Lucy Lawless in Eurotrip as Madam Vandersexx

Life, Vampire Bats and Scooped Up Egg-Rolls...

Interview with Damon Lipari

26 October 2005

by Mary D. Brooks


Vampire Bats is the CBS Halloween movie starring Lucy Lawless and Dylan Neal and the sequel to the ratings winner "Locusts" which aired on CBS back in April 2005. Maddy Rierdon (Lucy Lawless) is back as a college professor with a huge problem. In the suspense thriller, Rierdon discovers that a deadly species of vampire bats are responsible for a series of bizarre murders, and they must find a way to stop them before they are completely out of control.

Damon Lipari is one of the stars of Vampire Bats. Damon has appeared in the movies Death of An Angel, Hicks and Chasing Love. His theatre credits include Proposal's,
Balm in Gilead, Runaways and True West.

Welcome to AUSXIP, Damon. Let's dig right in here.

Tell Us a Little about Damon Lipari?

Born and raised in Patterson, Louisiana.  Graduated from LSU - Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Played basketball since I was 6.  Love football season. Favorite food is a Rib-eye. I can eat a gallon of ice-cream in one sitting. 
My middle name is Gerard.  Named after my Mom's dad whom I never had the chance to meet.  My brother shot me off the roof of my house once with a new pellet gun he just bought from Wal-Mart for $45.99.  Still have the scar in my thigh. Listen to R&B and Classic Rock.  Don't like country music because I worked at a bar once that only played songs about a man and his dog. Love to dream.  It sets up my goals. 

And my dog Smokey doesn't like being called a mut.  I know this.

When did you start acting and what was your first role?

I took up acting in college.  The idea was always with me, but I don't think I developed the courage to perform in front of people yet. I was a little shy as a kid.  And with acting, either you swing hard, or you put the bat down.  My first role, and I hate to admit it, was for a movie named Cramweek. I won't even put it in quotes.  I was cast as one of the leads named  Bailey, who so happened to be the high school quarterback.  The movie was the shadow of Wes Craven's "Scream."  What do you do with a terrible script and bad acting?  I don't even think they finished it.  I hope they burned it because someone could have a field day with my acting. 

Your most recent movie was Vampire Bats with Lucy Lawless and Dylan Neal which was filmed in New Orleans. Describe your character and what we need to look out for?

I play a character named Mickey.  Mickey prides himself on throwing some “LudaCrazy” parties.  He’s a cool kat that has a keen eye for the ladies.  He’s one of those kids that you spot on campus but never see in class.  He makes sure everyone has a “good time” as you will see in the movie. 

Had you finished filming before Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans?

No, we had about another week left to shoot.  We picked production back up a couple weeks later in Halifax, Nova Scotia – Canada.  What a trip that was indeed.  Good times.  Bought a pair of Puma’s up there you can’t get in the states.  Pretty chill people as well. Oh, and watch out for their beer.  Way stronger than ours.  They don’t let ya know it.  I  guess they take pride in getting Americans drunk.  It’s pretty funny if you think about it.  Tried to smuggle a case of Keith’s beer back with me.  Got intercepted though.  I couldn’t zip my carry-on bag all the way.  We had a lot of turbulence during that flight.  Hmmm

Had you seen Locusts, the first Maddy Rierdon movie?

No, not until I finished shooting Vampire Bats. 

What was your lasting impression of Lucy Lawless?

She’s a sweetheart.  She remembers everyone’s name like you were related. The first time I met her, I was sitting with another actor waiting to go on. I noticed this woman behind me talking to someone, and I thought she was foxy.  She came up and introduced herself as Lucy.  I was like, well that covers it. Didn’t even know it.  Way prettier in person.  I don’t know anyone who didn’t like Lucy.  I mean I got mad at her one day for scooping up the last egg roll, but hey, survival of the fittest, man.  Right? 

When you heard Lucy Lawless was the lead, did you have any preconceived ideas about her (if you had watched Xena Warrior Princess)?

Not really.  I mean, as an actor I don’t limit people’s personalities to their characters.  It’s very easy to do.  But we talked for a good while one night and I really dig her.  She’s real, man. Doesn’t really sugar coat anything.  Just puts it out there. 

Do you think people are going to enjoy Vampire Bats?

I think it will be a Halloween treat.  It will surprise people.  We had a great tag team duo in Eric Bross (director) & Horacio Marquinez (cinematographer).  They knew what they wanted. Everyone on set was super cool & I had a great time being a part of it all.  Our Exec. Prod. Jill Tanner was on set everyday as well, and it was good to see her involvement.  She worked along side Eric and made it fun & easy during production. 

How hard is it to react to bats that aren't really there?

What do you mean they aren't really there?  Just kidding.  I have a wild imagination.  I focus my attention on the bats as if they were really there.  Then I let my visions run wild.  I don't try and control them though.  I try to let the visions happen and then just react.  Say I picture a bat coming after me,  that's pretty scary.  Now, if the bats eyes were to turn from black to red.  Or say it spit some venom on me or something.  I would have to  jump back, avoid getting his drool on my new slacks, and kung-fu drop kick  it.  Am I right?...These visions created freely by my mind set up different reactions.  And acting is all about how you react.

What do you do with all the free time you have between takes?

It all depends.  How much free time are we talkin?  I usually grab a cup of tea.  Make sure I am comfortable with my lines and scene.  Maybe Goof off a bit.  For Bats one evening, we were filming across the Halifax Harbor. Set was in a psychiatric ward.  I went outside for some fresh air and made my way to this gigantic swing set.  I jumped on a swing for the first time since I was like 4 yrs old.  Had my iPod mini on shuffle mode and watched the sunset as I swung for over an hour.  So peaceful.  Felt like a kid again.

What would you like to achieve (career wise) in the next few years?

First off I just really enjoy working.  It’s the toughest thing to be a working actor.  But once you find your zone, you have to work with it and put yourself in the wake of opportunity.  There’s a small window you have to jump in.  Secondly, I really expect a lot out of myself.  It’s not about what I want to achieve, it’s about what I am going to achieve.  And that’s passion in its truest form. I feel that GOD is giving me this opportunity to do something I love      and I need to make the  best of it. I want to change the way people look at things.  Send a good message.  I’m a very positive person and I want to spread my “Good Lovin” to the world. 

What inspires you and motivates you as an actor?

Craft services.  They have the best treats.  Besides that, I love to play characters.  The thought of creating a character from dialogue, bringing it to life for people to enjoy,  is very satisfying.  If it wasn’t for acting, Career placement wouldn’t have an answer for me.  I’ve had about 57 different jobs since I was 15, no lie.  I can prove it.  Acting is all I want to do in life. 

You have a website up and running. How are you finding the task of being a webmaster?

I just change a little bit up at a time and try to make it better.  The important thing is to make sure it doesn’t need a manual I guess. 

What's next for Damon Lipari?

I just booked a spot as a rescue swimmer in "The Guardian" starring Kevin Costner.  Looking forward to it.  They're sending me to boot camp on Nov. 12.  I start filming late Nov. early Dec.  I guess now's not a good time to tell them I'm scared of heights.  Only kidding.  I never look down. 

Thank you Damon!

Be sure to tune into Vampire Bats at 9 pm on CBS!

On the Web

The Official Damon Lipari News and Multimedia Site
AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Vampire Bats Movie Site

(C) 2005 Mary D. Brooks [AUSXIP Lucy Lawless]




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