she’s always like, oh my God, Ridiculous. I mean, you have to have a really fixed skin to, to do what you do.
Paula Rhodes: I did an entire little mini series on YouTube about that called casting doubt, where I would just read the daily breakdowns for awhile and react to them because they are the worst. I can get like a hooker count one day where I was like, every character is a sex worker.
Melissa: heck? Yeah. You know, There’s roles for everything, obviously, depending on like what style of film or show you’re doing, but there’s just gotta be, [00:23:00] you know, more and I’m seeing more and more quality stuff that thank God, you know, women like, you know, Reese weather has been for example, or are doing, taking the reins and you know, you’ve got like the morning show and what’s the one with the girl from six Creek.
Something that Kevin, Kevin can add himself or something like that. So it’s, it’s nice to see you know, just more interesting roles for women and especially women that are over the age of 30.
Paula Rhodes: Exactly. And you, you do start to see those, even in the film festivals and dances with films and, and then St.
Louis international film Fest. I just got in, like, I’m seeing. That my peers in the category are, you know, half or so women, which is amazing. And it was, it was so fun to win that audience choice award, because the other person that went in the other category was also my best buddy, who I’d made there.
And she had her first film in the past and it was the two of us up there. Like, this is amazing to women that when the audience Theresa reports.
Melissa: That’s so unbelievable. You know, and, and I hope we get to a point where we’re not like, [00:24:00] yeah, that’s so crazy, but like it’s, but it is, and, and it’s awesome as well.
Where you just like pinching yourself. I mean, did you, did you go out and celebrate.
Paula Rhodes: Well, I think I, well, I definitely didn’t expect it. I didn’t actually think I was in any sort of competitive category because I knew he wasn’t in the like jury awards category. They had a very select few films that were chosen for that initially.
And then I knew I might’ve, I, I could have been in the audience choice awards, but I had a smaller theater and I had. I guess really bright lights and they didn’t even see how full it was. So I just figured it was essentially just my family and friends. And I knew that like a handful of my cast wasn’t able to come at the last minute.
So their tickets weren’t picked up and I was, I was like, I don’t even think anybody voted. And my dad was like, oh, shoot voted. I forgot. So I was like, yeah, we definitely didn’t get my dad. Didn’t remember. So I just wear like jeans and a t-shirt to go and support everybody else and cheer them on. And I’m sitting like in the back in the middle and then.
My film and [00:25:00] I just like, it just came out of my mouth, but I was like, what? And then had to like climb over people on sprint down and. I have no idea what I said, except for someone filmed it, because I was like, what’s happening. I don’t, I don’t know. Just like blacked
Paula Rhodes: Yeah. I, I, I’m glad I at least got in there that, you know, the whole, one of the things I’m most proud of is that we made this insane, an entire film with such a tiny little group and so many obstacles ahead of us that people said, couldn’t be done.
You can’t make a film with a two person crew. You can’t do it in the script. You can’t do you’re pregnant. You can’t do like, they kept telling me I couldn’t. So I was really hoping that having. Could really empowered a lot of other storytellers that if I can do this at my most vulnerable, then gosh, darn it.
Get out there. And you’ve got this.
Melissa: Yeah. Especially, you know, yeah. Like people that aren’t really established and maybe they don’t have like the top of the line equipment or, you know, the fancy spaces and locations to shoot in. But like basically, you know, you’ve just shown them that, you know, you just stayed a couple of people.[00:26:00]
A decent camera and you can
Paula Rhodes: yeah. Story and heart, and you know what a little bit of not being lazy, you have to be willing to climb your learning curve and know where your blind spots are and be able to Google and watch those YouTube videos to find out.
Melissa: Yeah, exactly. Yes. YouTube is your friend. You want to learn how to do anything?
Because I’m sure you’ve filmed a lot of staff. Did you have like a ton of extra footage that like didn’t make the kite or
Paula Rhodes: we had a significant amount playing at like three hard drives near me. Right. I mean over the course of, you know, three years or so five, six years. Yeah, my son’s six, six years.
So yes, although. We stuck to essentially my board for the most part, and then ideas for transition stuff. For me, we’re doing final assembly, but so I probably could have had a lot more. It wasn’t like documentary overload, but. Yeah. Yeah. There was definitely some stuff that, you know, you kill babies when you edit movies.
Like he got ’em on the cutting room floor.
Melissa: It’s like writing a book. It’s literally the same thing. You’re just half of your novel [00:27:00] is doesn’t make the final cut. What would you do this style of film again? Do you think.
Paula Rhodes: AKI fiction. Maybe I will say, I thought it was so interesting that people kept thinking and I’ve seen this time and time again in various styles, you know?
Oh, you can’t do that. You need two cameras to get that sort of stuff. If you’re going to improv to cover it up between. And again, and again, I’ve done projects where I’m like, no, you don’t just need to remember what you said and maybe get a reaction shot afterwards. Or like, I mean, there’s so many ways around.
That you can always find a way to make it work if you’re willing to pivot and be creative in the moment for, you know, six years after the moment, whatever it needs to, but it’s, it’s always possible. It’s just a, you know, that this whole industry has operated for a long time. I’m like, this is how you do it.
Right. It’s an art. We can’t forget that it’s an art. And so art doesn’t really have rules.
Melissa: Some of them are innovative. You know, types of [00:28:00] films have come out from literally breaking the rules. I mean, when I look at even just quantitative, do you know, for example, you know, when I remember being, I don’t know, teenager early, early pre-teen when I, when pulp fiction came out and, and for me personally at that age, you know, and in the society, I hadn’t seen anything quite like that before, you know, where everything’s out of order.
And and now it seems to be very common. I mean, you see the type of film all the time. Right. But it was. A little bit groundbreaking and and I’m sure there were people that came before him as well, that are past my, before my time,
but that’s all it takes. Sometimes it’s breaking the rules and then it becomes a rule.
Paula Rhodes: And then you can break, do that again. But yeah, I would say next time I will look forward to having a script just because the AI side of my brain. Oh, I love to have a plan. It makes me so much less anxious and this was, you know, plan lists, but essentially.
So I will look forward to that. I also found out [00:29:00] that thing, films that bleed seem to make a lot more money. So I, I would be, I would love to dabble in some horror. Thriller, maybe next. I think that’d be nice to Repat the pocketbook.
Melissa: Yeah. Well, you have that background a little bit. I mean, with the stuff that you’ve done for you know, resident evil, you’ve kind of, you know, been in that world.
Paula Rhodes: Freaking amazing that resonant evil community has just blown us away and they were great for biohazard, but they’ve really come out to play with village. And I don’t know if. Because of, you know, the pandemic and people are inside much more and just really missing that, that community and that connection.
And for whatever reason, the stars aligned and they’ve really attached to these characters to these villains, actually, it’s kind of glorious. I mean, Capcom was genius in the way they crafted them all. So. Over the moon and for everything to be honest, come play in that pool.
Melissa: Yeah. It’s, it’s a fantastic [00:30:00] franchise.
One of my favorites, actually, I love the films and, and I’ve played the games. I just think it’s, and it just keeps going. They keep expanding on it. And but I have to tell you your voice, then it is so creepy and which is the compliment. I mean, how, I mean, I don’t even know how you. Because I’m listening to it and you do have sort of a higher kind of pitched voice, but like, you sound like a child in it and I’m like, how does she do this?
This is amazing. You’re just that talented, I guess. But is that like, was that something that came naturally or did you really like work to, to craft that.
Paula Rhodes: Yes. And no, there have always been in my wheel house for, for voiceover and for characters. And once you got too old to play them on camera, it was like, well, what’s left.
What’s ever. So because I have just kind of natural squirrel voice, it lends itself to, you know, once you can pick up the cadence and the, the way that kids are, like just kind of that vibe inside, it comes out, but that each. [00:31:00] Different. And the directors for both of those are really great at helping kind of tweak and find what was needed for that character.
But I love that in a weird way. And we only discovered this recently discussing it with the fans who are way more knowledgeable than I am in the lore of everything. That. My two characters, Evelyn and Angie, like they would kind of in a way complete each other because the missing piece of each of them that they’re desperately searching for, you know, kind of our puzzle pieces.
So I was like, that’s amazing. They totally want, you may not have been much villains. Have they found each other? But yeah. Wow. It’s a weird business thing. Cartoons and video game characters, but man,
Melissa: I bet. Yeah. I think it would be a blast actually, because, you know, I just, a lot of hard work. I have definitely talked to many voiceover artists who you know, your, your throat is, gets beat up and, you know, you have to rest in between because you don’t want to hurt your vocal chords and things like that.
But I think it would just be a lot of fun to go into a [00:32:00] sound booth and just like, let it go, like let it rip and just have fun.
Paula Rhodes: And you totally don’t have to do your makeup or hair. It’s kind of boring, but it, but it is weird in that. It’s also like you have to have that thick skin for acting, but like triple thick for voiceover, because you’re doing so many more auditions with so fewer bookings, other than, I don’t know what the top, like 1% probably look, it, all them laugh at me for saying this, but like most of us are just, you know, talking about.
In the dark being like, I dunno, is that close and you often don’t even hear anything unless you book it. So you’re like, was that runner up or no? No. It’s like awful. Okay, great. I’m just assuming, so yeah, it is, it has the potential to be soul shattering and the potential to be just out of this world.
Amazing fun. So, you know, like most things worthwhile
Melissa: and I’ve, I’ve heard that it’s, it’s a relatively small community. Like y’all kind of know each other.
Paula Rhodes: It is, I will say that as another glorious thing that it’s, it’s really supportive. [00:33:00] Some of my best friends are our fellow vio kids and that’s been glorious cause you can be auditioning against each other and still rooting for each other, which is not something you always see in on camera.
Melissa: That’s true. Yes. We’ve, we’ve all heard the stories as well. Yeah. I mean any kind of, I think an industry. A certain amount of ego is involved. Right. You’re going to run into that kind of behavior from time to time to put it nicely.
Paula Rhodes: Yeah. Well, we’re all trying to feel some, something that we needed in ourselves.
And some people have some really big voids in there. So you do run into some definite characters.
Melissa: Yeah, I bet. Well, that’s just good fodder for future storytelling, right? When you decide to write another, a script or something.
Paula Rhodes: The notes on my phone are just going through like every now and then if I get script ideas, like our meta person that I’m like, well, that’s going in a script someday.
I’ll just read [00:34:00] their own and be like, what the heck is my
Melissa: life? I, yeah, I do the same thing with I write books and. Primarily like fantasy and romance and stuff. And so, yeah, it, my notes are just ridiculous. Like sometimes I look back and I go, what was I thinking when I wrote this one? You know, they just like, didn’t make sense.
Paula Rhodes: like, wait, posted no guy driving old. Huh. Oh, right, right, right. I saw an old man once driving his car, like leaning through this little window where everything else on the entire windshield was just covered in post-it notes. There were directions to various places that he had to go. That’s amazing and he needs to be a character.
Melissa: Clearly didn’t have like a, like one of the automated navigation systems.
Paula Rhodes: Not going to mess himself up with some GPS.
Melissa: Oh my God. Yeah. That’s a great character. Quirk actually, for some kind of, even like crime fiction or something. And he
Paula Rhodes: could just be driving by in a comedy. And I tell you what,
Melissa: oh yeah, definitely.
I could see it on like an episode of like [00:35:00] Seinfeld. Right? Well, that is awesome. You were also in just briefly have to say it because it’s one of my favorite games as a red, dead redemption.
Paula Rhodes: Oh, that was so fun.
Melissa: I love that game franchise. It’s
Paula Rhodes: beautiful. Yeah, and I didn’t know what it was at the time, which was pretty cool.
There used to be just a few years ago, this changed, but beforehand it was a, you really never got told what game you’re working on until it came out. So, you know, you would have done this for a year, two years, three years before, and all of a sudden your agent or somebody be like, oh, your game’s out.
Cool. What was it? But that one, I think I put it together. Because I knew that, you know, the game company and then I was kind of going off the dialogue. But we got to do the facial capture with the helmet and the voiceover at the same time. So that was pretty cool. It is wild. And not that game changes all the time because my, my characters, she’s a woman of the night and one time.
The average, can we find her? She looks different. Like sometimes she’s a much [00:36:00] larger woman. She’s much skinnier woman and her wardrobe changes. And I’m like, you have, it’s still my voice.
Melissa: I think it’s because, because of the different like towns and yeah, just like, cause she’s the, like the local towns woman apparently.
Right? Like that’s sort of, from what I remember,
Paula Rhodes: she’s just one of the, one of the one, the horse saloon. Yeah, but they, they, and she’s often in the same places kind of haunting the same corners, but yeah, she changes her look
Melissa: up. I L I love when they do that in games, they do that in a lot of games actually, where you’ll yeah.
You go to like a different town in the open world and, and you’ll see a character that like, literally. It’s the same per you know, it’s the same person that’s playing, playing the character, but it’s like a different character in that town. And I was thinking, it’s funny. I don’t know. I get a kick out of it
Paula Rhodes: when you, because this isn’t small community to hear some of your friends and be like, wait a second.
I’m coming out.
Melissa: Yeah, but you can’t like watch [00:37:00] anything now. Like you’re like, wait, I know that voice.
Paula Rhodes: I just had a moment where I saw the trailer for the new He-Man show. Like just on Twitter popped up and I listened. I was like, oh shit, the front door, that’s a URI. And I was like, oh my God, I guess it’s out now.
Melissa: So that’s exciting too. Cause then you get to like route your friends on when they’re doing good.
Well, okay. So aside from, I know the new resident evil game is it’s out now. Isn’t it? The village? It is. Yeah. That’s like, I think number eight,
Paula Rhodes: I don’t necessarily always go in order there now. I’ve noticed that. Yeah. And then, yeah, there’ll be, I’m sure some, all, they announced it they’ll have some DLCs out eventually, so we’re like, okay, well, my phone number is in your Rolodex.
Melissa: woke up, we need to hear for the DLC. I’m sure.
Yeah. So anything else you’ve got going on that we should know about other than just like maybe trying to get some rest after all the craziness?
Paula Rhodes: It, I’ve [00:38:00] never had distribution before, obviously this being my first feature film. So I am climbing that learning curve right now and getting everything together and excited for when they announced that I can announce.
But yeah, discovering the. The side of post-production that is deliverables that good. Next, I’m going to appreciate the heck out of a producer. They ever have to do this next time for me and every, every producer who’s ever done this for any film I’ve acted in, bless you all. It’s a lot, it’s a lot. And it really appreciating school, even though it’s terrifying every time the phone rings.
Cause we’re like, oh, did someone have covered? Is he coming home? Is this is this happening? Just having a few hours to like get caught up on occasion when we both get to caught up, get caught up at the same time, it has been an, I look at each other every day by like 8:00 AM. And like, we can do things like both of us can do something.
Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. Well, okay. Well, that’s good. And I’m glad you’re taking that time to kind of just look around and be like, all right, we can get. It’s a kind of free for a minute here and we’re
Paula Rhodes: not breathing yet,
Melissa: but hopefully soon [00:39:00] on your way, we’ll get, well, I was going to ask you when, when we could watch the film, but as you said, you’re, you’re gathering through
Paula Rhodes: you’re in Missouri or Illinois.
I got into St. Louis international film Fest, which will be all of November and it’ll be hybrid. So there’ll be a virtual virtual version. You can watch. Whenever you like, and then hopefully some other festival be announcing soon. I didn’t apply to many because he wants to travel much right now, but but a couple and then early next year should have some really, really cool news for people to tune in wherever they might be.
Melissa: That’s awesome. And if people want to stay in the loop, they should follow you on Twitter at I think it’s Paula underscore road. It
Paula Rhodes: is yes. And the same on Instagram as well. And if you want to follow my film, it could definitely use some love. Cause any little bit of that always helps with, you know, getting stuff out, delicate, underscore state.
So clearly I like underscores, but I’m there on both Twitter and Instagram. And you know, if you follow me on my personal one, I tweet about it enough that you should be easy to
Melissa: find. [00:40:00] I will, obviously I will follow both.
Paula Rhodes: I’ll follow you back. Thank
Melissa: you. Well, thanks again for coming on today. This has been really fun.
I’m going to wait to chat with, I could talk to you all day.
Paula Rhodes: No, I appreciate it. I love having, you know, multiple conversations and this is why I made the film. I hope that people get chatting. They listen, they get talking to themselves, to their friends and I hope they feel empowered to go out and tell their own stories.
Melissa: Awesome. Yeah. Everybody you’re listening to a square country with myself was the surgeon and Paula roads. Thank you so much.