Contributed by Jeff Fountain
With over 120 acting credits to her name and a kick ass work ethic, Mindy Robinson has carved out a name for her in the entertainment world with hard work and a ‘never give up’ attitude. Recently, we had a chance to talk to Mindy about the acting life, action and horror movies and what it was like filming a zombie movie with William Shatner.
So was acting something you always wanted to do or was it simply more of a happy accident?
Mindy: You know, I didn’t plan on it honestly. It was one of those things where when you watch movies you wish you were in them but it didn’t seem to be an achievable goal and I really did just sort of fall into it by accident. Then once that happened I just kept moving forward, kept working and it’s been great. It sounds so simple but it’s true and to be honest, it’s kind of nice to be in the position I’m in right now.
Is there something about the horror genre that you find appealing, both as an actress and a fan?
Mindy: My first movie was a horror movie and it was just one of those funny horror movies. I go on auditions like any actor and if it’s a comedy I almost always get the job and I did reality TV at the same time which is basically improv, it’s not that real, just over the top and doing improv, and now it’s gotten to the point where so much independent film is horror and so I end up doing horror. Horror is fun, the monsters, the makeup and all the cool stuff that goes into it but a lot of my horror films, if you watch them, I’m sort of the comic relief. People love horror, they love being scared and I find they either want a comedy and a good laugh or watch a horror and scare the crap out of themselves. Both of those work for me, especially the combination of comedy and horror, as I get a lot of work there so yeah, you could say I find horror appealing.
The movie Range 15 has a very diverse and amazing cast. What was it like working on that film and seriously, how helpful would William Shatner be if a zombie apocalypse really happened?
Mindy: Well, I don’t want to ruin what he ends up doing in the movie but he’s William fucking Shatner, you know what I mean? I’m a Trekkie, I grew up watching him, he always saved the day and even when you’re watching him in the movie, you’re watching him and you’re smiling, it doesn’t even matter what he’s saying. His delivery was perfect, he was so good, it was amazing. It’s a great cast and about seventy-five percent real US veterans, medal of honor winners, people who lost their limbs and they’re just playing zombies. It’s a really cool cast and they were really excited to do it. In a lot of these bigger projects people are just there for the paychecks but for this movie, everyone wanted to be there, they were legitimately excited and looking up what they were going to shoot next, what scene was on that day. I was so awesome, I wish more Hollywood sets were like that. I got attached early on and it was just one of those movies that kept getting bigger and bigger, the support for that film just kept growing. I was in the airport and people approached me and knew about the movie already through the Indiegogo campaign. I thought wow, that is so cool, we are really onto something here.
As far as action movies go, do you enjoy doing the fight scenes and how hard do you find the training to get ready for these scenes?
Mindy: I love kicking ass. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s swashbuckling, it’s like you’re a kid. Check Point was a big action movie that I was the lead in, it’s coming out in September, right before September 11th which was done on purpose. It’s kind of like a modern Red Dawn and asks you ok, if modern terrorism occurs in your hometown, what are you going to do? Do you do something, do you ignore it, what do you do and so when shit hits the fan hopefully you get the audience behind you and you kick some ass. Training is fun and luckily I’m in good shape. I’m not the skinniest of actresses and I’ve done some movies and stood beside some people and thought man, I don’t think they’re eating. When you’re on screen filming with guys like Goldberg it’s kind of nice to be a little more muscular and be able to do some of the stunts. We practice a lot, before the money starts rolling, before the camera starts running, we’re in some room somewhere in the hotel practicing with each other, coming up with ideas. You have to work on the timing, you have to work on everything when you are bitch slapping someone.
Acting is a tough business when it comes to making a career of it. Was there ever a time that you thought about leaving it behind and doing something else?
Mindy: I knew acting was a tough business going in and I never counted my eggs before they hatched. I saw so many people get one good gig, put all their money behind it and then they were too big to do any of the little jobs, they got an attitude and then that career never came to be. I went in with the idea that it was a hard business and I’m going to just be me, I’m going to have fun and do my own thing and it just kept leading to more work and maybe that’s part of it. I’m happy to be on set, I’m happy to be at work, I’m going to show up on time, I’m going to know my lines, I’m going to do everything I can and not take it for granted and that leads to more work. There were times where I was like well, I guess I could just give it up and do something else and then another job comes along that day. I’m doing something right so I’m just moving forward and having a good time.
You’ve been in the acting business for a few years now. Do you find there is still an ‘old boys’ mentality or are women finally getting the recognition they deserve in the acting world?
Mindy: It is still kind of a boys club when I see some of the roles that come my way, I’m like really, what the fuck, another stripper role but you know, people make what people want to see. I’m not going to blame the business by saying there are too many guy flicks, just when there are some girl flicks get out there and support it and shut up. I’m doing my thing, if people want to underestimate me because I’m a blonde with big boobs then good, ok, I’m not going to even complain because they’re not even going to see me coming. I’ve gone to an audition and I’ll go in and get the job because you thought I was stupid, a ditz with big tits. But honestly, life is what you make of it. I’m not going to blame sexism for not getting a part because you know what? Maybe I wasn’t prepared enough, maybe I didn’t try hard enough so I’m never going to blame everyone around me. The times I’m given the stupid bimbo role, if you watch it, you won’t think she’s stupid. I’ve never done a fake character, I’ve always added something that makes them human, that makes them believable, that makes them likable, that’s my job as an actor, to put a little bit of myself into whatever I’m doing. It might be a boys club but I’m not going to complain about it, complaining won’t do anything. Working hard and getting jobs, that says something.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in a career in acting?
Mindy: Ask yourself why, why do you want to get into acting? If you want to be rich and famous, don’t do it. That’s the dumbest reason in the world to get into acting because you’re not going to make money for a very long time and there is a very small percentage of people who make a lot of money at it. I’m in the category where you can make a living at it and you don’t want fame, I don’t think fame is something you want. It’s fun at a certain level, you want to be able to get a good table at a restaurant and not wait in line. However, do you want to be so famous that you can’t even go outside without paparazzi following you, where you can’t just go to the mall, where you can’t have dinner with your family no, no one wants that? You have to get into acting because you like doing it, you like challenging yourself, you like working eighteen hour days, you like seeing the end result and go wow, this is what I did. You want to be around like-minded people and you have to like acting for acting. Any other reason is what’s wrong with half of Hollywood, people are there for the wrong reason and they wash out, they wash out pretty damn fast.
We touched on a couple of things you have coming up, could you tell me about some more projects that you are working on and/or have coming out soon?
Mindy: Sure. So there’s Range 15, Sharknado 4, Check Point, I also have a movie coming out soon called You’re Gonna Miss Me, where I play John Schneider’s trophy wife. I don’t know how to explain it, maybe a comedy but it’s probably shouldn’t be funny in a lot of parts so I guess a comedy/drama sort of thing and that was really cool to shoot. I have a movie coming out called The Bet where I play Jake the Snake’s wife. I don’t want to ruin the plot, it’s a funny movie and hey, it’s got Jake the Snake and it has Roddy Pipper who passed last year, he was such a nice guy and a really good actor. It’s cool that you get to live on forever in a way when you do this stuff.
It seems that you are juggling a heavy workload right now. Did it just happen this way or did you say yes to all of these projects that interested you in some way?
Mindy: I’m not going to lie, I say yes to everything, which is good and bad. Everyone around me was so happy to work, to get anything. People we’re trying to get into stuff that didn’t pay, that wouldn’t go anywhere, so when I get this paying gig how do I turn it down? So I probably did a lot of awful movies but I think I’m funny in them and I didn’t turn anything down because you never know which ones are rotten, which ones are special so being the workaholic, blue collar person that I am I just did everything. This led to more work and then, even more, work and then I started saying you know what, I don’t like that character, that’s not worth my time so you start saying no to things. I mean, you can do a film that might take four or five years to come out so what do you do in the meantime? You keep working. It’s on your resume, it’s not my job to know when it comes out, I just move on to another project and honestly, it’s been kind of nice over the last few years to turn down shit roles, to only do roles that I want and increase my value as an actor. People start to think you know, if I put her in my project, all those other fans from her other projects might transfer over to this one. It’s weird, it’s weird to have any sort of value placed on you as a human being, it’s just a strange concept. I’m too humble for this shit, just give me scale, I don’t care.
I want to thank Mindy for taking the time to talk with us.