Monday, March 29, 2010

Time Out For A Talk - Jenna Giovanni

Time Out For A Talk - Jenna Giovanni

Recently I decided I needed to add a bit more to my blog, rather than just the same old movie reviews(not that I don't enjoy them). I came up with doing some interviews with up and coming actors, directors, and writers involved with the horror genre . I wanted to make my first interview an important one. I knew Jenna Giovanni had to be my first interview. I met Jenna a few years ago when I was making a short film in my home town. She was such an amazing person to work with and the way she conducts herself professionally, even when dealing with an amateur like me, is inspiring. She has a couple horror movies that are supposed to be released soon: I Was A Teenage Demigod, and Resist Evil Part One: Dropping Evil. Both of those movies are directed by Adam Protextor. Jenna is a great person, and I great actress, and people need to know what she is about. I would also like to get people to see her films. Here is my interview:

R.D. - Your IMDB profile lists that you have only done three movies, but I know you have done more than that. How many movies have you been involved with?

Jenna - I have actually been in nine independent films since I began acting in 2003.

R.D. - It also lists that your first movie was a drama short, what made you decide to transition from a drama to horror?

Jenna - I think that I’ve probably had an equal balance between drama and horror throughout my film career. What draws me to both is the depth of character: the ability to show very strong emotions, which can be similar between the two genres.

R.D. - Having worked with you myself, I know how good you are at your job. Max Allan Collins (Writer of Road to Perdition Graphic Novel), when asked, refers to you as a professional, and says you work very well under potentially stressful conditions. What is your response to this?

Jenna - I am absolutely humbled and very appreciative. Working with MAC on the Iowa Motion Picture Film Association and Iowa Writers Guild Shooting Scripts Workshop was extremely intense. The short film was shot with a live audience and there were very strict time restraints. I had never performed in front of an audience before, other than film crew and other cast so it was a bit unnerving initially. MAC is a wonderful director and put me completely at ease.

The experience was a great initiation to working on tight deadlines and really prepared me for the film I did with Kent Abbott and Kerry Scram on a 48 Hour Film project, “Talkin to Loretta”. Again, very tight deadlines but also we had location and script changes so it was necessary to be flexible and to remain professional.

R.D. - A lot of the roles you seem to take on are smaller supporting roles. Are you looking to maybe do some larger roles in the future?

Jenna - Many of the roles I have taken on have been supporting roles, but I have had perhaps an equal share of larger roles. I love acting so the size of the role isn’t really something that I think of when taking on a film project.

R.D. - Do you see yourself continuing in the horror genre? If so, what do you really like about working on horror films?

Jenna - I imagine that I will continue working on horror films, as well as other genres. My favorite parts of working on horror films are the make-up and effects. Acting lets me appease my inner child who still likes to dress up and play pretend.

R.D. - As a proud mother of three wonderful children, do you find it hard to balance being a mom, and finding time to work on film? What do your kids think of their mom being and actress?

Jenna - As a single mother, I take great care in ensuring that my children come first. I have been so fortunate in every film that I’ve worked on to have directors and producers that are sensitive to my needs as a mother. They understand that for me to give my best performance, I need to know that my kids are okay. Everyone has been great about providing my kids a place to hang out on set…and then spoiling them to death! Each of my children has had a small role in at least one of my films, so they understand that it’s hard work. They even help me to prepare for films by reading lines with me.

I think it’s good for them to see the way that horror films, in particular, are made. I don’t believe that my children are as scared of ghoulish figures on the screen now after watching Mama sit through hours of makeup and seeing how the films are made. So, no, I don’t find it hard to balance. My kids are very proud of me, as I am of them. I hope that I’m a good reminder to them that we can do or be, anything that we dream.

R.D. - Do you feel like living in the Midwest hinders your ability to find scripts and films to work on?

Jenna - I don’t feel that living in the Midwest hinders my ability to find film work at all. I feel that there is as much work as I am willing to take on.

R.D. - What does the future hold for you?

Jenna - I had taken a sort of hiatus from acting following my divorce but I plan to begin again, the process of getting my photos and resume updated and get back to work auditioning. I am hopeful that I’ll stay busy with film work this summer.

R.D. - What would be your favorite experience so far while working in film?

Jenna - My favorite experience working in film is my first, “On Account of Amber”. The role that I took on required me to become something that was horrifying to me, something that I hated and could not relate to initially. In this role, my character “Kat” was a drug addict who neglected her daughter. This was a challenge for me…both of my parents are addicts, so I had to overcome my hatred for who they had become to allow myself to slip into the despair they must have felt and finally, maybe, just a numbness to life. I finally felt that perhaps it wasn’t that my parents no longer cared for their children, but that they did not want to feel how badly they had let them down. I can relate to that. I hurt physically and wholly when I know I have let my kids down. I can’t imagine how they must have felt knowing that we were going hungry or filthy because the water had been shut off again.

Working on “On Account of Amber” was a tremendous experience for me for that reason.

R.D. - Last but not least, if you had to pick one, what would your favorite horror movie be?

Jenna - This is a tough one but I would say my very favorite is “The Amityville Horror”. The films that scare me the most are the ones that feel like they could really happen. I’m kind of superstitious and I believe in ghosts or “energy” that may be left behind after death so those films always freak me out the most.

I want to thank Jenna for participating in the interview. I look forward to more work coming out from her in the future, and maybe a follow-up interview after her upcoming horror movies. Thank you to anyone who is reading this, and I hope you get interested in the films of Jenna Giovanni.

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