Debra: Thanks Chase and the SOP for having me as your guest!
Chase Von: I of course want to know, as the readers I imagine do as well, what ever you can share about your new movie but before we get into that, can you share with our readers what your childhood was like?
I see where you`ve lived in New York, California, Japan as well as Florida but were born in Virginia.
What was it like moving all around so much when you were young and are you like myself, a Military UnSpoiled Child? (Smile).
Debra: No not at all, I didn`t move until I was 18. I grew up in Newport News, Virginia, but the reason I moved to so many locations afterwards, was to pursue acting and also because of my ex husband who was a major league baseball player.
Oh and Chase, don`t you mean Military Brat? (Smile).
Chase Von: Born in Virginia? Both my parents are from there as well although my Dad is deceased. From what I remember it`s quite close to where Walton`s Mountain was. Well then again, it`s a mountain so it`s probably still there. Heh, Heh:)
Do you have relatives there and do you think we might be related? Because you have some high cheek bones. Do you have any American Indian in you, in particular Blackfoot and Cherokee? And how supportive is your family and friends of your chosen profession now?
Debra: Yes, many of my relatives are all in the Tidewater Virginia area, mostly nieces and nephews, and I have Cherokee Indian in me. Everyone is very supportive and wants me to succeed and has stated that they believe I will...more than I believe, but I trust them.
And I doubt that we`re related. Heh, Heh:)
Chase Von: I`ll check the family tree when time permits. (Smile). How old were you when you realized that acting was in your blood? I know when I interviewed Shawn Richardz and Barbara Evans they both knew from a very young age.
Debra: I was working as a bank teller, in Newport News, and the manager wanted me to do a modeling job for the branch. They shot photos of me in an ad, and turned it into a lifelike standing poster. You know, those big tall one cut out of your entire body on cardboard?
Well the branch was downtown Newport News, so all the Newport News shipbuilding and dry dock workers banked there and they all would want to come to my window and see my big lifelike poster, ha ha:)
I was 16 at the time and always loved movies so I guess you could say that is when it really hit me to go into modeling and acting! Later while in Georgia a photographer actually came up to me, you know the classic story, but it is how it really happened! (Smile).
Chase Von: You`re as the readers can tell by looking at your pictures, a very beautiful woman! How much modeling have you done in your career and are you like Shawn, who continues to both act and model as well?
And I hear you`ve also appeared in numerous commercials.
What were they and is it possible some of our readers here are going to say "That`s it! That`s where I remember seeing her lovely face!" (Smile).
Debra: I have modeled off and on really seriously since I was 23 although I got into it as I said at 16. But I have worked in New York, Atlanta, Florida and I did a lot of print in Florida and New York as well. Mostly beauty or lifestyle, not too much fashion. As for commercials, I did however work with Coca Cola, Levi Strauss, JC Penny, Sprite, Meineke Muffler, British Caladonia Airlines.
The thing was, I always put my children first, they always came before my career. In order to raise them in a place where they could have a normal life, I had to be away from where some of the major roles were being cast and modeling assignments like New York or Los Angeles, but I was still able to find quality work.
Chase Von: I`ve interviewed other actors and actresses like Shawn Richardz, Jason Seitz and also Kimberly Prendez.
Kimberly has also wrote, directed and starred in her own film Until Next Time and is also working on another one as I type this though I don`t know the name of that one just yet. Successful people do what someone I know by the name of Willard Barth calls expanding your comfort zones.
So do you ever see yourself either writing scripts or perhaps some day being behind the cameras directing?
Debra: I am already co-writing now so writing scripts is definitely not out the question. Directing however is something I think the best one`s at it, have either acted for many years and totally understand the whole of the picture and also how to get the best out of the actors and actresses, as well have a natural gift for it.
But you never know what could happen. (Smile).
Chase Von: From the brief clip that I saw of your new movie. It looks like the movie itself has to have quite a few action scenes! In the clip you pull a gun out the small of your back and face down the bad guy to protect your younger brother and from the looks of it, you`re no stranger to fighting with the blow you throw to his throat!
How much actual fighting training did you do prior to the shooting of this movie and do you perform all your own stunts or do you have a stunt double?
Debra: I box 4 x a week so I am pretty well trained in self defense. As for the stunts, in this one I do all my own stunts but I imagine on future projects there will be some things I will have to let those truly trained do, although I would do them all if I could!
I love action, it`s exciting and challenging. (Smile).
Chase Von: The director of this film is a rising talent on the scene! How did you enjoy working with this mysterious man who for now shall remain nameless?
Debra: That`s right Chase! (Smile). I loved working with him! He`s tough, knows what he wants and goes the extra mile to get it! I can`t tell you any more than that right now but I will say he is fantastic!
And I would love to work with him again as action films are his specialty! He won`t remain nameless for long! (Smile).
Chase Von: You started your acting career in New York and studied at the prestigious Lee Stratsberg Theater. You then took a ten year break away from acting to do real estate development in Florida.
Now you`re back pursuing your true love, acting. How hard was it for you to step right back in there and hold your own after such a long hiatus away from the craft? Or is acting like riding a bike, once you`ve done it you don`t ever forget?
Debra: It was hard, it is ambitious to do this but what I had learned in the past was there and I felt comfortable, so sort of like riding a bike. I have always loved being in front of the camera whether its print or film, it is just something that I love to work, and the camera has been kind to me, probably because it knows I love it...LOL.
Chase Von: Well one thing for certain is even if you took a break away from acting, you still kept up your appearance! You still look fantastic!
I also see where you`re an avid angler and also saw the video of you when you went deep sea fishing with your friend! (Smile). Is she also an actress and do you ever share the fish you catch? (Smile).
Also I know you love so many sports, but what sports do you actually participate in because I saw where you enjoy hiking as well as swimming, boxing, golf, snow boarding, snow skiing, yoga, basketball, football and is there anything I missed? (Smile)
Debra: My friend in the video is an artist, and a great friend, Alisa Jeecrystal and yes we share the fish, although Alisa really loves raw yellowtail, so I try to give her a little more! (Smile).
She is a world renowned painter of wildlife, huge fish, just Google her name! And you left out baseball Chase but I swim, box, play golf, snow ski, yoga 4x a week, and play basketball and pool. Sports has always been a huge part of my life, so it just comes naturally, and I have to keep in shape for the job, so it`s a good thing I enjoy it so much.
Chase Von: There`s a movie out now called Into The Wild based on a book by the same name. It`s also directed by incredible actor Sean Penn and I have to say having seen the movie, he is an incredible director as well! It`s a tragic story but perhaps one that appeals to me because of my poetic side.
When I was in the military I went through a Cold Weather Survival School and I remember one day there was a guy that wouldn`t get out the tent. The instructor was like, who`s in there? The answer came back. "Private Yusafool!" The instructor was like Private who? This time the guy said, "Private Yusafool! And you`se a FOOL if you think I`m getting out this damn tent! (Smile).
Lot`s of funny things happened there but one night we had to create our on structure and survive it. That`s why I like snow... On post cards! (Smile).
But the reason I bring this up is you have a really adventurous spirit! Could you ever see yourself stepping off in the actual wild to survive for a period of time?
Debra: I love going deep into the Everglades on the airboat looking for Alligators and filming them. But my idea of camping is a room at a hotel, Ha, Ha:)
I am not a big fan of snakes or creatures that are awake at night! So as adventurous as I am, I still like to be clean and comfortable and around people. LOL!
Chase Von: Are there any future projects you are going to be working on you can share with our readers? And who are some of the top actresses and actors in your eyes both past and present?
Debra: Morgan Freeman! Oh I would love to be working with him! I also love Sean Connery, Steve McQueen, Ashton Kutcher, Bernie Mac, Kiera Knightly, Cameraon Diaz and Kate Beckinsall! I have a project in the works, but it is still in a developmental stage, however it is a comedy that is a spoof of a very famous film, so we shall see how it all comes out, it has a few of my friends giggling already. (Smile).
Chase Von: I already know you love fish. (Smile). But what are some of your other favorite meals and how often do you get to enjoy them? Also do you have a thing for cougars? (Smile).
They`re a near cousin of something else if you know what I mean (Last Panther). Heh, Heh:)
And what are some of the charities you are involved with and or feel strongly about?
Debra: Sushi and often! (Smile). I do love to eat, so I enjoy every meal, I just eat very healthy. Lots of fish and chicken, try to keep my body weight very lean and mean, LOL! And a cause I truly support and feel extremely strong about is the Cancer Society. I also support the Red Cross and Salvation Army; I think they do a terrific job.
Personally, I would also like to stop the seal slaughter in Canada and help with all the hunger in some of these other countries. We as Americans have so much, and it saddens me to see people so destitute in today`s time. Oh and I just think cougars are beautiful creatures but panthers are as well. There are lots of panthers in Florida. (Smile).
Chase Von: How important is family to you, and what is your take on the state of our current world?
Debra: Family is the most important thing in life to me, without my family, I would be lost! They are all supportive and keep me grounded!
Our state of the world, wow, it is worrisome! I have seen a lot of change, but nothing as dramatic and as quick as it is changing in the last decade, some great and some not so great, it is a very unstable time, and I am concerned about our leaders. I also have a lot of concern with the state of many other countries, such as the recent issues between Russia and Georgia.
China and North Korea have always been a concern on multiple levels for me as as well. Hopefully though, after this election, more positive changes will come and more rapidly.
Chase Von: What would you say, if you were standing in front of a microphone that could be heard by every child on the planet and regardless of what language it was they spoke, they would understand you? What positive advice would you give the children, if that were possible?
Debra: I would tell them to always try and respect your parents, appreciate your family and try to get a great education. I would also want to tell them to play a lot of sports to keep themselves very healthy because I believe it helps you to be more successful in life.
I would tell them to follow their dreams, try and learn as much about how to solve many of the hunger problems and end wars and keep their faith in God.
Lastly, I would encourage them to stay drug free because it really ruins relationships and their lives.
Chase Von: Can you list the web links where our readers can find you and learn more about you? And also is there any other future projects your working on you can share with our readers besides the ones already mentioned?
Debra: The best one is http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=102258523 or just Google my name, Debra Garrett and it takes you to anything about me. Here`s a direct link to our movie clip on you tube as well.
Chase Von: On behalf of The Operated Student Press and myself Debra, Thank you so much again for coming through on this interview! It`s a pleasure sharing you with our readers so once again I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to do just that!
Love and light to you and maybe one day I can share one of the fish you catch with you by candle light or something. (Smile).
That sounds so romantic! Except it would be me, my wife, my kids, and my dog. Heh, Heh:) You might want to haul in a few of them. (Smile).
Debra: And much love and peace to you too Chase and thank you! Now next time I take a big sport fish out deep sea fishing, I will send you an invite, or maybe you would enjoy being surrounded by dozens of 15 foot Gators...LOL!
Chase Von: Debra? Let me give that some thought.... Ah... No! (Smile). But again, thank you and continued success in your career!
Debra: Thank you again Chase and again my thanks to the SOP as well!