Its 7:41 am
Welcome to “8 Questions with….”
I have written about my good friend and film director Sean Cain here in the blog. In fact the cheetah and my very first review was a film directed by Sean,a very fun creature feature called “Jurassic City”.
Sean and I will chat about his upcoming work and I remember when he told me about his new film called “Cerebus”. One of the things we chat about is the casting and once he is allowed to share casting news,we talk about it. I can still recall his excitement when he told me he was able to cast Jamie Bernadette (alas,no cheetahs) in “Cerebus”. Sean’s excitement got me curious about Jamie and I found a film of her’s called “Killing Joan”.
I was very impressed and I told Sean that Jamie reminded me of the great Sarah Douglas,strking and a complete bad ass. Whenever we talked about the film,he kept mentioning how good the finished film was going to be and how happy he was with it.
During this time,I saw Jamie had a pair of films come that couldn’t be more different,she did the sequel to “I Spit On Your Grave” with the original star Camille Keaton and then a film called “The Furnace” which was highly praised for Jamie’s performance and was filmed on location in Africa. I wanted to interview Jamie when “The Furnace” came out but I didn’t think she would do it because my blog is so small.
Flash forward til now….”Cerebus” was renamed “Dead By Dawn” and has been released to solid approval by film buffs everywhere and Jamie’s performance as “Snack” has been praised as a great villainess. But when I saw she was doing a new film,a western called “Homestead” with Mike Ferguson and Mike Markoff,two good friends whom I have interviewed here,I got the courage to ask Jamie for this interview. I really didn’t she would do it,not everyone I ask does,but I was so pleasantly surprised when not only did Jamie say yes,she was very warm and generous in asking what did I need from her. Considering just how insanely in demand Jamie is,I am very thankful to actually get to chat with her and I think you’ll like meeting one of the best actresses working today. So without further ado,let’s go ask Jamie Bernadette her 8 Questions…….
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your current project.
Hi there. Thanks so much for the interview. I’m an actress, film producer, and a writer and I just had a horror/thriller film released called “Dead by Dawn” that I act in and helped produce. Here’s a short synopsis of the film: “A suicidal man in a remote cabin is suddenly faced with protecting a kidnapped woman from three sexual deviants and their sadistic games.”
(photo by Juanette van Schalkwyk)
How did you get your start in acting?
I think I always knew that I wanted to be an actress since I was a child and I was about to get engaged and I knew that if I did, I would stay in my hometown and have a family. My intuition was kicking in and I felt in my heart that this was not the right path for me. So after 4 days of pondering, I stopped the engagement and left for Los Angeles with $600 in my pocket. The man and I are still very good friends. I truly consider him like family. So there were no hard feelings and he has loved watching my career grow.
(photo by Gabriel Parra)
What three things about doing live theater appeal to you the most?
I love the relationships that are formed when you do live theater. When you are in a long-running show, your fellow actors and crew members become very close. I had a lot of great times doing theater back in my hometown in Illinois and in Hollywood. I love that it’s also an adrenaline rush and you don’t know night after night what will happen. I love that it’s in present time and it only lives for that moment and you can’t go back and change anything about it.
(photo by Richard Flare Hughes.)
What was your first year in Los Angeles like? What were the three biggest cultural shocks to a Midwestern girl such as yourself?
I struggled financially a lot of the time during my first year in LA. I’m from a big family of nine kids and my father passed away when the oldest was only 13 years old, leaving my mom to raise all of us by herself. We were a very poor family, so I never have had any financial help from family as some actors who first start out are very lucky to have. So I had to be completely independent and reliant only on myself since starting on this journey of having a career as an artist. I don’t feel a victim of this circumstance at all. It has made me the strong person who I am.
As far as cultural shocks, the crazy driving and congested roads were a challenge as well as a lot of people being very career-oriented rather than family-oriented, which can alter their actions towards you and others. For example, if they feel someone can get them ahead in the business then that is why they are friends with that person rather than just wanting to be a friend because they like that person. LA can be a very lonely place. A lot of people talk about this. It can feel very competitive and cut-throat, versus back home it’s all about having babies and watching Sunday night football and spending quality time with friends and family because you sincerely want to rather than feeling like you have to or should for career reasons.
(photo by Richard Flare Hughes)
What was the first project you booked in LA and what do you remember about the experience?
I booked a student silent short film at the New York Film Academy and shot for one day. It was a fun experience and I was very nervous which is funny to me now. I never did get my footage. So sad.
“Jamie is not only a top notch professional, she was incredibly generous with her assistance to the production. Then, on top of all of that, you get to watch her perform. Making these fantastic choices during the scenes. Actors like that is what makes it all worthwhile. Making a movie is like wading through a ton of shit to see a few moments of magic.”
– Director Sean Cain (Dead By Dawn)
What draws you to horror more than any other genre? What scares you the most?
Horror is exhilarating and as an actor, you often get the chance to run through the full gamut of emotions like extreme terror and grief. So it is very challenging and perhaps I like a challenge. I’ve always loved horror since I was a child also so I think that has something to do with it. Horror is fun to watch because it is very interactive, meaning you are always asking yourself what would you do in that scenario.
I think being stuck underneath the water and drowning scares me the most.
I read about your experiences in filming “The Furnace”. Was it hard leaving Mary and going back into horror? How hard was it filming “The Furnace” and then the ultra violent sequel to “I Spit On Your Grave”? Is it jarring for an actor to go from extreme roles back to back?
It can be a lot of pressure and stress to take on such challenging roles, but gratifying and amazing as well. For me, when I go from role to role, I don’t find it difficult. It’s just what I do as an actor I guess. I really don’t know how to explain it. Perhaps I just involve myself in the character so much that my mind just sinks into it and becomes that person and then when I decide to come out of it, I come out of it.
How did you get involved with “Dead By Dawn”? Do you enjoy playing villains more then heroines/Final Girls? What defines a good villainess to you?
Director Sean Cain offered me the role. I did not know Sean before this. He must’ve seen my work and decided to cast me. I watched some of his films and was very impressed with them and we met for a coffee and we hit it off so I accepted.
I would say that I equally enjoy playing both a villain and a heroine/final girl. A good villainess is of course subjective but I would imagine that they should probably frighten some folks out there in some way.
(photo by Michael Roud)
How hard was it to work with Sean Cain and did he provide a good craft services table? Can you share a favorite moment from the filming of “Dead By Dawn”?
Ha! Sean wasn’t hard to work with at all. He is super easy going as am I so our personalities just match. The food on set was excellent. We had home-cooked meals all the time and candy so it was amazing. People who know me know that sweets are my weakness. If you provide chocolate, then I am happy.
How do you like screenwriting? Can you walk us through a day where you know you are writing,how do you prepare?
I love screenwriting! I don’t overthink what I am going to write. I just let it take me. I’ve heard this called stream-of-consciousness. I like seeing where it goes like a roller coaster rather than planning it all out.
What three roles have been your favorite to play and what makes them special to you?
My role in “The Furnace” is very dear to my heart. I think some of my own sorrows came through in that role so it was a very emotional journey. Also, the time in South Africa that I spent and the people I met are priceless to me. They are some of the best memories of my life.
“All Girls Weekend”. I loved playing Nancy. She had such a bad attitude and a tough exterior but underneath she had a heart. I also always wanted to film a movie in the snow. We were surprised when it snowed during that shoot— it wasn’t planned at all— and it came out amazing.
There are so many others that it is hard to pick only three, but if I had to choose one, I would say the role I am currently in the middle of filming in a movie called “Homestead”. We were shooting when we had to go home because of the Corona Virus, so we are waiting for the lockdown to lift to resume. I play a mother in 1800s Oklahoma with an Oklahoma accent in this horror/thriller/western that is fabulously written and the cast and crew are amazing. I have seen some of the shots and they look incredible. It is a completely different role for me and I just love going into that 1800s world. The set is so much fun. Do you have any pets,if so,tell us about how you came to have them.
(photo by Michael Roud)
Do you have any pets,if so,tell us about how you came to have them.
I have a dog named Walter. I’ve had him for 8 years and I got him from the pound. He was 2 months old and in a litter of about 5 dogs and as soon as I saw him, I knew I wanted him. He was the one. He is brilliant. I’ve been around other dogs before and he really is smarter than most. I talk to him like he is a 4 year old child. I love him dearly.
What has been the most difficult scene in your career at this point?
The rape scene in “I Spit on Your Grave: Déjà Vu”. It was physically and emotionally challenging. I actually was accidentally very, very hurt during the scene, which I’ve never talked about and I don’t know that I ever will. It was also hard on the cast and crew and I had two people come to me crying because they had been raped or knew someone who was raped. It was hard on everyone to film that scene and it lasted for 4 days at 12 hours a day.
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?
We are hiking up Lion’s Head in South Africa right before sunset and when we reach the top, we watch the sun go down and then we sleep in sleeping bags and watch the stars!
I like to thank Jamie very much for taking the time to chat with me. As you can see,Jamie is not only a strong actress but a very kind human being as well. She currently can be seen flexing her bad girl chops in the new thriller “Dead By Dawn” as well as the acclaimed film “The Furnace”. As soon as the Covid-19 lockdown in California is lifted,she will return to filming “Homestead” which also co-stars past guests Mike Ferguson and Mike Markoff. Needless to say,we’re looking forward to this movie very much!
You can follow Jamie on her various social media outlets:
You can check out her upcoming film schedule via herIMDb page.
You can follow Jamie on Twitter.
You can check out her 2020 acting reel by clicking here.
You can join Jamie’s very popular InstaGram page.
See Jamie lead the horror film “The 6th Friend” now available on Video On Demand— Amazon, iTunes, and now on Amazon Prime with your Prime subscription.
New Film Release! Leading role in horror “4/20 Massacre”. It has been playing on Showtime since October 2018. Also on The Movie Channel (TMC) Sho Beyond, Direct TV, Amazon & other VOD sites!
If you are new to the blog and my “8 Questions” interview series,you can catch up by clicking here and meeting over 100 different people from all over the world.
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