and raised in Kansas, Vivian Schilling attended the Lee
Strasberg Theater Institute in Los Angeles and also studied under
the legendary Stella Adler before embarking upon a dual career as a screenwriter
and film actress. Working both in front and behind the cameras in television
and motion pictures, she found herself writing and starring in her own
films at the age of twenty-three.
her first feature, the low-budget cult-classic Soultaker, she became
known for her original ideas and deft hand with complex supernatural subjects.
"A very intriguing premise distinguishes the thriller Soultaker.
Young star-scripter Vivian Schilling earns high marks for this effort
her innovation for horror/fantasy fans creating a new myth about potential
afterlife," said Larry Cohn of Variety.
In spite of its limited budget, the film earned Schilling the Saturn Award
alongside that year's Silence of the Lambs and Terminator 2.
went on to star in seven films, among them, Germans, a World War
II drama based on the renowned stage play by Leon Kruzchowski, directed
by Academy Award Nominee, Zbigniew Kaminski. Her role as a gunslinger
in the western, Savage Land, garnered her the Diamond Dove and
the Blockbuster Rising Star Award.
Schilling's love of storytelling led to a five year departure from the
film business in which she turned to the literary world. "For the
first time ever I could control elements of the story that were impossible
on film," she told Mystery Scene Magazine in an interview. "There
were no budget limits or worries about dwindling light, no schedules,
or screaming assistant directors. I was suddenly in control of what my
readers saw and heard and smelt. I became consumed with the possibilities
and soon found myself caught up in the life of my story like never before.
The film continued in my head but with it came a deeper dimension of sight,
sound and sensation." Schilling's first novel, Sacred Prey
(St. Martin's Press, 1996), was
released to favorable reviews and earned the Golden Scroll for Outstanding
Achievement in Literature. "Highly respectable writing," touted
the Chicago Sun-Times. "Schilling shows deft storytelling ability,"
said Publisher's Weekly.
Schilling's second effort is the epic novel of suspense, Quietus,
which was released by Penguin in 2003 with a mass market edition in September
2005. "A profoundly insightful and engaging thriller," said
The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Quietus
is a great gothic raven perched somewhere between Anne Rice and Iris Murdoch.
Schilling herself - in her deft melding of mythic animus and modern anxiety
- seems like the bastard daughter of Carl Jung and Mary Wollstonecraft
Shelley," raved Time Out New York.
While diligently at work on her next novel, Schilling maintains a presence
in Hollywood. She recently starred in
Ambrose Bierce: Civil War Stories opposite Campbell Scott,
in which she portrays famed writer and feminist, Gertrude Atherton (b.1857-1948).
Schilling also recently completed the screenplay Elixir which
she plans to direct. She divides her time between Los Angeles and Fayetteville,
Prey - St. Martin's Press (Mass Market) 1996, Truman Press (Hardcover)
Quietus - Onyx/Penguin Books (Mass Market) 2005, Penguin Books
(Trade) 2003, Hannover House (Hardcover) 2002
Toys in the Attic (2012)- English Adaptation Writer/Producer/Director - Lead Voice Talent
War Stories - Lead Actress
- Lead Actress
Puss In Boots (Animated Feature) - Lead Voice Talent
Savage Land - Lead Actress
Future Shock - Writer/Co-Producer/Lead Actress
In a Moment of Passion - Supporting Actress
The Legend of Wolf Mountain - Supporting Actress
Soultaker - Writer/Co-Producer/Lead Actress
Golden Scroll Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature
Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy & Horror
Diamond Dove Award for contributions to family entertainment
Blockbuster Entertainment Rising Star Award 1998
Screen Actor's Guild/
A.F.T.R.A. - American
Federation of Television and Radio Artists
State University (Theater Arts Scholarship)
Lee Strasberg Theater