15 Minutes of Fame: Actress and GM Michele Morrow

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Actress Michele Morrow makes no secret of the fact that she's a WoW player. In fact, she's let it be known that she's more than a little interested in appearing in Sam Raimi's upcoming WoW movie. You may recognize the raiding guild leader's face from horror and dramas such as "Basement Jack" (2009), "The Seer" (2007) and "Slaughterhouse of the Rising Sun" (2005), as well as small-screen turns on CBS' "The Young and the Restless" and ABC's "Alias."

Life and WoW have become inextricably entwined for the 32-year-old actress. "I told my guild (<Neverender>, US Thorium Brotherhood-H) that they aren't allowed excuses in raiding after reading your interview with Quad," Morrow told 15 Minutes of Fame. "I actually cried when I read that story; what an incredibly determined individual. I myself suffered a neck injury a few years back, falling on my head in a stunt accident in a movie ("Basement Jack") after being vaulted in the air 15 feet. I'm lucky I wasn't paralyzed. Really lucky. But being in a neck brace for a year is what got me into WoW. It gave my boyfriend and I something to do together."

Main character Asharhi
Guild <Neverender>
Server US Thorium Brotherhood-H

15 Minutes of Fame: While it may have taken an accident to get you into World of Warcraft, we hear you basically grew up gaming, Michele. How does gaming figure into the mix for you today?

Michele Morrow: Video games have always been an awesome outlet for me, but I kinda drifted away from it during college and my first years in LA ... Not much time. But then I busted my neck in a stunt accident while filming a slasher flick called "Basement Jack" ... Long story short, I jumped on an air ram that vaulted me 15 feet up and then straight back down on my head. I spent a good year in a neck brace and was pretty depressed about not feeling as busy and accomplished as I was before I was banished to a year on the couch.

My boyfriend played WoW with his brothers as a way to hang out and bridge their physical distance, so one day he came home with a copy for me. It really gave us something fun to do together while I recovered!

And you're a guild leader! How did that come about?

Hah, ya ... I'm the GM right now, but I switch off with my friend Pyrokenisis from time to time. We started the guild with the main intention of it being a 10-man raiding guild, but now we're on 25-man Putricide, so ... That plan failed!

I spent time in a few other raiding guilds, and the main thing I noticed was how unhappy people were in raids. It is my experience that DKP and loot council only make people angry and greedy and left-out or sad, and it eventually turns everyone into dicks. So our main rule is "Don't be a dick" -- if you've been winning a lot, share with your teammates. If you haven't been consistent, don't take from the people that are. If people are dickish, the blame is with them. I have a pretty low tolerance for people who wanna upset our morale, so I just won't invite them to raids anymore. Cut throat! Rawr!

That being said, we have a very funny group of people who have made friends from all over the world. I try to make it fun, so instead of repairs we have "guild lottos" where we give away gold or two-month game cards, or contests like "Best Gray Item." It rewards people for showing up and downing new bosses. I learned this from spending a month in the now-defunct <HARM> of Mug'thol, and I thought it was genius.

I wanna thank my officers, because without their help, this whole thing would be a disaster for me to manage: Dellonas, Pyrokenisis, Krondor, Muubacca, Sarta, Menoxide, Neofate, Beloth, Kirmira, Aigle, Japmoo, Durch, Velindia, Albinos, Abriel and Allasra (A Gnome Effigy). awwwwwwww <3
What's the guild's playstyle?

In the spectrum of casual to progression raiding, we fall in the middle. We're serious about it, but balancing real life is the most important (so I'm told >.>).
What's the high point of WoW for you right now? What's really charging you up?

I'm stoked that our 25 is totally consistent these days. We're only two nights a week, opposed to many other guilds that do three to four nights. 25s are hard to manage. Sometimes you have 32 people online, sometimes you have 22 -- either way, you're PUGging or leaving someone out, and both of those options blow. As one of our tanks, Solam, puts it, "It's like herding cats." Could not be more true ... I imagine my guildies jumping up on bookcases or darting under couches all the time. It's near impossible to manage 25 people spread across the globe, but I'll tell you, despite the frustrations, it's pretty incredible what those 25 people can do when they put their minds to it. Our 25 is on Putricide, and I'm sure we'll be downing him soon. The team has gotten really solid.

But my 10-man! We just downed Sindragosa, so we will be focusing on LK next week. Got to phase 2 in a few attempts, but that phase is beastly ... It really is a cool fight!

Will you be around for Cataclysm? What interests you the most there?

I'm very excited for all things Cataclysm, and I'm especially curious to see hunters' mechanics without mana.

We understand that you're angling to combine your career with World of Warcraft in a new way with the possibility of playing a role in the upcoming WoW film. What piques your interest most there?

The female characters in Warcraft lore have more strength than most other epic stories out there, and I mean that in a battlefield way. The women in powerful positions don't just hide behind a crown. GRLPWR! The women struggle with similar issues as the men, and they fall -- like Azshara -- and not because they were promiscuous or because they were virgins or because they were kidnapped. They fall because they were flawed. Or they teach because they know how to lead.

Sylvanas has the coolest story for me, hands down: death by Frostmourne, mutilated and tortured, used against her own people, only to regain her free-will and build the Forsaken with the sole purpose of hunting down Arthas?! I love her grit, her courage and her potential of fallacy. But Jaina is pretty rad, too. She's a gifted mage, a major leader, and big advocate for peace ... Not only that, but she was engaged to Arthas -- and that is one crazy ex-boyfriend.

It seems that film is finally starting to dip a little deeper into the vast resources of fantasy and gaming. Is it a trend you think will pick up steam? What would be your picks for upcoming films drawn from fantasy literature or gaming properties? Which would you be most excited to work in yourself?

I'd love to see Tim Burton do Bioshock. He excels at capturing the eccentric, bordering terrifying. The industry goes in cycles with genres, it seems. I remember growing up in the 80s with "The Neverending Story," "Labyrinth," "The Last Unicorn," "Star Wars," "The Dark Crystal," "E.T," and "The Goonies,"... those fantasy movies defined my life as a kid and they're why I wanted to become an actress. Even horror movies like "Gremlins" or "Nightmare on Elm Street" -- they were all so creative. It's why people loved "Avatar" so much. It was original; the effects were awesome, for sure. But it was a new story! Remakes are fun, and studios like them because they come with a built-in audience ... But something like Warcraft has the potential to really make an impact, because it's original and it has a built-in audience. Not to mention, I'm stoked that Sam Raimi is directing, because of his background and love for horror. I can't wait to see his vision of Undercity.

Are you "out" in game -- do your guildies and realm-mates know who you are and what you do? Have you had any funny experiences or even pushback from people who recognize you in game from your films?

Umm, most know, I think ... They certainly don't treat me any different, and in fact some go out of their way to make sure I know that they don't care! LOL But surprisingly, they are very supportive and encouraging. A guild is kinda like a mini-family -- at least, mine is. A lot of them have added my movies to their collections, and I love hearing their reviews.

How does WoW fold into your schedule as an actress? Do you find that you have to come and go from the game, or have you been able to maintain fairly regular play sessions?

Things have been a little hectic for me the past couple months, so I had to push back raid times to avoid being late all the time. Mostly my schedule works out or I cover my raid spot on our progression team with another guildie.
WoW is such a bonding element for people who meet in school, at work, all over. Have you met any other WoW players in the film industry?

I have! It's funny. A lot of actors really like the roleplaying elements of the game. There are a few of us that play Dungeons & Dragons at a comic store called Emerald Knights and have bonded over Warcraft. I just particularly enjoy the video game raiding aspect because I grew up on being social with video games. My best friend growing up is professional tennis player Jan-Michael Gambill. He plays on Mug'thol, though ... PvP... Too good for my RP server, that bastard. LOL

What's just ahead, professionally?

I'm shooting a movie this summer in Tennessee with my friend Katrena Rochell from the upcoming "Kick Ass." I have two releases this year: "Ashley's Ashes" and "The Silo." I'm also producing two reality shows, one about a big cat rescue facility called Cat Tales in Washington state, and the other is a competition show centered around LARPing. I'd like to get a role on "Legend of the Seeker" as well as "The Guild" Season 4. Felicia Day has really done a great job with that web-series, in my opinion ... very smart girl! I believe Robin Thorsen (Clara) and I have the same management; she's really great on the show as well, isn't she? I love it. Big fan here.

And what about in game? What are you working on now?

Asharhi the Kingslayer.

Here's hoping for a productive meeting with the Lich King, then! We'll look for you on the silver screen, Michele.

"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- neither did we, until we talked with these players. From an Oscar-winning 3-D effects director to a rising pop singer ... from a quadriplegic player to a bunch of guys who get together for dinner and raiding in person every week.

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