Cat: Hello Julie. I’ve read that you started your career with modeling jobs. How did you get around to do horror movies?
Julie Anne: I started modeling when I was about 15. My friends and I used to dress up in outlandish outfits, and do our makeup very wild, and then run off to get the film developed. My very first shoot working with an actual photographer was at a friend’s dad’s nudist colony, so it started off very interesting! I was formally discovered, and invited to a local shoot for an alternative site, at a rock show. I hadn’t really thought about modeling professionally, it was more of a game for my friends and I, but I ended up going. It was very exciting, and I really loved all the use of lighting and filters, things that my friends and I just never bothered to explore.
Along the way my photos were submitted to Gothic Beauty Magazine, and I was published in a few issues. I really enjoyed being given direction, and being able to explore different characters through the shoots that I went on, but it got a bit boring after awhile. I had always been a huge fan of horror, sneaking movies when I was about as young as 8. I was always drawn to dark things, and twisted humor. I learned of Troma studios after watching TROMEO AND JULIET, and absolutely loved the campiness of it all. I found out that they had spokesmodels on their website, as well as live at conventions. I had done spokesmodeling work for Sony Playstation for a video game they had out called Primal, so I had a little experience, and the idea of conventions was really appealing to me as well. I submitted a set of photos, and was accepted, and booked at a convention in Orlando to appear and help out. It was fulfilling to bring a character to life for people to enjoy, take pictures with, have things signed by. I was already looking for a creative outlet beyond acting, as it was too silent, and still for me. So I was encouraged to try out for a local film project. I had no acting background, so it was intimidating taking that leap, and just going for it. I was denied first try, due to lack of experience. But Lloyd Kauffman of Troma knew the director by chance, and put in a good word for me. They cast me in NIGHT SCREAM, which is part of the anthology SLICES, and I haven’t stopped working since.
Cat: You have a role in THE UH-OH SHOW. How was the work with Herschell Gordon Lewis?
Julie Anne: Working on THE UH-OH SHOW was a scream! I originally had been offered a larger role in the film, but due to my chaotic schedule at the time, I was unable to accept. I was really in love with the script, and absolutely adored Herschell Gordon Lewis, so I insisted on being a featured extra. I ended up being in three different scenes, as three different characters, the hooker scene being the largest. The hooker scene was an honor to be a part of specifically, because Lloyd Kauffman was playing the pimp. Two cult icons of my youth working together, I was thrilled!
Cat: AS NIGHT FALLS, a film you shot 2010, was released in Germany a few days ago. Can you tell me a little bit about the film?
Julie Anne: AS NIGHT FALLS was one of my favorite films to work on. Great cast, featuring fantastic people like Debbie Rochon, Raine Browne, Deneen Melody, I could go on and list the whole cast! The script was lively, and full of comedy, as well as some pretty twisted villains. I was very pleased with how it turned out when we screened it here. It’s a ghost story, focusing on what happens when kids go out after dark. I don’t want to give too much away, but I have an absolutely awesome death scene.
Cat: If you could choose, with who would you most like to work with in the future?
Julie Anne: I have had the opportunity to work with many extremely talented people, many of which I have admired since I was very young. I never have specific people in mind to work with, only a basic ideal. I look for dedicated, hard working, creative talents, who have a great passion for what they do. And of course a darker view on art and humor is always appreciated.
Cat: What can you tell me about your other upcoming movies?
Julie Anne: A few of my films are being released this fall through winter. NO STRINGS 2 will be shown as part of the Cochese film festival in England. TWO DAYS is being screened over in Italy. ZELLWOOD is getting ready for a US release, as well as KANDIE LAND. As far as projects that I am presently working on, I am currently filming RIVERS OF BLOOD in Florida, HELLS LITTLE ANGELS in Florida as well, and a short film for the anthology BLAZE OF GORY, which will be shot in Pennsylvania. I have also been cast as of this week, in a very exciting new film, which I cannot get into too deeply yet. All I can say is that it’s a great spin on vampires, and the forces that hunt them.
Cat: You’ve also done reality TV.
Julie Anne: Reality television is always great to work on. I enjoy having freedom to work within a basic idea, and then improvise as we get into shooting. I have worked on re-enactments, such as Dr.G: MEDICAL EXAMINER, and SWAMP WARS, where they have a story that is based on real events, and your job is to show the audience what the situation may have looked like as it occurred. Scripted reality is a bit more open, and therefore can be a real crazy time. I did a show called ALL WORKED UP, where they stage a scenario, and you have to just go with the flow entirely. Only the people directly involved know what is going on, so it can be pretty hilarious, or even uncomfortable for bystanders. I once had a restaurant ban me from coming in, because their customers thought I was really brawling with the bail bondsman that was supposedly arresting me. They were absolutely horrified!
Cat: People can meet you at conventions. Do you have a favorite convention experience?
Julie Anne: Conventions are one of my favorite things to be involved in. Everyone is there to bond, network, and share a love for an interest. Horror/Sci-fi conventions are specifically great because the fans of the genre are so devoted, and expressive. It’s a joy to be a part of and experience. I thoroughly enjoy meeting other fans of horror, as well as fans of my own work, and other actors who i’ve either worked with, or grew up watching. It’s sort of surreal to be there hanging out, and across from you is someone who worked on something you have in your own collection. My favorite convention experience is going ghost hunting with Bill Moseley, Ogre, Michelle Shields, Billy Grahm, and a few Indianapolis police officers. We went to an abandoned mental hospital one night after the convention closed. It was hilarious, creepy, and just a great adventure. We didn’t see any ghosts, but it was ridiculously fun regardless.
Cat: What kind of music do you listen to?
Julie Anne: I enjoy lots of different types of music, but most of what I listen to falls into the hardcore, metal, or metalcore categories. They have heavy driven music, and screaming vocals, paired with melodic choruses. Some of my favorites are Atreyu, In Flames, Machine Head, In This Moment. And heavier bands such as Lamb of God, Finntroll , Dimmu Borgir. Then there’s other favorites like 30 Seconds to Mars, Hank III, and Motley Crue.
Cat: Last but not least, please tell me some of your favorite horror movies.
Julie Anne: It’s hard to list favorite movies. I have so many, but I guess I could pick two sub genres very loosely. Foreign horror, not country specific, but a few of my favorites are MARTYRS, INSIDE, RE-CYCLE, PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE RED SHOES, all originals, not remakes. I also love campy slasher films, such as the original NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, SLEEPAWAY CAMP, and ARMY OF DARKNESS. I really gravitate towards ghost stories, and urban legends if I want to actually get scared, like DEAD SILENCE, and INSIDIOUS. I also love dark Fairy tales, filled with demons, evil creatures, and mythical beings, such as the original Brothers Grimm stories. Disturbing, ugly, yet with a touch of childlike wonder and fantasy.
Cat: Thank you for the interview!