In a horror movie, we only feel as scared as the person on screen. In Brotha Lynch Hung’s “Meat Cleaver” music video, the unfortunate girl tied up to the ceiling and force-fed human flesh definitely made us feel for her.
So who is that girl that would willingly subject herself to be maimed and tortured by Tha Coathanga Strangla? Her name is Vanessa Rena, a certified nursing assistant and server by day and now a torture-victim on the side. Her terrified performance in the debut music video for Lynch’s widely anticipated Mannibalector definitely left an impression that was impossible to forget.
The young woman shared with us what it was like to work on the set with the the deadliest cannibal in hip hop…
How did you get chosen for this role?
Oh goodness. I was asleep and I got a call from the producer and he asked me if I was doing anything. He told me a little bit about what I would be doing, when I had to be ready and where I had to be.
Oh wow so you basically got contacted the day of?
Have you ever thought about acting or doing anything like this before?
When I was younger but I mean never anything seriously but a lot when I was younger. It used to be what I wanted to do.
So when you walked on the set and saw what was going on, what was the first thought that went through your head?
“What did I get myself into?”
Have you ever heard of Brotha Lynch Hung before or his music?
Yeah I have and I knew that he was a very different artist than what I usually a listen to or who I usually listen to but I knew he was a very talented artist so it was a really good opportunity. I’m glad I got to do it for him. It was something different.
It was definitely something different! It’s not often that someone gets to play a role like that, were you able to have fun with it?
It was actually really fun! I mean I was terrified but it was really fun.
Speaking of being terrified, how did you get yourself into that space to look so terrified? Did that come naturally while it was happening?
Well the first take I didn’t really come out of my shell. I’m a really shy person and I think that getting to tell him “It’s okay for you to get really personal and up close with me” and getting to tell him what would get me legitimately scared. Being able to talk to him a little bit about what he wanted and what I wanted from him to get him what he wanted was really good.
What was the most uncomfortable part of those takes? You definitely had to experience quite a bit.
It was definitely having the human meat shoved in my mouth. I don’t think I can eat lunch meat ever again. I think me and lunch meat…it’s been fun lunch meat but no more.
After you were done and untied and everything, how did you feel?
I felt relieved but it was fun! I had a lot of fun doing it. I was happy. I was excited because I knew once the music was off he wasn’t like a psycho person you know? I was relieved and I was happy and it was just a really good feeling.
Did you feel like after you did it that you got something good?
I honestly thought that they were going to have me do it again. I didn’t expect it to be “You’re good! You’re done!” I thought I was going to have to do it five more times.
What was it like working with the crew and everyone involved in the video?
It was really interesting seeing how everything worked. I’ve never done anything like this before so seeing how it all came together and everyone was so creative and really nice. It all flowed really smoothly. It wasn’t hectic and nobody was rude. It was just a lot of fun!
How do you think you did?
I think I did nicely. I think I did well.
I think the fans concur for sure. When you watch yourself and see that look of fear, did that match how you were feeling while you were doing the take?
Yes. I was mortified. I’m not a fan of sharp objects so when someone’s walking around me with one I was like “Ah!” It was kind of scary.
How’d you feel about getting killed at the end?
I thought it was interesting how it came together. At the end my friend is dead in the shower and I’m gone! It was entertaining in itself just to watch myself be tied up and my really good friend, who’s just bloody and dead in the shower, and to know that’s not what actually happened and I’m glad I’m not dead!
What has the response been like from friends and family?
I wish that I could have had my mom’s reaction video taped. She’s not into scary things at all. She’s the type that would never watch a scary movie and she looked mortified. Her jaw just dropped and she was like “Oh my goodness!” Everyone else was like “Oh I knew that was you!” and “Wow you looked really good but you looked really scared!” A lot of people asked me what it was like to meet Lynch and you know how I got the opportunity to do so. Everyone was really happy for me and they loved the video. The editing was good, the song was good…everyone just loved it.
After working with Lynch, what’s your impression of him?
He was so nice and so humble and really comfortable to be around. All around a really good person.
Did this kind of open up the possibility of you doing something like this again should the opportunity present itself?
I wouldn’t be opposed to anything if it ever came up. I don’t know, it kind of gave me like the green light to maybe pursue different things on my own. Maybe dip into different hobbies and stuff like that. I wouldn’t be opposed to doing a little acting or something like that.
Anything you want to say about the video in closing?
I think they did an awesome job, really. I do.
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