Just recently, I had the pleasure of coming across this picture on the interwebs:
And my jaw hit the ground. As a huge fan of Star Wars, the first thing that jumped into my head was: “WHO IS THIS WOMAN?! I MUST INTERVIEW HER AND KNOW HER!” because I’m a raging fangirl like that. Well, fortunately, she commented on the same link that the above picture was featured in, and BAM. I’m like, “ERMAGHERD THIS GERL IS GERRRGEOUS!” and immediately contacted her. She was awesome and sweet enough to give me an interview as well! (And seriously, her interview was HYSTERICAL. She had me laughing so hard I couldn’t even write.)
So, without further ado, Miss Maki Rolle, the lady behind the hottest Boba Fett cosplay the webs have ever seen.
KS: When did you first get into cosplay?
MR: I got into cosplay when I was sixteen (I’m twenty-two now). My friends and I had always wanted to go to a convention, and when we finally did, we decided to cosplay because we thought it was something you had to do in order to get in. I’ve been on a roll ever since!
KS: Who was the first character you ever cosplayed?
MR: This is a bit embarrasing to admit, but my first costume ever was Inuyasha. My mother helped me make most of the costume because I knew nothing about sewing. I also didn’t know anything about the nuances of cosplay, so I just went out to Party City and found the cheapest wig I could find. Needless to say, I looked ridiculous, but I had a fun time cosplaying. Thank goodness there are no pictures though. xD
KS: Who would you say is your favorite anime character of all time, and why?
MR: Hands down, Vicious from Cowboy Bebop. His appearance in the show was brief, but throughout the series you piece together his back story and you sort of figure out why he has this vendetta and why he’s the way he is. I mean, no doubt he would probably still be a thug regardless of his hangups with Spike, but what dude wouldn’t be pissed off if their best friend stole his girl and just rolled out? He’s literally the yin to Spike’s yang, and it was very clear that they thrived on their rivalry for existence.
KS: Word is you game as well! Whoare some of your favorite video game characters (male or female), and what is your all-time favorite game?
MR: I am indeed a gamer, but sadly not as much as I’d want to be (just aren’t enough hours in the day)! My top five favorite video game characters (in no particular order) are Sonic the Hedgehog, Chris Redfield from Resident Evil, Scout from TF2, Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, and Lady from Devil May Cry. My favorite video game of all time, believe it or not, is Resident Evil 2, which came out with I was eight, lol. My cousin used to play it when he babysat my siblings, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. My brother and sister were scared crazy of it, but it was the first survival horror game I’ve ever beat completely, and it sparked my love for the franchise.
KS: As far as “slut-shaming” goes in the cosplay community, what are your views on girls who choose to dress as sexually-provocative characters?
MR: The way I see it, we’re all out here having fun. Cosplay is exactly what it is; dressing up as your favorite characters. If the character is designed that way, why wouldn’t it be appropriate to dress that way if you’re paying homage to the character? Those who say that girls do it for attention, well…duh! We all want some kind of attention when we spend hours cutting, sewing, crafting, applying makeup, and working ourselves into these costumes. It’s ignorant to assume anything about anyone, and the more you start to worry about the motives of others, the less fun you’re having.
KS: On your Facebook it says you studied at the highly prestigious school of “Xavier’s For Gifted Youngers.” What is your mutant power?” Share it with the world!
MR: If I were to have a mutant power, I think I’d actually have Storm’s power to manipulate weather. I’m kind of over the whole winter thing.
KS: Haha, can’t blame ya! I’m from the Midwest, too. What’s your codename?
MR: Since Storm is taken…I guess I’ll go with “That Other Ethnic Girl with Weather Powers.” Sounds badass.
(KS note: I literally had to take a good minute to compose myself because I was laughing so hard.)
KS: Are you on the side of justice or the side of EEEEVIL?
MR: Depends on my mood. I’m like a sour patch kid. One minute I’m sour, next minute I’m sweet. That sounded a lot better in my head.
KS: For the sake of me wanting to know…have you ever seen Gambit in his boxers? Is he a boxers or briefs type? Maybe both?
MR: Gambit actually goes commando. Do you know how hot it gets in the bayou? The answer is: extremely.
(KS note: I literally about DIED at this point. I had to stand up and just walk away from my computer because I was laughing so hard, I was crying.)
KS: Last important question: Is he single? (Give him my number!)
MR: I think a certain little brown- and white-haired, life-absorbing pixie wouldn’t like that so much. Don’t really wanna get on her bad side. >_>
KS: (Goddammit! Okay, moving on…) When you aren’t out using your powers for good (or evil, or just screwing with normies), what do you like to do on your days off?
MR: What are these…days off that you speak of? Between school, work and costuming for shows or conventions, I rarely have time to myself. When I do get to steal a bit of time, I like going out dancing with my friends or staying at home and catching up with comics or watching movies. I’m also trying to get relaunch my blog “Maki’s Chop Shop,” which will be a sort of intimate yet still business casual look into the many different things that I like to do! I’m hoping to get that done by May 21, which is also my birthday!
KS: Now, a little birdie told me you’re quite the famous little burlesque dancer! How many shows have you performed, and if people in your area wanted to attend some of your shows, where could they find you?
MR: Who told you these crazy stories?! It’s a good thing they happen to be completely true! I’ve actually only been performing since June of last year. With the help of some wonderful mentors and fellow performers, I’ve been in seven shows with four more lined up for March and April throughout the DC/Maryland/Virginia area!
KS: Do you draw any inspiration from anime/video game characters when it comes to some of your routines? How about real life women, such as Josephine Baker?
MR: Many of the shows I’ve been in have been themed, so almost all of them have been me adding a little spice to a popular or familiar character, “nerdlesque” is what it’s called. One of my popular acts is my Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas. We’re talking full-on burlap Oogie suit, fake bugs oozing out; I go all out for that number. People love it, so I’m constantly revamping it. I’ve not yet gotten a chance to really delve into classic burlesque, but it is definitely something I would like to open myself up to.
KS: Are you recognized more for being a cosplayer than a burlesque dancer, or vice versa?
MR: I think I’ll always be a cosplayer first, but I think it’s cool because a lot of my friends and fans will see the pictures from the shows and get curious about it. I’ve coaxed a few people into seeing their very first burlesque performance and they’ve loved it. Being a cosplayer definitely helps as far as creativity and inspiration for burlesque costumes go as well.
KS: Do people judge you for being a deadly combo of a dancer and a cosplayer? Would you say that your dancing has made you feel more comfortable with your body, as far as cosplaying goes?
MR: There are some who do, but they’re mostly people who are on the outside looking in and usually when it comes to my relationship. I hear, “Well, what does your boyfriend have to say?” a lot, and I laugh at that question at this point. He’s my biggest fan! He’s comes to my shows, holds my bags when people stop me for pictures at conventions, critiques my acts. You have to have a great deal of trust, communication, and patience to date a cosplayer/performer, and I’m very fortunate to have him in my corner.
I’d say cosplay actually helped my transition into burlesque! Being a cosplayer, especially a cosplayer of color, you hear every colorful insult under the sun, but you grow thicker skin and you learn to brush it all off. When the opportunity to be in a show presented itself, I thought, “I’ve come this far, why not?” Both lend themselves equally to my journey toward loving who I am unconditionally.
KS: You’ve met quite a few celebrities in your time. Who would you say has left you with the biggest impact to date?
(KS note: I honestly wished I hadn’t asked because I threw my hands up in jealous rage and just started screaming when I saw her answer–)
MR: Without a doubt, Norman Reedus, and I thank my friend Justin Kontovich for making that happen for me. I was going through a pretty rough crisis in my life at the time which halted many of the things that I had planned for the immediate future, Monster Mania being one of them. The day Norman Reedus was there, I just said “screw it, I’m gonna go meet him. This is going to happen.” I had no money, nothing of value to my name except my Boondock Saints DVD and a copy of the first issue of The Walking Dead. I get there and I’m terrified to go up to him, so Justin pushes me over to him, tells him I’m his biggest fan, and let it go from there. He is the ONLY celebrity I’ve been completely speechless around, but he was very sweet and really sympathetic toward my story, because he didn’t charge me for a picture or an autograph. It was easily one of the best days of my life.
KS: (*STILL IN THE MIDST OF A RAGING, JEALOUS HISSYFIT*) Last question! Where can your fans find more about you? (Facebook, tumblr, etc)
I’m everywhere! Adding me on any of these social media networks pretty much guarantees hilarity. I welcome everyone, but the only thing I don’t tolerate is disrespect. There are ways to tell a girl she’s attractive other than “let me rest my head on your butt.”
God bless you, Maki. You are, hands down, the funniest interview I have ever had the pleasure of doing. AND…you make a fantastic Catwoman!