Interview with Iris Bahr

Iris Bahr is featured in this summer’s horror film “The Last Exorcism”.  She plays a filmmaker by the name of Iris.  Iris also has her own TV series “Svetlana” on HDNet and has written two books.  Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Iris about her role in “The Last Exorcism” and her amazing career to date.

Click here to purchase “The Last Exorcism” DVD or Blu-Ray

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your role in “The Last Exorcism”, you play the character Iris coincidentally?
Iris Bahr: I’m a documentary filmmaker that has been hired by Cotton Marcus to follow him around and depict his work. I don’t want to give away too much! I always try to answer in little snippets if it’s related to plot.

Mike Gencarelli: What was it like working on the set of the movie anything creepy or spooky happen like the cursed set of 1973’s “The Exorcist”?
Iris Bahr: We shot on this really old plantation so there is definitely a vibe in that space that can’t be denied to be honest with you. We had really long night shoots which were actually pretty creepy. This is unrelated to the filming but at one point the caretaker of the place had a farm nearby and one night at midnight he tells us he has a cow that’s about to give birth. If it doesn’t give birth it’s going to die. So I went and assisted in the calf’s birth, which was pretty amazing. When it was over he looked at me and said “in all my years I’ve never seen a city girl stand in shit so deep!” (laughs) I was standing right near the cows butt and when a cow gives birth a lot of stuff comes out that’s not really related to the birth. It was a pretty amazing experience. We got the calf out and later on they named the calf “Cotton.”

Mike Gencarelli: “The Last Exorcism” has received a PG-13 rating, instantly that sets off a red flag for horror fans, how do you feel about this?
Iris Bahr: I’ve got to be totally honest, I haven’t seen the final product yet. But I think the best thrillers…the best horror films…are the ones where you don’t have to see a lot to get freaked out. That’s the mastery of it. The suspense…the tension…what you’re not seeing. Of course who knows how the M.P.A.A. rates movies. There could be a lot of stuff on screen and you’ll ask yourself “how did this get a PG 13 rating?” You never know. But I’ve talked to people who’ve seen it and they say it’s super, super scary.

MG: How do you think fans are going to react to this movie? Is it going to scare the crap out of them?
IB: If I got scared filming it they’re going to be scared seeing it.

MG: Tell us about “The Poughkeepsie Tapes“.
IB: It’s a psychological thriller that’s extremely disturbing. I saw it at the Tribeca Film Festival. I met the filmmakers at a film festival in Boulder, Colorado where we both had films being shown. The movie is extremely terrifying. It concerns tapes that are found after the fact in a big investigation…a very cinema verite’kind of thing that’s done really, really well.

MG: Tell me about your TV series “Svetlana” which recently premiered? What was it like to take on so many roles?
IB: Svetlana is a character I created a few years ago. She’s a Russian whore “slash” political consultant. She’s a whore to some celebrities and political figures. I shot the pilot on my own dime. Then Mark Cuban saw it and bought twelve episodes. So I wrote, directed, starred in and executive produced twelve episodes, each one about 22 minutes long. And we’ve got some amazing actors in it…Thomas Lennon from “Reno 911”… Richard Schiff from “The West Wing”…we really put an amazing cast together. And because it’s a comedy, I play the three daughters who work for me who are also prostitutes in the brothel, which is called “The Saint Petersburg House of Discreet Pleasure.” Not to toot my own horn here but it’s pretty freakin’ funny! It’s more about the family life with a little bit about the customers who come in. It’s about how the Russian madame handles daily life. Her husband is kind of a loser. It will air on HD Net every Thursday and Saturday at midnight on the east coast, 9 p.m. Pacific. There’s a PG rated version and an MA (mature). I always recommend that people see the MA one. And if you want to catch the pilot it’s on the Funny or Die web site. It’s been a great experience.

MG: Besides acting, you really have an amazing back story can you tell us a little about it?
IB: I was born in the Bronx. I lived there until I was about twelve. And then I moved to Israel with my mom. I did two years in the army. Then I traveled through Asia for six months. I was still a virgin and I attempted to lose my virginity in Asia. And that’s what my first book is about. It’s a memoir called “Dork Whore.” I just wrote a follow up called “Sluts in Fleece” which is coming out in Germany. My books are best sellers in Germany but I can’t answer why. I’m like David Hasselhoff, only I’m a woman who’s Jewish. I mean I’ve sold a million copies there…me and Harry Potter are on the best seller list on Amazon. They commissioned the second book and I wrote it for them. It’s coming out in German and then hopefully it will sell here. And we’re also making “Dork Whore” into a movie. I had a one woman show in New York that ran for a couple of years. It actually won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Solo Show. I play eleven characters who gather in a café in Tel Aviv right before a suicide bomber enters. Each character dies in stage in front of you so you go through the explosion eleven times. It’s really an intense show. It has a lot of humor in it too. It did really well. I traveled with it all over the world and it had an amazing run.

MG: What else do you have lined up for the future?
I have a film called “Fair Game,” which is directed by Doug Liman who did “The Bourne Identity” and “Swingers.” It’s the story of Valerie Plame, the C.I.A. agent who was outed. It stars Naomi Watts and Sean Penn and I have a small role in it. It’s a film about the disintegration of their marriage after the scandal as opposed to a political thriller.

Click here to purchase “The Last Exorcism” DVD or Blu-Ray

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