April 9, 2021 Interview – Monique Dupree
A multi-talented individual, Monique Dupree is a Jill of many trades, from acting to dancing, to modeling to singing, as well as working diligently in the world of wrestling with House of Hardcore. Beginning her career in entertainment while quite young, she has also become a well known entity in the underground Horror scene with a lengthy list of film appearances under her belt. Dubbed by many as the first Black Scream Queen, let’s face it, Dupree is an unstoppable force who justifiably demands your undivided attention.
Doing just that, the one they call Tha True Original Gata recently sat down to talk about her career in entertainment, her love of the Horror genre, her role in Lloyd Kaufman’s Shakespeare’s Shitstorm, plus much more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in film professionally for many years now. What initially inspired you to pursue a career as an actress?
Monique Dupree – I believe that the urge to entertain was always there—I had family that were either in the industry or working toward it. Performing started out as a great way to escape reality for me. I was bullied as a kid and never quite felt like I belonged anywhere, except when I was modeling or performing for my family, in school plays, etc.
Cryptic Rock – And it has led you to great things. Beyond acting, you can also sing and dance. Would you say your passion is equal for all three artistic expressions?
Monique Dupree – I wouldn’t say equal, more like different. Dance helps me to speak, only with my body. It was what helped me get through adolescence. I still dance my feelings to this very day. Singing was something that I’ve always loved because you use emotion to provoke emotion. I loved singing to my children because it helped to calm them. They are all different.
Cryptic Rock – Right, and each satisfies a different artistic need. Among your many film credits you have done a good deal of work in the Horror genre. Is the Horror genre something you always knew you wanted to get into?
Monique Dupree – Yes, Horror and Comedy are two genres I had a particular passion for. When I watched Horror, I always saw myself as the bad guy, which is funny because I’m kind of typecast that way today. I love it!
I grew up on Comedy. I still remember watching The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, and later, The Carol Burnett Show. I was in awe at how even the smallest of movements and facial expressions could garnish a roar of laughter. It’s truly amazing.
Cryptic Rock – They are two very fun genres for sure. One of your recent roles was in Lloyd Kaufman’s Shakespeare’s Shitstorm. What was it like working with him and the Troma crew?
Monique Dupree – Well, I’m no stranger to Troma or working with Lloyd Kaufman. However, this was the biggest role I’ve had in Tromaville, so I got to spend more time on set than usual. Lloyd is amazing! Troma is a well-oiled anti-machine with a family-feel to the cast and crew. This was one of my more challenging roles because I had to learn fight choreography and Shakespearean language. We had long rehearsals before filming. I was honored that he saw me for the character of Caliban, which was originally set to be played by a black man, not woman. I hope that I did the role justice and would love to take on a Troma challenge like that again.
Cryptic Rock – You did it justice! Much like many of Lloyd Kaufman’s films, the comedy and horror elements are complementary to one another. How important do you feel comedy is in Horror films?
Monique Dupree – Well, I just spoke about this. Not all Horror needs comedy, but I love a well-made comedic Horror film because it’s two of my loves put together. I feel like Lloyd is the master of making you laugh, scared and think all rolled into one. That’s a talent onto itself. No one does it better!
Cryptic Rock – He certainly does have a knack for balancing comedy in his films. With Shakespeare’s Shitstorm out now, what are some other projects you have coming up for release?
Monique Dupree – I have a ton of upcoming projects, including one done with one of my best friends, Tommy Dreamer, called Witch Trials. I have another film that I just finished filming called The Mick and the Trick by Tom DeNucci that I got to choreograph my own fight scene. Another film is called Bloody Hooker Massacre. There are a few other titles, as well. I’ve been working a lot!
Cryptic Rock – These are all projects that fans need to check out. You also had your band Negro Childe. That in mind, do you have anything new coming up in terms of music?
Monique Dupree – No, I don’t. I’ve been so consumed with wrestling and working with House of Hardcore over the years. I haven’t been able to get back to my music, but I intend to.
Cryptic Rock – Hopefully we can see that happen soon. Last question. What are some of your favorite Horror/Sci-Fi films?
Monique Dupree – I have a lot and it rotates depending on my mood. The more recent add would be From Dusk till Dawn (1996) because you think you’re watching a flick about some badass mass murderers and BAM you fall smack into a full-on vampire movie. How freaking sweet is that?
The movie that made me truly love Horror/Sci-Fi would be the original of The Fog (1980). My goodness when I first saw it, it grabbed me! The other one is the Candyman (1992), which my brother starred in. I mean, I feel like that movie was pretty groundbreaking and very much under-sung today.