Interview: Actress Jamie Bernadette Talks “Killing Joan!”

Jamie Bernadette, Killing Joan

(Courtesy of Uncork’d Media)

Villain Media has an exclusive interview with actress Jamie Bernadette as she knocks down doors and kicks butt in the action-packed supernatural thriller from Uncork’d Entertainment, Killing Joan. Get ready to watch mobsters run for their very lives as a vengeance-seeking assassin hunts them down.  

Joan Butler (Bernadette) is a merciless enforcer known for her unforgiving tactics and reckless abandon. After she is unexpectedly double-crossed by her mob boss and and left for dead, she resurrects as a vengeful spirit. Joan is doomed to haunt the rest of the Earth until she is able to take down the murderers that attacked her.

Before Killing Joan arrives on Video On Demand on April 3rd, 2018, Jamie Bernadette discusses her approach to playing the main protagonist, using her imagination for the special effects, and why 2018 just might be a big year for her.

Villain Media: Tell me how you became involved in the project. Was it the role of Joan that grabbed your attention? Or were you excited about playing a action star?

Jamie Bernadette: It was definitely both! I just loved the character! I love how strong that she is. I love how explosive that she was, and also the character arc that she went through in becoming a better person.

VM: Joan Butler has a definite look to her, from the short hairstyle to the leathery black outfit. Tell how you put together that look? Did it come from writer/director Todd Bartoo?

JB: Well, Todd, the director, definitely had a vision. It’s a very comic booky type of style. It comes across that way too; like in a graphic novel.  

VM: What was more a challenge, filming the gritty action sequences or pulling off the romantic chemistry with Teo Celigo, who plays Anthony?

JB: Well Teo and I clicked very well. So that was really helpful in those intimate scenes. I’m so thankful that he was cast. I think Todd, the director, did a great job in matching us up in chemistry.

The action scenes, the grittiness of it all, those are always a challenge but they’re so much fun! I did a lot of that! I was working with a great stunt coordinator, Erik Aude. He was so fantastic in guiding me through!

VM: I noticed the action sequences also come with a lot of special effects, especially when Joan becomes a vengeful spirit. Tell me about reacting to something that isn’t there.

JB: Well I think with acting, all of it is imagination. Because you’re imagining that you’re someone else doing these things. You’re sort of like a child. When children do playtime, they really see what they’re imagining. They have a great imagination.

As an actress, you have to go back to that and be able to imagine things. Really imagining effects that are out there as long as there is a director communicates what it’s going to be. As an actor, that’s what we’re trained in and generally speaking, our whole career is about imagining. Imaging effects that aren’t there isn’t out of the ordinary with what I do as an actress. Todd was really good at explaining his vision and how it was going to be there. He’s a great director who communicates really well!

Jamie Bernadette, Killing Joan
Courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment, Killing Joan

VM: Tell me about the filming the threesome sex scene as Joan. Are those scenes nerve-wracking as they say?

JB: That was a fun day! [Laughs] We, Teo and I, had the dialogue before the sex scene. We knew it was coming, the sex scene. So we just start cracking up! We couldn’t stop laughing! It’s all this nervous energy! We’re just laughing and laughing!

And of course, Todd, the director, is great! He’s laughing along with us! He wasn’t making a big deal about it. He wasn’t angry. I don’t think he has an angry bone in his body. He’s wonderful! He’s like, “Yeah! I know! I know!” He understood what we were talking about.

It was this funny moment. I had to really focus during that whole dialogue. It was a continuous shot and I had to be in that moment during the dialogue and not know what was coming.

It was fun! I was comfortable with Teo! I really like him as a person. We’re good friends now. I really loved Killing Joan and filming that movie!

VM; How did this experience change you as a artist.

JB: It’s been 3 years since we finished the film. I always learn something on every project. I don’t care how many projects I do. I always take away something.

I think, in seeing it, going back to where my mind was back then, it’s really important to have a clear vision as best as you can. Of course, I had the vision of the director for Killing Joan. Sometimes when you see the final film, it’s similar to what you thought it would be but it’s all different. An excellent question to ask a director, when you’re about film a project with them is, “What other movie would you compare it to? What films inspired them to make the movie you’re about to make?” It’s a great question to really pin down what their vision is.

Todd communicated very well. He didn’t want it to be subtle. It’s very comic booky, like a graphic novel. A couple of reviewers said it’d make a great animated film. And I absolutely agree! It’s dark, artistic, and stylistic! He did a great job communicating that with me! I knew what he wanted with all of that! They’re comparing it to The Crow a lot. I realized that’s a great question to ask, “What film is this going to be like?”

VM; On Instagram, you celebrated 9 movies being released in 2018. Is this a celebration? Or will you top yourself?

JB: It’s more of a celebration than topping myself, for sure. I think having so many movies released this year is a coincidence. A lot of the films were made years ago. They’re just now coming out and it happened to be in the same year. I have two movies being released on April 3rd; that’s just a coincidence. I don’t have a need top myself or try to do as many movies in a year. I’m very choosy with the projects that I’m doing. I thoroughly research the director’s, the photographer’s works. I’m not taking every offer and not looking to chop my quantity each year.

VM: How can viewers find your movie, Killing Joan?

JB: Video on Demand. iTunes, Amazon, Cablevision, Google Play; those I imagine and more.

Jamie Bernadette, Killing Joan
Courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment

Killing Joan arrives on VOD April 3rd, 2018, with the DVD coming out on April 10th, 2018.

By Jorge Solis

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