Interview by Jeff Treppel
You may not know Kara Houston’s name, but you may have spotted her on Entourage or CSI. And if you’ve seen Theory of a Deadman’s video, “Bitch Came Back,” you know her as the dark figure who murders the members of the band, one by one. We liked her work so much, we figured we’d track her down and learn more about her.
How did you get the role in the “Bitch Came Back” video?
Well, I came in, and acted like a bitch, a total bitch, and one thing led to another, and they talked to the label and the band and they loved it, loved my bitchiness.
Did you do anything specific that impressed them?
Pretty sure it was a bunch of behavior and bitchy moves – no, just kidding. I just read for it, read the treatment, loved it. Thought it was a really cool video. They wanted to make a badass assassin, and I felt like it could tap into some underlying rage that I had.
Were you a fan of the band prior to auditioning for the video?
I was a fan of the band, I just had no idea how huge of a fan base they have. Like, I was just a personal fan. I was just super impressed and blown away by their diehard fans. I loved it, it was awesome.
How did you come in contact with the diehard fans?
One of them flew out for the video shoot from Oklahoma. So that was pretty cool. Also, when I talked to my friends about shooting the video, a lot of my friends were texting me from New York and Hawaii and were like, "Uh, yeah. Theory of a Deadman. We’re huge fans." And I was like, "Really!" I didn't know that my friends from back east and down south were such huge fans.
Was the fan that flew out from Oklahoma in the video, or did they just want to watch the video being made?
They're actually in the documentary, if you can watch that, the documentary about making the video. I don't think they're in the video, but I could be wrong about that because there were a lot of scenes shot without me.
How did you prepare for the role?
To be a bitch? Oh my God. [Laughs] It was awesome. It was awesome to get to play someone that got to assassinate four band members. How did I prepare? I stood in line at the DMV for like four hours and got into my, like, hatred zone.
So which of the band members was your favorite to assassinate?
I really enjoyed the toaster in the Jacuzzi on Joe [Dandeneau]. I thought it was a radical way to die.
You kill one of the members with a crossbow in the video. I'm told that you actually know how to shoot crossbows.
Crossbows, no. But I'm a very good archer. Crossbows are new to me, so I had to be trained on how to load a crossbow bolt, it's very different than archery. Archery is like one, two, three steps. Sideways, load, turn it up, shoot. Crossbow is a totally different process for me. So it took a little time to learn the crossbow, but it was definitely exciting. And I begged for the crossbow, but somebody begged for it first. Nobody would tell me who, but I'm pretty sure it was the costume designer who got the crossbow.
Did you keep anything from the shoot?
Yeah, I kept the silver, shiny black pants, sure. Not gonna lie. Don't put that on the record – no, I'm just kidding.
You've been in a few other things, like Entourage and Coach Carter. How did shooting a music video compare to working on a film or television show?
Well, this particular video, because it was shot up in the hills of Malibu, at an amazing house – there were some perks. There were like four levels of gardens and Jacuzzi pools to navigate through when you aren't shooting, that was awesome. TV and film shooting are like anything else, you stand around and wait while they filmed the scene. I've been on CSI, I've been on Judging Amy and sitcoms. This location, though, I have to say is one of my favorite locations ever. They scouted, they found this location that's up in the hills, it's gorgeous. At one point I just lay in the grass and looked at the stars. I mean, when can you do that on a video shoot or on a TV shoot?
How was it working with the director?
I've known Bill for like 10 years, he's hilarious. He's definitely a crackup on the set. He was definitely goofy, definitely fun, and I'd like to say that I’d love to do it again. He's got 10 things going on in his mind at all times. He's, like, all over the map.
Was the shoot a tightly run ship, or was it more of a "let's have fun" sort of thing?
Half and half. A tightly run ship on any serious pro scenes, and then there's obviously a few party scenes that were more of a fun vibe. A lot of pranking going on.
Any specific instances you can think of?
I think the body bags were mostly used to freak people out. They would have one of the band guys in them, and they weren't supposed to be in the bags. There were supposed to be mannequins in the bags to make them look real, and in one of the shots it definitely wasn't a mannequin, it was a real person.
So were the members of the band pretty game to be killed off in hilarious ways?
Yeah, absolutely. I think they all enjoyed being killed.
What were they like on set?
Super chill. I definitely get the sense that shooting videos was like their second favorite thing, doing live shows is their favorite. Videos are something they do for fun, very jovial and chill on the set. Tyler [Connolly], the lead singer, does a lot of impressions. If you want to ask him, he does a great John C. Reilly.
Are you worried about getting typecast as the "bitch" role after this video?
No, I was a bitch long before this video. Long before. Not personally. But I’ve played a lot of bitches.