Angela Lives! The Felissa Rose Interview

Interview by Jeff Hayes - 3/24/2000

On Friday, March 24, 2000 my memories of Sleepaway Camp were about to collide with Destiny! After a piece of information that Jonathan Tiersten gave me last summer reguarding FELISSA ROSE, I went to work to find the innocent, sweet young woman who played the original "ANGELA." A giant mystery seemed to surround her. Numerous fan e-mails rolled in asking "What ever happened to Felissa Rose??" My own curiosity had been wondering the same question for years! So along with some assistance from co-webmaster John, we did our digging and found "Just what I've been looking for!"

The charming Felissa and I made arrangements to get together on the weekend of March 24-26 to solve the mystery, talk Sleepaway Camp, hang out, and get a look at some of the exciting stuff she is doing now!! Are you ready campers??? You have been waiting 17 years for this!!!!! And now Sleepaway Camp: The Website proudly presents: ANGELA LIVES!!!!!!!!

How did you get involved with Sleepaway Camp? I had a manager who called me in for an audition; I met with Robert Hiltzik and the rest is history! I got a call back, he invited Jerry Silva to come in and read with me...we did a little improv and that was it. It was pretty much a lot of chemistry right away. What was the audition with Robert like? When I met with Robert he really just wanted me to do some improv situations with him. I remember he had me sitting on a chair and told me to pretend that I was eating a candy bar and just completely stare into space. So I thought that was so hillarious, I mean I was only 13 years old but I took that as something really bizarre (laughs). And I sat there and pretended to eat a candy bar and I started picking my teeth with my fingers (laughs)...and for some reason he enjoyed that. And then we did another improv with Jerry where I think I had to pretend to be on a beach with some guy and I really didn't want to be there...and we played out that whole scenario and it was a lot of fun.

Felissa strikes a pose!

How did you feel after the first audition ended? After the first audition, I went to the callback...when I walked into the room there were a bunch of "snotty" girls there and they were all staring at me But I felt really fact when I walked out of the call back, this overwhelming feeling came over me, and it was like I just knew that I got the part...and I looked at my Mom who was with me and I said, "I definately got this role." She was like "Don't be too confident" and I was like, "No, I got this! I just know it." Then we had the first rehersal...which was myself, Chris Collet, Jonathan Tiersten, and the original Judy who was played by Jane Krakowski at that time. She's actually the girl who plays Elaine on Ally McBeal... but she decided she didn't like the scene where she got killed, she felt it was too graphic so they had to re-cast the part and Karen Fields got the part...but even Karen Fields had a little bit of trouble where she didn't really like how gruesome it was...because the way it was written in the original script, It was really graphic and gruesome so they changed it a bit and they made it so that she was comfortable with the scene. What was everybody like on the set? They were all really snotty and shallow. (LAUGHS) I'm only kidding!! They were all really nice, everyone was really, really cool! Jonathan and I had to work a lot together and he was Very sweet...I had a crush on him!! So it was cool working with someone who I thought was cute....and Chris Collet was really, really nice...There was nothing but a lot of fun going on and everyone had a good time...everyone worked really well was very comfortable. John Dunn was great, and we're still friends, he's like my best friend that's nice over these years to still have that friendship.

Clip from the interview

So you were only 13 at the time when you made Sleepaway Camp. What was that like for you? Well my Mom was on the set with me the whole time so she was very involved in things that I was allowed to do and things that I wasn't allowed to do. They wanted me to do all the killings...they wanted my hands... and my Mom right away said that she really didn't want me to do that because she felt like it would kind of disturb me at age 13, ya know make me a little psycho (Laughs). So she decided that maybe they should put in my written contract that they would get somebody else to portray the they wound up using Jonathan Tiersten's hands which worked out perfectly! And I think it also added to the whole film because I have very little thin if they used my hands, you would probably know that it was my/Angela's hands rather than suspecting that maybe it could be Ricky or maybe it's not...The other thing with being 13 on the set, I didn't get to party a lot...I didn't get to go to all the crazy parties they had in the motel...

Felissa's Mom still looks beautiful 18 years later...even if she is wearing AUNT MARTHA'S scarf!
Felissa does her remarkable AUNT MARTHA impersonation
Felissa and her infamous Auntie pose for a picture on the set of SLEEPAWAY CAMP

Tell me what it was like working with characters like Chef Artie and Aunt Martha? "Hmmm, I should Have tied a string around my finger so I wouldn't Forget!" (LAUGHS). I'm only kidding. She (Desiree Gould - Aunt Martha) She was so cool...I think she was definately a little bit like her character...she was really nice.

And Owen Hughes who played ARTIE, he was a teriffic actor! I remember when he was on the set we were all like "WOW, this guy is really good!" I remember the scenes that I did with him where we were in the kitchen, it was so funny because anytime he spoke to me he'd be really close, and Robert wanted me to have a straight face and I would just burst out we had to do that scene like a million times but it was great fun! What was it like working with Director, Robert Hiltzik?? He was really kind of quiet, kind of to himself...he was so nice, so complimentary. Any time you needed anything he was right there. He was really smart...I think the script was really well written. He knew exactly what he wanted. He had everything mapped out. He was just a great person... a great director. I loved working with him. I'd do anything to work with him again. So how do you feel about Sleepaway Camp now after all these years?? That's a good question Jeff. Ever since you've come into my life it has brought back all these memories and It's really hard to describe...It's wonderful on one's like wow! It's cool to think about how this movie was something that a lot of people liked...and on the other hand it's kind of like that was one part of my life and now I'm 30 years old and it's 18 years later and it's strange to think about. But all in all it is a Great memory, I had the Best time and I'm really happy that this is all coming about again! So tell me what it was like for you the first time you saw this wesbite and got a look at the world of fandom that is out there! It was so awesome! When I first saw it I was completely amazed! I couldn't believe that there was someone who actually knew about Sleepaway Camp let alone websites!! And your website is incredible! It's so detailed...I was on there for hours just going through it. It brought everything was really cool to see!

So help us put an end to the rumors that Sleepaway Camp had an alternate ending!! I can't imagine that it would since it already has the most shocking ending in history!! There was absolutely no other ending than the one you saw in the film. In the original script that's just exactly the way it played out! That's it. There was nothing else. That's exactly the way Robert Hiltzik intended. What was your reaction to Sleepaway Camp the first time you saw it? It was like WOW! It was great...all my friends, we all went to the theater...and it was so weird! I remembered looking at myself on the screen and asking, "Is that what I really look like?" I thought it was terriffic! And then I would sneak into movie theaters a couple times after opening night with my cousin and we'd be eating popcorn going, "This is so cool!" It was a great experience and I thought the movie was good! So tell us what Felissa Rose does these days after getting away with murdering all those kids at camp?? :-) Well I'm married now and my husband is a theater I work with him and do a lot of off-Broadway. We develop original productions ourselves. Right now I am actually working on a short horror movie called Birds Of A Feather and I play the killer!!! Then I will probably be doing another film over the summer. SO acting is keeping me busy, thankfully because it is my passion!

Well there you have it campers! Straight from the mouth of ANGELA herself!! We will keep you updated on Felissa regularly and there's still lots more to come! We hope you all feel at ease now that some light has been shed on the mystery surrounding FELISSA!! ANGELA LIVES people and you just never know when she may be returning to a little place called Sleepaway Camp!