Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming worldwide release of your short-form episodic series, Rage Room! What inspired you to bring this concept to the big screen?
Summer Chastant: I read about these anger rooms popping up all over the world after the 2016 election, and I was seeing everyone’s personal frustration either directly or on social media. And I felt charged, as well, so I decided to channel this universal feeling of rage into a show. People jumped at the opportunity to work on a project that involved smashing things!
BD: You have quite a talented cast and crew working on the production. What can you tell us about your shared creative process in bringing the series to life?
SC: The director, Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, (who did the cult classics Kissing Jessica Stein and Legally Blonde 2) was someone whose work I had been a fan of for a long time. So, when I reached out to him and he said, “Yes,” to directing Rage Room, I knew we would have something super special. Throughout the entire process, Charlie continued to inspire me creatively. We developed a really positive way of coming up with ideas and infusing them into the project, and I think the cast and crew felt that energy. We had a mentality where we (cast/crew) put all creative ideas on the table and then we picked the ones that were gold.
The actors I brought on are top notch. Johnny Ramey (Puja) made choices that are hilarious and has such charisma on screen. He came on very last minute and nailed it. Sarah Lancaster is fantastic, and I had wanted to work with her for some time. Tania Verafield - I love working with so much and was fortunate to have her in both Rage Room and Namaste, Bitches. Matt Biedel had just finished shooting Altered Carbon, so I was extremely lucky that the timing worked out. I went to school with both Matt and Carolyn Ratteray. I wrote parts specifically for them. And Adam Huss, who plays my husband, is a wonderful actor who I can’t wait to work with again.
BD: What do you hope that viewers will take away from Rage Room?
SC: That when you are feeling angry you are not alone. We are taught (especially as women) that anger is bad, so all of this rage ends up being pushed below the surface. We just screened the show in LA and everyone there was laughing and had a feeling of freedom just knowing that these characters that I created are like them. I want everyone who watches this series to have that sense of relief.
BD: How has the series been most impactful to you as a creator?
SC: Making Rage Room really sealed the deal for me. I love creating these stories and characters and seeing them come to life on the screen. It’s my purpose in life. For me being a creator/showrunner allows me to take the way I see the world, write something that is impactful, and drive the project to the finish line. The experience is rewarding on all levels. I’m really looking forward to doing it on a larger scale.
BD: Given your previous work on the web series, Namaste, Bitches, do you find that short-form episodes provide a unique storytelling perspective as both a writer and an actress?
SC: Namaste, Bitches and Rage Room could very well be half-hour-long television shows. The five minutes you’re seeing in these episodes is the same amount of screen time on TV before a commercial break. In this format I get to write fully developed characters and storylines in a one episode. The full season is a shorter version of a show on TV. In 22 minutes you get an entire season of Rage Room or Namaste, Bitches.
I enjoy acting so it just makes sense for me to be the lead after I’ve spent all this time thinking about the character’s journey.
BD: Are there any other upcoming films or projects that you would care to share with our readers?
SC: Namaste fans still contact me all the time—which makes me so happy! I’m thinking of doing a podcast spinoff of the show while we keep working on moving it to TV.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Rage Room?
SC: Watch it at rageroomshow.com! Tweet about it #rageroomshow. Tag me (@summerchastant) on Instagram, so I can share your posts! Follow the show on IG (@rageroomseries). Tell your friends and family. Spread the word, 'cause now you are a RAGER!