As you may know, February is “Women in Horror” month. To celebrate, PromoteHorror.com asked women from different professions if they would like to answer some questions about being a “Woman in Horror.” One of the women, who was kind enough to answer our questions, was the terrific actress and director England Simpson. Lets see what she said about being a “Woman in Horror”…
-PH: When did you first become a horror fan?
-England: I’ve been a horror fan since I was a preteen. I grew up in a household where I wasn’t allowed to watch anything secular or celebrate holidays like Halloween. Nevertheless, my little slice of rebellion was watching horror films with my cousins or catching a Troma flick on cable. I remember the night my older cousins showed me Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings on VHS. When my mother found out she was livid, but then she realized that she was being a bit unreasonable with her rules so she eased up a bit. After that night, she let me enjoy my “scary movies.”
-PH: Was there a specific moment when you realized that you wanted to go from being a fan of horror to a woman who contributes to the genre, or did it just kind of happen naturally?
-England: I am an actor by trade. Before I started directing and producing content, my body of work did NOT reflect my love of the horror genre. After years of hoping that someone would hire me for a role in a horror film, I realized that I had to contribute to the genre if I wanted women like myself to be signified. I knew that WoC were underrepresented in horror, but being plus-sized on top of that, made it nearly impossible for me to get work.
-PH: Since you’ve become a horror fan and woman in horror, have you always had the support of friends and family or did you have some explaining to do?
-England: My friends and family totally support my work. The natural progression from actor to filmmaker made perfect sense to my support system. Many of my friends and family members may not be horror fans, but they support me. ☺
-PH: What does having a “Women in Horror” month mean to you?
-England: Women in Horror month is a celebration of ALL of our contributions to the genre. It’s a call to inclusivity, and during this particular month ALL women in horror should be represented. Women of Color continue to be marginalized within the horror genre, but I do believe a cultural shift is beginning to happen. Like it or not, we are out here… And we are creating some pretty cool stuff. ☺
-PH: Is there a woman in horror who you consider a role model? How have they effected your life in and outside of horror?
-England: There are so many women who inspire me to step my game up and keep creating!
To name a few: Gigi Saul Guerrero, Kasi Lemmons, Ashlee Blackwell, Jennifer Kent, Regina King, Karyn Kusama.
-PH: How do you think the role of women in horror has changed since you got involved in horror? Have you personally noticed a change from when you started?
-England: We are starting to see more women working above the line, but we still have room for growth in the industry. Women, especially WoC, are WIDLY underrepresented when it comes to being the creative influences and visionaries within the genre. There is still SO much work that needs to be done.
-PH: What do you think the future holds for women in horror?
-England: Optimistically, I think that women will get even more opportunities in horror. Hopefully, we will be afforded the same luxuries as our male counterparts.
-PH: This is Women in Horror Month 11…how long do you think we will continue to celebrate this month before women get the recognition they deserve?
-England: We will celebrate EVERY year until ALL women creatives get the recognition and prospects they deserve. Hopefully that will happen sooner than later… Hopefully.
-PH: If you could serve a role in horror that you’ve never done, what would it be?
-England: I would love to be showrunner on an episodic, horror of course… Or I’d love to star in an episodic.
-PH: Who is your favorite final girl, and favorite female villain?
-England Simpson: Jada Pinkett, Demon Knight.
-PH: Being that this is PromoteHorror.com, please feel free to plug your current/next horror project.
-England: My latest horror short, FAT HENRY, will be screening at film festivals this Spring.
Official Trailer for FAT HENRY: https://youtu.be/zY5hAYxCSCE
We would like to thank England Simpson for taking the time to answer our questions, but more importantly for her contribution to horror!