Photo by Paul Van Kleef
Greetings fellow Insomniacs! There’s a lot of excitement around the drive-in tonight. We are presenting an exclusive interview with Jamie Bernadette, who has been featured in over 35 features!
She grew up in Kankakee, Illinois just 70 miles south of Chicago per her bio on her website jamiebernadette.com. She resides in Los Angeles now building a great filmography and producing, writing, and conversing on Twitter.
This is where the Insomniac Drive-in’s own Ed Davis happened to posting some tweets on the remake of I Spit on Your Grave. Jamie is going to be starring in the sequel to the original film called, I Spit on You Grave: Deju Vu out later in 2016. After some conversing, Ms. Bernadette graciously agreed to take some time from her busy schedule to answer some questions on the the sequel for our review. After concluding the interview, we decided to share it by itself and not try to tack it on to the review, to let it stand on it’s own.
We here at the Insomniac would like to express our thanks to Jamie for the interview and look forward to seeing the finished product in the future!
INSOMNIAC: What was it like to work on a sequel to one of the most iconic horror films? To be doing it alongside original Star Camille Keaton and Writer/Director Meir Zarchi?
JAMIE BERNADETTE: It was absolutely surreal. I had seen the 1978 original “I Spit on Your Grave” film way before I ever knew of any sequel and auditioned. I fell in love with the film because of the stark honesty in which the story is told. There is nothing hidden or glossed over in this film. Meir took the harsh reality of rape and told it truthfully in all of its pain and horror, which I respected and the world has grown to respect over the years. The film that was once banned and called “trash” is now highly regarded and taught in film schools. When I went to the second audition, the callback, and Meir was sitting there in the room, I was happy. I told myself before the callback, “Whatever happens as far as getting the role or not getting it, if I get to meet Meir then I am happy”. So to work with him and then to meet and work with Camille was something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Both of them are exceptionally kind human beings and a joy to work with. Camille and I have become best friends and talk nearly a couple of times every week. We really are like mother and daughter and best friends, just as we are in the film. I just adore Meir and he is keeping me updated on the status of the film, as is his son and producer of the film Terry Zarchi. Meir and Terry are like family to me.
IDI: What was the best advice Camille Keaton gave you?
JB: Camille gave me a lot of advice while we were on set about love, life, career, everything. She still does. She loves to tell me not to “sell out”, meaning she wishes the best for me in my career. She tells me to reach for everything that I want and not give up and she always has positive words to tell me about my acting abilities, which encourages me to try to get as far as I possibly can in this business. I always appreciate her beautiful energy and just the fact that she believes so much in me and my work.
IDI: You’re playing Christy Hills, daughter of Jennifer Hills from the original film. Can you tell us anything about her character and what drew you to her?
JB: Christy is a strong woman, just like her mom. She’s a model who just wants to be done with her career. She finds the business to be shallow and pointless and aches for something more meaningful in her life. She longs for a husband who loves her and children. I tend to be drawn to characters like Christy, whose strength and wisdom are tested in the direst of circumstances. It is a challenge for me as an actor, an artist, and I love to be challenged with a multifaceted role like Christy.
IDI: What would you like to let people know about this film?
JB: The script is fantastic and all of the actors I worked with on this are phenomenal. Meir and the producer Terry Zarchi saw hundreds and hundreds of actors for only eight roles. I, myself, went through three auditions, totaling about six hours. So, I have not seen a cut of the film, but with a fantastic director who has a very clear vision, a solid script, and great actors, I hope we bring justice to the original 1978 film with a very strong sequel.
IDI: What else are you working on?
JB: I just wrapped as the lead female in “Sinbad and the Furies” from The Asylum, the company that brought us the “Sharknado” movies. It’s a mythological story that takes place in present day, starring John Hennigan (aka John Morrison), written by Scotty Mullen (Zoombies) and directed by Scott Wheeler (Milf).
I am preparing to begin shooting in “4/20 Massacre” as the lead female, a tough martial artist who is very kind and down-to-earth. The synopsis reads: “A group of five women go camping in the woods to celebrate a friend’s birthday over 4/20 weekend. But when they cross the turf of an illegal marijuana grow operation they must struggle to survive the living nightmare.” I had been wanting to work with director Dylan Reynolds for years after attending the premiere of his film “Nipples and Palm Trees”, which I thought was witty, funny and very dark all at the same time. His artistry in film I find to be very original. I am so excited to work with him on this horror film.
I am in full marketing mode on “The 6th Friend”, the film I wrote with director Letia Clouston, produced with Chantelle Albers, and act as the lead actress “Joey”. Here is the synopsis: “In this slasher film with a paranormal twist, six college best friends throw their own private graduation party when the stoner of the group orders in a psychedelic from her drug dealer, who sticks around to join in their fun. Drugged and disoriented, the girls’ special night quickly becomes a dark, foggy nightmare of blood and violence. Five years later, the girls gather together once again in hopes of rekindling that close friendship that they once had, only to find themselves being hunted by who, or what, they do not know.” We have submitted to many film festivals and are connecting with potential distributors. I am very proud of this film. It turned out really well and I hope to bring it to the world in 2017. Follow the film on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates. We are releasing film stills slowly and a trailer will soon follow.
Lastly, if you would like to check out some of my work, watch the feature horror/thriller film “All Girls Weekend”, which is available on Comcast, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, VUDU, Xbox, Cox, Cablevision and Dish. I play the lead as “Nancy”, the dark, melancholy one of the group of five girls. The film reminds me of “The Blair Witch Project” meets “The Descent”. There is a powerful message about the environment behind this film. Writer/director Lou Simon delivers that message creatively and brilliantly.
We here at The Insomniac will be adding some movies to our ques the next few weeks! Look up Jamie Bernadette on Twitter and Facebook for all kinds of updates on the above projects. Until next time when we will review the I Spit on You Grave remake, we’ll see you around the drive-in!