Bite Me, a film marketed as, “a subversive romantic comedy about the real-life subculture of people who believe that they’re vampires and the IRS agent who audits them,” is a hilarious take on a rom-com disguised as a horror comedy. To celebrate the digital release of the film, I chatted with star Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story TV series) about how she got involved with the project, her favorite scene, horror fans, and what’s up next.
PopHorror: Hi Naomi! I watched Bite Me this afternoon, and it was a lot of fun.
Naomi Grossman: Oh, good! I’m so glad.
PopHorror: I’m a huge fan, so I’m really excited to speak with you.
Naomi Grossman: Wonderful!
PopHorror: What was it that intrigued you about Bite Me and made you want to be a part of it?
Naomi Grossman: Like most actors who are desperate for love, the fact that Naomi McDougall Jones, who wrote and starred in the film, approached me with it and said the magical words, “I wrote this for you. I wrote this with you in mind.” I thought, “Well, gee whiz. I have to play this right? Who else is going to do Naomi Grossman than Naomi Grossman?” Of course, I was very flattered. I spent a lot of my career without anyone writing me anything, believe me. I gave the script a read, and I was impressed. I thought it was a really fun script. I’m an architect’s daughter, and I always say that if the blueprints don’t hold, the house isn’t going to stand. If the script isn’t solid, you don’t have a movie, and I thought they had a movie. I was thrilled to be a part of it, especially because I come from comedy, and yet no one knows that about me. It’s my super power. This was the chance for me to sort of marry both my comedy background and my horror fan base. So, I was excited to put the two together.
PopHorror: Wow! To have a role written for you, that has to be an amazing feeling.
Naomi Grossman: Yeah! It’s flattering, especially when the role is so fun. I like Chrissy. She’s cool.
PopHorror: She’s hilarious!
Naomi Grossman: I want her to be my friend. I want to be her. I am her.
PopHorror: My favorite part was her eating cereal with the fangs.
Naomi Grossman: Right? Don’t get me wrong. I am definitely one to work a bit, but I was not working a bit there. That was literally just me with fangs, trying to eat some cereal. It was not easy.
PopHorror: That’s awesome! This film is a lot of fun, and I’m sure it was a lot of fun to make. What was your favorite scene to shoot?
Naomi Grossman: The picnic at the end was a blast, especially because that was my first day on set, so it just happened to be the day of the solar eclipse. There we were in Central Park, shooting a vampire movie on this very auspicious day, and it was an awesome sort of initiation. It also was intimidating, because let’s face it: it was a big, big scene, full of vampires, Christians, you name it. But I’ll never forget kind of kicking over that cooler and standing there monologuing in my skivvies with my fangs in, looking out at that huge group of feuding Christians and vampires and thinking, “Wow! This is really awesome!” These were New York actors, so they’re giving it their all. They’re acting in the back row. Never mind the fact that the camera may or may not be on them. They’re still going full force, and I appreciated that.
PopHorror: You mentioned coming from a comedy background, but what is it that draws you to the horror genre?
Naomi Grossman: Well, the horror genre draws itself to me. Let’s face it. I was doing sketch comedy for a very long time, and then I kind of fell down this horror hole, and it’s been awesome. I am not mad at it. I’m not going to bite the hand that feeds me, pardon the vampire humor. I just think, I didn’t know about this whole sort of sub culture and this rabid fan base until I was thrust into the epicenter of it. And I love it. It’s crazy what loyal fans they are. And never mind creative and generous. We’re on the phone right now, so you’re not getting to see the room of fan art that I have. It’s insane. It’s crazy when you see. It’s always like the girl dressed as the blood-drenched Carrie that is like the sweetest thing in the world, and you’re like, “How are you so nice with this ax coming out of your head?” Yet, they are the nicest people you’ll find.
PopHorror: I love hearing that. You and I actually met at Horrorhound Weekend in Cincinnati a few years ago.
Naomi Grossman: Oh cool!
PopHorror: You were definitely a fan favorite. I remember your line always being long, and people just flocked to your table. Horror fans are very loyal, and we love having our favorites come out to meet us, because we are so loyal. We do appreciate you being in our family.
Naomi Grossman: Aw, thank you. Yeah, having gone to drama school, most of my friends are actors, and they’re on big shows and procedural dramas and network comedies, but they don’t have a room dedicated to their fan art. It’s because they’re not in horror. Horror fans are like a whole other breed.
PopHorror: I completely agree. What would be your weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse?
Naomi Grossman: Boy, I’m a lover, not a fighter, so I don’t know. Like… hmm… Maybe a yoga mat or something? I feel like maybe I could just kill them with kindness and compassion, you know what I mean? I don’t know how zombies would necessarily react to my invitation to Namaste away and just breathe. But yeah. I’m not one to wield a weapon. It’s an unlikely choice, and don’t get me wrong. I would probably get my brains eaten pretty darn fast.
PopHorror: What made you want to be an actor?
Naomi Grossman: I’ve always wondered about that inciting moment that put me over. I have this distinct memory of being at the movie theater watching the movie Fantasia, which was literally the 70s. It wasn’t even live action. It was literally cartoon hippos dancing around, but I remember leaping from my theater seat and dancing in the aisles. My parents were really great about exposing me to culture. We would go to the cinema, the theater, ballet, opera, you name it. I spent so much time in the audience just wishing I were up there. I’ve just always wanted to be on the stage, in front of the cameras, lights on me. So I don’t know. I feel like that’s one of my earliest moments, when I wanted to be on the screen with those hippos. It’s hard to say… it was early. It was before we really develop cognitive skills, I think. I don’t know what else I would have done. Believe me, I spent many years brainstorming what else I could possibly do with myself, but there really was nothing else. The answer was nothing. You just gotta keep going. I do think that just persistence and endurance are part of it. If you don’t show up for the game, you’re definitely not going to win it.
PopHorror: Exactly! What is up next for you?
Naomi Grossman: Good question. It’s funny. Bite Me, we shot years ago. But because of the pandemic, it’s only now getting its digital release, so I’m always wondering what’s up next for me, or what’s up next according to you or IMDb? And they’re often two very different answers, because it takes time for things to get made and distributed.
I would say we have to look forward to this movie I did over the summer called Replica. I play a neo-Nazi meth head alongside Mickey Rourke. That’s very different. A drama, but also a character very far from myself. I also did another little movie over the pandemic, also an indie, also a rom-com, a Covid comedy. I’m not really sure how funny that could possibly be. We’ll see. It’s called Just Swipe, and it’s on all streaming platforms as of this week as well, actually.
Other than that, I’ve been working diligently throughout the pandemic on my own solo show called American Whore Story, which I’m really excited about. I’m not sure exactly how that’s going to happen either, but it’s written, it’s blocked, it’s memorized. It’s a matter of money and seeing how that works. Ideally, it will be a one hour comedy special on streaming services everywhere. That’s the hope, and that’s what I’m working on.
PopHorror: That’s exciting! I’ll look out for that one. Just one last question for you today. What is your favorite scary movie?
Naomi Grossman: Rosemary’s Baby is my favorite horror film.
Thank you so much, Naomi, for taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to catch Bite Me on digital platforms to rent and buy now!