The Horror Honeys: Honey Buzz ~ Why Rose McGowan Left Acting & What She's Doing Now!

Honey Buzz ~ Why Rose McGowan Left Acting & What She's Doing Now!

We at the Honeys are huge fans of Rose McGowan. She's an independent spirit, a total badass, and has always represented the best of women in horror. But over the last handful of years, McGowan mostly disappeared from the public eye, accepting smaller roles on TV and a supporting role in 2009's Conan the Barbarian remake. Now it appears she's giving up acting altogether, for a behind-the-camera career. And based on her reasons, we don't blame her one bit.

Following her directorial debut at Sundance with her short film Dawn, McGowan gave an interview to The Wrap in which she frankly explained her reasons for walking away from acting. And while McGowan ran away from a cult as a teenager and spent a year homeless after being forced into rehab for a drug addiction she didn't have, it was Hollywood sexual politics that finally brought this strong woman to the end of her rope.

In 2007, McGowan and Grindhouse co-star Rosario Dawson were photographed for the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine to promote the film. But what McGowan saw in the finished product of that cover shoot was the catalyst for
her eventual walk away from acting.

“It's always part and parcel of it, you're expected as a woman, this is what you trade off of, this is how you sell tickets to the movies, this is your part of it. Your job as a promoter is this: They're not sticking a guy on the cover doing it, unless it's like Seth Rogen doing a joke. So as a woman I'm expected to sell myself, my body, my image, my sexuality, in order to get your ticket sales up. It's kind of fucked up. And it's like, wait, I wasn't aware that when I signed on to act, I had to sell myself that much.”

McGowan points out exactly the problem with the current state of the film industry: specifically when you are a woman in the business of horror. The sexualization of women has become one of the defining characteristics of marketing, while performance, style, and creativity are put on the back-burner. As you can see from the Rolling Stone cover in question (right), what did that photo tell us about Grindhouse, other than two very pretty women star in it and they or may not be nude in said film while shooting guns? Also... apparently they are "very bad girls," even though BOTH films in Grindhouse were about strong women taking control of their lives, refusing to die at the hands of a serial killer, or in McGowan's case, becoming a hero after the world ends?

This very issue is what took McGowan out of the acting world and into a role where she can control the perception of women: behind the camera as a director. Her first short film, Dawn, premiered to extremely positive reviews as part of the Sundance Film Festival and she's already in negotiations to direct two feature length movies. But please just refer to her as "director..."

"The last I heard, the sex I was born didn't really come into play with what I'm doing, other than to other people. I didn't check with myself that morning and say, as a woman director, I wonder how I'm going to approach this scene? Do you know how silly that sounds? But the statistics are so grim, and so I'm going to do something about that. And I think it's time."

All of this just confirms why Rose McGowan will always have fans here at the Horror Honeys! You can catch a few glimpses of Dawn in the Sundance Film Festival Shorts Tour promo below, and keep an eye out for news on more films from Rose McGowan 2.0!