Billy Bob's Filmography
CHOPPER CHICKS IN
Exclusive Planet Billy Bob Interview with the Ultimate Chopper Chick . . . Jamie Rose!
She has been a troubled vineyard heiress, a tough-as-laquered-nails cop, a teacher, an author, and a pint-sized go-go dancer. You've seen her on TWO AND A HALF MEN, CRIMINAL MINDS, ER, and NYPD BLUE. In person, she is smart, outgoing, sparkling, stylishly bohemian, funny, and sweet. As a teacher, she is wise, insightful, compassionate, and inspirational.
But to Billy Bob fans around the world, she will always be the chief Chopper Chick in charge!
After enjoying Jamie Rose's splendid performance as poet Hettie Jones in "Waiting for Jack," Eve Brandstein's reenactment of a seminal 1955 gathering of Beat authors staged at the Gene Autry Museum last fall, we sidled up to her long enough to ask for an interview. And here she is . . . the talented and lovely Jamie Rose!
You made your debut as a go-go dancer in a Kool Aid commercial at the age of six. What made you decide to stick around for a lifelong acting career? And what was your favorite flavor of Kool Aid?
I stuck with acting because I kept getting hired. I did a few commercials and small roles on a couple of TV shows (GREEN ACRES & FAMILY AFFAIR) between the age of 6-13. Took a few years off. Then picked it up again when I was 19. Cherry.
How did you develop your career? Did you study formally or learn your craft as you were growing up and working?
I received my BA in drama age at 5. Kidding. I learned as I went. When I was 20 I was cast on a TV series (FALCON CREST) and dropped out of college. shortly after that I met my acting mentor, Roy London, and studied/coached with him until he died (he was famous for coaching, Geena Davis, Brad Pitt, among others; Sharon Stone was my classmate). I also studied Meisner technique and Shakespeare extensively. I'm an acting coach myself now and draw from my studies as well as all my practical experience.
You have some serious classic TV street cred, including a COLUMBO. Do you have any particular credit or credits that you consider serious bragging rights?
I do brag from time to time about the fact that in CHOPPER CHICKS IN ZOMBIETOWN, I had billing ABOVE Billy Bob Thornton! Ha! I'm not much of a bragger about my acting stuff. Certainly working with Peter Falk and Rip Torn on COLUMBO was a highlight. And the role I had in that COLUMBO movie was one of the best roles I've ever had. A word about Mr. Falk: he was just as charming, generous, and wonderful as one would hope him to be. I've also had the pleasure of working with Clint Eastwood a couple of times. Once in TIGHTROPE and once in an episode he directed of Spielberg's AMAZING STORIES. Harvey Keitel was in that episode too. Eastwood is great. Warm, charismatic, great welcoming energy.
Who were your favorite actors growing up?
Growing up I loved all the actors from Hollywood classics, Kate Hepburn, Barbara Stanwick, James Stewart (whom I found incredibly sexy in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY). The first actress I remember really admiring was Anne Francis in a TV series she did in the '60s where she played aa detective called Honey West. She had a beauty mark above her lip and a pet ocelot. I wanted to be her. The closest I came was in the '80s when I had my TV show LADY BLUE where I played the titular character, a homicide detective name Katy Mahony who "played by her own set of rules!" I didn't have a beauty mark or an ocelot, but I did have a .357 Magnum and Danny Aiello as my sidekick.
Not every actor of your career longevity and range can boast being a scream queen in a Troma cult classic as part of her pedigree. How did you wind up with the lead in CHOPPER CHICKS IN ZOMBIETOWN?
Funny, a guy on set asked me that same question when I was doing the movie. He asked, "Um, why are you doing this movie?"
You know, I just love to work. And it was an offer. I didn't have to audition. And hell, I got to wear leather chaps!
How much motorcycle riding experience did you have before doing the film?
None. I'm surprised I didn't kill myself or anyone else on the shoot. Everytime I stopped the bike I dumped it. The crew would place bets on how many times each day I'd drop the bike.
So, tell us about those bitchin’ black biker chaps you wore in the film.
The leathers were made by two guys who went on to design the uber-expensive clothing line Chrome Hearts (which was also the original name of the movie).
What do you think your character Dede’s backstory was? Why did she decide to become a biker chick?
I have no idea beyond the story in the script. Back then I was more concerned with keeping my hair teased high and long enough so I looked like a redheaded Louis IV.
How do you think Dede and Donny got together in the first place?
I'm guessing it was a sexual thing.
What was it like to work with Billy Bob back when he only had two tattoos on his left arm? What do you remember about him from this early stage of his career?
I remember him as being a very quiet and polite person. He was writing a film at the time. I don't think it was SLING BLADE.
Overall, what was most memorable about working on that film?
Six weeks of all night shoots. I put tin foil over the windows in my motel room. We lived like bats.
What would you say to your real-life husband if he came up to you and announced, “Lousy knots, Hon.” in front of the whole town?
I have no idea how to answer this question. Too many elements, the knots, the husband, the town. Would require a separate interview.
If you had your own biker gang, what would you call them?
In a zombie apocalypse:
1) Would you still be a chopper chick or would you be something else?
I'd totally be a Chopper Chick.
2) What would be your weapon of choice?
Bat. Like in the movie.
3) What would be the odds for your survival?
I'd probably die very quickly.
What is your favorite Billy Bob Thornton film and why?
SLING BLADE. Love that he got it made. Love the tragedy of that character.
For you as an acting teacher, what is the most important thing you hope to impart to your students?
Love of the acting itself. The business with let you down, but art never will.
What do you think acting teaches that would be helpful to anyone in any situation?
Compassion. To play characters you have to get inside their heads, to understand what drives them. When you do this you discover that most folks are doing the best they can.
Also, it's fascinating. Even the most evil character is interesting as hell once you get inside their minds. Some you may not want to though. There are some places I would not want to go. I have a very fertile imagination. I have to be careful how I use it.
What other pursuits do you enjoy outside of performing and teaching?
I write. I'm a published author. My first book Shut Up and Dance was published by Tarcher/Penguin a few years back (available for purchase in paperback and Kindle! Amazon, Barnes & Noble, your local independent bookstore, etc.). I also love the Argentine tango. It's what inspired my book. The book is a self help/memoir using tango dance as a metaphor for relationship.
Finally, what exciting projects do you have coming up?
I'm shooting an episode of JANE THE VIRGIN this week. Very good show. Looking forward
Thank you, Jamie Rose! We can't wait to see what you will do next!
|Jamie Rose is a writer, performance coach, and actor and has worked in TV, Film, and Theater for over 40 years. As an actor she has been employed as everything from a “day player" to the star of a major network television series and has acted on stages all over the world. Probably best known for her starring roles in the 80s TV series FALCON CREST, and LADY BLUE, recent credits include guest stars on CRIMINAL MINDS and FRANKLIN & BASH and a lead role in the independent feature ROUTE 30 TOO! for which she won a “Distinguished Performance” award from the Wild Rose Film Festival. Her first book, Shut Up and Dance! was published by Tarcher/Penguin, and she was just awarded a fellowship from the A Room Of Her Own Foundation. She has taught acting and directing seminars at the University of North Carolina and the North Carolina School of the Arts, created online courses in Dramatic Literature and Introduction to Theater for California State Northridge, and taught performance workshops for writers at Pen USA. Jamie coaches actors privately in acting and audition technique and uses her unique approach to coach writers on performing their work aloud. For more information about Jamie go to www.jrosestudio.com.
We now return you to the rest of our CHOPPER CHICKS page.
DONNY: Lousy knots, Hon!
Typical, tongue-in-cheek Troma film fare, this
comic cult fave gives us a pack of rough 'n' tumble biker chicks who stop in
the hick desert town of Zariah, only to find that some whacked-out scientist has been killing off the local townspeople and resurrecting them as zombies.
It's up to the Chopper Chicks, led by runaway housewife Dede
(Jamie Rose) and bike dyke Rox (Catherine Carlen) to square off with
the undead. Complicating matters: a school bus (loaded
with blind kids)
that has broken down just outside of town.
What Billy Bob Gets To Do
Check out Billy Bob as Donny, the estranged,
trailer-dwelling, but still hot-blooded husband of lead biker babe
Dede. Revel in Billy Bob's deadpan delivery of all the different types of deaths that have taken place in the last few months. Don't miss the gratuitous
aardvarking scene between Donny and Dede while Rox yowls a ballsy blues rocker titled Do What Your
Big Mama Told Ya.
Oh, the Troma! We are still trying to
confirm that legendary drive-in critic Joe Bob Briggs awarded
Billy Bob a supporting actor accolade for this film (evidence
can't be tracked down on Joe Bob's site). Star Jamie Rose clues us in to the fact that the film was originally titled CHROME HEARTS. Likely this was changed to allow for the ever-popular zombie marketing angle.
Billy Bob, who only got a couple grand for this
gig, was very amused when I told him
about the fake interview with him on the DVD. "It's
you, but it's so not you," I told him. "That's
so funny!" he laughed. At the 2004 Cannes Film
Festival, Roger Ebert gave Billy Bob the same grief over the DVD
during a televised interview.
(for CHOPPER CHICKS IN ZOMBIETOWN)
Fantasporto (International Fantasy Film Special Jury Award, Dan
Hoskins) - 1991 - Winner
Fantasporto (International Fantasy Film Award, Best Film, Dan
Hoskins) - 1991 - Nomination
Rotten Tomatoes review
Rick's Fan review