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Anjanette Astoria's mainstream movie River Road interview along with Christina Kathleen



River Road, Anjanette Ingram's (Astoria's) mainstream film, is a compelling production that shows this woman's raw emotions and appearance in an eye-popping manner. Filmed as a docu-drama, it is, on the one hand, an inside look of the personal life of a stripper, but, on the other hand, it's an addictive ghost story that is quite frightening. On a personal note, I was scared out of my mind. Even during the non-scary moments, I continued to lean forward at the screen because the storyline and the actors' performances captivated me. Anjanette's relationship with her husband is stressful and adds to her emotional toll. Based on a true story, River Road is a complex film with fascinating characters who experience mysterious events in their home. However, beneath all of the raw emotions expressed towards each other, this family loves each other greatly. Nobody said that raising a family would be easy especially with supernatural occurances are happening in your home. 

It took a lot of courage to put your heart and soul on the screen in such an emotional, raw, and truthful way. How did you prepare yourself for this role?
Well it was not easy to come to terms with myself in front of a camera. I really struggled with the concept of self reflection through film and often when shooting worried about what people might think of me, especially the general public. I was terrified that people both in my immediate family and the public might come away with a very negative opinion about me and in some ways I still am. When we began shooting River Road, we also started the editing process and the film seemed to be almost immediately taking on a life of it's own. It was pretty clear even from the beginning that I was not going to be able to find any rocks to hide under. 

Since River Road is based on a true story, could you explain to us what in particular is based on the truth?

The entire movie is based on a two year struggle in my life, and in fact is more than based on that struggle, was my life. I think the viewer of this film will have to determine what was really going on however. I say that because while I have my opinions on the one hand, on the other it is possible that there were issues that could have and perhaps still do cloud my judgement. I think it just depends on what kind of person you are and what your beliefs are about life and death. 

Who came up with the concept for wanting to film this movie and how did it come to fruition?

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My husband actually. He is kind of fearless in many ways, maybe even to his detriment. We often would travel back and forth on River Road and did a lot of fishing there over the years. We spent a lot of family time on the American River, Feather River and Sacramento River down through the Delta as well. No matter what River Road you travel on you tend to see crosses. Sometimes the river's are littered with crosses and they all have a story to tell. Most of those stories are not good. This movie River Road is my cross and is my confession. 

Was there a script or was the dialogue mostly improvised?

Actually both. It was scripted, but the film had it's share of improvisation which kept the film honest in my opinion. Actors who are forced to say line by line unnatural things are not always believable to me. At some point, they have to speak from the heart and I think we captured that here. 

After a long day of filming especially the more emotional scenes, was it difficult to get back to your "normal" state of mind and life and did it affect your home life?

Yes it was and yes it did. I sometimes felt guilty and depressed. I sometimes would just shut down and go watch television for hours. But sometimes it actually made things better and I'd want to get out and do something fun or go somewhere different. It was in a real way a form of therapy I think.

The dance club activity looked amazing and it really portrayed an honest atmosphere of how the inside of a strip club really feels. How did you feel filming those moments at the club?

Relieved actually. I had taken a break from dancing for several months and getting up there on stage again felt great. Dancing to me can be such a release, it's physical and fun. A couple of months after shooting that scene I returned to dancing part time...one or two days per week. Now I'm dancing 3 to 4 days per week and am really enjoying it. 

How long did it take to film River Road? Did you use any home movies for this film?

Well it took only a couple of months to film the majority of River Road, and yes the movie does contain some home movie footage as well which had been shot over the period of about a year. I think without leaning into that home footage the heart and soul of the movie would have been lost somewhat and the audience would not have been able to identify with the family. 

How did your family feel about being involved in the making of River Road?

They were actually very excited to do it. I was honestly pretty shocked at how well they did in their respective roles. I think in a real way making the movie River Road was a healing process for them as well. 

What are your upcoming plans in both filming and performing?

Well we already have the script for a sequel and a prequel. The sequel is titled River Bends and the prequel is titled River Rock. These two scripts however will require the assistance of others in the movie industry to bring them to the big screen. As for now I'm still performing, dancing at various clubs in California, keeping one foot in heaven and the other on the ground.

Also I would like to give Mike Kulich at www.dvdmakerinc.com a special shout out for being so gracious and helpful with the d.v.d. production and replication processes!
Christina Kathleen interview
 
Hi Christina, I really enjoyed your work in River Road. When you first heard about this movie, what did you think about it and how did you feel when you found out that you would be a part of it?

Well I was excited, but a little nervous based on the fact that I'm a scare baby and ghost stories freak me out. It was a little too close to home in many ways. 

After seeing this film, I would had liked to have seen you more often especially after your scene with Sabrina and the haunted rocks. Also, it is very evident that your mom's good looks transferred onto you. Anyways, do you have the same feeling as I do in that you had wished that your role had been larger?

Well yes and no. Actually, for my first role I was pretty happy that it was a smaller part. But I think in the next one, I'll want to be in the spotlight a little more.

Since River Road has scary moments throughout the film, did it ever take a toll on you such as having nightmares or any other effects? Personally, this movie scared me at times.

Yes of course. Actually, as many of the things that happened were taken from things that actually did happen, it made it a little more crazy.

Did you get "bitten by the acting bug" after filming this movie?

Well not really. I am excited to want to do the next one, but for right now unless things change it's not a goal to be an actress, but I'll wait and see if people like me or not and make that decision later. 

What are your future plans?

Actually, I just started college and want to make sure I finish that. I plan to be a teacher.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I read a lot, have my favorite television shows that I like to watch with my family, agriculture, and animals.

How were you as a kid?

I was odd. I cleaned everything all the time.

What types of movies do you enjoy watching?

My favorites are romantic comedies, Twilight, some other vampire movies, Harry Potter, some fantasy and science fiction movies. 

Are any of those in the horror genre?

No! Those movies terrify me. Too real. I'm really afraid of clowns also. Don't know why but I think it was because I saw the movie "It" when I was little. 

What tyes of music do you enjoy listening to?

Flyleaf, System of the Down, The Fray, Metallica, Nirvana, and like some R & B and Hip Hop.

Thank you so much Christina for your time. All the best in your future plans.

Interview by Apache Warrior

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