Its 10:08 am
Welcome to “8 Questions with…..”
It was the last week of January and someone mentioned that it was almost time for “Women In Horror Month” which happens in February. Feel a bit inspired I quickly tossed out a “interviews wanted” in my faithful casting group and got a very nice group of talented actresses who have worked in horror films who agreed to answer some questions.
Its time to meet our next guest,the very spirited young actress Chelsea Jurkiewicz who is based in Salt Lake City,Utah. Chelsea has been performing for almost half of her life and she is just getting started. I got a chance to watch her work in the short film “Angie Bleeds” and I can assure you,she has some serious skills for someone so young.
It takes a mature actor to handle sensitive issues in a film,most younger actors tend to go big but I was very impressed with mature Chelsea handled herself.
Now she is having a bit of fun by starring in a new indie horror film,which is my cue to shut up and get out of the way of Chelsea answering her 8 Questions…..
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest project.
Hi! I’m Chelsea Jurkiewicz. I’m 21 years old, and I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. One of my latest projects is a horror movie called Abigail Haunting, where I play the lead role of Katie. We filmed it in Las Vegas. I got to work with an amazing team of multi-Emmy award winning filmmakers. It’s coming out this Summer, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it!
What was growing up in your house like? Is your family naturally artistic?
My family is artistic, but not in the entertainment industry. My mom and grandparents are all great painters. That’s cool, but I was never really interested in that sort of thing. I kind of broke the chain of visual artists when I started acting, singing, and dancing.
While being only 21 years old,you have been acting for 10 years,how did you get your start?
Acting is something I’ve always loved doing, even before I knew what it was. As a kid, I was always acting out stories and making up movie titles. When I was 11, I heard about auditions for a live musical. I ended up getting cast in that, and really fell in love with every aspect of performing. I continued doing theatre for a few years.
When I was 15, I decided to try film acting. I guess that was always my dream, but I didn’t feel like I was ready to jump into it until then. It was hard to get an agent and all that at first, so I started by doing a lot of background extra work. That worked out really well, because it got me used to being on a film set.
Within a year or two, I was able to land an agent and start getting lead roles in short films and small speaking parts in features. In 2018, I got my first leading role in a feature film, playing Renee in The 13th Cross. (That’s coming out soon, folks.)
The next year, I landed the role of Victoria Crumb in the movie, The Crumbs, out in California (that’s also coming out soon, folks), and Katie Fredrick in Abigail Haunting (that’s also also coming out soon, folks). Since then, I’ve acted in a few amazing shorts and things. One of my upcoming shorts that really stands out to me is a fantasy drama called Lumeria. For the past several months I’ve been taking a break from acting, which I think has been really good for me. It kind of feels like taking a gap year from college to find yourself. (Not that I would know what that feels like. I’m not very school-y. Hence my use of the term “school-y”.)
But anyway, it’s been a wild journey, and I’m excited to get back on set fairly soon. Wow, that answer was way longer than you bargained for. And I’m glad of it. I’m not ashamed of being a long-winded person, guys.
What three things about horror films appeal to you the most?
I love being dramatic. And name one time you can be more dramatic than when you’re starring in a horror movie. Also, I think fear is the most intense emotion, and I like to see what I can do with it. My third reason is that I have fun knowing that I can keep the audience on their seat when I’m performing. I feel like I’ve got them in the palm of my hand. When I began my acting career as a child, I just wanted to act – I didn’t like all the power and attention that came with it. But that power and attention has grown on me as my confidence has grown. I love the power I have over the audience when I’m doing horror. Boo. Just kidding. I guess I’m a little hammy. Which makes sense, because ham is pretty much the only meat that I think is yummy.
What three films have scared you the most and what scared you about them?
I think I’m kind of desensitized to horror films because I’m around the genre so much. I see it from a behind-the-scenes perspective, you know? But I think one of the greatest horror films ever made is The Conjuring. It’s so well-shot and well-acted, and shows that you don’t need a ton of blood and profanity to scare people. Fun fact: I actually auditioned for The Conjuring 2, and had never seen the first one. I watched it before I auditioned for pre-text, and was like, “Oh my gosh!” Totally amazed. Still amazed. Anyway, we aren’t here to promote that movie. (but it had Ocean Master in it! -Editor)
Another one of my favorite horror movies is Crimson Peak, because I love period pieces. And that cast is super dang good. I also love The Witch. One of my big wishes is to work with A24. I can’t give you an answer for what scared me about them. I’m just not easily freaked out by the obviously scary stuff. I’m literally more afraid of broken dolls or something. There’s a drawer in the house I grew up in that me and my mom call the “Scary Drawer” that has broken dolls from my childhood in it. I don’t throw them away because randomly I have an urge to scare myself. Is that weird? I don’t care.
Do you have a different approach in your preperations depending on the script?
What has been the three best pieces of advice given to you acting wise?
Yes, I do prepare differently based on each particular production. That being said, though, I don’t have any conscious strategy to prepare for a role. If there’s any research I need to do, I do it. I write notes in the script sometimes. I rehearse. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have to try. It just comes. Trying too hard can corrupt that. I sound like a granola, but it’s true. That’s why I don’t take acting classes. I’m not sure if I believe in strategy.
As for the second part of your question, here are 3 great pieces of advice given to me (in no particular order). One is from a great friend of mine who told me that it’s not about the dialog, but what happens underneath. I am definitely a dialog person, so I don’t even 100% agree with that, but I still consider it one of the best pieces of advice because it reminds me to pay attention to my facial expressions. Facial expressions can get you cast. Seriously. Another piece of advice is from my mom. It wasn’t meant to be advice for acting, but I use it in my career as much as I do in my personal life. And it is simply to be confident in yourself and don’t care what others think of you. My third piece of advice was from a very established director that I was doing a callback for once. Because of my extensive horror background, I kind of got to the point where I thought every scene needed the intensity that a scary scene does. This movie I had been called back for wasn’t a horror film, but I did the scene with so much intensity and drama. It was literally so dramatic. The director told me to do the scene again, and he had one note for me. “Less.” That one word made me realize that I can save my energy for the scenes that need it. I didn’t book that role, but I auditioned for The 13th Cross like 2 days later, used that advice, and landed my first lead in a feature.
Which do you perfer,film or live theater and why?
I think I’ll always appreciate both…I did start in theatre after all…but I’m going to have to say film. I’m a very subtle actor, and film is the medium that lets me use that talent. Also, I’ve gotten to play much more dramatic and juicy roles in movies than I ever did in plays. And probably most important of all, I just feel like film peeps are more my species of peep.
Which three people inspire you the most and why?
That’s a tough one – so many people inspire me! If we’re talking celebrity-wise, I’d say Kate Winslet. She’s kind of the reason I got into film acting. I always wanted to be like her. You should read my 15-year-old self’s journal entries. I talk about Kate Winslet so much, it’s not even funny. Another one is Emily Blunt because she is so freaking versatile. That’s how I want to be. Oh and Toni Collette. I’m not even going to give you a reason for that other than she’s just super cool and talented and dramatic as heck. If we’re talking someone I personally know, I’d say my friend Dennis. He is just beyond amazing and interesting. And as mysterious as a treasure chest. He has so much love for literally everybody.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
Ice-skating, making jewelry, walking/hiking, anything involving a tape recorder, photography, and most of all, any type of adventure with my friends or family.
What are three things people would be surprised to know about you?
I love this question! Can I tell you more than 3? Well, I’m gonna.
-1. I’m also a singer and dancer.
-2. I am related to Scottish royalty.
-3. I have a severe mental disorder called Psychasthenia.
-4. I have been onstage with David Copperfield.
-5. I am ambidextrous.
-6. I have never been swimming, and I used to think that was a deep dark secret.
-7. I am related to Elizabeth Montgomery.
-8. My favorite food is cheese.
Okay, I’ll stop boring you. Not that it’s boring, hee hee.
The cheetah and I are flying over to watch your latest film but we are a day early and now you are playing tour guide,what are we doing?
Hmmm…well you really SHOULD visit Salt Lake sometime, it’s a beautiful city. One of my favorite attractions in Utah is an amusement park called Lagoon. I can’t ride all the rides because I get motion sick really easily, but I still love that place. Besides fun rides, they have little shops, and an arcade, and an old-fashioned museum thingy-jingy. Another one of my favorite places near my hometown is the Grand America Hotel. It’s kind of like a mall in there, and it’s the fanciest place I’ve ever seen. I also might take you to a cute little place called Gardner Village.