03 June 2013

We Take A Look at The Men of "Desperate Dolls" - PRESS RELEASE

Desperate Dolls

The Men of Desperate Dolls Desperate Dolls

[Chicago, IL] Before cameras roll on Desperate Dolls, a horror feature shooting this
summer in Chicago, actors Stephen Spencer and G. Riley Mills will have to cope with
being ignored. They were barely featured in any of the film’s promotional materials –
partly because their characters are top secret, but also because of the film’s three
beautiful leading ladies. “Both Stephen and G. are handsome men,” laughs writer &
director Darren Callahan, “but, seriously, they’ll never be able to compete with the ladies
on who makes a better poster.”

However, Stephen Spencer, who plays Captain, and G. Riley Mills, as Sunny Jack Fennigan, may get a second look when their performances are in the can. Both are wellknown in Chicago scene, with credits from the town’s most respected theatres, as well as television shows such as ER and films such as Michael Mann’s Public Enemies. With the challenges of Callahan’s labyrinthine horror plot, the men have been preparing for these two very different and challenging roles.

“Captain is safely unlike any character I've played,” says Stephen Spencer of the
ambiguous talent scout he portrays, a man who partners with Sunny Jack, a small-time Hollywood producer, played by Mills. Mills agrees, “The closest I have played to a role like this was in the mid-90s when I played a killer in a television show called Tough Target. Jack makes exploitation films and beds a lot of his co-stars, but Jack’s a good guy, despite all that. He loves making movies and he loves his Dolls. That’s just who he

 Mills has immersed himself in the films of the period – the 1960s. “Darren has mentioned a few movies with actors such as Michael Caine and Steve McQueen, so the bar is high! I’ve also been watching a lot of films like Jack would have made – drive-in flicks and sexploitation.”  “I grew up in the 1960s,” confesses Spencer, “I dig the cars and the smoking and the straight-legged pants. When I dream, my dreams share the color palette of my youth and television. Batman. The Munsters. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Bewitched (Oh,

For Spencer, he will explore Captain from the inside out. “Captain seems ‘not from here,’
as if he might have been whispering into the ear of Jack the Ripper. I think the body is not
his; it's borrowed from some low-level functionary at an insurance company. And he's
curious about these ‘Hollywood’ people... What makes them tick? Is money such an
easy fix for Jack? Why are the Dolls so round and soft and smell so good?”

Mills remarks, “My main work will be trying to figure out my relationships with the three
‘dolls’ and how each one is unique. The relationships are the key in this story. Also, there
are a couple fun scenes — both a love scene and a violent scene with Stephanie Leigh Rose.
 Stephanie and I are pretty similar in our approach as actors so it will be fun to see
where those go for the audience. Darren ended up casting some talented and fearless
actors who were not afraid of the subject matter. In the audition, I certainly felt like all
three of the actresses who eventually got cast made me raise my game, and that is
always something you look forward to as an actor. Stephen and I did not get to read
together at the audition or callbacks, but I have heard great things and have seen him
onstage at the Court Theatre. He’s great. Our big scene together should be a blast.”

“I approach work in a lo-fi, intuitive manner,” continues Spencer. “Sometimes, I have to
have the lines in my head. Other times, I'd rather learn lines on my feet, so I can match
the imprinting of the lines with movement.”

When asked about their connections to the horror genre – something the director is very
well known for – both men have unique perspectives and tales to tell.

“I have never done a horror movie, but am a big fan of the genre,” Mills explains. “I
grew up watching Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Burnt Offerings, Halloween,
etc. In fact, one of my favorite possessions is a bible autographed by John Sheperd who
starred in Friday the 13th Part V. He’s very religious now. Riding to the set of that movie
each day, all John wanted to talk about was Jesus and all I wanted to talk about was
Jason! So we always ended up talking a little about both. At the wrap party, he
presented me with a bible and he wrote a personal message on the inside of it. I still
have it!”

For Spencer, his roots in horror are not quite as personal, but he does joke, “One of the
first films I ever did was a low budget feature vampire film called Those We Love Who
Never Die. So there’s that!”

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