Krista Grotte … Nation’s Fire
Tell us about this movie? It doesn’t seem to be just a biker movie?
Nation’s Fire is an Action/Drama that is very, very different than the stereotypical biker movie. Biker movies are most notably celebrated or de-celebrated as exploitation films, and this is where Nation’s Fire is different. We have the action, drama, deaths, killings, drugs, and good vs evil; however, there are many elements in this movie that give it a beating heart. We all can relate to the struggles the characters face in this movie; whether you’re a diehard biker or have no clue what a “cc” is, you will relate.
The beating heart in Nation’s Fire is family, loss, strength, redemption, manly underground situations all while secretly celebrating a woman’s true place in the biker community and every other community for that matter … as I state in the movie, “Our men know we are ride or die chicks.” Nation’s differs from typical exploitation films and societal stereotypes in that we, as biker women, we aren’t victims, we have a voice, we use it, we love to celebrate our womanly curves AND we ride. We handle our jobs, kids, and family business. We treat others with respect, loyalty, charity, and kindness, but you don’t EVER want to cross us.
This movie is not only an adventure, it is heart and soul, as do many characters. So, to answer your question, no this is not your typical biker movie.
As Gloria Nation, you explode on screen as a true action superstar. How did you get inspired to take on this role?
Wait, you didn’t know I was a freakin’ Action Superstar? Well, now you know my brother! Haha. In all seriousness, the action is where I excel; it’s what I have always enjoyed and it’s where I’m comfortable. Plus, I’m nuts so it’s a great release for me! I love doing my own stunts! I love the choreography of fighting. I like to throw my kicks … right and left hooks so fast you hear my fist in the wind. I love it. In movies I have done over the past 17 years, I have often been type-cast for “blonde chick” or rainy tank top roles, which is fine, and many I didn’t take, but I have always had a whole lot more to offer than that. The look I have is the complete opposite of my capabilities and it’s actually kind of fun and funny now that I think about it. I kind of play with people’s emotions with the look almost all people categorize me under and with whom and what I really am. So all of the aforementioned has inspired me to take on this role, and as a producer, I have the choice as to what I really want to take on vs. what I am only “limited to” take on. Today I make my own offers, I don’t wait for offers.
How was it working with a Hollywood legend like Bruce Dern?
As an actress who has worked so hard for so many years and dealt with so much traumatizing bull while not giving up in this what can be a very ruthless industry, I must say, it was pretty amazing working with Bruce Dern. This guy is one of two villain actors to kill John Wayne in a movie, he’s a classic. Not to mention, he has had two Oscar nominations for “Coming Home” and “Nebraska” and has worked with the greats such as Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino (one of my favs), Billy Bob Thornton, Kirk Douglas and Roger Corman to name a few. It was fascinating to sit in the makeup room and talk to him, he’s been doing this for almost 60 years. I gained strength from his wisdom, his experience and approach on how he makes his roles his own. I enjoyed hearing about the legendary greats he has worked with and inspired; he took me back in my imagination long before my time; to me, moments like that with people are priceless.
Was having the biker community a part of this movie special to you, why?
The biker community always has and always will have a special place in my heart. There is a lot of backstory behind why, and maybe one day I will elaborate on that with you. The bottom line is, I love the people of the biking community. I’m not close with my blood family, and that’s fine. I’ve been on my own since 14, became a mother at 16. I lived pretty rough and literally slept on bus stop benches before being put in a girl’s home—this is a great script in itself. There wasn’t too much family support there and that’s ok, they were trying to make it too, I suppose. With fellow bikers, I have just always had a safe feeling of home and acceptance.
Looking back, I know now that God, life, and fate put me with the biker community for a reason. I believe that because seven years ago I got sober, and the irony is, it was due to a couple of 1%ers who told me I was better than the way I was treating myself. They refused to let me take myself down. After many talks with appointed babysitters who made sure I didn’t get into any more trouble, I finally listened and put in the work to get sober. Because someone actually cared enough for me to fight ME for the sake of me, I am living the life of my dreams today. I am forever grateful. Not only am I grateful, I love what we stand for. As a proud member of The Suncoast Brotherhood, the community and bike groups do so much for those kids who were once like me. We do things for families who struggled like mine … without judging, and without looking for anything in return. The bond within the community is special, the family unit. The fact that we all can just be ourselves, barefoot and crazy, and not be judged is special. Just like this movie, amidst the drama and perceived chaos, there is heart, family, and strength.
Working with Born To Ride you have met many bikers, but you have been a part of BTR for many years now and Ron Galletti is so excited to be a part of this project. How has that worked out?
Yes, I have been working with Born To Ride nearly 10 years now. I have seen the dedication, the hard work, and the drive put forth by Ron, Debbie, and the Born To Ride family. Having Ronnie as the creative producer for Nation’s Fire was a no-brainer. We had been throwing around the idea of a biker movie for years and when Writer/Director Thomas J. Churchill came down for the BTR 20th anniversary to promote a movie we did called “Check Point,” which is now available on Netflix, the concept of Nation’s Fire was born. Ron has been instrumental in making this movie larger than life. He is a creative powerhouse: from brilliant ideas on scenes, details on characters, on set photography, marketing strategies, business meetings, and priceless behind the scenes interviews with Bruce Dern, Chuck Liddel, Paul Sloan, Kristen Renton, and many more of the cast. He has provided so many valuable artists, musicians, meetings, product placement, motorcycles, and crew members. He has put together trailers, hours of notes, direction on our post-production, and shot and directed riding footage. The list goes on and on. I am so thankful to Ron for all that he’s done to make Nation’s Fire a reality. I thank Producer Andy Lalino too for his work on Nation’s Fire. Ron, Thom, and I had a plan from that day over a year ago, and here we are with a 2018 release, an amazing cast and one heck of a movie in the can!
You are executive producer and the main actor in this movie. How does that all work? What does that all mean? Plus, you are CEO at your real job, tell us about what you do on that job too?
Well, acting is just in my blood, it’s what I do and have done since the days of childhood remaking “Annie” in my bedroom with my Aunt’s video camera. Executive producer is a whole new animal. With a movie, there are so many moving parts, hundreds of people you are hiring and feeding every day on set. There are SAG union rules that must be abided by or your facing heavy fines, there is the payroll company, the different departments, and all the employees working for you within those departments. There is lots of money to be accurately spent and accounted for. As executive producer, perspective differs substantially from that as a role of actor. The goal of executive producer is to be certain to get a return on the investment. When we are talking about something as subjective as art—that can be a very scary thing. Thankfully, we have an Oscar-winning producer on board with great experience in distribution. As an actress, my goal is to live as Gloria Nation and deliver the most important performance of my life because that will have a direct impact on the executive producer’s success. No pressure there! I did not tell any cast on set that I was an executive producer, and that changes things for talent when they feel more under a microscope. I did not want anyone to act differently around me in any way and it worked out well.
I want to thank my husband Robert Ori and Jerry Roberts for their roles as executive producers, not only are they executives, but Bob brought his mother down from the Midwest for our final day of the shoot. She began cutting the onions and peppers at 4 a.m. Bob and Jerry jumped in the kitchen on the day of Unity Run at Scooter Haven to help Screwie Louie and his team cook for 300 plus people. This just goes to show you the sense of family we had on set; it was a pretty miraculous day. A very special thank you to Screwie Louie’s Scooter Haven!
As far as my company, I am chief executive and founder of TeKnocentric a movie production, aviation software, and gaming company. Because we develop custom software for airports, we decided to continue that along with movie production, hence Nation’s Fire, in addition to gaming (online lifestyle game and casino slots). So, it is where the arts and sciences procreate. I have always felt that software development is also an art. You create, beginning with an idea and a sketch, much like a movie concept. You then pitch your idea to users, potential investors or clients, elaborate and/or eliminate elements in the software (or story), determine benefit vs risk, and then begin production and go live with test launch or post-production in movie terms. So all that we do at TeKnocentric goes hand in hand technically. You can find out more on my website teknocentric.com kristagrotte.com & plan-tech.com
So you aren’t just another pretty blonde in the movies; you have major brains and true leadership qualities. What can you say to people out there who think they can’t reach their goals or potential dreams? Where is the movie now? Where and when can we see it?
What I will say to someone who feels they cannot reach their goals is yes, you are right. If you THINK you can’t reach your goals, then you never will. What we think about, we bring about. Change your thinking, change your perspective and start to understand that the true key to success is motivation and gratitude. Start being thankful for the small step you took toward reaching your dream today. Once you are truly grateful for that step, you will subconsciously be inclined to put more emphasis on the next step. Before you know it more steps will come, and they will get bigger with each thank you that you say. You will hit obstacles, that is life, keep going. Before you know it, you will be making giant leaps until you land your dream. It’s really pretty amazing how once we fight through the negative voices in our minds that we are conditioned to believe, how truly simple life really is. The only threatening obstacle we have is ourselves. Positive or negative: every single thing you focus on grows. Nation’s Fire is currently in post-production with a 2018 release. The trailer will be available December and on Born To Ride TV!
Love you all and thank you, thank you, thank you for your support!