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Roger Corman likes things big lately and what better thing
to have more of than a beautiful woman? The plus size lady in his latest
production (and surprisingly, first 3D picture) ATTACK OF THE 50FT CHEERLEADER
does, as the title suggest, get her super sized street cred in the form of her
impossible height, just like Alison Hayes before her and later ,Darryl Hannah
(in the dual versions of ATTACK OF THE 50FT WOMAN, respectively). Joining their
skyscraper status playing mutated high schooler Cassie is young, pretty thesp
Jena Sims (DEXTER, ENTOURAGE), a former pageant queen turned actor who looks
great crushing all manner of crap that has the misfortune of lying in her
rampaging, pom pom plowing wake. Sims joins veteran actors Treat Williams, Mary
Woronov and Sean Young in the campy romp.
FANGORIA sat down with the 3D giantess for some words…
FANG: Out of all the ladies who must have auditioned for
Cassie, what did you do to give you the edge?
SIMS: I was curious about this myself. I actually auditioned
on the very last day of auditions. I think being last helps. Maybe I am just
superstitious. In the audition, I read with Olivia Alexander, who already
secured the part of Brittany. On set, once we bonded I asked her why she
thought they picked me over anyone else. Her response was that I brought a certain
innocence to the room that the other girls didn't. In actuality, I play two
parts in the film, nerd Cassie, who is very innocent and not confident, and
"hot" Cassie, who is very secure and almost aggressive towards the
end. I also did a pretty killer cheer move for the director. I did a high kick
that actually made it in the film!
FANG: The Cormans are
royalty. Did you work closely with Julie and Roger?
SIMS: I did! They are legends!! Roger is notorious for
making cameos in his films. He played the Dean of our University, so I got to
be in a (very funny) scene with him and John Landis! He also visited the set a
number of times, and once we wrapped I was his guest at an official Oscar
party! Julie is so organized, kind, and intelligent as well. They make a great
FANG: Did you do your homework and watch the original and
SIMS: You have no
idea! I watched it every night for a week before I started work on the film. I
also have the original movie poster in my room. I love it! ATTACK OF THE 50 FT
CHEERLEADER offers a more modern view on the topic. It has many differences,
yet still embodies the women empowerment idea.
FANG: Who would win in a battle, Allison Hayes, Darryl
Hannah or Jena Sims?
SIMS: I'm going to go with Allison. You can't mess with the
classics! She was the original fifty footer who managed to gain cult classic
status. She's the reason I was employed in the first place. So, the crown goes
to Allison Hayes!
FANG: You were Miss
Teen Georgia. Looking back today, how do you feel about that?
SIMS: Pretty darn good. It's a great conversation piece for
interviews —hey, you brought it up!—as well as in my auditions. I was honored
to represent the great peach state for a year of appearances, speaking to kids,
volunteering, and competing at the NBC televised live show Miss Teen USA. It
was my first experience with live network tv, and is the reason I am still
pursuing entertainment. From the moment I stepped foot on that stage, I knew I
had drank the Kool Aid.
FANG: How has being the lead in a wild flick like
CHEERLEADER affected what roles are being offered to you now?
SIMS: I wish I could
say the scripts are piling up on my door step, but that isn't quite the case!
It definitely helps me get my foot in the door for more opportunities. When I'm
in auditions, I always bring it up and that helps me. Everyone respects Roger,
and he is known for jump starting so many careers. I have confidence in the
film, though. Once it's released, GAME ON!
FANG: We spoke to Roger last year and he was thinking of
doing 3D—this is the result. Was it shot in 3D? Were there any difficulties
playing for a 3D environment?
SIMS: It was filmed with this large monster of a 3D camera.
I learned so much about 3D filmmaking throughout this process. I had to get
used to seeing the crew walking around in the goofy glasses! When you film in
3D, the playback is also in three dimensions! I learned about focusing on
certain objects to get that moment where it looks like something is about to
jump off the movie screen. We have lots of those so I can't wait to see it in a
theatre and watch the audience ducking and moving around.
FANG: Have you seen
yourself onscreen as a giant yet?
SIMS: I have seen a
very rough version. It was a still shot of me in the Gulliver's Travels pose
where I'm laid out on a football field. I don't want to give away too much, but
it looked incredible! It's so rad to see the other actors regular size next to
me. It looks like I am literally a giantess!
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