Nobody knows, but I’ve discovered Carmela back in the day of my modest beginnings of movie collecting, especially low-budget/micro-budget/no-budget stuff no one of my friends would touch with a ten feet pole. And I do own 3 of her movies!

And there is a reason to talk about her – and to her, as you will discover. Anyway, I’m talking to much, let her do some talking too, right?

Now, the very first question is based on my discovery of a bit in your bio…”Former actress”? That hits hard! How come?

When I started becoming an actress it was fun and it was something I can do with my friends as we were all collaborators in learning the many facets of movie making. However, I was also a starving artist and sacrificed years of not working a normal job just so I could act. What was more disappointing was that when I was acting in movies it became more about business than it was having fun and expressing yourself. A lot of people around me were taking themselves way too seriously and that is something I cannot personally do. So to treat the job like a business but never actually get paid any money for it did not make any sense. I actually felt more suffocated than I did free when I was acting. The only time I didn’t feel this way was when I played Roxsy Tyler. There’s nothing to lose when you’re doing something for fun.

It seems that with your character of Roxsy Tyler you’ve come the full circle…starting with her in 2009 and basically finishing your career with her in 2020 (if we discount your 2021 sole appearance in Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead). So, obviously, we need to talk about Roxsy! 🙂 First and foremost, how did you get into the showbiz, in this case, the movie making and acting?

Actually, Roxsy came back just recently and we are gathering a game plan together to get her back in full swing! I got into acting accidentally. I was dating a guy who was interested in moving making and we ended up doing quite a few films together. We also made other filmmaking friends and started collaborating with them as well. But the first time I acted I was literally thrown in because I was there. So, you can say I fell backwards into it.

Horror hosts have a great and interesting part in the history of the American TV and media as a whole. You’re a native of Philadelphia, so I assume you’ve been a fan of such beloved figures as Zacherley, Stella or Dr. Shock – have you been inspired/motivated by any of those, or perhaps a completely different source of inspiration? Obviously, as a female horror host, I could have guessed Elvira…

I did Love Elvira as a kid but I had no idea there were others. I was a little young so I missed the boat with Zacherly. I actually met Stella at a horror convention and we were aware of each other. She actually became my “Goth Mother” and was one time my acting coach as well. Her and Robert Billbrough (Hives of Saturday Night dead) are always a great inspiration for me. I do get inspirations from other places as well like music I like (Rob Zombie and Steven Tyler), carnivals, circuses, freakshows, and The Marx Brothers are the main inspiration for my humor.

With the aforementioned character you’ve appeared in various shows, first Midnite Mausoleum, then Fright Night Cinema, Sheriff Tom Vs. The Zombies, Roxsy & Me, Killerz II, Roxsy Tyler’s House of Horrors, Roxsy Tyler’s Carnival of Horrors and finally Slash’s GraveYard Tales. Some of those are shows hosted by other horror hosts…and with this the question arises – how did you view the competition and how did the competition view you?

Though I know some people saw me as competition… I really wish they didn’t because I’m in this to have fun. Plain and simple. I also never saw the other horror hosts as competition. As far as I’m concerned– yhey were brothers and sisters-in-arms, my colleagues, my tribe.

Apart from your host(ess)’ work, you also appeared in a few movies… for example, Deer Crossing, Blood Slaughter Massacre, Apocalypse Kiss, Reichsführer-SS or Potent’s Media Sugar Skull Girls, which incidentally, seems to be your last movie…which one of these do you like the most and which one would you rather forget?

I would really love to forget Deer Crossing. I honestly just do not think it was a good movie. Don’t get me wrong, the cast and crew were fantastic but there was a lot of negativity and drama behind the scenes. I am also the first admit that I was not right for my character. I loved Blood Slaughter Massacre because it really felt like I was in a horror movie and doing something special. I also really loved my character in the Sugar Skull Girls just because I got to be a witch and had a great outfit. Also, going head to head with Leslie Easterbook was a dream come true.

Carmela Hayslett civil picture

You are not stranger to basically every position in the independent movie making, be it the production, casting, acting, writing…which one did you feel the most comfortable with and why?

I really like writing and directing. I’m a very visual and detail-oriented person. I also very much loved editing.

Coming from Slovakia, I am always fascinated with the volume and extent of the indie movie production in the Western world, obviously, mostly from the USA, there are so many interesting actors, directors… you’ve worked on movies with some of the better known ones, for example, Tom Atkins, Michael Berryman and Lloyd Kaufman in “Apocalypse Kiss” or Tina Krause in “Reichsführer-SS”…how do you recall them working on these movies? They seem so cool – how were they in the real life?

I don’t remember getting to meet Tina Krause, unfortunately. Everyone I worked with was fun. Michael Berryman is the nicest and most down to earth guy you will ever meet. Lloyd Kaufman is a sweetheart but can also make you laugh until your stomach hurts. I enjoyed meeting DC Douglas on Apocalypse Kiss because he voiced my favorite video game character—Albert Wesker from Resident Evil 5. He was doing to earth as well and very hands on with production. Leslie Easterbook is my diva. I loved her. I surprisingly had a lot in common with her.

How did you view the movie making of yours… a serious effort, trying to climb the ladder with every project successfully completed, or just a cool hobby? Many would view acting as cool thing to do, but I’d imagine there are also setbacks…am I right? What’s the biggest yoke, so to speak, on the shoulders of indie movie-maker?

It’s always money and lack of resources. You can only be so creative before you need those two things to enhance your vision.

With the equipment more and more available, I guess more and more people will try to shoot something resembling a short movie… as a seasoned veteran, what would you advise to anyone who starts thinking of becoming a movie-maker?

I would advise them to take their time. Experiment with equipment. Map out every single thing you want to do. Not every plan is going to come through so you need to have a plan A to Z for everything. See your vision and learn how to make others clearly see it as well. It’s a lot of work so take your time. Anything worth doing is doing right.

And now we’re come around to full circle with this little interview. So, is it “former actress” forever or is it more of “never say never”? Are there any movie-related plans for Carmela Hayslett in the near future?

Never say never. Roxsy will be back full-throttle someday. I’m making my moves to make it so. I’m open to acting again if I like the subject matter but it’s not at the fore-front of my mind right now.

And with this, I think this is all for today! Any final message for the readers of this nice interview?

Thank you so everyone who has supported me and has especially supported Roxsy Tyler. We will be filming new episodes of Carnival of Horrors. If you want some extra spotlight on your short film, trailer, or same scene from your horror movie please email me at tophatterror@gmail.com. If it is not in English we do accept anything with subtitles.Roxsy Tyler’s page can be found on facebook and Instragram. We’re also on youtube at http://youtube.com/user/rtcarnivalofhorrors.