1. Roni, this is such an honor. Right off the bat I discovered something about you. So I am watching this old dvd I have of wrestling. You were once in Ohio Valley Wrestling. (This was around the same time of some major stars like Lesnar, Cena, Batista and Orton.) How long were you wrestling before you got into OVW? Also any stories? I know someone had to hit on you or make you feel uncomfortable?
Thanks! Well, absolutely. Yeah, that happened. I was fortunate enough to get to work with all those folks. Being hit on and made to feel uncomfortable? That’s pretty much the wrestling business in a nut shell. I was in wrestling for, like, thirty seconds before moving out here to go to OVW. As soon as I got on the scene (and the scene was in Vancouver, BC) someone told me OVW was the place to go, so, I just up and moved. Awkward stories? I feel like the entire experience was one, long awkward story. Not that I didn’t love it. I did. I made out with The Miz. A lot. And had to kiss The Big Show. I threw a lot of bologna on a lot of cars. I tore out my ACL, . I broke several guitars over several people’s heads. I’ve rolled around in pudding, a lot of pudding. I had glass bottles thrown at me. I had a paranormal experience. Then there was that one time, when this big bitch in Philadelphia tried to actually murder me. That’s kind of deeper than I want to go here, but it does bring me to your next question…
2. What made you want to change professions from wrestling to acting? Was it an easy transition?
I didn’t love wrestling. It’s such a fucked up thing to do that you have to really love it. The actual performing itself is a blast, but there’s so much bullshit and politics. If I’m going to sell my soul for something, it won’t be that. I just did it because it looked fun. And it was. Switching to film was easy. I did theater from the time I was 11 until I graduated college, so acting wasn’t new. Right at that transitional period where I knew I didn’t want to wrestle anymore, I met Jason Crowe. We were both finalists in an acting competition and we met in L.A. He then sucked me in to the local film scene. Fast forward several years, we still try to get each other cast in everything we’re cast in. Like having a tag team partner in film. 🙂
3. About wrestling, you had a few matches here and there. Did you ever suffer any injuries? Were any of the women like Shelly Martinez stiff in the ring on you?
Oh my God. Really early in my training, I tore out my ACL. I was learning how to get thrown over the top rope and just landed wrong. I had it replaced and rehabbed. And for some reason, went back to training. Shelly Martinez has probably cut a bitch or two in her day, but none of them were me. I had a lot of fun with her. We had minor bouts of drama, but overall, I remember her fondly. I’ve had two concussions. The second one was unintentional; it was just a piledriver in too stiff of a ring. The first one was very intentional. The big bitch in Philadelphia. That’s a better in-person story but, it truly was a near death experience.
4. Even The Miz himself will say he is obnoxious. Were there times you were in the ring with him you wanted to tell him to chill just a little? My god, when he starts talking he never seems to know when to stop?
Honestly, no. Not to ruin his image, but he actually is a very laid back, nice guy. I had the best time working with him.
5. Do you still watch the wrestling product? If so, would you ever consider going back into it and challenging anyone? Maybe another indie actress? I can name names for you to call out and beat up?
I watch the pay per views, usually. It’s a fun thing to do with friends. I have zero desire to go back, but you never know where life is going to take you.
You aren’t taking about a specific indie actress are you? Name rhymes with Shmessica Shmameron? Ha! I’m not a fighter. Physically, emotionally, verbally, etc. I just hate it. I obviously can, but I’d rather not. She’s not even worth the negative energy. Karma can deal with her.
6. Beside wrestling and acting, you have done everything else including directing. Were these goals for you or things that just sort of fell on your lap?
I felt like acting was fun, but making your own film would be more fun. It is. I fell into wrestling. I fell into acting. But, directing I dove into that.
7. Let’s get to Volumes of Blood one of your latest films. How did you become involved in this film? Also how was the experience?
P.J. asked me. He said it would be fun. And it was. I enjoyed a lot of the people I met on that set very much.
8. Working on films such as Volumes of Blood you have a working history with some of the people you are involved with, does that make it easy for you? Or are you more comfortable working with new people film to film?
I’m comfortable either way. I love working with my friends, because that’s how I spend time with a lot of them. However, I’ve never left set without new, lifelong friends. Kristine Renee Farley, Megan Hunt and Claude Miles are some of my best friends in the world, met them on sets.
9. What has more drama, indie film sets or a backstage locker room at a wrestling event?
They both have their dramatic people, of course, but wrestling, without a doubt. It’s just a thousand percent more cut throat. No one truly cares about you. It’s when I got into film that I met my friends for life.
10. I want to put you on the spot. (Like nothing so far has right) You have worked with a who’s who, was there anyone who you would rank above everyone else as the best? Also, is there anyone you would never deal with again?
There are so many people I love to work with. Where do I start? You know how I feel about Ellie Church. Anyone who’s listened to my podcast (Simply Drunk: Booze News Wednesday night’s 10pm) knows how I feel about Ellie Church. And my massive crush on (scream king) Dave Parker. DRINK! Directors who I LOVE: Tonia Carrier, Brian Williams, Dustin Mills and (obviously) Jacob Ennis. Brian Wimer, who I’ve barely worked with, is one of the very best. Jason Crowe is a genius character actor. Director. Camera man. Jack (Harkness) of all trades. He can do anything. I’m just about finished with my second film. A romantic sci-fi. And the actors in that are SO good. The romantic lead is fairly new to the scene, but he blows my mind. He’s so convincing that I think I fell in love with him in real life. It’s not my fault. You’ll fall in love, too! Derek Kunzman. Hire him! He also does his own stunts. Megan Hunt and Kristine Renee Farley and Tom Kreszewski are brilliant. Very solid actors. You’ve seen them in a lot of things.
There’s a long list of people I wouldn’t work with, but they aren’t worth mentioning, so here’s more people I love:
Cindy Maples! Todd Reynolds! I loved acting with them. The entire A Wedding Like That crew I would work with again and again. Tim Ritter, obviously. I haven’t gotten to work with them (yet) but I recently met (and fell in love with) the Forbidden Films crew (the folks that made Headless, which is fucking awesome. Buy it) DP Bonell. Amazing camera man. Sven Granlund, SteveO Shepard, Dustin Mills and Scott Thieman. Amazing SPFX artists. The sexy, Josh Miller, and the entire cast of Shawn Burkett’s, Don’t Fuck in the Woods. I can’t wait to start shooting that, this month.
11. How did it feel to win Best Actress at the MayDay Fest? Did you have a speech? Did Kayne get on stage and say Beyonce deserved it more?
Ha! No! I believe my words were “This is so random!” Not because I didn’t appreciate it! I definitely do! I just saw so many great movies, that weekend, with so many great performances.
12. You know with all the hats you wear in the industry that when you put a film out that the critics and bloggers will spew their two cents. Do you read all your press? If so, does the negative hurt or get to you?
I don’t read it. I really appreciate the support of positive reviews, but if you don’t like me, you don’t like me and that doesn’t affect me. I don’t set out to be liked or understood by everyone. I’m here to have fun and entertain. If I’m not entertaining you, then move along. If you are entertained, then join the party.
13. Earlier this year, you were in another film I watched called Kill, Granny, Kill. How was that experience?
I love working with Jacob Ennis. I will do it forever. That movie, like all his movies, was SO much fun. I played a dumb cop with a bad southern accent. Not something I usually get to do, so that was rad. I also got to drive the cop car. (And, of course, I did it “safely” huh huh) And I always love doing fight scenes!
14. I have reviewed so many of your films in the last few years. A Wedding Like That, Hi-8, Overtime, Death Match 2, The Hospital, Kill Grannie, Volumes of Blood and 80 more I think. Do you ever take a break? Is there any hobby you like to do that does not involve film?
A break? Hell no. Wait Death Match 2 got finished? Never mind. Anyway. I don’t really take breaks. Even if I’m not currently on a set, I’ve got something going on. I always do all the things I want to do anyway, so there’s nothing really to break from.
(Ed-Not only did Cain do Death Match 2, he also put out the final one in the trilogy)
15. What is the ultimate goal of a Roni Jonah? American Ninja Warrior? Challenge Ronda Rousey? Start a death metal band?
Ultimate goal? Space and time travel. If I could give my five year old self advice, I’d be an astronaut right now. My goal is to be happy and see that the many people I love are happy. I want to see the world and tell my stories.
16. I am looking at some of your upcoming films. I need an explanation if you are ok with that? What is a Shark Exorcist? Is this Linda Blair in the water with a fin?
It’s a film, from cult director, Donald Farmer, in which the demon shark actually possesses people. It’s great.I will do anything with the word “shark” in the title. Also, Donald Farmer is awesome!
17. The term “Scream Queen”, gets thrown around a lot, to the point I feel some people do not truly know what a true one is. I feel with your resume and background you can qualify. Do you think you are one? Also, do you see anyone in today’s scene that fits the title?
I am not a scream queen. I hold that title in high regard, I’m just not one. Most of my acting has been in dramas or comedies. In the horror movies I’m in, I usually play these off the wall characters. (Like Kill, Granny Kill and Easter Casket) In my opinion, it’s Ellie Church. And she’s barely scratched the surface. She’s so beautiful and so talented. She is our queen. Erin R. Ryan and Haley Jay Madison are definitely ones to watch, as well!
18. What is going on with The Zombie Movie? Is there any news about a release?
It’s been done for a long while, it’s just (not so) patiently waiting a release date. There are great things happening with it, but I can’t talk about them yet.
19. Roni you are at a fan signing, (I am going to warn you upfront this stuff never goes well) an excited fan comes to your booth and wants you to sign something for them. They pull out an illegal burn of a film of yours. What do you do?
Light them on fire.
(Ed-now should have been the time I asked her about fighting-ha)
20. This is called filling in the blank….
Coffee is my biggest vice
My dogs are the one thing I cannot live without
Grace Jones is the one person I would love to meet
Beside anything I am in, Mad Max (obviously) is the best film I have seen this year
21. What is easier for you and why, being in front of the camera or being behind it?
I don’t think I find one easier than the other. They both have their own set of challenges.
22. You are beautiful, a very classy young lady. You know reading this interview will be males and females wondering how someone like you is impressed. So, what impresses you about meeting someone? (Now keep in mind, if you mention buying your movies…)
Thank you!!! I’m impressed by passion. By people who are doing what they love. I know when I want to do something, I’ll do it yesterday. I’m drawn to people who are the same. I’ impressed by manners. I’m a sucker for nice. I’m entertained by assholes and I love bitches, but nice makes me swoon. If you’re doing what you love and you do it every day, I’m impressed. I like people who bring positive energy.
23. We are also a site for music as well. What is on a Roni Jonah Ipod? Also what is the most embarrassing record or cd you own?
More like what are my Pandora stations?
Grace Jones, Die Antwoord, Queen, Heart, Prince, Danny Elfman, CCR, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, Primus, David Bowie, The Righteous Brothers, Dr Hook, etc
I don’t really embarrass.
24. You are beautiful and so awesome thank you so much for taking this time and talking to us. Any parting words for the readers?
Thank you. Temporally Yours. You’ll hear about it more and more in the months to come. Check out Selling Stupid. It’s a comedy that I co-wrote and costarred with Tonia Carrier. It’s coming out soon. Jason Crowe’s Deep Freeze. It’s coming. Get a towel. Brian Williams’ Switch, which stars myself and Lacrishia Garver, is premiering at Days of The Dead this month. Watch Claude Miles’ The Mysteries of Science on Youtube. (I directed the “Dating” episode.) Watch our show Simply Drunk. I direct and edit. Jason Crowe stars. With (very) special guests, such as Kirstin Vanhooser, Derek Sturgeon, Shannon VanMeter and Munson Henderson. (TWC!!!!!) Send nudes bb!
I’m about to set out, across country, with three of my besties, on a filming excursion. Like “Simply Drunk” on Facebook to get involved and follow that journey.