SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Tonya Ivey: I am a crazy, down-to-earth girl hailing from Phoenix, AZ. I have been living in the Los Angeles area for the past 7 years now, and my main focus has been within the entertainment industry- acting, writing and music… and dating- until recently- I married an incredible man in Hawaii this past June.
SKSM: How did you become involved in Paranoid?
Tonya Ivey: My dear friend Jay Holben got in touch with me about this project. He felt this could be a good collaborative effort for us.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Tonya Ivey: Fortunately, for me, Jay was one of my directors in high school- so we’d already had the opportunity to work together. We have always remained in touch waiting for the right piece to come along- and we both felt this was it.
SKSM: You worked with Jay Holben on this film, how was that?
Tonya Ivey: He was great to work with. He has such incredible vision, very detail oriented. The world he created was so complete- from the lighting to the color pen on the notebooks – to the newspaper clippings- all of these intricacies made it easy to engage my imagination.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Tonya Ivey: When I heard that Stephen King was giving us the permission for this film- I was ecstatic! I have been a fan of his work for such a long time- I think I read this poem for the first time when I was in middle school. His books have come with me through the years.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Tonya Ivey: I am still in touch with Jay, his beautiful wife Jennine and the always charming Mark Reynolds.
SKSM: What did you do after Paranoid?
Tonya Ivey: I was lucky enough to follow up this experience working with Alan Ball on Six Feet Under, Steven Spielberg on Minority Report and The Terminal and Ron Howard on The Grinch. I also worked on a slew of independents- among them was a “Mean Girls” -esque tribute, one was a silent- horror- black and white and in one of them I got to play a rock star- yep that was one of my favorites.
SKSM: In the poem ‘Paranoid‘, King never tells us the gender of the main character. Most King-readers probably thought of the main character as a man. Were you surprised when Jay Holben asked you to play this character?
Tonya Ivey: At first I was a little surprised- but I love projects that push the envelope on convention. Once we sat down and had our first meeting, I could see that Jay was very grounded in his vision for this piece- i was able to see it through his eyes.
SKSM: Are you (or were you) a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Tonya Ivey: I have been a Stephen King fan since I was in the 4th grade. I would lie in bed at night reading “It” – or “The Shining” or “Tommyknockers”… (I have read them all)… I would scare myself to death. If I had to go to the bathroom I would stand on the edge of my bed and leap to the doorway (so something from under the bed wouldn’t grab me). Needless to say, this film was a dream to work on- I have been a fan for such a long time- his stories were a big piece of my childhood.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Tonya Ivey: Thank you so much for your interest in this film. I wish you love and prosperity in the coming new year.